Proko Shape Design Critiques
This is Court Jones
here for the final student critique for the caricature course.
This critique is on the final lesson on shape design and features.
The point of this lesson is to really focus on
how to separate yourself as a student from a professional
or to move from the student level
to a more intermediate or a professional level.
What I wanted to instill everybody with this final lesson is
that there’s the next level that you need to move to is
consciously controlling the shapes that you design
in a way that is representative of your particular style
or your voice and what you see, of course, in the reference.
So a lot of times
you’ll get a photo reference that isn’t ideal,
or the lighting isn’t great,
or it’s not exactly clear what’s going on with the shape
or with the way a plane changes from a front plane to a side plane.
It’s up to the artist to redesign those shapes
in a way that’s not only accurate and true to the subject
but also has some artistic merit,
has some sense of design or personality to it.
So we’ll actually redesign some of the shapes
in a way that’s more decisive.
Sometimes edges get harder,
sometimes that just gets softer between two shapes,
and how you play with those edges,
how you play with those shapes is
what is going to determine your style as an artist.
So we’re gonna take a look at some student work
and I’ll go over at the end,
I think what a lot of the problems in common were.
So, with that let’s just dive in and see what we can find.
Okay, here we have Alan Davis’s
caricature of politician, Nancy Pelosi.
I think you’ve got a great likeness here, Alan.
It’s structured pretty well overall.
I like the symmetry, the balance.
The perspective is pretty good.
The expression is good. It reads well. It looks like her.
Where you’re adding your development,
I think is just at this lesson
where you need to push yourself a little further,
learn how to design more cleanly,
pay more control of your values and your edges,
and basically redesigning the shapes in a more deliberate way.
One of the things I notice about your sketch here is that it’s,
it feels kind of…,
well the values are sort of spotty all over the face
where maybe it’s a bit too much contrast
and they could be smoothed out a bit.
She looks too sunken in, in places and bloated in others.
Basically, just like a mess link of messy mass of volume everywhere
because of all the streaky contrasting values,
or like she has dirt or smudges on her face.
I think part of your problem was actually though
this photo reference you chose
while it is a good likeness of Miss Pelosi,
the lighting is not fantastic.
It’s sort of soft lighting kind of coming from the upper-left
but there’s weird places where it’s hitting on the face
and it’s not super clear.
There’s not like obvious places where you would model it
like a simple egg,
you know, where it’s light going into dark.
It’s just spots of light and dark everywhere,
and I could see how that influenced
or maybe confused you during the painting process.
Here’s a photo I found of her
that actually I liked a lot better.
Now she’s, I think, a little older in this other photo here
but I love the lighting in this.
The halftones are good. They’re a nice middle range.
There’s clear highlights. There’s clear shadows.
It makes it really easy on the artist to figure out what to do
with this and how to model these forms.
You gave yourself a really tough challenge
with this photo on the right here.
I would look for more like photos on the left
that have one strong light source, good strong shadows.
Not that you always have to do that in art or caricature,
sometimes you’ll have a photo of your subject
and it’s the perfect expression and angle,
but the lighting’s terrible and
you just have to work with it.
That’s for a bit later on, I think.
For right now,
focus on using reference that’s gonna make it easier on you
so you can figure out how you will
express yourself through values and through edges.
But anyway, I’ll go back to what you did with your photo
and see what I can do to improve upon that.
So I think what I’ll do is,
I’ll just take a section of the face and redesign it,
like perhaps the nose, and the eye,
and we’ll see what happens here.
So I’m just going to sample colors and values,
because it’s black and white from your original photo,
and before I do that,
I think I’ll actually paint over the areas that are in question
and I’ll redesign some of the shapes and redraw them.
I won’t obscure them entirely
because I do like the shapes that you have.
I’m just going to, it’s just to make it easier
to do the overdrawing the top of them
if it’s dimmed down just a bit here.
So I’ll just take the upper right portion of the face here
and focus on that.
Okay I just switched over to a pencil brush here,
and I think this is Kyle Webster’s ANIMATOR Pencil.
This can sample a dark color.
So then I just redesign
the shapes you have in a more deliberate way,
让直的更直 弯的更弯 更优美
making straight straighter, making curves curvier and more graceful.
Thinking about where the lines are thin
and where they’re going to be thicker.
I am going over pretty much what you’ve got because it is good.
I like what you’ve got there but
Just needs a little bit more refinement
and that’s a good place to be.
You actually shouldn’t be ashamed.
since it’s good where you’re at right now
where you just need sort of help
with the more subtle parts of the picture.
As I am redrawing this feature here, this eye,
I’m trying to make it really clear for myself,
where say the thickness of the eye, eyelids are.
How we can see inside the upper eyelid here.
We can see the bottom plane of the upper eyelid
and we can see the top plane of the lower eyelid here on the bottom.
Later on, if you want to obscure things or blur them out a little bit,
that’s okay. It’s that’s up to you.
Artistically I would just try to start out with
as clearly as you can indicate these shapes
so you can decide what to do with them
if you want to keep them clear, and hard-edged,
and delineated, or to soften them up.
Now this upper eyelid fold here
where it meets the top of the eye socket,
it could use a bit of redesigning to help improve the expression
where it’s sort of like got this sad eye look there,
which wasn’t as obvious in your original.
I think eyebrows are one of those things
that you could have a lot of fun altering them,
exaggerating them just a bit more
to heighten the expression that’s being had
because things like eyebrows and the mouth, especially,
are really movable, really flexible.
So you have a lot of leeway in how you interpret them.
你知道 像鼻子 不怎么动的
Things like, you know, the nose which doesn’t move so much
needs to feel more structured,
I think, most of the time because it’s not as movable
but the eyebrows can definitely be sort of redesigned
in a more active way to heighten the expression that’s happening.
You know, in this picture,
her head is turned to the right just a little bit,
so the nose is turned to the right.
And you’ve got that just a bit but it’s not totally clear.
Maybe they can actually move over the ball of the nose
just a bit to the right to heighten that effect of perspective.
Take a look at the original reference photo over here,
you can see she has a much more upturned nose than the average person
where the top plane and the bottom plane
switch right at about here and then, you know,
the bottom plane continues along the nostrils like so.
That’s just sort of a crude interpretation
but that’s sort of what I’m seeing,
and then the top plane is here and the side plane is like so,
and that’s a bit wonky looking
but you get the idea.
If we go back over to our drawing,
and sort of lightly indicate those plane changes,
that’ll help us when we’re painting this in.
So this lesson is mostly about drawing
but for the purpose of painting or shading in
if you’re using charcoal or graphite
so but you have to do this beginning stage,
this planning stage figuring out where the plane changes are,
and what those transitions are,
and then how those actually are shaped.
I’m just inserting some of my knowledge of nose anatomy in here.
It’s not really totally obvious from the lighting that
this is what’s happening
and she doesn’t have strong separation of the cartilage plates
of what I’m indicating here but
that’s sort of what is happening. Okay. So,
let’s switch over to a paintbrush and shade some of this in.
And this is a paintbrush of my own creation.
I actually made it from scratch in Photoshop,
and there are tutorials on how to do that,
but basically, I just started with just a circle
just a circle selection and then I cut vertical slices
out of it with the minus selection tool
and saved that as a brush stamp.
And then I made sure to align the brush stroke to the direction
of the pen flow, to the direction of the pen stroke,
and turned opacity on,
and I just liked it as a general paintbrush.
It sort of simulates a natural bristly brush when you’re oil painting.
Has lots of cool streaks in it.
I’m gonna start by shading in the blackest values
because that’s gonna be the anchors of the drawing.
It’s what’s gonna ground it,
it’s what’s gonna help me keep track of things
as I start to paint and lose the original line drawing.
I wanna make sure my darkest darks are in there
to have as my landmarks or my reference points.
So this underside of the eyebrow and nose area,
the corner of the nose here, is gonna be a darker value
because the light is generally coming from above
but not super dark. It’s not this dark, of course,
as the cast shadows inside the crease of the eyelid.
And you notice,
I’m actually painting in the direction of the forms,
sort of like I’m cross-hatching with pen and pencil.
That is a good way to paint,
to help to paint along the directions that the form flows.
So that you get the actual inconsistencies in the brushstroke,
like the streaks
kind of help define the forms and have a little bit texture.
of texture because you have to make a decision,
you know, when you’re designing the brushstroke itself.
这不仅仅关乎形状 轮廓 边界
It’s not just about shapes and contours and outlines.
It’s about the actual physicality
of the paint, or of the pencil, or pen that you’re using.
That becomes part of the statement or part of the drawings.
So if you’re gonna choose a direction for those strokes,
make it, make those strokes in the direction
that actually help and assist the viewer understanding what the forms are doing.
So a bit of a downward facing plane here
at the top of the nose or the glabella area.
When painting from photos that have sort of weak lighting,
I sometimes will darken the half-tones, you know,
if you think it’s too light in the reference photo
to help the forms read a little bit more three-dimensional.
So like on the underside of the cheek here
I made it a little darker than it is in the reference photo,
but of course you’ve got to be real careful about that.
I only do it because I feel confident in,
you know, manipulating form with value.
If you do it the wrong way, or too much,
and in too many places,
it will get that streaky over-contrasty look,
不过 在脸颊两侧 调节色调通常较安全
but it’s generally safer to do it around the sides,
around the contours of a face like this
because we all sort of expect there to be sort of a fall-off
from the light as it moves around to the side.
Now even down to the highlights,
the highlights get designed as well.
In the reference photo,
there’s two small pinpoints of light in her eyes
because there’s been lighting on either side of her
which is probably why there’s such weak shadows on her face
because there is a stronger light source on the left,
but on the right there’s a sort of a fill light filling in the shadows.
So I’m gonna take the pinpoint highlight on the left
and make that a little brighter
because that’s where the light source is, the main light source.
I try to make it, you know,
it can be squarish or have a bit of a,
like, a comet tail to it and that helps show sort of the…
Oh, I don’t know.
It’s just something that I do a lot in painting,
that I’ve seen my teachers do
and I try to dissect what that is, and I think it’s just
the curvature of the cornea on top of the eyeball
has a slightly smaller convexity to it than the larger eyeball,
and it’ll create…, I f the highlights are in the right place,
it’ll create sort of a big highlight transitioning into a skinnier highlight.
I think is what’s happening anatomically.
And then the other highlight on the right
will be just a little dark, a little smaller.
So you don’t want highlights everywhere
to be too monotonous and repetitive.
Let’s work on that nose a bit here
So my first job is to make, first,
the forms of the nose more clear, more strongly indicated.
And I’ll worry about exactly that lighting situation,
the highlights just a little bit later.
My first priority is to the structure
and the three-dimensional quality of the nose feature.
Okay, I’m getting into the highlights on the nose
which are sort of overexposed and blown out
which is another reason I don’t love this photo
because I don’t think if we were to look at her in real life
that this would be what the highlights on her nose look like,
so overexposed over such large area.
But I’m trying to work with what this photo is giving me here,
and I just want you to be aware of that.
If you do a lot of drawing and painting from life,
from a live model under a real lighting situation
you’ll get the sense of when a photo is not good,
or when it’s overexposed, when it’s too dark,
when you should change it.
There’s another instance where studying portraiture
or realistic head drawing, especially from life,
is super super valuable.
if you wanna be a caricature illustrator or a caricature fine artist,
depending on whatever it is you wanna end up doing.
But you want to paint at a level
that looks sort of realistic
and looks like it could have been done from life,
or it doesn’t have the trademark look of being drawn from a photo.
The more you draw from life
will develop your instincts and your technique
for making the shapes look that way.
It’s really hard to do
if you don’t spend a lot of time with live models.
Hum, it’s starting to look the way I want.
I just wanna do a few more finishing touches
like the eyes, the eyebrows,
maybe a little bit slightly lighter light from the eyeball,
and of course the eyeball,
as you’ve correctly put here is not pure white.
It’s far from it actually
but it needs to be a lighter value than the skin around it,
that’s for sure in her case.
Especially on the top of the eyeball here,
it’s gonna be a bit lighter.
Here we go. It’s feeling better.
Okay, for the eyelashes,
I do wanna indicate them
but I don’t wanna use this particular brush.
Let me get a brush that I think’s more suited.
Okay, this is just a simple round brush with taper on
and with opacity turned on.
No fancy tricks or anything.
There’s no streakiness to it
but it’ll give me the nice effect that I want where it goes
from thin to thick and also lightens up with lighter pressure,
see how that’s happening there?
A streaky brush wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea,
I just wanted to show you can do it with simple brushes.
Remember don’t space the eyelashes evenly.
Don’t make them all the same length or the same thickness.
Group them together
to make them look a little bit more random and clustered,
and do them after you do the structure of the eyelid, of course,
because you’re painting on top of that good structure.
You don’t want to try to paint around those delicate eyelashes.
I just find it’s best to do them a little bit later
after you got most of the eye already in.
So there’s a bit of translucency to them.
They’re not super intentional.
They’re not super thick and heavy-handed.
The eyelashes you have here on the left side,
它们是直的 粗壮的 缺少渐变的
They’re straight. They’re blocky. They don’t taper.
So watch for that. It looks a little clumsily handled.
And some eyelashes on the bottom,
they’re more afterthoughts or just more wispy,
So I just don’t wanna call attention to the lower eyelashes too much
but she does have some makeup, eyeliner, and mascara
on probably so, on women’s faces,
you have to sort of take that into account.
And same goes for the hair too,
you’ve got a lot of strokes
that are the same width from end to end.
And when you’re doing those final hairs, those flyaway hairs
or the details on top of all the underlying structure of the hair,
that’s when you want to switch to a brush that has a tapered end
so you can get a little bit more of a graceful effect.
It just feels like it’s growing more naturally out of the scalp that way.
Anyway so hope that was helpful
seeing me just redo a section of the face
with more attention paid to the design of the shapes,
making things straighter, make things more curved,
heightening the expression just a little bit more,
and also smoothing out the values
because you have too much jumping around from lights to darks in your painting.
So that was it, the last student critique of the Proko Art of Caricature Course.
Of course that was just a taste of what the premium students get
and we go over a lot more students work suffering from different problems
in the premium version over on proko.com/caricature
Just to make the final point here,
the main problem I noticed in most people’s work
when trying to complete this assignment was
they weren’t going that extra step or spending that extra time,
I guess, I should say, to really refine the design to a way that
was not only more specific to the likeness to that person
but in a way that’s more visually appealing,
just on an abstract level. So you know,
if you turn the painting upside down or flip it backwards,
it should still be good looking just visually.
Just the balance of everything.
The harmony of the placement on the page,
and the straights versus curves, hard versus soft.
Just think about it first as an abstract design
that happens to look like a human face that’s exaggerated.
So there’s a lot of variables to balance,
and this is pretty advanced stuff
and people were struggling with this last one, I think,
because you know you’re struggling
with a lot of the fundamental skills still,
or painting is sort of new to you,
or you haven’t done it as much maybe as you’d like
and so you’re wrestling with other issues at the same time.
But if you stick to a procedure of step by step,
starting simply from your thumbnails to your rough sketch,
abstraction all the stuff we did
in the premium in the fundamental part of the course
in part one, it’ll make things a lot easier.
You just break down big jobs into smaller steps
and that’s the main thing about this course.
That’s why I designed it the way I did to make things easier,
to break up your tasks.
So anyway, thank you.
everyone who watched and followed it along.
It was real pleasure watching your development
and people’s enthusiasm for the course
and I just couldn’t have asked for,
You know, better submissions, it was just great, you know
Even though the pieces aren’t, you know, perfect
that’s not the point of this course,
obviously, the point is to see this development,
and to watch people grow, and I really have.
So thank you everybody who participated and followed along,
and watched my videos
when we were goofy and tried to make you laugh,
you know, to make it more palatable.
We really appreciate it and thank you all,
and maybe I’ll see you at some time in the future.