AuthorTopic: the 3 questions  (Read 1435 times)

Offline Anokolisa

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the 3 questions

on: May 21, 2018, 11:39:08 am
well, I've been studying pixel art for quite some time, and at this point I'm kind of stuck and it seems like my evolution has stopped, so based on some books I read I would like to ask 3 questions to anyone, and I wish they would be answered truly.

Remembering how everything was when you started, what parts of this ability were more frustrating to learn? And now, which ones do you use daily / weekly and which ones do you forget?

What parts of your ability worried you the most when you were just starting out and what you consider to be expendable today?

When looking at other experts, what specific capabilities do you get to distinguish between experts and amateurs?

Offline eishiya

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Re: the 3 questions

Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 05:35:24 pm
Plateauing always sucks. In pixel art, I think plateauing tends to happen because you're failing to learn something more broad and not PA-specific, such as colour, anatomy, lighting, etc. Studying things beyond PA tends to help.

To answer your questions:
1. I didn't learn pixel art separately from art in general, so I have no PA-specific frustrations. I struggled with detail and texture overpowering my drawing, but I've since remedied that with a better understanding of how and when to texture/detail. In pixel art, I tend to achieve this by texturing only the edges of clusters and avoiding breaking those clusters up.

2. I didn't think that far ahead at the time. I never really set out to learn pixel art, I just picked it up as I went along. I was/am primarily a non-pixel artist, and those skills transferred well to pixel art. The only pixel-art techniques I really had to learn were AA, proper pixel curves, and clear clusters, and these are all indispensable to me today.

3. Good clusters. Skilled pixel artists work with clusters, amateurs try to create everything with individual pixels. Poor clusters manifest as unclear/noisy shapes, more colours than needed, and as too much detail (the clusters are all broken and don't come together into readable forms; being mindful of the clusters can help avoid unnecessary detail as well as tell you where you need more detail).


Hopefully these answers are useful. I feel like my answers to the first two questions may as well be "N/A" D:

Offline Ai

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Re: the 3 questions

Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 08:02:27 am
I think the schedules laid out in Nicolaides' Natural Way to Draw illustrate what you need to break through a plateau: varied struggles. Even if you think you're terrible at faces, don't work just on faces; Even if you think you are terrible at pixel art, don't work only on pixel art. Cycle through both "types of study" and "mediums", giving all of them equally serious attention; This breaks you out of the dogmas you develop when working mainly in one particular medium, on one particular kind of subject.

1a. Tangents. In pixel art it's easy to pile these up, because you really only can do 0, 45, and 90 intersections. Tangents encompasses a lot (lines, intersections between clusters, spaced relations between clusters as in dithering or banding). In art in general, I simply was obsessed with going fast, without proper preparation.

1b. I have to say I just pixel whenever, not regularly (as opposed to drawing, which I do every day). To me, the pixel aspect is minor - pixel art is functionally just another (painting) medium which happens to place an extreme emphasis on design. As I understand it, that attitude is partially a function of pure volume of experience (and experience in other mediums was critical here, IMO), and partially spending time analyzing it in a formal way (eg. mathematical basis of AA, formal encoding of line segment patterns).

Maybe it'll help to say that all the optimizations of the picture I do in pixel art are the same ones I do when drawing or painting on paper -- they're the same principles, stretched to the extremes. Pixel art was well suited to teaching me certain of these artistic principles (eg. conservation of detail, strategic exaggeration, painting order), and unsuited to teaching me others (eg. perspective, tangency, flow)

2. The illusion of color. I say illusion, because when I was starting -- with EGA color -- you certainly couldn't just pick the color you wanted and lay it down.  The illusion of color isn't expendable today, but it's more marginal (you still need to think of your picture's colors as one whole thing containing relationships, but you can select the main colors reasonably precisely even if stuck with a fixed palette).
I don't think there is anything expendable today, actually -- art is like this all-devouring blob, if you learn something there is probably a way to apply it to art and art to it.

3. Again, tangents -- there are many levels of tangency you can get tangled in, avoiding most of them is a rare sign of paying proper attention and having a workflow that enables you to be thorough. Also framing/composition -- it's easy to tell the difference between a framing that knows it's telling a story, and a framing that's just like "I needed a canvas to put this thing in".

These both fall in the general category of 'did your homework, acted with clear intent, held firmly onto that intent until the end', which is how I identify .. people I consider genuinely competent.

(I avoid the terms 'experts' or 'professionals' because I think the meaning is usually unclear. I think that you were aiming for 'people of notable competence' here.)

There is another particular concrete skill that is really important IMO, but it's hard to tell if anyone has it unless you are looking over their shoulder when they are drawing, and it's also pretty difficult to explain.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 12:17:01 pm by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Anokolisa

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Re: the 3 questions

Reply #3 on: May 22, 2018, 01:36:50 pm
my deep thanks, these answers helped me to understand a little more and realize how art is natural, on the subject expert, notable artists sounds better.
I know the information you shared is really valuable, thanks for it