MEGAPOST - Dreamed Elf - The Art of Studying (Tips for Artists)

in #art4 years ago (edited)

What Happens When You Take Your Studies One Step Further?

...The result is just amazing!

(All the images are my own creation and therefore I own their rights)


(If you came only because of the pictures, at the end you will find the whole process one, enjoy!)

On a previous post I've shown you a small late practice of a dreamed elf with a chilling expression. Oh, I just love doing faces/portraits. They are absolutely awesome and an amazing subject of study !

But let's be honest, when I ask you about studying arts, what kind of practical exercises come to your mind?

Probably something related to anatomy, doing some still life... and nothing else, right?

Well, that couldn't be more far from the best subjects of study!

See, there is really reaaaaaally big amount of different kind studies and practices you have for developing your skills as an artists. Not to say, an artist is not just hand or eye. It's both of them and many things in between.

It is not magic.

In theory it's pretty simple: Your eye perceives light, one sector of your brain organizes the information, another lobe of it translates the information into language or a concept, the whole brain recognizes what's missing or what could be done better. An answer or proposal comes over. your brain sends the signals to the nervous system, your hand receives it and adapts to the tool it has on it. And the process repeats, few thousand times per minute.


(see how many times I wrote brain)

This is a whole process that is pretty complex even if we tell it rough as I just did. Therefore we need very specific exercises and not to go whole into a BIG BADASS painting before mastering these.

We need to stick to FUNDAMENTALS

For instance, look at the little animation up there. This is a brief example of what I did on the whole artwork of the elf... is important to point that this was a lighting excercise. I decided to work my skills with rendering an image in my head and not so much on scatter, colors and other stuff. I wanted to make it look like if it was made from one material, with one type of reflectivity, one type of shadow and two sources of light (focal-high and soft-scattered-behind).

Not to say that this is an amazing practice for values since you shouldn't go too dark or too light but keep on the right spectrum of the values.

I know it shouldn't be important or even mentioned, but damn I want to say it: This was made completely without references. Not even for the materiality of the "marble". I wanted to just make use of my memories and concepts in my head.

This is also very good for your brain since you train the memories related to images and theory of light-color-values-shadows-textures. Which honestly is amazing if you are a lazy bastard like me that doesn't like to gather reference but just go ahead with the information inside.


As you can remember (if you don't, go back to the first post and check it out !) we did our base purely with lines, few values and a very loose understanding of volumes over the artwork. After all, it was just a late practice.

But the important thing here is to capture the essence, rhythm and general feeling of the whole thing. Remember to also put more effort on the base so you will have solid ground to build your building! If not... the whole thing may fall.

Even tho' I modified the composition later on (by fixing the canvas vertically instead horizontally) the base was there. I just fixed few little things about the features of the face that weren't really working on volume and then BAAM! It all came together.

I didn't do a great great render for this but instead I focused more on keeping the values on point. I think I could have made way more contrast, but the truth is that I wanted to give a soft feeling to this one. I am going to probably make something way more aggressive in the future (in terms of contrast... shadows-darker lights-lighter) and see how it comes out. But you see...

...This is the way you make yourself your own practices, exercises and learning notes.

You gotta discover what you are lacking and you are not gonna do it until you start practicing, taking mistakes and discovering what you are worse at and what you are better at. In my specific case I such with values, high contrast areas and occlusion areas.


As I previously said, this is a great practice for palette of values. Because in order to make this look more soft and pleasant to the eye, we have to modify the whole gradient map and not to use the whole scale of white to black.

You can observe there is a slight difference between both gradients. Mostly at the dark extreme.

This difference in the gradient map absorbs all the contrast but makes it look (logically) way softer. This is creating for us the whole soft and peaceful atmosphere that we can enjoy with the cool features of the lady's "sculpture."

I don't know if at this point it is even needed to mention it, but...


Pay Attention to Your Focal Points!

We always talk about this and this is something extremely important. Because if you are a renderer lover bastard just like me, you may zoom in the image and forget about the most important stuff (while rendering): Your focal points.

This one of course is easy since we are doing a portrait. A face or a head will always have the main focal point in between the eyes. This is what our biology as human animals says about us.

Test it out: when you be in front of someone you are talking with, try to consciously check what you are observing from this person or better said where. You will see that there is a triangle in between the eyes and the nose. This is the main focal point between humans and even animals.

Yes, between animals (mammals) too. If you have a cat or a dog. When he/she stares at you will have its eyes pointing at yours. Not your chest, your feet, or your hands (unless you have a piece of meat on them).

This is something that all mammals have in common and it's because we are all social animals.

Now you know this and you can make a good use from it, what are you waiting for? Go out there and become great!!

And for those who are curious about the whole process, here you can watch it!


Thanks a lot for your support and I see you in the next one!


I always try to listen to the ideas of my fellow followers to improve my posts and to give something back to the community... therefore: What would you like the next posts to be about? What should I talk about? What kind of painting? Would you like some tutorials about arts, about cooking? Maybe some fresh gaming broadcast? I would love to know!



This truly is amazing, you inspired me a lot to go back to the beginnings, and see if I can take my own creativity to the next level.

Aww! You make me feel so good! Thank you! I really feel lucky that you found this so inspiring! I am willing to see what you come up with. Please show me when you got it, oki? =)

I will ... and that's a promise!

I don't know the technicalities of drawing but damn that end outcome looks amazing.
The GIF at the end where it all comes together is so satisfying to watch as you improve the drawing, bit by bit!
Great stuff!

Thanks a lot @yesaye ! It is actually a lot of fun when it all comes together, from a blank canvas!! That s part of the beauty of arts =)

I feel the same rush of happiness when I hear my mashups after hours of editing!
Art away!

One thing I'm bad at in sketching is 'lighting'. Sometimes, it's hard for me to grasp light perception. And I've been stubborn enough not to do exercises to hone this fundamental skill, haha.

But reading this made me realize I should get back to practicing. You're right when you said that if you take your studies one step further, it will produce amazing results. Here's to better art! :)

This makes me super happy ! I mean not the fact that you feel bad at lighting. But that this post actually encouraged you to go back to the fundamentals and take it one step further, I am willing to see the result of your efforts!

Great work! I personally could learn a lot from you. I'm going to follow on my personal @spaceginger account and if you're interested in follow @steemartists I would love to put you on our promotions list. We do a promotional blog every 1 - 2 days and a 1 time a week 'Artist Spotlight' which is growing fast and getting lots of new followers and upvotes to our promoted artists.

I would love to be part of it! =)

Very well thought out post. Good structure will always lead to a solid piece of art. You can't start with the details first. With the focal point you also should keep in mind the principles and elements of design. you did a really good job of using light and shadow to move the eye.

Thanks a lot @holcombart ! And indeed, the whole point is to go form BIG to small... this way you don't lose the base or essence of your artwork ;)

Wahh sick skills my friend 🙏🏼

Came for the elf, always found the race esoteric and beautiful, although I stuck reading your post, enjoyed it a lot, you're a good writer.

I'm not an artist myself (in the traditional manner) but I find a lot of inspiration reading these types of "guides", learning the tricks behind the scenes, I think they are universally applicable to many creative arts.

Otherwise, if you're into travelling, vlogs, fitness, self-development etc feel free to check out my channel, in any case keep up the good work and I'll see you around! :)

Your job is fascinating, it's realistic and very very beautiful! I love art, and I do some illustrations, but wow your job is amazing.. 😱 Is a honor learned of you

oh thanks a lot! I really appreciate it! I would love if you could learn one or two things from me, the honor would be entirely mine! :D

it just looks sooo good looks like a sculpture

Thank you Solly! It was the whole point ;)

Very cool x3

Nice post

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Thank You! ⚜

You are the best in your art <3. The level of detail and realism that you gave to the drawing of the last post is extraordinary, legally I really like your art and I love that design <3. I still can not believe you have not played wow

Thanks man! I really appreciate it =))

I haven't! well, I have actually, but only for a day or two in pirate servers... I was too poor for affording a membership heh

hahaha we are two, I also play very little and servers pirates the truth is that my internet did not help much to play it hahaha although as a child I spent a lot playing warcraft III: icy throne, at that moment my vice was born to the orcs, night elves, undead and human, I really like strategy games <3

It is a great job! Congratulation for your excellent art.

Muchisimas gracias querido !!

Awesome post !! Please share your tips on colours next time !! Look forward to reading it =D

Sometimes I paint with greyscale and sometimes I go directly with colours. Im amazed by the result of greyscale to colours but sometimes its so hard to carry on painting in black and white. Thats one dilemma I face each time I wanna start a painting.

I do have many of these in my blog, please take a look =)

I even have one that is about using gradient maps... here you can find it:

Woah! This looks like a 3D sculpt! I mean you even wrote ladies sculpture;) Really nice. I‘ve been seeing so many great illustrations and the process of them. I kind of prefer this a litte bit more, than timelapse-videos, because you can see the important steps at once. Inspired me to just start practicing more instead of jumping right into 3D. I am far away from creating stuff completely without references- Kudos to you!

Thanks a lot @jellenmark! I really love that my stuff motivates you to go further !! I honestly believe you can do it, you just need to practice a lot and get there with time ;)

Magical! That gif speaks better than 1000 words. Well that Elf catches every Wi-fi in 100m radius!

Hahahahaha you said ! Having big ears has its bright side :P

Fantastic post! You are a great artist, but thank you for taking the time for teaching the process. I learned a lot from you, and it gives me the taste to o back at painting.

Oh please do ! Art is life mate!

Amazing work, thanks for sharing! As an art student i really appreciated this post, since im trying to start working with digital...
Keep going, all of the luck!

Thanks a lot @beaslcdelgado! I appreciate that you told me this since I can help you in case you need some advice related to arts. I've been working for almost a decade in the industry of arts, so be my guest to ask whatever you need =)

Thank you so much @anritco! I will come to you if a have any doubts :)

Love the process. I have never had the patience to layer my drawings like this and it's always awe inspiring to watch someone else do it masterfully.

Thanks mate! It's not hard at all, not even patient needed... actually I separate in layers just to have a track of my workflow, which luckily enough ends up being a clean process to show off :D

Try it!

So amazing skill digital drawing. I need to try like that. But, i draw with water color.

Insane! I always wanted to! Actually I am trying to put my shiet togeter to buy some and some cool sketchbook for them. So finally I can take them to my travels !

Thanks for sharing your process. It gave me insight on a piece I'm working on now. Thanks again!

I love to hear it! I am glad it's useful for you @lucidlight! :D

I love how you did the gif... amazing. I have done some digital art but not that much. I am still in love with pencils and paints...doing some originals now on little tiny canvases for baby rooms... nurseries. Thanks for the great post - learned something too.

That's absolutely cute @granblock ! I am super happy that you decided to not give up to arts ! This is a beautiful world and profession (or hobby), full of amazing (and frustrating) moments and feelings.

Keep your spirit on the arts =)

Incredible! Really good job. I'm a new artist and on this community, I have some illustrations, maybe in future you could check them! I'm following you to see your future's jobs. Good luck.


nice work friend , good luck

have a nice day

Okay, this was nice, its all about perspective.

This was very informative and i like it a lot!

Great work! I love seeing the gif with all the steps at the end. Thanks for sharing.

Waaoo Amazing post
Keep it up & Keep Following @sohailomi

Congratulations @anritco, this post is the eighth most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Hero account holder (accounts that hold between 10 and 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Hero account holders during this period was 445 and the total pending payments to posts in this category was $13010.86. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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Thanks a lot @bitgeek ! It's an honor to be in your awesome list! :D

a very magical post though this is not magic but i am fascinated with your post. I really like @anritco

The story is unique and interesting ..
Magic does not mean magic, magic is the eye of the eye when the focus of a spectacle is its 😹

hmmmmm, interesting

Incredible, I love your artistic works, I will follow you, I will support and I will be aware of your drawings. Help me grow in this great platform where people can publish content

This is absolutely great and exceptional artistic display. A job well done. Keep it on....

Wow, that looks great

wow nice post!

As always your work is amazing. I have to read your this post and practice a lot because this is one of the problems I face in my recent illustrations. 😬

Awesome bro...!!! Very nice..

Very good information. Thanks

Incredible. You so talanted artist.

Amazing tutorial and such good advice. It really is important to understand the basics of light to better improve the result of one's art. Good job of explaining with the animated gifs too!

Exactly! Coming back to the fundamentals is always a must ! Despite of how good you are :D

I have the same problem with overdetailing, zooming in, for a couple of hours, get back up to look up the whole thing and baam. What the fuck have i done, blur that, do it again. And sometimes i just say fuck it. I'll do better next time. and the same story repeats :D Bad habits die hard :D

Hahaha indeed! Kill the bad habits with fireeeee!

I prefer to kill them with grind :D it's more efficient :D

This is amazing! Very detailed explanation. Thanks for the tips, I feel motivated to try to take my art one step further!

really nicely done! so interesting to see the process from start to finish!

I would love your opinion on my recent art post if you have the time :)

Sure thing ! And thanks! =)

AMAZING !!!! Well explained, what kind of graphic tablet do you use !! im intersting in buying one(my first). if u have some advices

Yes indeed, I've always used Wacom tablets, at the moment (and for almost 9 years already) I've been using Wacom Intuos 4 and 5, both medium size. But if you can afford a cintiq, then go for it ;)

A very much worthwhile tutorial! Thank! Followed and resteemed!

Lovely work! Definitely worth a follow. Be sure to take a look over at my page also fellow artist! :)

I apriciate your work mate and thank you for your enlightment aswell. Best regard

Wow~!! very awesome~!!

Awesome work! Great instruction.

This good information and guide for me, i aprreciate it

Love how you put where to focus.

i love magic,, i think magic is great skill, that can not judge by eyes, sir great post,, sir nice,,

Woow! Thats an amazing work brother! Really appreciate the tips that gave us!
keep on doing!!

wow cool tutorial: D Do it more;) Regards

Your work is awesome, I can't get enough this morning. haha :)

It's scary