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December 28, 2012
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Ask the Professor

:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Hi! I'm a professor at RISD and would like to offer my experience and knowledge to all of you here. Have a question? Post it here and I'll do my best to answer it!
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Devious Comments

:iconmy-drawing-tutorials:
My-Drawing-Tutorials Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
What do you think is the single most important factor in being able to capture the likeness of a portrait?

(So that people recognize who you are drawing when you draw a pencil portrait from photograph)

Just curious :-)
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Definitely facial structure. Most people make the mistake of relying on the eyes, nose and mouth, when really it's the overall structure of the face and supporting muscles that make a portrait. I always draw the facial structure first, and then drop in the eyes, nose and mouth later. Most people do the opposite, which will work against you.
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:iconstarlit-sorceress:
Starlit-Sorceress Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I hadn't had any formal art training when I started making jewelry, but my last semester of college, I took a 2D design class that covered a lot of relevant things such as color theory and asymmetrical balance. My work has improved a lot since then. What would you suggest as a next step to improve my designs even more?
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Do you make drawings before you make your jewelry pieces? I think making preparatory drawings would loosen you up to try things that you may not otherwise try. You could make the drawings in color too, which would let you figure out the color schemes as well.
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:iconstarlit-sorceress:
Starlit-Sorceress Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I often sketch first, but I usually make them less detailed as the wirework gets more intricate and chaotic. It's much easier to make something chaotic when I'm actually letting the wire be chaotic instead of meticulously trying to make the wire go a certain chaotic-looking way.

I've always thought I was good enough at estimating the colors in my head as I jot down what color each part of the sketch will be, but now I'd like to give colored pencils a try!
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Good luck!
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:iconwiffleball:
WiffleBall Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Recently I've been trying to teach myself hatching, and applying it to cartooning and illustration. Using this [link] as an example of where I'm at basically at (Although there are some more examples of this sort of thing in my gallery, amidst some random junk, if you wish to give those a look), do you have any advice or tips on how to proceed?
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:iconopiumtraum:
opiumtraum Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
check out the art of Moebius, Franklin Booth, Jeffrey Jones, Frank Frazetta, Howard Pyle and this guy- [link] (John Kenn Mortensen)
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I would recommend looking at the illustrator Edward Gorey, he was a master of hatching and pen and ink work. Analyze what he does with his work and see if you can learn from that. Looking at your work, I think you can push it much further, I think you can increase the quantity of hatched lines about 5x more, it will give the work more depth and feel richer and more finished. Right now that image feels underdeveloped to me. Hope this helps.
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:iconashkey:
ashkey Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you for making this thread! :la:

I have a general question. I'm an animation/illustration graduate and I feel I'm close to industry professional level but something is missing and I can't completely figure out what it is. I spoke with a Disney recruiter at CTNX this past November and he told me to try to tell a story with light and shadow, and more recently I've been presented with the idea of using action to create interest. If you wouldn't mind viewing my portfolio: [link] , maybe only the illustration and concept sections, and share with me any advice for improving my artwork overall I would greatly appreciate it!
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Overall, your work looks very good. I think what would help is better backgrounds and more dynamic compositions. A lot of your compositions revolve around the main subject being strong, and the backgrounds look underdeveloped by comparison. Ask yourself: if you removed the main subject, would the composition still look interesting? I think in many cases the backgrounds just don't hold their own.

Also, I think you could work on making your portfolio more cohesive looking. You are very versatile, which is good, but it can also work against you if you're trying to get a job in the industry. Frequently they want to see very clearly a polished, cohesive body of work.

Hope this helps! If you have other questions please let me know.
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:iconashkey:
ashkey Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you so much for the feedback!! :)!
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:iconrainbowfeet85:
RainbowFeet85 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Could you please give me some pointers on drawing water on skin (i.e. someone just came out of the shower) in coloured pencil or watercolour. Thank you :)
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I would just say to be sure that you are focusing on the big shapes before you concentrate on the details. The tendency for most people is to be seduced by details, and bypassing the largest forms which are the most important. Try not to get too tight, as water should appear fluid, not solid. Hope that helps.
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:iconrainbowfeet85:
RainbowFeet85 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconcnigrelli185:
cnigrelli185 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
This is very helpful and nice of you to do! So thank you in advance. I actually live in Rhode Island,and love to check out the art museum at RISD, when I'm in Prov, its got some really cool stuff. So onto my question. I'm pretty much completely self taught, since I'm not counting the minimum required art classes for my graduation from high school. I took a couple years off from drawing anything, and recently started to draw again a couple months ago. I also started to use watercolors which I really like to use. So right now I'm really into trying to draw the proportions of the face and head. I'm trying to get it down from all the angles which is really challenging. I've been drawing completely from photographs, and after reading through the all the questions here, it sounds like that is not to good to do? Most of the time I just draw and paint when I'm bored at night so it's just so easy to sketch or paint from a photo. I really don't want to develop any bad habits. So what is an alternative to drawing from photographs? I'm not to sure I could ever draw from live models since I don't think that's offered near me. Thanks for doing this, reading through all your answers was very helpful!
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yes, you are shooting yourself in the foot if you work exclusively from photographs. It's one of the top issues that I see here on dA. I understand the convenience of a photograph, but it's a cheap shortcut and will not get you to really learn to see and draw. When you work from a photograph, you're basically just making a xerox of a xerox, you're not drawing, you're copying. Draw from direct observation, if you want to draw faces and heads, do self-portraits in the mirror. Sketch your friends and family when they're sitting around watching TV. Go sit in a cafe and do quick sketches of people in a sketchbook. If you have any questions, please let me know.
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:iconxrooke:
xRooke Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is there any really good sources for learning anatomy online? Such as a class?
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I haven't come across any, really the best way is to take a life drawing class. Are there any schools or programs near you where you could do this?
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:iconxrooke:
xRooke Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm, I'm not necessarily sure. Do most community collages have anatomy classes? And thank you for answering my my question. ^^
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think it depends on the college. You might also research a local art center, or continuing education programs, they often have life drawing classes.
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:iconxrooke:
xRooke Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay :) Thank you so much for your time!
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:iconant1-her0-project:
Ant1-Her0-Project Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
There are plenty of books you can research to help you learn anatomy in addition to life drawing. Books by Burne Hogarth were a big help to me in high school.
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:iconxrooke:
xRooke Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Burne Hogarth, I'll look him up (: Thank you!
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:iconant1-her0-project:
Ant1-Her0-Project Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
No prob!
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:iconlo-lo259:
lo-lo259 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My question is. I have spent 2-3 years studying actual human anatomy (on and off). The problem I have is stylizing it. It is like whenever I try it looks like I haven't studied at all. Is it that I have not studied enough or I just need to just practice both more? Never can practice anatomy enough.

I do gesture drawings and still lifes out in public sometimes too.

I don't take any formal art classes, and only took like one or two in high school.
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think it's both, you need to study and practice more. 2-3 years may seem like a long time, but I can say that I didn't really have a firm grip on anatomy until I studied it for 10 years, and that was intensive study with live models on a regular basis. Is there any way you could take a life drawing class? I'm assuming that you're drawing from photographs? Have you tried copying some old master drawings, like Michelangelo and Peter Paul Rubens' studies of human figures?
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:icontylon:
Tylon Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Artist
I actually worked with some former RISD students over at my internship in RI, they were incredible, inspirational people who really inspired me to try out new things with my work. Not to mention I really enjoyed going over to the RISD art store from time to time, and going to the local spring/ summer events with all the local artists and vendors. Aside from that though- I have a question that nobody can seem to answer- so maybe you can shed some light and advice on this issue I have been having.

I graduated college this past may with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics & New Media, however it seems many job offers and employers believe I do computer science and on every single interview I have been on- I actually have to explain why my degree is not a bachelor of fine arts. The reason being is my program was divided up between business, law and design/ media. I have been calling myself a "graphic designer"- but that title is really limiting me, seeing I do much more than just design and I feel it isn't really showcasing the potential I have when I go out and apply. I have experience in not just design but also print, packaging, film, web, illustration, book binding, product mock ups, photography, product design and many other fields business and law related which go very well together (ie- designing a products package, then printing that product packaging, spray mounting that product to mock it up, cutting the mock up out, placing the product in the mock up and photographing it for potential clients). I also have been working with different forms of crafts to bring my design and art to the next level by creating a product (I can take an illustration and turn it into a stuffed animal or piece of metal art), because I noticed on my interviews I felt I never left the impression I would have hoped- so by bringing an actual product I designed from scratch, I figured it would showcase my skills and motivation as well as potential. While I have had various part time opportunities, internships and freelance work- I would like to find a full time opportunity.

I was recently evaluated by a large design agency in Boston which assessed my concerns and did a rather in depth study on my portfolio, website, resume & identity, and the concerns found were my resume (I removed many of my experiences because it was becoming a negative and people thought I was too qualified) and the factor that there isn't "graphic design" work available where I am due to my location. So I figure I can do a lot more than just design- I would like to showcase that. I cannot change my degree title- but I would like to change my title on my resume and work showcasing I can work with various mediums not just feel limited to "Graphic Design".

Do you have any advice on this issue I am facing? I have tried asking everyone- from my former professors to small business owners who seem to be stumbled at these issues I am facing. I'm not sure if it a common thing many designers and artists face, or what it is exactly. I know many former graduates and classmates of mine are having the same issue with many potential employers thinking they are skilled in computer science and types of development, when that is not the case.

This issue has been going on for well over 7 months now and while I have been on about 14 interviews since- about 12 of them felt mislead by my degree title thinking I had experience in computer science/ IT before actually looking into my portfolio and what I do. The job titles were similar to "Graphic Designer/ Print Designer" which I felt I qualified for, however the companies on the interviews had the expectation of me knowing development, IT and advanced programming which they thought off hand, my degree was showcasing.


Any help/ advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read my issue/ concerns.
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
If you could sum yourself up in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
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:icondaemonfaye:
Daemonfaye Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
Hello! :D

In my drawing&painting class, I'm working on a pencil drawing a woman on top of a mountain with her face turned away from the viewer (with only her jawline and eyelashes visible), gazing out across the landscape. Since I wanted to challenge myself, I decided to replace the everyday sun as my light source with a solar eclipse.

The question I have is how do I shade for this? I know that shading for an elipse is altered from what it would be if it were a regular sun, and I do have a vague idea of how the lighting would be changed, but I'm having trouble visualizing how it should be done. I asked my art teacher, and he said the shadows were reversed, which didn't make sense to me, and I attempted to find references on the Internet of landscapes/people during an eclipse with no success.

Thank you so much!
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hmmm that's a really tough one. I've never experienced a solar eclipse before so I have no idea what it would actually look like. I do know that the shadows wouldn't be reversed, I think that would look fake and strange. My best guess is that the lighting would be quite soft and subtle, as the majority of it is being blocked. I'm imagining a soft chiaroscuro effect. Hope that helps!
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:iconthenecco:
TheNecco Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Have you worked with egg tempera? I have a painting and it's growing mold... I'm thinking I will have to dispose of it. Is there a way to protect my other paintings from this happening to them? I live in a very humid environment, so it's very hard to keep the humidity away from them
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:iconthenecco:
TheNecco Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student General Artist
Have you worked with egg tempera? I have a painting and it's growing mold... I'm thinking I will have to dispose of it. Is there a way to protect my other paintings from this happening to them? I live in a very humid environment, so it's very hard to keep the humidity away from them
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:iconthenecco:
TheNecco Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Student General Artist
sorry, laggy double post
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I haven't worked with egg tempera before, but I have had mold grow on clay that I was working with. In the past, I've mixed a little bit of bleach into a spray bottle and sprayed it on the clay and that has taken care of it. You might try something similar, mix a little bleach into your water and that may take care of it. Good luck!
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:iconthenecco:
TheNecco Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconmorikoraion:
MorikoRaion Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello Clara,

How would you recommend improving your art and defining your style. I'm a high school student and I take a fine arts class which is great for learning about new mediums and new techniques, but I can't see how mine is different from the artist next to me in terms of style. Any suggestions?
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think it's far too early to be worrying about developing a style. I encourage my students to wear different hats, and experiment and try out different personalities in their artwork. The artists who have the best styles are the ones who let it emerge naturally. If you try to force a style on yourself, it will feel fake and not work well-I've seen it happen to many people in the past. Also, as hard as it is, try not to compare yourself to other people, I find that generally tends to be detrimental and distracting. Just focus on yourself and improving and if you keep working, eventually (I'm talking years) your style will emerge. Hope that helps, let me know if you have other questions.
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:iconmorikoraion:
MorikoRaion Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. That makes sense..
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:iconurus-28:
Urus-28 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello Clara =)
I feel that I tend to play in my "easy box" too much. Do you have some advice to evolute out this and face new challenge ?
I'm not a pro, I'm a self-learner hobbyist.
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think you just have to be willing to take risks and experiment with approaches and techniques that you've never done before. Also be prepared to do a lot of bad work, in my opinion you have to make bad work if you want to be successful, it's a "requirement" of the creative process. If you accept that bad work is going to happen, it will free you up to try new things more. It takes a lot of self-initiative to get yourself out of your comfort zone, but remember that the rewards will be many! Just have patience and a little faith that eventually progress will emerge. Hope this helps, let me know if you have other questions.
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:iconurus-28:
Urus-28 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have to admit that accepting to produce bad work is no more an option for me for quite a long time :p
I am a perfectionist, this work really well my job where is expected precise and complete results and I must admit that this logic has also affected my creative work :p
Thank you for the advice :nod:
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
You're welcome, good luck!
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:iconurus-28:
Urus-28 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well it's not about luck, but hard work =P
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:)
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:iconninjasuselongnames:
ninjasuselongnames Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Hi Clara,
Thanks for taking time to answer questions here! I've colored and shaded a character before thinking of what background it should have. When I've started to make it's background, I feel like the character is under a soft slightly yellow light (like light from a very wide screen) in nighttime.

Can you explain to me what needs to change (and why) to give it an afternoon or sunset sunlight feeling instead? The drawing is here:
[link]
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:iconninjasuselongnames:
ninjasuselongnames Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
I think I found half an answer so it's okay. I think my question was incomplete anyway because I can't explain the true colors, material and texture so it would be hard for someone else to tell me what colors they should be under different situations. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to give any insights or advice anyway. :)
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:iconclaralieu:
claralieu Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I think the main issue with the image is that you drew the character separately from the background. It's good practice to work the character and the background together, otherwise they have no relationship to each other and the background will look like a back drop.

To make the image more like a sunlight situation, you need to use warm colors. (oranges, yellows, reds) Right now your image is limited to only cool colors and that doesn't create the sense of warmth you're looking for. Also better contrast would help you, more dramatic lighting. Right now I find the lighting is too soft to be afternoon or sunset.

Hope that helps! If you have other questions, please let me know.
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:iconninjasuselongnames:
ninjasuselongnames Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
Helps a lot. Thank you! :)
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:iconwoody21:
woody21 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hello, I have a concern about job hunting.

I have a list of potential museums, magazines, and websites that accept my style of art but most of them want the applicant to mail them "slides" in lieu of a resume or portfolio. I would happy do so But I don't know what they mean by "slides". Do you know what they mean?

Thank you for opening this thread. Having an open line to a learned professional is a great help.
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