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sanguineFenrir's Strange "Art" Thread & Long FAQ (Taking Requests!)

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Long Thread with Important Information!  Free Art!


The artist community here and the wait for beta/launch has slowly inspired me to do what I swore to myself I'd never do when I signed up to the forums: open an art thread. Even though my style is widely nonstandard, (not even considered "art" by some due to the liberties I take with linework) I thought I would post here. Maybe some people won't mind. Maybe they'll like it, and ask me to reproduce their characters. Maybe I'll improve and be able to use a more traditional approach someday.

This thread is supposed to be an art thread, but unlike some of the more basic original posts, I'll be going into detail with an FAQ on my style, my tools, and the sort of things I'm capable of so you can decide if my "art" is for you. If you'd rather not read it, you can skip down to my example section, and the instructions for reply format.





Why is "Art" in quotes? I'm sure you're fine!



This is because many fine artists or DeviantArt posters do not consider my work to be art at all. In turn, this is because I am reliant on tracing references due to a moderate defect in the tendons of my hands. I can hardly hold a pencil or stylus correctly; my hands are so unsteady that I have trouble drawing the most basic of shapes. Having a non-screen tablet does not help things, and due to space constraints and money I'm not able to use physical media like some of you do. Having a reference or lines already there makes things much easier on me, and allows me to focus more on the creative matters (like color and effects). Without a reference, or even with, my lines have a severe wobbling or erratic quality, even with repeated cleaning.



I have never hidden that I trace images. Frequently, I change enough of an image that this is not recognizable. In fact, I use references primarily for shapes and composition--I don't explicitly copy the image itself. I always use photos off Google, and never use other people's artwork as a reference (or try to pass things off as my own.) I do do my own colors and never even copy those from references.



The fact that I have to take these liberties to get anything decent after years of practice is frustrating. Many other artists don't like my art and often do not excuse my techniques: it is for this reason that I left the DeviantArt community (where I was a non-participant and basically used the site as a backup service.)



Because drawing characters usually hinges on using references anyway, and this community is kind about it, I've decided to start up again. My work will only be visible here and offered to the users of this forum.



What is your style like?



I'm going to preface this by saying that my art does not resemble the CG-colored computer art that is common on the internet. There's nothing wrong with this, and I wish I could do it, but due to my inability to draw, my work is more evocative of paintings, even though it is all digital. Some people say that my work is actually heavily evocative of Yoshitaka Amano (it was from looking at his works that I learned how to do lines, anyway. 



Abigael Causland (sp) says in her thread that she draws to color, and I'm in much the same boat. My work contains absolutely explosive use of vibrant and beyond-life, brilliant color, which is often its only redeeming quality. No one does colors quite like me, and some artists have remarked that I seem to have an innate knowledge of color theory. I know what goes where without really thinking.



I have several different motifs, including Amano-esque watercolor, flat pastel with heavy blending, colored pencil/ink combo, and "Stained Glass Woodcut Paintings." You're free to choose any of these that you like, although I don't yet have examples of the latter three.



What tools do you use and how? How long does it take you to finish a piece?



I use Corel Painter 12, with a variety of brushes depending on the motif, including: Watercolor, Pencil, Liquid Ink, and pastels. I also use the Woodcut effect filter for my stained glass paintings. I don't like using burn and dodge that much, unless it's a Stained Glass Woodcut, which relies on that for its effect. Of course, I wouldn't be able to do this without the tracing paper mode. 



Typically, I'll trace the reference you give me, make any needed changes, and start throwing color on. Tracing is the longest and often takes several hours due to my physical issues. I'll then upload the image and give it to you. Pieces can take anywhere from 3 hours all the way up to 8 hours, although I usually work on them straight and attempt quick turnover times.



I have a small 6 inch Bamboo tablet that is about 4-5 years old. I'd love to have a better one.



Do you have any restrictions?


Yes. I need references, preferably ingame screenshots. Right now, the benchmark is a wonderful source of these. You can use other screenshots, but please don't link me art done by other people. Get a screenshot that has the pose you want, or take a screenshot of your character and find a pose on Google Images, etc. I can "draw" a pose as long as I have a picture; multiple references are fine.



I won't do characters in suggestive poses or skimpy clothing/swimsuits. (but the female Miqo'te pose is fine, if you want.) I don't feel right about doing that. I also can't do multiple characters in one image right now, because that's hard to reference, but I plan on doing so eventually.



I also don't have to draw the armor your character is wearing--I can draw whatever set you want as long as I know what it looks like!



Can I see some examples?



Yes. Here's a watercolor painting I did of FreelanceWizard's L'yhta Mahre. 





If you are one of the first people to request art, your resultant image will probably be used as an example. You allow me the right to post completed works to my Flickr account so I can link them and send them to you.


That's fine. How do I request art?



Reply to this thread or send me a PM with the following information:


An attached or embedded desired reference(s) of your character. (Your work will be the size of this reference and will resemble it--I cannot do a full-body with a portrait reference!)


Any notable personalized details. Do you want different armor? Do they look different from their model? If yes, how? Do you want a certain color scheme to be used? Do you want the colors flat and un-layered?


What kind of motif you would like (Watercolor, pencil/fine pen ink, pastel with blends, or stained glass)


Some people say "do what you want" but I'd like the extra info, because it makes it easier for me to give you something you will like. 



How can I thank or repay you for your work? Do you charge?



I can't accept real money because things aren't in place for that. Especially now, since it's beta and I'm bored, I'm doing work for free! When the game starts, I'll  optionally accept gil tips, or mats, or dungeon help, though! I'll also accept art trades--just make it clear in your PM. Rep is nice too.


Art is first come, first serve--I'll do them in order, but I'll never stop people from posting. If you'd like a piece, you'll get one soon! 



Thanks for putting up with the long thread! I look forward to drawing your character for you! 

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Yay, another artist thread! Whoo!


I don't see anything wrong with tracing for purposes of getting a shape down. I mean.. If some random guy can sling paint angrily at a canvas, and call it art... why can't some other guy see a way to join half of this picture, and that picture together with some new colors and call it art? 


Art is just something that's supposed to invoke emotion in the viewer. Anywho!


I'd love a picture of Kaln. I've got a few reference shots of him, buuuuuut I'm not entirely sure how easy they'd be to use for your purposes. So, anything you can find to use will do, of course. 


First off, a good facial shot to show some colors, and his tattoo.



And then, a more overall body shot to show his skintone, hair style.. You get the gist of it.


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I am very glad that people enjoy my work.


This post will now show who I'm working on in order:


1. Kaln Tia, portrait (Done!)

2 Kran Beyhrus, probably also a portrait; need to think of what colors to use (Done!)

3. Alothia


I'm best at doing portraits but I also will definitely do full or partial bodies because it helps me learn. 


Here's some important information I thought to add but forgot in the FAQ: If you're an artist who likes my colors, or you can do lineart but not colors for whatever reason, I'll collaborate and do them for you! Simply send me your desired lineart with the same information as normal (including motif and color scheme) in a reply or PM, and your job will show up as a "Collaboration" in the queue. These typically do not take long at all to do because no tracing is needed. Color keys can be used but not required, as part of the draw of my style comes from me manually selecting everything.



Also, please include whether you would like a white or abstract color (standard) background.

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Kaln's artwork is finished, and I will append them to the examples post shortly. Kaln got two, only because I wanted to have an example of Stained Glass Painting--tried it with the reference, and had to do it.






Kran is next and Alothia will be after that. Actually, these works only took me about three hours for both--not too long.


@Alothia: Do you know what specific style of drawing you would like? (Maybe I should do pastel or colored/ink for you--more examples.)


The drawing of L'yhta is actually an odd example because I used nonstandard watercolor and actually used pastels for the background. The colors bother me a bit, so I'll probably redo it after a later date so it looks better. FreelanceWizard didn't ask, so I owe them a free redo at some point.


I was still learning what brushes I used for what again, as I'm prone to forgetting.

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Replying to post Kran's art for you to see (it was delivered yesterday, and took longer than anticipated.) Please continue requesting things--there's still a fair bit of time before beta!






Alothia is next and hit some delays because I got distracted. I'm going to have to replicate her in the benchmark as a reference, because the ones I found were too small/too blue/a really cool levecard, which would take some manipulating.


It works out, because I can do her cheering.

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*quietly sneaks her reference photos in* http://imgur.com/a/6xpqP


*whispers* She uses voice 10...

Those are much better! Glad you linked them. I might do two--one of these would work good for a colored ink like you wanted, but another looks like it would be great for a pastel drawing, with vibrant lighting... They are both not too big, so it works out.


Getting started right now!

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Alothia, in an "ink and colored pencil" style. This style might be considered one of my better ones, but it takes considerably longer than watercolor or stained glass, which is why the background is white.









It's sooo pretty~! Thank you! *hugs*

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This is great art - you have a very unique style and I like it because it is distinct!


(And if free art is still available - I would love to see your rendition of Poe!!)

Hi, Poe--glad to see I have another fan!


To expand on your comment, my art will, very likely, always be free (Considering my methods, I'm certainly not in the position to charge even if I was able.) After the game launches, I will accept gil tips or other forms of ingame compensation, even if it's just helping me with a dungeon or two--but this is certainly not required.


The best thing you can do for me right now would be to just spread the word about the thread and keep the requests coming in. My style isn't for everyone, but my pieces might improve with continued work (not that I can tell.) My lack of visibility might also be due to the fact that I only post on request instead of drawing on my own--which is not something I am ready to change yet.


I'd also like to note that, since we don't have access to very many different armor sets on the beta right now, my main method of differentiation is to simply swap the colors on a set to go with the scheme. Alothia's picture above is a good example of this, but I expect this to improve and the armors to be more detailed after release.


I've received your PM, and your request is now at the top of the queue. I'll start working on the linework now, but given the time I probably won't finish it until late tomorrow morning or early in the afternoon. 


I'd like to try the one last style for which I don't have examples, which is blended pastels. There is a possibility it may take a while, (the longest of the four) but if I botch it, I'll probably do yours like Alothia's instead.


Thanks to all who requested for their continued support!

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Providing a quick update to inform you all that I botched Poe's artwork and will have to redo the color layer (but not the linework.) Pastel is not as vibrant or as unique as I'd like, at least not digitally. In the interest of getting the art out and finished (after considerable delays already) it will be redone in something I have more experience with, likely watercolor, as this is the safest. 


It should be done tomorrow. After Poe is done, the next subject will be Rogier LeCard. 


Pastels have been removed from the available list of mediums, and will stay off until I find a suitable method or replacement.

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Posting again to update the queue for you all and provide some updates on my schedule. The current lineup, in order, is:


1. Finishing Poe (which shouldn't take too long)

2. Portrait of Rogier LeCard

3. Murlona, in the Scholar AF, looking morbid

4. Ryanti, being meditative; ethereal watercolor


You may still request, but if you do it right now, you'll be at the bottom of the queue. There is a possibility that these four may take a while, particularly the last two--the good news is that I'll likely be working on them straight from today until Friday/Saturday, if necessary. 


With the thinning out of news and forums, I shouldn't have too many distractions. I included Friday in the work schedule because I don't expect to have Friday access to the beta, but if I do, I'll let you know.


Saturday through Monday I will periodically check the forums, but I'll likely be on  the beta with the rest of you, laying the groundwork for my character and meeting everyone. See you on Balmung!


The week of the 20th-27th is an excellent time to put requests in because it's the week before launch, and a very boring one for me. I don't have Early Access at the moment, and won't unless a last-minute preorder miracle happens. 


I hope to have these four pieces done before beta, but I don't know how long they will take. If your request falls on beta, you will have to wait, but you will still receive it.


After launch I will still do artwork, but I probably won't be able to handle much load for the first month or two. I expect to constantly be playing the game during that time, but I'll make allowances for art on slow or break days. I'll have more information on this after launch. 


I appreciate all the compliments and encouragement the community has given me! This is the closest thing to actual work that I have, and it's nice to have quite a bit of demand that I didn't expect to.

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Apologies for it taking so long. It might not be the best, which disheartens me, but it's better than what I had last night.


Murlona brings up a point that I'd like to touch on, and that would be that "experiments" is actually more apt of a word than practice. Some of you might disagree and claim that you can notice subtle improvements in the images, but practice usually implies "getting better", which I can't do thanks to the lines.


Yes, it would be nice to be able to draw semi-realistically and independently (or, more so, on a CG graphics scale,) but I don't foresee myself getting to that point at any time in the near future. Worse yet, changing around my line style to something more suited to sketching would probably invalidate my style (it wouldn't look the same with bolder lines.)


The reason I scrapped Poe's previous image was that pastels wound up looking too generic and flat. I wanted that to be a sort of "premium" option and I knew it would take many, many hours, partially because of having to use a separate brush for blending (Lay down a hue, blend back and forth, lay down another hue, blend back and forth...). The colors were still there, to a degree. But it wound up looking very "generic", flat, and gradient based. I've seen a lot of tutorials for Painter CG coloring use pastels, simply because they mimic Photoshop brushes for people that don't have or don't want to use Photoshop itself.


And it's possible to do some great things with that sort of method, but it's not something I'm interested in doing. While I want to be able to do art very "well" or be able to draw the fantastical in a realistic manner, it probably won't come that way, because I'd like my works to at least retain an artisanal, non-digital feel. To some degree, my skill with colors comes at a detriment to the lines. Some might call them too wild. I might discover a new brush or I might be able to vary the width, opacity and frequency of my lines for cleaner appearances, but I don't see them at all looking "better." There's just not a lot of potential for improvement without changing everything about the way I do things.


A lot of animes, even, only use two or three shades per color and lots of flats--whereas I'm comfortable with about four to six, plus three other colors. When something is orange, I throw in three shades of orange... and some yellow, and green, and red-violet. I go absolutely crazy with it, which is kind of the point.


And I think that's part of what makes my work so "distinct" as Poe said: the scratchy lines, the blotted paint, the white space, the heavy grain. It doesn't win awards or featured status on sites, but I don't think people forget it, even if they dislike it. I've partially realized that I'm a "niche" artist, if I could be called an artist, and I'm one step closer to accepting that.

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I think your art style is very unique and very pleasing to the eye. It can be intimidating posting on these threads for everyone to see since there are many very talented artists. I myself, was worried if anyone would think my art was "good". 

But art being "good" is all in the eye of the beholder and as long as you are happy with what you created, then the goal is accomplished already.


Awesome pics! Keep 'em coming!


:moogle::moogle::moogle::moogle::moogle::moogle::moogle::moogle: <-- Here's some Moogles to cheer you on!

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Thanks, Poe. I'm really glad you like it.


I'm posting to mention that that very comparison was something I heard a lot, particularly in my last two years of high school. The only art teacher who truly enabled me to do even passably well at art was convinced I was destined to be an Impressionist, and the way the colors "swim" in that style is vaguely of interest.


Generally I received poor to average marks for being unable to replicate grayscale values or crinkling the paper, and as anime is the bane of most instructors I did not receive much encouragement. 


I actually don't care much for anime at all much anymore, especially the overly stylized, colorful and cutesy type that omits a lot of details. I'll enjoy watching the darker or more serious series, and I like the way lines, colors and features are done in that particular serious style--but generally my style is meant to be a sort of unlawful hybridization of anime and realism. I do unreal colors, and I'll omit certain features I find to be unsightly like wrinkles or noses or defined lip lines. However, I tend to follow realistic proportions whenever I can.


The fact that these character works skew towards anime as you notice is probably because of the animesque style of the models themselves, which I find tolerable--but I'd probably do things a bit more realistically if I wasn't limited to tracing all the time.


I'm starting on your portrait now, by the way.

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Generally I received poor to average marks for being unable to replicate grayscale values or crinkling the paper, and as anime is the bane of most instructors I did not receive much encouragement. 


I actually don't care much for anime at all much anymore, especially the overly stylized, colorful and cutesy type that omits a lot of details. I'll enjoy watching the darker or more serious series, and I like the way lines, colors and features are done in that particular serious style--but generally my style is meant to be a sort of unlawful hybridization of anime and realism. I do unreal colors, and I'll omit certain features I find to be unsightly like wrinkles or noses or defined lip lines. However, I tend to follow realistic proportions whenever I can.


The fact that these character works skew towards anime as you notice is probably because of the animesque style of the models themselves, which I find tolerable--but I'd probably do things a bit more realistically if I wasn't limited to tracing all the time.



I just want to say that I notice this trend of frowning upon artistic styles that border on the lines of Japanese or Korean or Chinese animation. Basiclly animation in general.


I could perhaps understand what you're talking about in the sense of frowning upon 'moe' tenancies, but I really dislike those shows as well, and prefer more serious, mature anime, but I really despised (at least, back in my high school) how universal disdain followed any time anime was discussed in the sense of artistic style. I gravitated towards that style because I felt like it suit me as a sense of expression far more then any other. And I felt, in a way, discriminated for my preferences.


I think anime in general is an absolutely beautiful medium that deserves more praise from the bigoted viewpoints of western artists.

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