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― Artistic Expression CritiqueProgression of a Project

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minniev
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Progression of a Project

Post by minniev » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:51 pm

I have been trying to learn how to do sketches in software similar to Bob Yankles, but without buying any new software. So, once I got started doing that, I needed to figure out how to create the effect of art paper and wanted to emulate the German Etching paper I used for the dam bird prints. Once I got started on that, I saw a piece about clipping masks and figured to try that too. Here is the progression.

All comments, suggestions, and your own experiments are welcome
Attachments
sequencex (4 of 4).jpg
original image
sequence (3 of 4).jpg
sketch
sequence (2 of 4).jpg
sketch, clipping mask, and art paper
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Duck » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:27 am

Neat. As an artist I have a love/hate relation with software that replicates what the hand should be doing. Part of me loves the convenience while the other part of me cringes at the fact that it takes no artistic skill to make a "sketch".

Personal feelings aside, I like the render. I do have to point out some obvious issues with the final presentation. Mind you, these are not an end all but rather "insider" observations from a traditional artist.

It is true that we often do not draw all the way to the edges (like a photo or painting) but leave some working space around our composition. Even with watercolors we tend to avoid straight to the edges as paint never lays right at the edges. Oils and acrylics tend to be a different animal due to the nature of the canvas. This means there is a natural vignette that is created. However, that vignette typically doesn't leave chunks out of the center of a subject.

Take the trees on either side. If I were to sketch this scene I would use them as natural frames to contain the drawing. Where I would cut off or fade off would be at the top and bottom. And unless there was something specific, like a path or stream, I wouldn't have one little chunk going out to the edge.

Typically a sketch would concentrate more on the main subject (the bridge and the central trees) and most of the periphery would be really sketchy. Though this really depends on whether you're doing a comprehensive or a study (or even a finished "sketch").

To make your textured sketch look more realistic consider using a smoother mask with pencil-like roughness along the outside rather than a mask that looks like it was painted with a broad brush.
MinnieV.jpg
MinnieV.jpg (296.96 KiB) Viewed 344 times
This was a rather coarse sketch from your original done in Photoshop (by hand, not an action). You can see how I'm using tone and vignette to bring the eye in. Hope this gives some insight that helps when compositing.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:16 pm

Minnie, I love the first and second ones about equally . Duck, I absolutely hear what you are saying and showing (gorgeous hand work that I would happily hang), but I am mindful of one of the main reasons so many folks, me for example, turned to photography in the first place: a visually creative itch needing a scratch but we can neither draw nor paint. My own preference for my own work is usually pretty straight, but I like some of the gee-golly-whiz-bang things we can do now and employ them, rarely, but sometimes.
Duck wrote:As an artist I have a love/hate relation with software that replicates what the hand should be doing. Part of me loves the convenience while the other part of me cringes at the fact that it takes no artistic skill to make a "sketch".
Well, see, that's the thing: I ain't got no skill. Plus I may be veering off topic, but we have had a recent couple of lively discussions about ethics. I very much like all these renderings. I have a slight preference for Minnie's original straight shot but I also like the second and to an extent the third. I really like what you did, Duck. But, say Minnie posts one of these without disclosing what it really is...? Is it ethical? Probably not, but it's also not illegal. But what if she manages to get one all the way to Sotheby's, misrepresenting it as a mid-19th century original German etching by von Hrummmfffenberg...? Well, that's a stretch but what if she just claims it's an actual rendering as opposed to a photograph that looks like one and no one spots it? (Okay, blue sky here and way off topic plus wheels came off. I sit down now.)
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Post by Duck » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:24 pm

In an alternate reality a digitally manipulated photo could pass for a manually created drawing. :-)

A trained artist can spot a digital manipulation. It's all in the textures. In a photo manipulated sketch the texture comes from the photographed texture (look at the bark and the grasses) rather than coming from the tool (brush, chalk, graphite, etc.) the hand Is also missing.

Though my interpretation is crude and digitally painted, you can see what I mean by the tool carrying the texture and you can clearly see my hand.
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Post by Duck » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:38 pm

I should have said that I really like the second image best, as the original image and its composition lends itself really well to this kind of manipulation. The third image took me on a tangent that I didn't return from. Sorry.

Yes, traditional manipulations do have their place and have been used effectively for many years. I guess this is my "is it cheating?" torn in the side. When I see Minnie or Bob doing these I am fine with it. If I attempt one I feel so guilty cause I could easily do it if I put in the time and effort to do so. In order to replicate what Minnie did with that level of detail it would take a rather large sheet of paper and several days of continuous drawing. Time, I don't have. Skill, I have.

Sorry if my first post was taken as a grumpy rant.
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Post by minniev » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:06 pm

Duck wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:38 pm
I should have said that I really like the second image best, as the original image and its composition lends itself really well to this kind of manipulation. The third image took me on a tangent that I didn't return from. Sorry.

Yes, traditional manipulations do have their place and have been used effectively for many years. I guess this is my "is it cheating?" torn in the side. When I see Minnie or Bob doing these I am fine with it. If I attempt one I feel so guilty cause I could easily do it if I put in the time and effort to do so. In order to replicate what Minnie did with that level of detail it would take a rather large sheet of paper and several days of continuous drawing. Time, I don't have. Skill, I have.

Sorry if my first post was taken as a grumpy rant.

You didn't sound grumpy at all, and I appreciate hearing from your artist "side" as well as your photographer side. You sounded like an artist! And I respect that. I shed lots of tears as a kid because I wanted so much to be able to draw the way my cousins did. I had all the original ideas for what to do, but my hands didn't have the magic theirs did, even after trying art lessons and such. So the art-ish renditions I can coax out of PS free me to do things I couldn't. I expect I will keep fiddling, and feedback such as yours is exactly what I need to fiddle a little bit better.

I experimented with too many different things on this one, but it's a journey I'll keep on trying with.
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Post by minniev » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:10 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:16 pm
Minnie, I love the first and second ones about equally . Duck, I absolutely hear what you are saying and showing (gorgeous hand work that I would happily hang), but I am mindful of one of the main reasons so many folks, me for example, turned to photography in the first place: a visually creative itch needing a scratch but we can neither draw nor paint. My own preference for my own work is usually pretty straight, but I like some of the gee-golly-whiz-bang things we can do now and employ them, rarely, but sometimes.
Duck wrote:As an artist I have a love/hate relation with software that replicates what the hand should be doing. Part of me loves the convenience while the other part of me cringes at the fact that it takes no artistic skill to make a "sketch".
Well, see, that's the thing: I ain't got no skill. Plus I may be veering off topic, but we have had a recent couple of lively discussions about ethics. I very much like all these renderings. I have a slight preference for Minnie's original straight shot but I also like the second and to an extent the third. I really like what you did, Duck. But, say Minnie posts one of these without disclosing what it really is...? Is it ethical? Probably not, but it's also not illegal. But what if she manages to get one all the way to Sotheby's, misrepresenting it as a mid-19th century original German etching by von Hrummmfffenberg...? Well, that's a stretch but what if she just claims it's an actual rendering as opposed to a photograph that looks like one and no one spots it? (Okay, blue sky here and way off topic plus wheels came off. I sit down now.)
Thanks Chuck, for sharing your thoughts. Glad you liked the first fiddling. Like I told Duck, I tried too many things (one reason I posted multiple versions). Duck feels guilty doing these kinds of things in part because he is talented enough to do them by hand. I don't feel guilty, because I know I CAN"T do that,and I'm happy to have the fun of playing, and integrating photos with other digital tools. It's an interesting dilemma.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by St3v3M » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:03 am

This looks like a fun project and I love where you're going but love the second the best! S-
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Post by minniev » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:25 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:03 am
This looks like a fun project and I love where you're going but love the second the best! S-
It's fun but I won't claim it as art! I will keep at it though.. Thanks.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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