“Dragon City.” I’d like to develop one of these into a full-blown painting. Which one is your favorite, 1, 2, 3, or 4?
I drew this after reading some of Betsy Luntao’s tutorials over on DA. Her book How to Draw Backgrounds with Character (by Betsy Luntao, available free on Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/tTiRg ) is one of the most helpful background drawing books I’ve ever seen. These were made after following her advice where you start off with a sentence describing what’s going on with the environment you want to draw (in my case, “a dragon flies over some ancient ruins” or something like that. This was from 2019, give me a break!).
Back in 2019, I designated a very inexpensive sketchbook from Target to be my “background practice” sketchbook. I draw stuff from life (furniture! My cat’s activity center!) and practice drawing cupcake houses for Moxie Kitten. That scrawl at the bottom reads: “The fast and the furriest!” Some of my later furniture studies in ink and marker have been fun, I’ll post those after I get through this backlog. I feel like this is a great way to boost my skills in a low-pressure setting.
I caught this short video on the artist who contributed to the GORGEOUS backgrounds of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty called “Eyvind Earle – The backgrounds from Sleeping Beauty.” In it, he showed a quick technique–laying down a dark shape, then doing the leaf details in brighter colors. I thought I’d try to replicate it in marker (which means I had to reverse it, natch, since light marker doesn’t show up on dark), but even that turned out really good for little effort, I think!
Looking for a tutorial on how to digitally paint trees for my book cover, I stumbled upon a collection of excellent digital painting tutorials that cover things a little off the beaten path–like painting over photos to make backgrounds and color grading. They’re by Mclelun and you can see some of them here:
Click on the “Tutorial” tag link on that page to see all the helpful tuts!
I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw environments FOREVER but nothing’s ever quite stuck (looks at the various perspective drawing books on her shelf). But this! This video from Tyler Edlin (AKA BrushSauce) on YouTube has opened my eyes.
I started doing these…and then…just once…while watching something, maybe a shot of a hallway on TV? I SAW THE MATRIX!! I didn’t see the picture as hall, door, sconce, etc. I saw the big general shapes that made the depth. DING!!! I need to do this more often, but it’s really upped my confidence. So if you need help leaning backgrounds, try the exercise in this video first! It’s way fun to do with colored pens and markers (for values).