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Character expressions... what do you think? Also some thoughts on making art

Misery

Amalga Heart
V.I.P Member
OKAY so thank you stupid Windows for CRASHING WHILE I WAS TYPING you dumb lump-

*ahem*

So yeah I did another drawing of my character Iris today, with a different focus:

GirlNew.jpg


So, the focus here was on her expression... previously I'd drawn her looking sorta just happy, content, but I thought I'd try a different expression this time. Though, I dont really use a cartoony or anime style, with exaggerated features and shapes and movements, so I needed to go subtle here. The exact shape of the eyes, the tilt of the eyebrows, and the curve/shape of the mouth and such, that's what this one was all about. Give her an irritated expression without "big" effects, if that makes sense.

Well... not just that. I'll admit, I'm very darned insecure about things I make, about skills I have (or feel that I DONT have), and that first drawing of her... that was the best thing I'd ever made, and I kept wondering... would I ever be able to do that again? What if it was just a one-off sort of thing? A sort of "lucky" creation that I'd never be able to match again? In game-dev terms (since that's a main interest of mine) it's like when someone makes this game that's like this big hit, everyone loves it, but... they then try to make more games, different ones, but those just... they dont match up to what they did before. They never capture that magic a second time. Kinda like that, I wondered if it was going to be like that, but for art instead of game development. So that was the other major reason for making this.

I think I learned a bit more about confidence and such, while doing this. I'd been... too hard on myself all the bloody time, thinking I cant push past a certain point, cant reach the levels I wanted to hit. But what happened this time is that I basically just went "heck with it", sat down, and... just freaking did it. Would it come out well? Bah, I dont know. Gonna do it anyway. It occurs to me too, that I do that with other things. Video games for instance... I'm often like, "gee whiz this boss looks impossible... everyone else gets destroyed at it, I dont know if I can do it myself... ya know what, heck with it, I'm gonna just do it anyway, it hasnt even started and I'm declaring a victory." And that's exactly what I do. And yes, it works. Kinda stupid, really, that I never thought to REALLY apply it to art until now. Maybe that's an important lesson there.

I'm also trying to nail down an overall style here, in a way. I've realized that the way I draw things is kinda... scratchy. I often see artists doing like, big flowing lines and curves, all at once, quick movements (well, quick compared to how I do it), with the sketching phase of the drawing, but that never works for me. When I draw, say, the shape of her face, and I use my sketching pencil, there's no flowing lines or big smooth movements... instead it's a series of about 5 squillion tiny little individual scratches that form the lines/curves/shapes, and then once I'm satisfied with that, I'll trace a heavier line over it. But not TOO heavy, as I need to be able to have it so the original sketch stuff doesnt show through the colored pencils. The "scratch" process is... slow. It's slow. Not a fast way to do things. And as I go, often I'll make some scratches, see that a line or shape is just SLIGHTLY off, quick erase of that small bit, redo. It's interesting though, this is what makes the more subtle aspects of this, like her eyes, doable for me. I cant do that with quicker flowing movements during the sketching process. And then once it's time for color and shade, that's a bit more "normal" in how I do it... sorta. It never quite gets filled, not completely, there's always white space. It's erratic.

But... I decided to just sorta lean into all of this, rather than go mad trying to fight it. I realized something, which is that this is most fun when I'm not just trying to mimic someone else's style that I saw somewhere, or trying to do like a perfect traditional technique that you see in tutorials and classes and such. I do best when I just do it MY way. Whatever the heck that is exactly. Ya know, it occurs to me, the guy who inspired me to even do ANY of this, Martin Walls (creator of my absolute favorite Youtube series, which is where my name "Sophie" comes from), does exactly the same thing: heck with the usual ways, he always does it HIS way, and it's definitely rather screwy. And everyone just loves his stuff that much more for that uniqueness. There isnt really anything else quite like it. And I love that.

There is also perhaps a bit of a childish quality to my own style here, but... honestly maybe that's fine too. And I'll evolve this over time, I think.

Also if you're wondering why the hair always looks like that, kinda ragged with lots of strands sticking out, it's because *my* hair tends to look like that. Ragged, strands going in random directions. A lot of people draw like, super smooth hair on every character all the time, so I figured... yeah, gonna just try it like how mine is. Real hair is like that sometimes, after all.

So... yeah, that's that. If anyone's got any feedback on it, that'd be absolutely lovely, that helps a lot.
 

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Hello,

90% of what you see in any profesional is hard work and practice. Basket, boxing, drawing, swimming, painting.... whatever.

The 10% of talent maybe somewhat important if you want to be one of the best of the world. But if you just want to draw better, you can skip the self shame part and just go for the practice.

About the draw, I would say that its quite similar to the first one. No perspective this time. The head is more round this time.

The expresión of anger is fine.

If you take the autistic way of "drawing the same the same way" because it feels good, you will learn less.

Its like you was learning to read just by reading "mum" word because you like that word. Its difficult learning that way.

Learning is not copying. Its learning.

We learn to talk "copying" our parents, we learn to walk "copying" other humans aswell. Its part of the learning process.

If you dont want to learn and just want to draw perfectly skipping the learning process, relying in talent, you may end becoming angry with yourself. Like your character.

Hugs.
 
As an example, let me share some of my sketches, that I did just for practice:

"Copy" from Wakfu anime. Evangeline:
IMG_20230915_083133.jpg

IMG_20230915_083336.jpg


"Copy" from tutorial of facial expressions:
IMG_20230915_083442.jpg

IMG_20230915_083544.jpg


They have nothing to do with "my style", "my art" or myself. Its just some practice. To learn.
 
OKAY so thank you stupid Windows for CRASHING WHILE I WAS TYPING you dumb lump-

*ahem*

So yeah I did another drawing of my character Iris today, with a different focus:

View attachment 115918

So, the focus here was on her expression... previously I'd drawn her looking sorta just happy, content, but I thought I'd try a different expression this time. Though, I dont really use a cartoony or anime style, with exaggerated features and shapes and movements, so I needed to go subtle here. The exact shape of the eyes, the tilt of the eyebrows, and the curve/shape of the mouth and such, that's what this one was all about. Give her an irritated expression without "big" effects, if that makes sense.

Well... not just that. I'll admit, I'm very darned insecure about things I make, about skills I have (or feel that I DONT have), and that first drawing of her... that was the best thing I'd ever made, and I kept wondering... would I ever be able to do that again? What if it was just a one-off sort of thing? A sort of "lucky" creation that I'd never be able to match again? In game-dev terms (since that's a main interest of mine) it's like when someone makes this game that's like this big hit, everyone loves it, but... they then try to make more games, different ones, but those just... they dont match up to what they did before. They never capture that magic a second time. Kinda like that, I wondered if it was going to be like that, but for art instead of game development. So that was the other major reason for making this.

I think I learned a bit more about confidence and such, while doing this. I'd been... too hard on myself all the bloody time, thinking I cant push past a certain point, cant reach the levels I wanted to hit. But what happened this time is that I basically just went "heck with it", sat down, and... just freaking did it. Would it come out well? Bah, I dont know. Gonna do it anyway. It occurs to me too, that I do that with other things. Video games for instance... I'm often like, "gee whiz this boss looks impossible... everyone else gets destroyed at it, I dont know if I can do it myself... ya know what, heck with it, I'm gonna just do it anyway, it hasnt even started and I'm declaring a victory." And that's exactly what I do. And yes, it works. Kinda stupid, really, that I never thought to REALLY apply it to art until now. Maybe that's an important lesson there.

I'm also trying to nail down an overall style here, in a way. I've realized that the way I draw things is kinda... scratchy. I often see artists doing like, big flowing lines and curves, all at once, quick movements (well, quick compared to how I do it), with the sketching phase of the drawing, but that never works for me. When I draw, say, the shape of her face, and I use my sketching pencil, there's no flowing lines or big smooth movements... instead it's a series of about 5 squillion tiny little individual scratches that form the lines/curves/shapes, and then once I'm satisfied with that, I'll trace a heavier line over it. But not TOO heavy, as I need to be able to have it so the original sketch stuff doesnt show through the colored pencils. The "scratch" process is... slow. It's slow. Not a fast way to do things. And as I go, often I'll make some scratches, see that a line or shape is just SLIGHTLY off, quick erase of that small bit, redo. It's interesting though, this is what makes the more subtle aspects of this, like her eyes, doable for me. I cant do that with quicker flowing movements during the sketching process. And then once it's time for color and shade, that's a bit more "normal" in how I do it... sorta. It never quite gets filled, not completely, there's always white space. It's erratic.

But... I decided to just sorta lean into all of this, rather than go mad trying to fight it. I realized something, which is that this is most fun when I'm not just trying to mimic someone else's style that I saw somewhere, or trying to do like a perfect traditional technique that you see in tutorials and classes and such. I do best when I just do it MY way. Whatever the heck that is exactly. Ya know, it occurs to me, the guy who inspired me to even do ANY of this, Martin Walls (creator of my absolute favorite Youtube series, which is where my name "Sophie" comes from), does exactly the same thing: heck with the usual ways, he always does it HIS way, and it's definitely rather screwy. And everyone just loves his stuff that much more for that uniqueness. There isnt really anything else quite like it. And I love that.

There is also perhaps a bit of a childish quality to my own style here, but... honestly maybe that's fine too. And I'll evolve this over time, I think.

Also if you're wondering why the hair always looks like that, kinda ragged with lots of strands sticking out, it's because *my* hair tends to look like that. Ragged, strands going in random directions. A lot of people draw like, super smooth hair on every character all the time, so I figured... yeah, gonna just try it like how mine is. Real hair is like that sometimes, after all.

So... yeah, that's that. If anyone's got any feedback on it, that'd be absolutely lovely, that helps a lot.

I love it, you are a very good artist, it is so good.
I am like that too. In the sense I am not 'perfect' at the skills and often I actually am not the best with color, line, shape and dimension. But I do my own style.
I get insecure too and it is learning sometimes you have down days where you do not like it I am not very good at abstract art and some things I do not always like and think are rubbish there's always better people.
You are very talented
 
OKAY so thank you stupid Windows for CRASHING WHILE I WAS TYPING you dumb lump-

*ahem*

So yeah I did another drawing of my character Iris today, with a different focus:

View attachment 115918

So, the focus here was on her expression... previously I'd drawn her looking sorta just happy, content, but I thought I'd try a different expression this time. Though, I dont really use a cartoony or anime style, with exaggerated features and shapes and movements, so I needed to go subtle here. The exact shape of the eyes, the tilt of the eyebrows, and the curve/shape of the mouth and such, that's what this one was all about. Give her an irritated expression without "big" effects, if that makes sense.

Well... not just that. I'll admit, I'm very darned insecure about things I make, about skills I have (or feel that I DONT have), and that first drawing of her... that was the best thing I'd ever made, and I kept wondering... would I ever be able to do that again? What if it was just a one-off sort of thing? A sort of "lucky" creation that I'd never be able to match again? In game-dev terms (since that's a main interest of mine) it's like when someone makes this game that's like this big hit, everyone loves it, but... they then try to make more games, different ones, but those just... they dont match up to what they did before. They never capture that magic a second time. Kinda like that, I wondered if it was going to be like that, but for art instead of game development. So that was the other major reason for making this.

I think I learned a bit more about confidence and such, while doing this. I'd been... too hard on myself all the bloody time, thinking I cant push past a certain point, cant reach the levels I wanted to hit. But what happened this time is that I basically just went "heck with it", sat down, and... just freaking did it. Would it come out well? Bah, I dont know. Gonna do it anyway. It occurs to me too, that I do that with other things. Video games for instance... I'm often like, "gee whiz this boss looks impossible... everyone else gets destroyed at it, I dont know if I can do it myself... ya know what, heck with it, I'm gonna just do it anyway, it hasnt even started and I'm declaring a victory." And that's exactly what I do. And yes, it works. Kinda stupid, really, that I never thought to REALLY apply it to art until now. Maybe that's an important lesson there.

I'm also trying to nail down an overall style here, in a way. I've realized that the way I draw things is kinda... scratchy. I often see artists doing like, big flowing lines and curves, all at once, quick movements (well, quick compared to how I do it), with the sketching phase of the drawing, but that never works for me. When I draw, say, the shape of her face, and I use my sketching pencil, there's no flowing lines or big smooth movements... instead it's a series of about 5 squillion tiny little individual scratches that form the lines/curves/shapes, and then once I'm satisfied with that, I'll trace a heavier line over it. But not TOO heavy, as I need to be able to have it so the original sketch stuff doesnt show through the colored pencils. The "scratch" process is... slow. It's slow. Not a fast way to do things. And as I go, often I'll make some scratches, see that a line or shape is just SLIGHTLY off, quick erase of that small bit, redo. It's interesting though, this is what makes the more subtle aspects of this, like her eyes, doable for me. I cant do that with quicker flowing movements during the sketching process. And then once it's time for color and shade, that's a bit more "normal" in how I do it... sorta. It never quite gets filled, not completely, there's always white space. It's erratic.

But... I decided to just sorta lean into all of this, rather than go mad trying to fight it. I realized something, which is that this is most fun when I'm not just trying to mimic someone else's style that I saw somewhere, or trying to do like a perfect traditional technique that you see in tutorials and classes and such. I do best when I just do it MY way. Whatever the heck that is exactly. Ya know, it occurs to me, the guy who inspired me to even do ANY of this, Martin Walls (creator of my absolute favorite Youtube series, which is where my name "Sophie" comes from), does exactly the same thing: heck with the usual ways, he always does it HIS way, and it's definitely rather screwy. And everyone just loves his stuff that much more for that uniqueness. There isnt really anything else quite like it. And I love that.

There is also perhaps a bit of a childish quality to my own style here, but... honestly maybe that's fine too. And I'll evolve this over time, I think.

Also if you're wondering why the hair always looks like that, kinda ragged with lots of strands sticking out, it's because *my* hair tends to look like that. Ragged, strands going in random directions. A lot of people draw like, super smooth hair on every character all the time, so I figured... yeah, gonna just try it like how mine is. Real hair is like that sometimes, after all.

So... yeah, that's that. If anyone's got any feedback on it, that'd be absolutely lovely, that helps a lot.
I love the eyes and particularly your hair you did, I love the colours too particularly the hair.
 
Hello,

90% of what you see in any profesional is hard work and practice. Basket, boxing, drawing, swimming, painting.... whatever.

The 10% of talent maybe somewhat important if you want to be one of the best of the world. But if you just want to draw better, you can skip the self shame part and just go for the practice.

About the draw, I would say that its quite similar to the first one. No perspective this time. The head is more round this time.

The expresión of anger is fine.

If you take the autistic way of "drawing the same the same way" because it feels good, you will learn less.

Its like you was learning to read just by reading "mum" word because you like that word. Its difficult learning that way.

Learning is not copying. Its learning.

We learn to talk "copying" our parents, we learn to walk "copying" other humans aswell. Its part of the learning process.

If you dont want to learn and just want to draw perfectly skipping the learning process, relying in talent, you may end becoming angry with yourself. Like your character.

Hugs.
You are right, autistics are critical but artists often have to be visually critical and hard of themselves.
And it is practice, you get better over time.
 
Hello,

90% of what you see in any profesional is hard work and practice. Basket, boxing, drawing, swimming, painting.... whatever.

The 10% of talent maybe somewhat important if you want to be one of the best of the world. But if you just want to draw better, you can skip the self shame part and just go for the practice.

About the draw, I would say that its quite similar to the first one. No perspective this time. The head is more round this time.

The expresión of anger is fine.

If you take the autistic way of "drawing the same the same way" because it feels good, you will learn less.

Its like you was learning to read just by reading "mum" word because you like that word. Its difficult learning that way.

Learning is not copying. Its learning.

We learn to talk "copying" our parents, we learn to walk "copying" other humans aswell. Its part of the learning process.

If you dont want to learn and just want to draw perfectly skipping the learning process, relying in talent, you may end becoming angry with yourself. Like your character.

Hugs.

Oh yeah, I know, I gotta sorta "branch out" more. Well, to a degree. I like drawing characters like that, but it aint exactly my focus. My actual main focus is brush lettering, and doing things like plants and abstract weirdness (though I usually dont show those on here). So I'm really not used to doing characters. The lettering and such, on the other hand, has gotten a *lot* of practice. Though I dont usually show any of those projects on here.

It's odd though, I get kinda stuck on the "practice" part somewhat, early on. I dont mean just with art, I mean with anything. Like, I'm learning game-dev stuff recently... GDevelop specifically, and Unreal... and it's like, okay... I gotta sit down and make practice projects here, like anyone learning this stuff does. Like, hey, make a Flappy Bird clone, just some blob bouncing between other blobs. Something like that. I know enough to do that, and that's a pretty common one for someone getting into that.

But I sit down to do it and I just get kinda stuck. It's part of why I've only drawn that character a couple of times... I've sat down to do it actually quite a bunch of times, but I then get up after staring blankly at the paper because I cant come up with an idea as to what to make. Or I might stay seated because I'm in the mood to make something, but I end up just drawing like a pond or some flowers or something instead, as I dont get "stuck" on those, either for practice or for making a full finished image. I used to get stuck on those too though. I dont know what causes it to abruptly "click" and then that problem vanishes, but that's how it always works.

Though, I will say, the drawing this time isnt actually done yet. It doesnt really show in the photo but the image is much smaller than the first one I did, it only takes up the top half of the paper. I figured I'd go a bit more than JUST the face, and the idea I had was, okay, let's give her a crossed arms pose to go with that irritation. So that's the next thing to make, to fill the bottom half of the page with that. I figure, it should be easier this time as there's no perspective, for drawing the arms and such. Not going to do that right now though, last night really was strictly about the expression. I can tackle the rest of it later. Today I'm going to draw... any other bloody thing. If I focus too much on the one subject I'll get irritable about it and then wont want to do it.


Also the drawings you showed there are lovely. That's really good stuff.
 
This is good stuff:
IMG_20230915_213453.jpg

(made by AI)

What I shared was just some practice stuff.

Just have some fun. There is no need to be good or gifted to do something.

Hugs.
 
Well... not just that. I'll admit, I'm very darned insecure about things I make, about skills I have (or feel that I DONT have), and that first drawing of her... that was the best thing I'd ever made, and I kept wondering... would I ever be able to do that again? What if it was just a one-off sort of thing? A sort of "lucky" creation that I'd never be able to match again? In game-dev terms (since that's a main interest of mine) it's like when someone makes this game that's like this big hit, everyone loves it, but... they then try to make more games, different ones, but those just... they dont match up to what they did before. They never capture that magic a second time. Kinda like that, I wondered if it was going to be like that, but for art instead of game development. So that was the other major reason for making this.

I can't speak for big projects like this (since even my gamedev projects are usually just prototypes or art / music tools), but I find that the happy-flukes happen quite a lot closer to the beginning until they become a bit more permanent. Then later on, it's the flukes that just suck, but thankfully they become a rarity!

The thing that makes gamedev so different from artwork, music, or a piece of creative code is that there are so many variables -- literally and figuratively. Also, what works in terms of logic isn't guaranteed to work in terms of 'fun factor', as something extremely complex that technically functions well in the modern world might not be any more fun than Space Invaders, a much simpler (in today's terms) project. A good way to judge complex projects like that isn't 'did people like it?', but more like, 'did everything function the way I intended?'. That's a healthier mindset IMHO.

The good news is that you (or I, or anyone) can pump out artwork much faster than gigantic gamedev projects, meaning it's easier to make the process and outcome a little more desirable and permanent. Because while I can't guarantee that anyone's going to like my artistic output (and trust me -- most people I come across really don't like it at all), it's right where I want it to be regardless, and it quenches my soul, so it just comes down to a matter of taste. It won't be long before you feel that way, too.

Remember -- you're the meter for how good it is! If you're finally making the artwork you've always been wanting to make, you're doing good!
 

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