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Natalie

Natalie's Art (New: Sumia)

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Newest work: Sumia

So here's a place where I put some of my art for feedback, critique etc. If you head on over to the last couple of pages, you'll see much less cringy work, as I'm much more familiar with digital art than I was back in May 2017.

Requests are currently closed.

I'm active on InstagramTumblr and Twitter and post more WIPs and non-related artworks on there, so if you like what I do you can follow me on those.

Commissions are closed.

Edited by Natalie

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I don't know how proficient you are in Photoshop, but general tips if you want to start out with painting over your drawings digitally:

- Clean your sketch layer under Image > Adjustments and then stuff like Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Curves. It's good for making lines more clear, the paper more white etc.

- If you set your sketch layer from Normal to Multiply, you set the layer to some kind of darker color transparency and you can set a new layer UNDER the sketch, paint on it and it will show under the sketch. This way you can use your sketch as guidelines, and a way to start your painting is to fill in colors and shapes under the sketch layer, then later create a layer OVER the sketch layer and paint in details.

- You could also draw new lineart over your sketch, turn down the opacity on the sketch layer, create a new layer over and then draw lines. Then you can later discard your sketch layer, and create layers under the lineart and fill in colors.

 

You can find lots of tutorials online if you're completely new to digital paiting, and I'm not sure what exactly you're after. Technical aspects of Photoshop? Drawing tips for getting some particular effect or style? You should specify what you're looking for help for, what you already do when you paint digitally, maybe provide examples. It's easier to get useful advice that way.

I don't paint as often as draw digitally, and to me there's quite a difference in how I approach painting and drawing. I try to use less layers in painting, for example, while when I draw I often have separate layers for colors, though for both I like stuff like using multiply layers for shading. This is all preference and there's no "correct" way of doing things, so once you get started and comfortable with Photoshop I suggest just experimenting to find out what style and methods you like.

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Thanks @j00. I currently use Photoshop for editing my photographs so I know my way around more or less. 

This is really helpful stuff! My hand to eye coordination isn't exactly great when it comes to sketching on a tablet, so ideally I'd like to draw on paper first. 

I wasn't sure where the sketch should go in my layers, so thanks for the advice.

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Your art looks great, fat better than mine.

For tablet drawing, I've found that laying it down on a flat surface, rather than trying to hold it on your lap or other movable surface helps a lot with coordinating it.  On GIMP, there's also a smooth lines option, which helps, since drawn lines can be a bit jittery.

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10 hours ago, Rezzy said:

Your art looks great, fat better than mine.

For tablet drawing, I've found that laying it down on a flat surface, rather than trying to hold it on your lap or other movable surface helps a lot with coordinating it.  On GIMP, there's also a smooth lines option, which helps, since drawn lines can be a bit jittery.

Thank you! Yes, I struggle with the jittery lines so hopefully I can sort that with something similar. I tend to draw at a really weird angle on paper, but I'll try using my tablet on the desk.

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9 minutes ago, Natalie said:

Thank you! Yes, I struggle with the jittery lines so hopefully I can sort that with something similar. I tend to draw at a really weird angle on paper, but I'll try using my tablet on the desk.

Are you right or left handed?  My big thing is just setting the drawing tablet down orthagonal to the screen, so it's easier to get the hand-eye coordination.

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29 minutes ago, Rezzy said:

Are you right or left handed?  My big thing is just setting the drawing tablet down orthagonal to the screen, so it's easier to get the hand-eye coordination.

Right handed, but I kind of lean my hand sideways when I draw. I'll try that and see if it helps. 

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I will say that all tablets work relatively the same, so getting a new tablet probably isn't the solution to getting better results. Understand that there is a bit of a learning curve between drawing traditionally to drawing digitally. When you're drawing traditionally, you can see what you're drawing since you're looking directly at your hand as your drawing, but on a tablet, you're looking at a screen while your hand is drawing below, away from your peripheral vision. So, you kind of have to practice and develop some hand-eye coordination. It's tough in the beginning but you get better as you keep practicing (I was the same years ago when I first got my tablet). 

Luckily with digital drawing, there's a lot of features that make drawing easy in comparison to traditional drawing (undos, layers, filters, etc) but I would start by understanding how layers work so you can get a feel of how to draw over traditional work because it definitely is possible.

Generally if you're working over traditional work, it's usually on the bottom most layer because if you working with layer that are under the sketch, you're not going to see the results of that because the sketch you're working on isn't transparent. Think of it like this - imagine your sketch layer is completely white and you have transparent sheets underneath it - like a stack. If you colour on one of the transparent layers, you're not going to see the colouring because your sketch layer (that is completely white) is on top of it.

If you want to colour/paint your sketch as is without going through the steps of drawing completely new line art digitally, you should look into understanding layer styles in Photoshop. I hope you don't mind me using your work to show what I mean:

So here we have your sketch of Eirika and the first thing you want to colour is her hair - but how would you go about doing that? Taking the paint brush and colouring right over it doesn't look quite right because you're quite literally colouring over the lines form the sketch.

1.thumb.png.24ff47db9ec41873b3632643bc2d41b8.png

But what if we changed the layer style from 'Normal' to 'Multiple'?:

2.png

Noticed how the colouring goes from colouring over everything to colouring underneath the lines of the sketch but still working on a layer above the sketch? See the difference? You can learn and do a lot of cool and interesting tricks by experimenting with layer styles. 

Hopefully this advice is helpful to you! I've been drawing digitally for over 8 years now so feel free to ask any questions you may have about digital drawing :>

Edited by carefreejules

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Thanks @carefreejules for the the advice, it was really helpful.

I had a go over the past couple of days on the Eirika piece I posted. If anyone has any more advice/criticism then that would be most appreciated. This is only my first attempt and I hope to improve a lot.

 

 

Spoiler

erika 2.jpg

 

Edited by Natalie

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Wow, I typically just went over my sketches with brush lines on a new layer, added some solid colors in another layer, and went from there (shading, making the lines the right colors, etc.). But I might learn a thing or to from this myself, because that shading looks better than anything I can do. I just haven't found many good shading techniques. My lines don't always look as smooth as I'd like them to be either.

You also improved her face, btw, I thought it looked rather scary in the sketch. :P

Nice job to start off with, by the way! I intend to become an art student as well. I can't give you anymore advice that hasn't already been given, but as a lot of people would tell you, practice is best!

Edited by Anacybele

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I'm also an art and design student (going into my 4th year) so I'm glad to hear that my advice was helpful!

I can't really critique the shading and colours because it seems to me that your shading technique is part of your style so keeping that in mind, it looks great to me!

I would say for the hair specifically, the hair going over (her) left shoulder looks more realistic and accurate oppose to the right. You generally don't see that many hair strands or bunches of hair strands separated like that at the end so the fact that the left most hair has a few stray strands at the end, makes it look a little more natural. The (her) right most hair also looks like it's curving/flowing at an angle and that would only make sense if there was a slight breeze, but you would need to do the same for the bangs and the other side of her hair to give the illusion that there's a breeze going through her hair. If her hair is static, remember that gravity is going to be pulling things vertically. 

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On 6/3/2017 at 3:21 PM, Anacybele said:

Wow, I typically just went over my sketches with brush lines on a new layer, added some solid colors in another layer, and went from there (shading, making the lines the right colors, etc.). But I might learn a thing or to from this myself, because that shading looks better than anything I can do. I just haven't found many good shading techniques. My lines don't always look as smooth as I'd like them to be either.

You also improved her face, btw, I thought it looked rather scary in the sketch. :P

Nice job to start off with, by the way! I intend to become an art student as well. I can't give you anymore advice that hasn't already been given, but as a lot of people would tell you, practice is best!

Thank you! The shading that I used there is just kind of habit from when I did traditional painting. I'm not happy with it but it's a start. If it's any help, I looked a lot up about brushes online for skin etc which I've used in my latest piece, which has helped me a lot with shading effectively. 

 

On 6/3/2017 at 10:38 PM, carefreejules said:

I'm also an art and design student (going into my 4th year) so I'm glad to hear that my advice was helpful!

I can't really critique the shading and colours because it seems to me that your shading technique is part of your style so keeping that in mind, it looks great to me!

I would say for the hair specifically, the hair going over (her) left shoulder looks more realistic and accurate oppose to the right. You generally don't see that many hair strands or bunches of hair strands separated like that at the end so the fact that the left most hair has a few stray strands at the end, makes it look a little more natural. The (her) right most hair also looks like it's curving/flowing at an angle and that would only make sense if there was a slight breeze, but you would need to do the same for the bangs and the other side of her hair to give the illusion that there's a breeze going through her hair. If her hair is static, remember that gravity is going to be pulling things vertically. 

Thanks for the advice (again!) I'm a little out of practice with drawing and so gravity slipped my mind. I've done so much life drawing that these basics should really be embedded in my brain.

 

This is my next piece, which I hope is an improvement? I can't draw clothes at all and I never really learned how, so apologies for the really bad paint job there.

I feel that I'm starting to find my style a little more. Any critique is welcome, of course. 

Spoiler

mae.thumb.jpg.b5cebd59938913b461a9e08de8985a8b.jpg

Mae is my favourite mage from Sov and we share the same hair colour so I feel very attached to her.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Natalie said:

Thank you! The shading that I used there is just kind of habit from when I did traditional painting. I'm not happy with it but it's a start. If it's any help, I looked a lot up about brushes online for skin etc which I've used in my latest piece, which has helped me a lot with shading effectively.

Ah, I see. That probably explains it, as I was always terrible with traditional coloring/art. I want to be better at it because I love coloring books, but I'm probably doomed to never be super good at it. I have such poor hand-eye coordination that I can't even stay in the lines! My coloring here looks like a little kid could've done it. :P I think it stems from being autistic. Hand-eye coordination is a brain-related thing since it deals with how well your eyes can follow your hands and fingers and vice versa, so yeah.

Main reason I mainly stick with digital art. Errors like coloring over the lines are easily erased there and all.

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2 hours ago, Anacybele said:

Ah, I see. That probably explains it, as I was always terrible with traditional coloring/art. I want to be better at it because I love coloring books, but I'm probably doomed to never be super good at it. I have such poor hand-eye coordination that I can't even stay in the lines! My coloring here looks like a little kid could've done it. :P I think it stems from being autistic. Hand-eye coordination is a brain-related thing since it deals with how well your eyes can follow your hands and fingers and vice versa, so yeah.

Main reason I mainly stick with digital art. Errors like coloring over the lines are easily erased there and all.

I've just been visiting your thread and your drawings are REALLY good. If it's any consolation traditional painting is hard and it takes so long to get things right because it can go so wrong, believe me, I've scrapped so many pieces of work. 

Slightly different, but not completely, my brother is dyslexic and dyspraxic (which affects spacial awareness, hand eye coordination etc) and he's worked really hard in order to achieve his dreams. He's just finished college in Animation and Game Design and is hoping to get a work apprenticeship elsewhere in Europe with a games company.

I also follow an amazing digital artist who is autistic - http://cyarindraws.tumblr.com/

I can't stay in the lines either - I have to use SOOO many layers in order to keep things tidyish. I generally just do like sweepy strokes with my hand when drawing lines around the edges of my art (I probably haven't explained that right) because I can't do neat. Life drawing helped me so much when I first started as it's great for developing hand eye coordination and understanding the human form, but sessions are pricey and nowadays I just look up poses online to help practice.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is being autistic is just being you, and you shouldn't ever give up on what you love. Your art has so much potential!

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11 minutes ago, Natalie said:

I've just been visiting your thread and your drawings are REALLY good. If it's any consolation traditional painting is hard and it takes so long to get things right because it can go so wrong, believe me, I've scrapped so many pieces of work. 

Slightly different, but not completely, my brother is dyslexic and dyspraxic (which affects spacial awareness, hand eye coordination etc) and he's worked really hard in order to achieve his dreams. He's just finished college in Animation and Game Design and is hoping to get a work apprenticeship elsewhere in Europe with a games company.

I also follow an amazing digital artist who is autistic - http://cyarindraws.tumblr.com/

I can't stay in the lines either - I have to use SOOO many layers in order to keep things tidyish. I generally just do like sweepy strokes with my hand when drawing lines around the edges of my art (I probably haven't explained that right) because I can't do neat. Life drawing helped me so much when I first started as it's great for developing hand eye coordination and understanding the human form, but sessions are pricey and nowadays I just look up poses online to help practice.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is being autistic is just being you, and you shouldn't ever give up on what you love. Your art has so much potential!

Oh I know traditional coloring is generally harder because errors are harder to fix and all that, but I just always found it so crazy that I can do as well as I do digitally but be so terrible traditionally. :P

But awesome for your brother! I once thought my younger brother was dyslexic too, but my mom always insisted that he wasn't. I'm still not so sure he wasn't (I definitely feel he displayed characteristics of it), but we'll never know for sure now since he's dead.

Wow, that artist is pretty amazing. Her eyes look a bit too Asian at times when it appears she's going for a more western look, but other than that, really great stuff there. :o

Oh yeah, I don't want to give up, I still want to go to school! ^^

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So I did some more art this week. Not very happy with the result, but I managed to finish something at least. 

Please feel free to critique.

 

Spoiler

59418729ee27a_elincia16backcropped.thumb.jpg.197954223299da277dddb3f09c47b46b.jpg

 

Edited by Natalie

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The colouring is pretty good!

I would say the main target for improvement are proportions because her waist is very narrow in proportion to the rest of her body.

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16 minutes ago, carefreejules said:

The colouring is pretty good!

I would say the main target for improvement are proportions because her waist is very narrow in proportion to the rest of her body.

Thank you! Yes, you're right (I'm sure it didn't start like that) my pet hate is drawings with stupidly tiny waists! Is there anything else you think I should change while I'm at it?

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Personally, looking at both your most recent pieces, I think they'd look better if you made the lines above the upper lip (don't know the technical term) more subtle. Right now they feel like they're drawing my attention more than they should.

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47 minutes ago, Natalie said:

Thank you! Yes, you're right (I'm sure it didn't start like that) my pet hate is drawings with stupidly tiny waists! Is there anything else you think I should change while I'm at it?

Looking at it again, there should be a more definite shadow that's being cast against her forehead from under her bangs. Without any sort of depth, the bangs look flatter than what the curve and shading on them would suggest.

Here's an example from one of my own drawings!

Spoiler

__wolf___tamaki_yotsuba___by_jinglebell_

Edited by carefreejules

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I'm getting used to Photoshop a little more now. This is still kind of rough but I'm bored of it so will finish at some point in the future. 

Titled: In which Lyn's hair defies gravity

I also recently made a Tumblr, and I've also started using my Instagram for posting art if anyone is interested. I'm just posting fe stuff on here, so if you wanted to see any other work it's on those.

 

Spoiler

hYtduxdh.jpg

 

 

On 22/06/2017 at 1:25 PM, Hattusili I said:

You have a pretty interesting art style. I'm looking forward to seeing more!

Thank you and sorry for only just seeing this!

Edited by Natalie

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Very nice, you're quite good with shading.  On Elinicia a different background color might make her stand out a bit more.  Her light colored clothing blends in a bit with the light background,

On Lyn, the coloring is very nice.  I know hair's very hard to get right.  Hers is a bit clumpy, maybe if it came to more of a taper, that might help a bit.

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The colours are simply gorgeous, particularly on the skin and clothes. As for the hair, it's not my strong suit, but maybe some extra planning and layout in the sketching stages might help in getting a more natural windswept appearance. Regardless, it's some fine work here.

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1 hour ago, Rezzy said:

Very nice, you're quite good with shading.  On Elinicia a different background color might make her stand out a bit more.  Her light colored clothing blends in a bit with the light background,

On Lyn, the coloring is very nice.  I know hair's very hard to get right.  Hers is a bit clumpy, maybe if it came to more of a taper, that might help a bit.

56 minutes ago, Shuuda said:

The colours are simply gorgeous, particularly on the skin and clothes. As for the hair, it's not my strong suit, but maybe some extra planning and layout in the sketching stages might help in getting a more natural windswept appearance. Regardless, it's some fine work here.

Yeah, the hair is kind of heavy. It started as a kind of bust piece with the hair wrapping around the bottom, and then I added more to the body as I went along, so the hair doesn't really make sense now. Tapering would probably help as I wanted it to be light and airy, as if gravity doesn't exist. I love sketching hair, but I find getting the flow right when painting difficult.

 

Edited by Natalie

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