Idea for a cover... usual disclaimers apply

13

Comments

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    I know what vector graphics are. I wrote a book on digital art that even won an award:

    I often assume that not just you are reading these postings. In fact I was attempting to assist Skoob with some basics. Did I not say that you already know these things?

    https://lernerbooks.com/shop/show/11272
    To say nothing of the fact that I have been earning a living doing digital graphics for decades.

    Then you will know the basics, then …

    And I still emphasize the need for basic drawing skills.

    It is basic drawing skills, even if not using paper and pencil.

     This is something understood by even major animation studios like Pixar, who provide life drawing classes for their artists

    So?  (then again they just scan them nowadays) that still does not disprove that humans, and many other objects, are made up from basic shapes. The details come later. I have no idea why you are even arguing.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    Please. I have a degree in art. I had to draw the figure from life every week while in college. I have taught drawing myself and still draw both from life and my own imagination.

    Then you know exactly what I mean.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    I am just going by what you originally said. If you want to change the parameters that’s OK with me.

    Did you mean me? But I am sure you know exactly what I am referring to.
    I almost never do.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    edited March 7
    Your original comment was---and I hope this paraphrase doesn't do it an injustice---that no drawing skills are necessary to create a figure. All someone needs is the basic shapes available in a program like Photoshop (circle, rectangle, etc.) and the ability to push the outlines around. The irony, of course, is that in the examples you showed of people building up a human figure from basic geometric shapes---the artist doing their version of Botticelli's Venus, for instance, or the ballerina---they were all drawing freehand...and drawing with no little skill at that. (By the way, if the Venus video demonstrated anything, it's that the human figure is not made up of circles!)
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    Your original comment was---and I hope this paraphrase doesn't do it an injustice---that no drawing skills are necessary to create a figure. All someone needs is the basic shapes available in a program like Photoshop (circle, rectangle, etc.) and the ability to push the outlines around.

    Quite so, while on about using a graphic program on a PC, which at that time we were.

     The irony, of course, is that in the examples you showed of people building up a human figure from basic geometric shapes---the artist doing their version of Botticelli's Venus, for instance, or the ballerina---they were all drawing freehand...

    That was when you started to say the basics do not start with such shapes, no matter what medium is used.

    and drawing with no little skill at that.

    Towards the end result, indeed, but we were on about the basic shape of a human. The starting point.

     (By the way, if the Venus video demonstrated anything, it's that the human figure is not made up of circles!)

    No one said it is. There are far more shapes, which is what I said, and as I am sure you must be aware that there are. You are not really being very helpful. This 'discussion' started with Skoob saying he cannot draw a straightline, and me saying you don't need to when using a graphics prog on a PC. You can get the basic shape of at least a human using the available shapes, which are flexible. It's a starting point. It's disturbing that you do not see that.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    edited March 8
    Your original comment was---and I hope this paraphrase doesn't do it an injustice---that no drawing skills are necessary to create a figure. All someone needs is the basic shapes available in a program like Photoshop (circle, rectangle, etc.) and the ability to push the outlines around.

    Quite so, while on about using a graphic program on a PC, which at that time we were.

     The irony, of course, is that in the examples you showed of people building up a human figure from basic geometric shapes---the artist doing their version of Botticelli's Venus, for instance, or the ballerina---they were all drawing freehand...

    That was when you started to say the basics do not start with such shapes, no matter what medium is used.

    Never said any such thing.

    and drawing with no little skill at that.

    Towards the end result, indeed, but we were on about the basic shape of a human. The starting point.

    That’s the tangent you went off on.

    But just to make things as clear for you as I can: yes, you need to start off with some basic shapes. I can easily freehand a human figure without working from a model—but I still start off by roughing in a framework.

    There are a lot of ways you can do this. Some artists start with one set of shapes, others start with different ones...as in the videos you posted...but the principle is the same. (I start off with a curve indicating the overall action of the body, crossed by perpendicular lines indicating the direction of the shoulders and hips. I almost never use blocks. Everyone to their own methods...) Even doing this takes practice, but going from this basic geometry to a drawing of a figure is the step that requires some skill and training. No tool is going to substitute for that. 

    It’s kind of the same thing as saying that knowing how to type doesn’t make someone a writer. The keyboard is just a tool in the exactly the same way Photoshop or any other image manipulation software is a tool.

     (By the way, if the Venus video demonstrated anything, it's that the human figure is not made up of circles!)

    No one said it is.

    The creator of the video did.

    There are far more shapes, which is what I said, and as I am sure you must be aware that there are. You are not really being very helpful.

    Frankly, it eludes me how my suggestion that Skoob take a basic course in drawing in order to hone his skills isn’t being helpful. 

    This 'discussion' started with Skoob saying he cannot draw a straightline, and me saying you don't need to when using a graphics prog on a PC.

    It’s a big jump from creating a straight line to making lines that look like a human being.

     You can get the basic shape of at least a human using the available shapes, which are flexible. It's a starting point. It's disturbing that you do not see that.

    I do see it. But a starting point is just that. In order to do what Skoob wanted, which was to create a realistic outline of a human being, he would have needed to be able to do more than just assemble some basic shapes. Yes, you can easily approximate a figure with geometry but once you have to start creating the outline and manipulating it, some basic drawing skills—let alone some equally basic knowledge of the human figure—are going to be helpful if not necessary. Photoshop, Illustrator and their ilk are only tools—like a pen or airbrush—they are not a replacement for the need to be able to use them. Owning a brush doesn’t make you an artist. Both of the video examples you posted demonstrate this: the ballerina and Venus were drawn freehand and with some obvious skill and experience. And it is skill and experience that comes from practice and training.

    And it doesn’t matter if you are drawing freehand with a pencil, drawing with a stylus on your computer or “drawing” with vectors, you are still drawing. And the more practiced you are at this, the better you are going to be, no matter what medium you are working in.

    My suggestion to Skoob was not that he go off and study art full-time, but that he simply take a basic course in drawing...and schools, colleges and universities everywhere offer such classes for adults, usually on weekends or evenings and at a very modest cost.* If nothing else, it would be fun. 

    ------
    There are even online courses, though I don't think these would be as good as a classroom environment, if nothing else because of the lack of immediate feedback you would get both from the instructor and the other students.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    But just to make things as clear for you as I can: yes, you need to start off with some basic shapes. I can easily freehand a human figure without working from a model—but I still start off by roughing in a framework. 

    Err, my point exactly. Flexible shapes that are already within art/photo progs that can be used without using the freehand draw tools. It's baffling you don't know that, so this discussion is pointless.
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    Just Kevin said:...this discussion is pointless.
    Well, you are finally right about something.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    I do have to admit that I would like to see you post a figure drawing—at least as good as the ballerina or Venus—done entirely with a mouse and the shape tools in, say, Photoshop. It would also be interesting to learn how much time it took.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    edited March 9
    JUST FOR SKOOB!

    I hope that you have been following at least my half of this conversation, since most of it has been directed toward you and others who hope to create their own covers.

    I really cannot overemphasize the value of taking a class in drawing. I’m not talking about becoming a full-time student, but rather signing up for an adult education course of the kind offered by colleges, universities and, especially, community colleges. These are often only a semester long and very inexpensive.

    If possible, a life drawing class is absolutely the best thing you could sign up for.

    Aside from being just fun, a class like that will give you invaluable training in eye-hand coordination (using the stylus of a graphics tablet is no different than using a pencil), learning something about composition, form, line and perspective. Practice in drawing also trains you to look more closely at the world around you. You will find yourself seeing things you never noticed before! (Even though I have worked entirely digitally for the past fifteen years, I still sketch almost every day.*) And you will get the benefit of interaction and feedback from the people around you.

    No class can make someone into an artist...but that is not the goal here. The point is to hone skills, learn new ones and train your eye and brain. Even if you never again pick up a pen or pencil, you will have benefited.

    =====
    *My favorite medium for sketching is pen and ink and of that my favorite method is the stopper from my ink bottle! Sketching in pen forces me to think a lot about each line, knowing that there is no going back. The ink bottle stopper just adds an extra layer of surprise since it's really hard to control the ink flow.


    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    I do have to admit that I would like to see you post a figure drawing—at least as good as the ballerina or Venus—done entirely with a mouse and the shape tools in, say, Photoshop. It would also be interesting to learn how much time it took.

    Is there a timetable for the train of thought?

    I could, but I wont bother, because that was not what I was suggesting. I was attempting to point out that
    everything is made up of common shapes, everything, if you cannot see them in that dancer then that's a worry, and they are available within graphics progs to use as the basis of almost anything, and are a good place to start for those who say they "cannot draw a straight line." The details come later.

    BTW. You have see my art, and they are as good as that, and all started using the shapes in Paintshop Pro. I have not used paper and pencil for around 25 years.



  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    JUST FOR SKOOB!

    I hope that you have been following at least my half of this conversation, since most of it has been directed toward you and others who hope to create their own covers.

    That's very disrespectful.

    I really cannot overemphasize the value of taking a class in drawing. I’m not talking about becoming a full-time student, but rather signing up for an adult education course of the kind offered by colleges, universities and, especially, community colleges. These are often only a semester long and very inexpensive.

    If possible, a life drawing class is absolutely the best thing you could sign up for.

    Aside from being just fun, a class like that will give you invaluable training in eye-hand coordination (using the stylus of a graphics tablet is no different than using a pencil), learning something about composition, form, line and perspective. Practice in drawing also trains you to look more closely at the world around you. You will find yourself seeing things you never noticed before! (Even though I have worked entirely digitally for the past fifteen years, I still sketch almost every day.*) And you will get the benefit of interaction and feedback from the people around you.

    No class can make someone into an artist...but that is not the goal here. The point is to hone skills, learn new ones and train your eye and brain. Even if you never again pick up a pen or pencil, you will have benefited.

    =====
    *My favorite medium for sketching is pen and ink and of that my favorite method is the stopper from my ink bottle! Sketching in pen forces me to think a lot about each line, knowing that there is no going back. The ink bottle stopper just adds an extra layer of surprise since it's really hard to control the ink flow.


    That's so last century Ron. 
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    edited March 10
    I do have to admit that I would like to see you post a figure drawing—at least as good as the ballerina or Venus—done entirely with a mouse and the shape tools in, say, Photoshop. It would also be interesting to learn how much time it took.

    Is there a timetable for the train of thought?

    I could, but I wont bother, because that was not what I was suggesting. I was attempting to point out that
    everything is made up of common shapes, everything, if you cannot see them in that dancer then that's a worry,

    I do see them and I have never contested their importance—but that’s never been the point. The point is being able to go from whatever framework you start with to a finished rendering of a realistic—or at least recognizable—human being. That’s what takes practice and training.

    and they are available within graphics progs to use as the basis of almost anything,

    Yes, they are the basis, just as a floor plan is the basis for a building. But then you have to go and build something from that.

    and are a good place to start for those who say they "cannot draw a straight line." The details come later.

    It’s exactly the “details” I am talking about. It’s the difference between the fundamental, basic shapes and a finished drawing or painting of a human figure. It’s the difference between this

    and this

    That’s where classwork comes in, and the practice and training it provides. This can be and has been self-taught, of course, but it is less time-consuming and more efficient to take a class in drawing and figure drawing if all you really need is to develop the basic skills.

    It's all well and good to go on and on about how everything is based on basic shapes...but that is only the very beginning. You have to be able to go past that foundation. Once you have your stick figure or collection of blocks or ovals, you have to be able to do something with that. Perhaps it will never be necessary to go as far as my second example above, but if you want to create a human figure with realistic proportions and features, you need to develop the eye and skills that enable you to go to the next steps beyond the basic framework. Software programs are just tools...on their own they cannot enable someone to do that, no more than owning a pencil or an airbrush makes someone automatically able to render a landscape, portrait or automobile.* That takes a learning curve and one of the best ways to accelerate that curve is to take a class.


    BTW. You have see my art, and they are as good as that, and all started using the shapes in Paintshop Pro. 

    ------
    *
    And figure-generating programs such as Poser or Dax are generally godawful, usually resulting in pseudohumans that are about as convincing as discount store mannequins. They can do a decent enough job if the person using them has some prior knowledge of how humans actually work...but that doesn't seem to happen very often.







    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    I do see them and I have never contested their importance—

    Well you have, in this thread, constantly,

    but that’s never been the point.

    It's been my point, in this thread.

     The point is being able to go from whatever framework you start with to a finished rendering of a realistic—or at least recognizable—human being. That’s what takes practice and training.

    Quite so, but it's a start. It all starts with the shape, as I am sure you must know (we are dealing with someone who said they cannot draw) which is far faster to achieve in a graphics prog than it is sat with pencil in hand staring at some naked persons for a year or two. (Why not just look at photos?)
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    It’s exactly the “details” I am talking about.

    You may be, but I was talking of the starting point for a novice.

     It’s the difference between the fundamental, basic shapes and a finished drawing or painting of a human figure.

    Which comes later, and via observation. Get the shape and proportions first. then 'smooth' them out.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    That’s where classwork comes in, and the practice and training it provides.

    Which takes years, which one often does not have if one just wants a cover for a book, now.

     This can be and has been self-taught, of course, but it is less time-consuming and more efficient to take a class in drawing and figure drawing if all you really need is to develop the basic skills.

    People are better off learning how to do it with graphics programs if it's a book cover they need. If they wish to  learn art for recreation, as many do who go to weekly art classes, then fair enough.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    It's all well and good to go on and on about how everything is based on basic shapes...but that is only the very beginning.

    Good grief, go back and count how many times I said shapes are the begining for a novice.

     You have to be able to go past that foundation. Once you have your stick figure or collection of blocks or ovals, you have to be able to do something with that.

    Indeed. We have not got to that stage yet. BTW. I can see two obvious round items in your picture. I wonder if Lulu will remove that!
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    you need to develop the eye and skills that enable you to go to the next steps beyond the basic framework.

    And there's the crunch. Not many people are able to do so no matter how many lessons they have. But it's just rude to point that out.

     Software programs are just tools...on their own they cannot enable someone to do that, no more than owning a pencil or an airbrush makes someone automatically able to render a landscape, portrait or automobile.*

    Owning graphics software enables one to do so, though.

     That takes a learning curve and one of the best ways to accelerate that curve is to take a class.

    Indeed, I have seen a lot of their output ...

    We are perhaps very fortunate. I don't know about you, but I was drawing almost photorealistic items from the age of five. I found school art classes boring because I could already do it. I doubt that can be taught.

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    I do see them and I have never contested their importance—

    Well you have, in this thread, constantly,

    Quote me.

    but that’s never been the point.

    It's been my point, in this thread.

     The point is being able to go from whatever framework you start with to a finished rendering of a realistic—or at least recognizable—human being. That’s what takes practice and training.

    Quite so, but it's a start. It all starts with the shape, as I am sure you must know (we are dealing with someone who said they cannot draw) which is far faster to achieve in a graphics prog than it is sat with pencil in hand staring at some naked persons for a year or two. (Why not just look at photos?)

    Photos are good reference, too, but having someone to guide and critique your work makes the learning process a lot shorter.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    It’s exactly the “details” I am talking about.

    You may be, but I was talking of the starting point for a novice.

    And then you have to go on from there...and that is the difficult part and the part in which guidance would be most valuable. Sure, it can be done on one’s own, but that is far more time consuming.

     It’s the difference between the fundamental, basic shapes and a finished drawing or painting of a human figure.

    Which comes later, and via observation. Get the shape and proportions first. then 'smooth' them out.

    It is exactly that “smoothing out” process that you are glossing over.

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    edited March 11
    you need to develop the eye and skills that enable you to go to the next steps beyond the basic framework.

    And there's the crunch. Not many people are able to do so no matter how many lessons they have. But it's just rude to point that out.

     Software programs are just tools...on their own they cannot enable someone to do that, no more than owning a pencil or an airbrush makes someone automatically able to render a landscape, portrait or automobile.*

    Owning graphics software enables one to do so, though.

    Not in the way I think you mean. I have already mentioned how artificial-looking Daz and Poser figures can be. They are usually referred to in the trade as “pseudo humans,” with the scorn they deserve. And they are all too often created by people who think software is not only a shortcut but an excuse to not bother learning any basics of art themselves.

    I was once among the several judges in an international computer graphics competition. We were all sent a DVD containing the various entries for review. Nearly 2/3 could be immediately tossed out. It was too obvious that the artists had thought that whatever their software generated must automatically be right...and they were wrong about that. The worst, as you might imagine, involved human figures in some way, but there were failures in everything from composition and color to light and shadow, texture and perspective. If you want to see just how often, and how terribly, this kind of misguided dependence on software can go wrong, be a regular visitor to LousyBookCovers.com

    This is one of the reasons that animation studios such as Disney and Pixar hold life drawing classes for their artists.

     That takes a learning curve and one of the best ways to accelerate that curve is to take a class.

    Indeed, I have seen a lot of their output ...

    We are perhaps very fortunate. I don't know about you, but I was drawing almost photorealistic items from the age of five. I found school art classes boring because I could already do it. I doubt that can be taught.

    No one can be taught to be an artist. I have already said that. But things like proportion, composition and perspective can be taught. It is also possible to teach someone to at least be able to make a recognizable drawing of what they see in front of them. This is a little harder to do than most people think, since the tendency is to draw what you know is there rather than what you see. For instance, a novice may draw the top of a box even though it is actually above their eye level and not visible , not because they see it but because they know it is there.

    It is this kind of practice and training that enables someone—whether talented artist or amateur—to effectively use the tools available to them whether those be traditional or digital.

     I have taught art—basic drawing, figure drawing and perspective—and have seen this happen.

    It is unfair and unrealistic to use yourself as an example if, as you say, you may have been a gifted artist from the age of five. Not many people have that advantage. I too have always had an ability to draw, but I don’t make the assumption that it is equally easy for anyone else. It’d be like Mozart sneering at someone who has to practice for hours every day just in order to pick out “Chopsticks.” It would be like him pointing to a piano and saying, “Well, there it is. That’s all you need. Go ahead and play. The piano will do all the work.”
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    JUST FOR SKOOB!

    *My favorite medium for sketching is pen and ink and of that my favorite method is the stopper from my ink bottle! Sketching in pen forces me to think a lot about each line, knowing that there is no going back. The ink bottle stopper just adds an extra layer of surprise since it's really hard to control the ink flow.


    That's so last century Ron. 
    You may want to go back and reread what I wrote. Sketching in traditional media like pen and ink provides practice that sketching in pencil or with a stylus on a graphics tablet cannot, by their nature, provide. For one thing, a pen is unforgiving. There is no turning back, no erasing a misbegotten line. This makes me look more closely at my subject and think harder about every line before I put it down. I also like to sketch with a brush and ink and even with the stopper to my ink bottle. These—especially the latter—give me line qualities almost impossible to attain any other way. This is particularly true with the bottle stopper, since it is so hard to control the ink flow. I will append a few examples below to show you what I mean...



    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor Professor
    Speaking of LousyBookCovers.com, one of the problems I run across most often is seeing a computer generated pseudohuman pasted into an environment of some kind. Cast shadows are usually missing as well as reflected light and color.  (To say nothing of mismatched light sources.) Reflected light and color is especially important in integrating separately rendered elements. For instance, someone standing next to a red curtain will pick up some of that color on their skin and clothing. Likewise, light bouncing from one surface will fill in the shadowed area on another. (In one of the exercises I would give my students I would place a large white ball on a solid white surface, and then require the students to draw absolutely everything they see. Looking closely they would notice that light reflecting from the table top illuminated the shaded side of the sphere, while at the same time light bouncing from the table to the back of the sphere and then back to the table filled in part of the cast shadow. If they looked closely enough, they might see two or three levels or more of light and shadow.) Being aware of how light and shadow works, and how adjacent objects affect one another, is a real key in making any illustration, digital or traditional, really convincing. This may be especially important in digital art since all of the individual elements may have been created separately...but will need to eventually seem to be part of the same scene. For example, to make the figure seem part of the scene below, I made sure to have light from the radar screen reflected on the girl’s jacket and face. If I had not done that she may have seemed pasted-in and not an integral part of the picture.

    Or in this one where I made sure that light from the fire was picked up in the face and costume...

    Being made aware of things like this is the goal of exercises such as the one I had my students do.

    Creating art that works is all part and parcel of learning basic rules, of learning to observe and of repeated practice. And if you can get help and feedback from someone experienced, such as in a classroom, so much the better. (There is a real parallel here to the need of the author for objective criticism and editing.) No software is a substitute for a practiced eye and trained hand, no more than owning a word processor, spell checker and grammar checker will make someone a good writer. While practice, observation, feedback and training may not make you a Hemingway or Rockwell, they will make you better at what you do.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    I do see them and I have never contested their importance—

    Well you have, in this thread, constantly,

    Quote me.

    Scroll up, or remember all you have typed.

    but that’s never been the point.

    It's been my point, in this thread.

     The point is being able to go from whatever framework you start with to a finished rendering of a realistic—or at least recognizable—human being. That’s what takes practice and training.

    Quite so, but it's a start. It all starts with the shape, as I am sure you must know (we are dealing with someone who said they cannot draw) which is far faster to achieve in a graphics prog than it is sat with pencil in hand staring at some naked persons for a year or two. (Why not just look at photos?)

    Photos are good reference, too, but having someone to guide and critique your work makes the learning process a lot shorter.


    One would hope. But if someone just does not 'have it' there's little point. But the classes will still take your dosh for as long as they can.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    You may want to go back and reread what I wrote.

    I recall what you wrote.

     Sketching in traditional media like pen and ink provides practice that sketching in pencil or with a stylus on a graphics tablet cannot, by their nature, provide.

    Why can it not? There's no difference. Just the medium.

     For one thing, a pen is unforgiving. There is no turning back, no erasing a misbegotten line.

    Use a pencil then. It's not maths where someone expects to see your 'working out.'

     This makes me look more closely at my subject and think harder about every line before I put it down.

    Where's the difference?  Using a graphics prog is not unthinking slapdash.

     I also like to sketch with a brush and ink and even with the stopper to my ink bottle. These—especially the latter—give me line qualities almost impossible to attain any other way.

    You need to practice more with a graphics prog then.

     This is particularly true with the bottle stopper, since it is so hard to control the ink flow. I will append a few examples below to show you what I mean...


    Continued ...
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    There's nothing in your sketches that cannot be achieved on a PC using the 100s of tools provided, even using them freehand.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    It is exactly that “smoothing out” process that you are glossing over.

    Not in the least. I started off mentioning Stage One, and continued to do so.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    Speaking of LousyBookCovers.com, one of the problems I run across most often is seeing a computer generated pseudohuman pasted into an environment of some kind. 

    I cannot say I have seen such a tool. Many humans in them seem to be edited photos.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    Being made aware of things like this is the goal of exercises such as the one I had my students do.

    Creating art that works is all part and parcel of learning basic rules, of learning to observe and of repeated practice. And if you can get help and feedback from someone experienced, such as in a classroom, so much the better. (There is a real parallel here to the need of the author for objective criticism and editing.) No software is a substitute for a practiced eye and trained hand, no more than owning a word processor, spell checker and grammar checker will make someone a good writer. While practice, observation, feedback and training may not make you a Hemingway or Rockwell, they will make you better at what you do.

    Or one could just watch the 1000s if not millions of 'classes' on youtube and standalone sites. 

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=art+lessons,+youtube&FORM=HDRSC3

    It's what many people do now, unless they like the company of the other people in a class. Gets them out of the house. 

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