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A random soldier. by LeoV95 A random soldier. by LeoV95
Just wanted to check what can I do with no references. Still sucks but could be much worse :P
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KaidokJ Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016   Digital Artist
First of all, it's not as bad as you think. It is proportional, there is some good texture and for the most part the pose works (the bracer is a little out of perspective, which is why the arm looks a little strange).

The trouble here is values and contrast. Everything is the same value, which means everything kind of blends together. The exception is the blade, and the shield to a lesser degree, which is why they stand out more.

You can model form, that is fairly obvious, but the issue is local value. All you have to do is lighten up a few sections, like the shirt or tabard (not both) and maybe lighten the face a little (but if you do, you might need to darken the helmet...contrast). The trick is to not think about objects in terms of their local color. For instance this shirt is brown, so it should be painted dark, and this tabard is a dark grey so it should be dark as well. You want to create a pattern of light and dark so that the viewer knows what they are looking at, even if it small. You could quite easily paint the shirt a lighter value and then painted it brown, but it would be a lighter brown, a brown that matched the value that you chose in the gray-scale painting. Think value pattern first, then color. 

I used to have the same problems, painting everything the same value, or worse, painting value based on local color. Value isn't that cut and dry. Value is about contrast, particularly when painting in gray-scale. Value is also subjective. You kind of need to forget color and focus on pattern, then try to work the colors out after, because color is a lot more flexible than value.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. I hope it doesn't discourage you. I know how much I struggled with value, and it took ages to understand it to any practical degree, so I get it. And if this was helpful, great. If not, sorry for any confusion. And if you have any question, don't hesitate to ask.
Keep up the good work.;) (Wink) 
LeoV95 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Hmm... Thank you:) I think that all the things you wrote are fair enough. I guess I even had some similar thoughts while I was drawing but it seems that I was too lazy to follow these fair thoughts. But your comment made me look at my mistakes more attentively and yeah, I see that i could make this drawing much better. I will try to keep your advices in my mind drawing something the next time.  Thank you again.

And now I want to ask you a couple of questions.

You seem to draw good enough to be noticed and you don't seem to be that new on deviantart. You also seem to write many critical comments with good advices and it definitely should attract people to your profile:
1 - what for do you write so big critical comments? are not you lazy to type so much to all these unfamiliar people? :0
2 - why do you still have only 12 watchers? I think that it's kinda unfair and it also makes me a bit confused about my plans of being noticed by deviantart community in future. Hm... Just interesting to hear your thoughts about it all :P
KaidokJ Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016   Digital Artist
I'm glad you got something positive from the comment, it is why I write as much as I do.
As to the questions, here goes.

1 - The reason I started writing such long comments, is I kind of can't help it. I started out writing just short little comments, and it didn't feel right. The only reason people write those is so that hopefully the recipient will comment back or look at their work, so that they can build watchers and comments of their own. It is very superficial and a little selfish. The person writing the comment doesn't usually care about the work they are commenting on, or at least it doesn't feel like it. It is all about them. So I started writing a little more than most others, something that indicated that I actually looked at the work and thought about it a little. I sometimes look at their gallery to compare and I decide, based on the amount of comments they have on other work and their development, how much they would appreciate the time I have taken to write something sincere. I balance what I'm going to write based on how far along they are in terms of development so I don't write something discouraging, but also try to give advice if I can. It can be a bit of work, and I certainly don't get to as many people as someone who writes a few generic words but people seem to respond better.
Also, I've done some teaching in the past, not art teaching but still, and it is hard sometimes to see someone struggling and not try to do something to help them. I have been reading and studying and practicing for a while now and I have a pretty firm grasp on a lot of the fundamental aspects of illustration, so even if my work isn't at a professional level I do have a bit of knowledge I can share, so I try to.

2 - The reason my watchers number is so low, I think, is because while I have been on dA for about a year, I haven't been active that much. I posted most of the work at the end of 2014 for a class assignment and then didn't post at all until about 2 weeks ago. The reason I started recently is because I finally felt confident in my work, it felt like it was at a level where I wasn't embarrassed to post it. In hindsight, that might not have been a great idea, because it means I am starting new on dA like a lot of other people. So really, while it seems like I have been on dA for a while, I haven't really. I've only been active for less than 2 weeks, and in that time I have added maybe 6 watchers, which I don't think is too bad.
I think the combination of regular work posts and thoughtful and constructive comments has been the key so far. The longer comments have gotten more attention than the short ones were. People see them and feel obliged to take a little bit more time themselves to check out what I am doing, probably to see if I know what I'm talking about more so than any other reason, and that works in my favor.

It feels more mutual to me, less selfish. But that's just me. ;) (Wink) 
LeoV95 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 18, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Hmm.. Okay, I see. I think I will try to use your experience too:) You know, it's really sad to post something and not to get any attention at all :( And the only way I found to attract some people is to post my art to some popular but low-level groups. It almost didn't give me any watchers though. Hm. And a great number of people simply adds all the art they see to their faves in order to catch your attention only.  Yeah, as you said, it all looks selfish, useless and sad.
I like your way a lot more.
My english is a lot worse than yours though. It is a real problem when I am trying to write like.. a lot.
And it's a HUGE problem when I am trying to give people advices about their art because to do so I have to know especially complex words. Eh. Some of them simply can't understand what I mean :(
Hmm... And as I see your amount of watchers grows every day now :0 Impressive.
Keep going and you'll have more than 100 watchers in few months, I guess.
Anyways, I am kind of interested in your personality. How old are you? According to your teaching experience I guess you are a lot older than me, may be about... 25 or 30? Or even more? 
And you are an art student, do I get it right?
What are your plans? Becoming a concept artist? Or may be you are earning money with your drawing now already? 
KaidokJ Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016   Digital Artist
I understand the frustration of trying to communicate with someone and not getting through. That teaching experience was teaching English, in China. Broken or confusing English is something I'm pretty used to.
But don't be discouraged. Focus on what people are doing right, be encouraging and explain things in as simple terms as possible.
As to me, I am a bit older, 31.
I decided quite late to get involved in art, maybe 24. I used to draw a bit when I was a kid but I never considered it as something worth pursuing. I had wanted to be a writer. Which is probably why my comments are so long. Wink/Razz 
I would one day soon like to make money from my work, but I haven't figured out how just yet. I am hoping to build a body of work that looks impressive enough to get attention, hopefully build a webcomic as well. Patreon is the goal at the moment, but I need to build a much bigger following, and a lot more work, before I consider getting involved in that. My dream job would be to visual development for an animation studio, but that is a long way down the road, I think.
I would also like to teach art. I understand the fundamentals pretty well, and have a fairly strong grasp on a lot of digital specific techniques, and I would like to share that with people. Help them with things that I used to struggle with and had to work out on my own. All of what I know is self taught. The art school I attended was like a community college, and it wasn't very good, so I had to do things the hard way. Sure there is a lot of information and knowledge online, but there it can still take a long time to really understand it, so if I can help others, I would like to.
I just need to keep working at it.
wappah Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2016  Student General Artist
This is awesome. How do you not get more recognition?
LeoV95 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 17, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thank you (: I think that it is simply a question of time and + for sure I have really a lot to improve in my skills.
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January 17, 2016
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