How do you learn how to break a picture down

S

Smiler65

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Hi all, hope you all had a good Christmas.
As the title really, I am looking for info on how you go about breaking a picture down to start.
Looking at a finished picture then trying to break it down to a start point seems really daunghting .
I understand you start with the dark areas? And built up with light coats to get your intensity, I'll be using transparent paints mainly, I keep reading in the sbs's that you build up in layers but how do you know what layers are? Or go about building them up.
Sorry if these seem stupid questions but as I have no art experience of any kind any help would be great.

Thanks Smiler
 
I'm just gonna throw this out there --------->IMO<------------------------ you should start with monotone pieces then slowly get into color.

Color is the one that really messes with the brain and makes an already intimidating process that much harder.

Also, do a TON of video watching. Youtube and if you can afford it, hunt down some Daniel Powers DVD sets and Cory SaintClair as well.
 
I'm just gonna throw this out there --------->IMO<------------------------ you should start with monotone pieces then slowly get into color.

Color is the one that really messes with the brain and makes an already intimidating process that much harder.

Also, do a TON of video watching. Youtube and if you can afford it, hunt down some Daniel Powers DVD sets and Cory SaintClair as well.

Excellent advice B, although by doing your monotone in either sepia or burnt umber, the transition to colour is fairly easy since that is how most of us begin, everything in my gallery started out burnt umber monotone and the colour is applied at the end.

@Smiler65 check out AndreZA's Walter SBS, this will help you a lot although as Bossman says, try a couple of monotone attempts first.
 
Thanks for the quick replies.
White knight I have started reading that thread and I'll think I'll be reading that over and over again, excellent info there. Is the opacity the amount you pull back the trigger?
 
Opacity is your paints ability to cover or coverage given as a percentage, you could say 60% opacity or 40% transparency.
 
Excellent advice B, although by doing your monotone in either sepia or burnt umber, the transition to colour is fairly easy since that is how most of us begin, everything in my gallery started out burnt umber monotone and the colour is applied at the end.

@Smiler65 check out AndreZA's Walter SBS, this will help you a lot although as Bossman says, try a couple of monotone attempts first.
That SBS is awesome giving a great tutorial on building up an image, and all the techniques used great reference material for me to add to my collection of reference material, thanks
 
That SBS is awesome giving a great tutorial on building up an image, and all the techniques used great reference material for me to add to my collection of reference material, thanks

You don't have to thank me, it's all thanks to @AndreZA lol
 
Yes thanks to AndreZA for the SBS but thanks to you for pointing me towards it
 
watch how this lady draws her pictures and you can see how she really is drawing shapes in the drawing as she go's(watch 2 or 3 if needed to understand it)
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Airbrushtutor also has a number of SBS on youtube showing the process. By the time you've watched a few you'll get the idea then practice lots!!
 
All of the above guides will also help you to understand how to map out your templates / stencils as well.
Just a matter of breaking down your image into dark and light areas, drawing them out [ outlining ] and then cutting them out from multiple copies.
 
I've been watching vids all day and reading loads of SBS , surprising just how much info there is available in this forum.
The thing that impressed me most was seeing just how much people had advanced from their beginning to where they are now,looking at the artwork I can't believe some of them aren't photos,you lot are truly amazing:):)
 
I've been watching vids all day and reading loads of SBS , surprising just how much info there is available in this forum.
The thing that impressed me most was seeing just how much people had advanced from their beginning to where they are now,looking at the artwork I can't believe some of them aren't photos,you lot are truly amazing:):)

One year from now if your serious enough you'll be included in that statement, a little dedication will take you a long way as you've seen.

I'm still crap but im confident crap lol.

If you do a portrait, or anything else for that matter, start a wip and let the guys talk you through it, if you have specific questions you can tag anyone by placing an @ before their username,:that way they will be notified when have queries.

More importantly, keep asking even if you think your questions are dumb, every question you ask helps others too.
 
He may be Madbrush but he makes perfect sense lol, i have been at it for just over a year now and its thanks to the guys and gals in here who will not only help you but go out of their way to explain it in easy to digest ways, ive said it before but this place will take years of your learning curve if you follow the great advice available.
 
This is how i do it-

http://www.airbrushforum.org/threads/understanding-and-learning-to-see-in-layers.10152/#post-137633

Every picture is basically a cake waiting to be baked.Once you know the recipe its actually pretty easy to break down an image and all images are the same..The basic recipe I use is you need 5 colors, light a medium and a dark tone all of the main color needs ie Greyscale it would be light grey a medium grey and a dark grey or charcoal. In a color piece it would be say three shades of the skintone, light medium and dark again.

Your base layer is your mapping layer, work from light to dark or start with your medium, doesnt really matter and base the image out in that three color sequence keeping it all basic gradient needs to match the ref, ie your just laying down the shapes in the color their supposed to be. Then those three colors are used again for your texture need. Use your light color for texture over the mid base, and use your mid over the charcoal base and use white last on the light base to build highlights in, so three texture layers.

You can then generally fog back using the same layering sequence you did in your roadmap layer, ie you basically repaint the picture to blend out the texture a bit. thats basically it and a pictures basic layering sequence needs, or should say one of them as their are other ways of cooking a cake

Last but not least is then a transparent layer if you head into photorealsim, no point describing this as it would take a book LOL But that is just another sequence of layering done with transparent overlay to blend into the base you created with your opaques earlier and of course erasing can be put in there throughout. The transparent layer can be used to tweak the base image..But thats about it :)

But all that just came from various art books I've read over the years, try looking into art books from acrylics or oil painting as its much the same and much more out there and it really does help in airbrushing similar images...Good luck.
 
Wow @RebelAir what a informative reply,will take a while for that lot to sink in,I'm slow to digest info, but in such an easy format to read it really has helped me understand the process involved. I'll be firing up the computer later and following your tutorial step by step till it sinks in. Thank you for taking the time to reply and giving the link to your article.
I am looking into buying some DVDs and books as suggested,also trying to find lessons to attend for hands on advice.
 
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