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The Dreaded Improvement Meme
By Bluesrat   |   Watch
2 11 620 (1 Today)
Published: January 9, 2010
© 2010 - 2019 Bluesrat
Yes, that's right. I have fallen victim to the IMPROVEMENT MEME!

I've never done one of these before, actually, so I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at my own progress. And it was.

What I noticed was that I seem to have a dueling styles thing going on. I don't really know what I want my art to look like, is the problem, so I just muck about and see what I like. Which has led to this weird split between realism and stuff like Rain and Winter Goblin. I think I want my art to look realistic, but I *enjoy* painting things like Winter Goblin. they're fast for me, easy to communicate a mood with, and my sense of fun seems to show, because (fan art aside) they're the best-liked things in my gallery.

I also noticed that I love to play with lighting, I remain half-assed at character and costume design, and that gratifyingly my art is moving toward something more robust and evocative. Contrast remains an uneasy bedfellow.

If you too would like to do the improvement meme, the template was created by :kamaniki: -- kamaniki [link]
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Comments (10)
Jagash's avatar
Jagash|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Impressive and noticeable, it gives me some kind of hope that I will be able to progress in a similar fashion. I think I am perhaps close to your 2003 skill level and like seeing a potential roadmap.
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Bluesrat's avatar
I improved a lot in 2003 by copying photographs as sketches. The second picture in that row is an example: it's a copy, with a couple of tweaks to see how I could change the face, of an image from Entertainment Weekly. It hugely improved my grasp of anatomy, proportion, and shading.
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Jagash's avatar
Jagash|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, I had thought that my next steps might be sketches from life but I see that I'm not there as of yet. Sketching from photographs seems to be the correct way for me to go about things.

Yeah, I am at the point where I have the technical skills for the digital work but I lack the ability to do basic lineart. Gotta sketch, i suppose.
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Bluesrat's avatar
Nothing's stopping you from doing both. You don't have to exist at a certain level of skill in order to practice sketching from life. :) I drew from photographs mostly because I wanted to practice drawing people and I didn't want to make my friends repeatedly sit still for me for an hour.

But yeah, as in all things, the fundamentals are the key. I've seen some fantastic pictures where the underlying structure is lacking, but when you see a picture with "good bones," it's got a grace that fancy techniques can't duplicate.
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Olivia-94's avatar
wow! You've improved so much!
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Bluesrat's avatar
:D I'm so used to looking at my own work that it's often hard for me to analyze it. It's a useful meme.
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Olivia-94's avatar
I suppose if you're good it's harder to see the improvement after a while, but for me it's easy :P
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Yzabel's avatar
Yzabel|Hobbyist Digital Artist
I gave in as well a few days ago. ^^

I tend to muck about as well. I know my style has always been influenced by anime and manga (I've been into that since I'm 8 or so), but I have no clue whether I'd like to go on with that, or do something more realistic, or... something else, maybe. Gah.

Anyway, I think it's still interesting to put your art into perspective. At least in my case, it got me to think about a few things, that I'd never have wondered about otherwise (or not now).
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Bluesrat's avatar
Your style has a really interesting blend of anime influences and art nouveau. Looking at your meme, I can see how you've been steadily moving toward your own look.

People often seem to forget that anime encompasses a lot. The really good anime artists have their own styles, and some of them have drawn from art all over the world. If I had to compare your look to any single thing, I'd say it reminds me most of the art for Hellsing, which is one of the most realistic and Western-looking animes I've seen. So...irony, I guess?
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Yzabel's avatar
Yzabel|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hellsing? Wow, then I feel flattered. :) Irony much, indeed.
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anonymous's avatar
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