Schoolism - Introduction to Digital Painting with Andrew Hou - Lesson 1

So I've been wondering for a while whether or not to try out the schoolism online courses. I was hesitant because they seemed a little expensive and no matter where I looked on the internet, I couldn't find any decent consumer reviews on the "Introduction to Digital Painting" class.

I was also hesitant because I am not sure how advanced this class gets... I wanted to take the advanced lighting class with Sam Nielson, but I wasn't positive that my lack of Photoshop skills would not impede my learning.

SO! I took the intro to digital painting class with Andrew Hou and I watched the first lesson, completed the first assignment and watched some of the video feedback. I did the "self-taught" one, so I don't get feedback on my own work.

One thing you might like to know is that with the self-taught class you have access to like... 60 different critiques of people with all different types of art styles. So if you are like me and are not willing to spend the extra money, it's okay. Just take some time and look through the many critiques available.

So I started the first class today, and I handed in my first assignment (The ballerina at the end of this post). I started drawing with Mr. Hou while he was talking (I drew a very similar silhouette) and my first character ended up looking a whole lot like his!!!

mine ->

Mr. Andrew Hou's ->

I feel like I already knew this method of sketching (using many layers, multiplying the layers and building up the shapes). BUT! I do think that actually sitting down and doing this with another person talking you through it changes the subtle ways you approach photoshop sketching, and it is for this reason, I feel like the first class has helped me a lot.

I also feel a little more motivated to sketch directly into photoshop. I always used to do the scan/trace method. This is really unnecessary.... if anything, taking a pencil drawing and re-drawing it into photoshop from scratch (no tracing) is actually a nice way to refine characters. You can look at your original pencil sketch, draw the silhouette in photoshop and refine the silhouette to be more readable, more exaggerated, and tweak the drawing to be exactly the way you want. By not tracing the original sketch, you are looser and you may come up with something completely different than what you started with!

This first lesson only covered sketching. I think we are going over tone in the next one.

So far so good. I think I'm getting my money's worth!!!!

Here's my assignment I handed in... a simple sketch in photoshop (no tone except for the original silhouette, simple shadow and white to clean up the edges and add a bit of detail).


I love squirrels

Squirrels are one cool animal! They don't eat garbage like other types of urban wildlife. They chill out in the trees, they are cute, they are smart and do the little tree shuffle to escape predators. Come on! Who doesn't know the squirrel tree shuffle? Where the squirrel hides on the opposite side of the tree so you can see it, and then when you look behind to tree to see what is there, she shuffles around the other side.... once again eluding you.

Of course, many of them can be seen on the road... flattened.... it is very sad. But I still blame that on their risk-taking behaviour. (Of course I love that Geico commercial with the squirrels causing the car accident)

Pretty much, squirrels are awesome. I think it would be cool to have a pet squirrel... but squirrels are too cool for me.


Robot Walk - FAIL

So I picked up some super string magnets to help the little robot stand up properly... sadly, they were pretty difficult to work with. He kept falling over and I never ended up getting him to walk!

Here is a pretty bad stop motion animation of the robot... Dan pointed out he seemed as frustrated as me...


I also have a nice new platform for him to walk around on! I think I am slowly getting the hang of this. It is just a little frustrating when you can't get it right! I'll keep trying!