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alicexz's avatar

Kicking my own ass

I saw this before/after meme floating around and really wanted to do it!

The Before piece is from August 2008, approximately 2.5 years ago, when I first started digital painting with my very first tablet, a tiny Bamboo Fun. I remember I referenced an actress's photo for the hair and thought I did ~such a good job~. Looking back I think the entire piece is very stiff and awkward. I drew everything in Adobe Photoshop, a program I was already familiar with for other graphics work. This was the first completed painting I did with a tablet, and also my first upload [link] to DeviantArt.

So the After piece is a work I have finished today, April 13th 2011, a portrait of the same character also painted in Adobe Photoshop, on a Wacom Cintiq (a wonderful gift given to me over 2 years ago by my boyfriend, when he saw how interested I was in digital painting.) His investment paid off - I personally feel I have improved a lot (not just because of the fancy tablet - I still use a regular tablet for many pieces), but because I have tried out a ton of styles and techniques and spent many many hours practicing digital painting in these past 2.5 years... I fully believe it will be a life-long interest and hobby of mine.

What I've Learned:
- Never be timid with color choices.
- Don't use the same boring brushes all the time.
- Never draw a zillion individual strands of hair - hair has volume and mass, and should be "painter-ly" not "line-y." This is not to say that hair can't be detailed - but details come after basic form.
- Black is the least interesting color and should be used minimally in paintings - nothing is ever just BLACK. Shadows can be cool or warm. Always be aware of the multitude of colors at your disposal.
- Don't outline in a painting. PAINT IT. It must have volume. If you're going to outline, you have to outline everything (aka, just make it lineart, and then color under the lineart.)
- Try new techniques all the time. You'd be surprised at what you can come up with just messing around!

Things That Haven't Changed:
- I love doing portraits above all else.
- Ginny Weasley is really fun to draw.

I hope this was at least a little bit interesting/helpful to everyone! I'm sure there's bound to be at least a couple of people who like the Before piece better, they are very different styles after all.

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© 2011 - 2022 alicexz
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Anniquake's avatar
u were good already
b o i 
debsten's avatar
alltogethernow28's avatar
Please upload your brushes, or many tutorials!! :)
Emerald-Wolf13's avatar
I really think both are pretty good.  The older one has a bit more of a photo feel, the new one a bit more impressionistic.
UntoldPromises's avatar
Wow this is amazing! Both are still a lot better than what I could ever do.
It's very inspiration. Great job :)
Thanks for adding what you learned to help others ^^
AnnLittleSmile's avatar
Wow. Very wonderful. 
labyrinthine-queen's avatar
It was this post that inspired me to start experimenting a little with my art and begin steering away from such a realistic style of painting. I still don't have a style anywhere near as unique as yours, but at least my paintings look less like photographs now. I love how you use colour and every time I see one of your paintings I want to add more colour to my own work.
vfdhaven's avatar
Both are beautiful, but I love how you've progressed!
Bestevaer's avatar
(On the after piece) Do you have the soul of Leonardo Da Vinci? Because that is just... that's Marvelous! The raw emotion in her eyes, the texture of her skin, and the beautiful silhouette of colors! I dare say the Renaissance Masters would be envious of this divine work. Madame, you are the best I've seen in a long time. Bravo!!
midnightwillow11195's avatar
I like the color and detail of the 2nd better, but the style of the 1st.
SkittledRainbow's avatar
This is amazing! <3
SerggArt's avatar
I think their both great, but the after is more colorful, and a lot more detailed, definitely an improvement.
SnapShot120's avatar
I like the before more.
Terrara-antaria's avatar
I swear your old Ginny looks like Amy Pond!
Bluebellwriter7's avatar
That's amazing! Excellent work, on both of them.
schilles-photography's avatar
I like both but I love your "new" style of art. When I see one of your pictures I immediatly know that it is from you
Lufione's avatar
Ijao's avatar
Even if I really like your 'modern' stuff, the older is by far better.
Carandacar's avatar
RavenclawPrincess199's avatar
Wow You really kick your own ass
BlueUmbrellaGirl's avatar
wow you really have improved a lot
ShadowHunterWolf's avatar
I personally like theold one more (style wise) but I think the new one is drawn better. But they are both absolutely AmAZinG
hummingbird96's avatar
To me they look like two different people
your first one i find i actually like more though (even though the second is beyond amazing haha)
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