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So I'm studying fundamentals and I decided to buy one of rosuuri's previous patreon rewards (if you have financial conditions to do it, I more than advise you to buy it on her gumroad or her patreon) . I wish I had the conditions to support her every month, but not at the moment.
I had taken the rewards refent to May 2018th, which is the psd file of this picture:
Athough the shadows are deepened in this piece, what makes this picture beautiful is not the shades she adds, but the several light sources and implied lights. The reason why the shades are deep like that anyone who studied ambient occlusion would know: it's dark and one of the only light sources is the ball that she carries on her hand.
I browsed her layers for at least one hour, taking notes and looking for reasons to what makes her an extraordinary artist. This is what I've found out:
She uses Clip Studio Paint, which is a program that has been growing popularity and there's definitely reasons why. I'd recomend getting it, It's really worth it.
Rosuuri's painting process is very peculiar. I've known already what she does on her paintings, but I got to see one extra thing: she paints all the solid colors on separate layers, then makes a backup folder of them and merges all the solid colors in only one layer, which for explanation I will call BASE layer. She rarely uses clipping groups (which I too, find annoying). That being said, she uses mainly selections , hiding the selection edges while painting.
So how does she paint? Does she do it on only one layer? Absolutely not. She uses the BASE layer to make the selections with the wand tool, so whenever she needs to go back to a certain region, she goes back to it and uses the wand tool. For demonstration, I will be using my own piece I'm working on right now.
From that, she paints over with some layers. I haven't noticed any "multiply" mode layers, -although I think she probably used it and merged it down at some point - most lights are done with Add (glow) and normal layer modes. She generally uses very few layers to paint. This one is an exception because of the details. Many great digital painters say you shouldn't use many layers. Not only because you waste a lot of time browsing and switching them, but you should stop worrying about "the contents of this and that layer" and start seeing the picture as a whole. That being said, I started using only two layers to shade, using rosuuri's selection technique. That not only gives me more time to dedicate to the illustration as a whole, but makes it much better as well. I also started adding much more detail to the paintings.
Another thing I've started to apply to my illustrations was using a layer folder for the CHARACTER, and stop separating folders for lineart and coloring. I believe I used to do that because of the amount of layers I used to create, and believe me; loads of layers are limiting, make your program crash and your painting might not achieve a desirable standard.
The color tests felt stupid for me, but now I know they're important. You might change everything in the process, but it is planning, and you shouldn't underestimate that. They help you think the coloring as a whole and see if you should add more elements. If it doesn't work out, at least you did it right? The correct way to do it is using layers and layer modes to test light and shade, not only color.
Color adjustments do help, but they don't correct wrong values; besides they brutally change the whole image and don't fix mistakes. If your painting is done but you think something here and there could be lightened or deepened, you should use a layer on "overlay" (raises saturation a bit) Or "hard light" (doesn't increase saturation) mode. From what I could see, rosuuri uses overlay mode for that. Careful though, you should look for balance between hot and cold tones, so if you're using too much yellow, it might be good to shade with blue or purple.
Rosuuri tests color adjustments only when she is done with everything.
Study composition. I learned from this picture that when a focal point is not clear, you have to add more elements. This sounds paradoxal, but you have to add more items to make some elements pop out more. Many artists don't know how to do it (ESPECIALLY Japanese ones), and that will give you the spotlight if you know it.
Here are some videos you can take some knowledge from:
Don't use too many layers, but draw in a high resolution like 600 dpi. You can print it in a good size later and you may want to reduce it later, but you can't do much with a low sized drawing.
You can make your drawing easier by using elements like chain brushes (like she did here).
One more thing: don't rely on strange tutorials to make extraordinary illustrations! Rely on extraordinary artists for that task. Japanese artists don't help much, and let's all agree that anime artists don't help each other.
But there are many amazing artists in the industry that don't just draw anime. Fundamentals are the same for everyone, and you should study from art books. Surround yourself with people who have the same thirst for improvement as you! They might not be good enough to advise you, but they might lead you some ways you wouldn't find out by yourself. I recently talked to a friend who sent me a document full of video tutorials from amazing artists. I was gathering tutorials to make a folder, and she gave me a link to an extraordinary site with all the pdf books I needed!
Also, forget where you are now. Sometimes you think you have to improve because you're "not good enough" but you actually have to improve for yourself. It can be pushy trying to get in the industry, but don't be so hard on yourself, but do things because they have to be done.
That's all, folks! I don't know if I made a lot of sense here, but I hope I helped some people! I'm recruiting people to my engagement group on instagram. To make part of it, you must be thirsty for improvement, and you will be having access to this folder full of tutorials and pdf books. Limited spots! Leave your comments below~
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This is so true, I believe that we can achieve better art as long as we try to practice and learn from everything around us, not just from one source or one thing only. For example when learning anime style, don't just learn from anime art styles or anime tutorials. If we expand our horizons and not afraid to try new things it's easier to improve ourselves!But there are many amazing artists in the industry that don't just draw anime. Fundamentals are the same for everyone, and you should study from art books. Surround yourself with people who have the same thirst for improvement as you! They might not be good enough to advise you, but they might lead you some ways you wouldn't find out by yourself. I recently talked to a friend who sent me a document full of video tutorials from amazing artists. I was gathering tutorials to make a folder, and she gave me a link to an extraordinary site with all the pdf books I needed!
Thank you so much for this! <3
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As for the whole fundamentals thing, I've personally experienced that. Once I started looking outside of anime and focusing on the basics (like referencing real life when it comes to shadows and colors and all that), it really betters your artwork. One thing I'd suggest though if you really want to improve is to take art classes that teach you the basics, especially a life drawing class (if you can afford it, that is). If that's not possible, some artbooks, as you said. I personally haven't gone through Andrew Loomis' books, but a lot of artists in the industry (mostly gaming industry) have mentioned his stuff pretty often.
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