Download this Month's design challenge resources:
SOME RESOURCE PACKS FROM PAST THEMES
You can join me and the rest of the class on YouTube. Check out my YouTube for any classes you might have missed or new video lessons and processes. And if you want to keep up with my uploads or announcements, you can follow me on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter and Instagram! Oh, and if you like cats, I have an Instagram too.
1. How do I send you images to critique? Which file format/resolution?
Easy! See the social media icons in the top right? Follow the G+ icon on the top right to join our community. Read the rules first! They help keep the community wall organized and easy to follow. I pick and choose work for critique from this community wall. Submit your work and wait! You will either be critiqued by me on the Critique Hour stream, or you will be critiqued by other members of the community.
3. Where can I get your brush pack?
You can find them in the "Store" tab at the top right.
4. What/Where/When are the free critique hours?
The critique hours are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 pm EST Time. They are held LIVE on YouTube. Anyone can join and there is no specific student list or guest list. There is a chat box where you can link me images to critique!
5. What is the 14-Day Challenge? Why should I participate?
The 14-Day challenge is typically a portraiture painting challenge that lasts two weeks. You are required to paint a face from scratch for 14 days in a row. However, you cannot graduate to the next day unless you have attained a critique. The Community Subreddit is amazing for this! After your critique, you repaint the face again, applying all the new insight you've received from either myself or your peers. You should participate because it is a great study that promotes a healthy learning habit and perfects your understanding of a face, which is a vital skill set all artists should have. The basic template set up and guidelines are as follows:
The whole image must be painted in grey-scale. This is a great way to keep focus on form, structure and facial anatomy and not distract the learning with color balance or saturation. A 14-day challenge can be painted with color, but it is recommended you complete the challenge in grey-scale first. The subject must look directly at the viewer, and in 3/4 or profile view, looking directly forward. You may use working and sketch lines, along with trend and trace measurement lines on the first couple days of the challenge.
No hair, body, accessories, makeup (war paint, excessive eye-liner, lipstick etc.). Keep the focus only on the base subject.
You can watch numerous 14-day challenge critiques on my YouTube channel if you need help figuring out where to start.
14-D Challenge FAQ and Q&A:
1. Does it need to be 14 consecutive days? No, you can spread the 14DC over a number of weeks, but it is recommended to attempt to keep each day as close as possible to promote and develop prompt work ethic and study discipline.
2. Is there a recommended amount of time per portrait? It is recommended to take as long as you need to for the first couple of portrait studies, and not attempt to paint quickly or imitate a speed paint. This is important because if you allow the painting process to extend into its full term, you can have a proper work-flow speed comparison to your 14th portrait.
3. Can we do a 14 Day challenge with the faces exclusively at 3/4 or profile? Yes, you may attempt a separate 14DC to perfect your application of rotation and perspective. You may not mix different perspectives into one 14 day term.
4. Can the faces be any kind of face provided that they are identical? Can it be a portrait of a child or an old person? You may attempt a 14DC on any type of gender, age, race. You may not mix into the challenge a different combination of gender, age or race for each day. This challenge is about perfecting your go-to portrait and repeating the same task and maximizing exposure to the countless fundamentals expected out of a realistic portrait. It is recommended you choose a beautiful, universal average between each race, age and gender.
5. Does the 14DC have to realistic? It is recommended you aim for the most realistic face you can manage, and from that study assess how much of that realism you want to take back to creative practice.
6. I want to do the 14DC but I'm not confident in my skill level. Will it be more beneficial for me to build up from studies first or stop hesitating and start? You may start a 14DC at any time in your journey, but if you are still early in your skill development, expect to repeat the challenge once or twice in a 6-month interval to maximize exposure to fundamentals and assist in helping you develop study and work discipline.
7. What references can you use and to what extent? It is not 14 days of referencing, but 14 days of free-hand portrait painting. You may use a reference for any of the days, but it recommended to use different references for different features, shared across all 14 attempts. This is a way for the student to "build" their own face that reflects their taste and goal style. You may not use a reference in a photo-realism style. Be sure all photographs are from the 14DC lighting.
8. What should you do if you post your portrait, but never get a community critique on it? You may continue on to your next day if you have not received a critique, however, if you are not providing others with critique, you may not ever receive some. Stay proactive in the community, and your submissions will not be ignored.
9. Can you extend the 14DC past 14 days? Yes, you may extend the challenge as long as you feel necessary. If the difference between day 1 and day 14 is not satisfactory enough, you may extend it by a week or more. If you feel like drawing a complete face is too taxing on your work flow or too difficult to show improvement, you may take a break from the challenge and attempt single feature studies and reattempt the challenge after a month or so of nose, eyes, mouth, head and rotation and form studies.
10. Is it okay to work on my 14 day challenge over a couple of days or should I aim to complete it in one sitting? It is best if you rate the completion of a portrait off one sitting, this is will ensure that the diagnosis and comparison to day 14 is more accurate. If it takes more than one day to complete each portrait, you are sharing your threshold and patience over many days, which is not a reflection of your current workflow issues. It is good to take breaks from your paintings, but this is a challenge. This challenge aims to help reveal your issues and crutches. You may take a break between each day installment, but it is recommended not to take multiple days on one installment. Record for each day the time it takes to complete each submission for comparison later.
11. Can you paint over the first painting making corrections or you have to start one from scratch every day? You must start each installment from scratch or else it does not fit the criteria and benefits of the challenge. You may not paint over previous days. You will be sharing workflow time and cheating yourself out of improvement. DO NOT PAINT OVER!
12. Does the lighting have to be the same across all days? Yes, the lighting must be top down symmetrical across all days, with a slight extension of the nose shadow into the upper lip.
13. Is it okay to not post a 14 dc painting everyday? Yes! You may post your 14DC daily as you complete it.
14. Is there a recommended order for the portrait perspectives? It is recommended you attempt a front view, and if your graduation of the challenge is successful, attempt a 3/4 view next, then complete side view. After a successful term in all of these rotations, you may attempt a 14DC for perspectives with an added worms-eye or birds-eye rotation. After this, you may attempt an expression sheet using your 14th installment.
15. Should we start over the 14 day challenge if we took a very long break? Yes. This is due to the fact that 14 consecutive days promotes a complete overhaul of your work ethic and discipline, which will not be assessed properly if your challenge is done over a number of months or with large breaks in between. If your learning style requires you take long breaks, feel free to take the time you need, but remember that benefits will no longer be comparable to the origin of the challenge. An extended 14DC will be checkpoint style assessment of your skill development.
16. Why should I do the 14 day challenge? What should I expect to learn through the 14 day challenge? This challenge helps develop your discipline, workflow threshold, sitting patience on a single painting, contrast and form language, form, geometric anatomy, value vocabulary, anatomy in portraiture, edge-work, detail control, it benefits and enriches your portfolio and helps you develop the biggest rendering hurdle in character art and character development.
17. I'm finished my challenge, what do I do now? Congratulations! If you feel you graduated this challenge successfully, move on to another portrait perspective, or attempt some figure studies and gesture drawings. The challenge helps you develop a skill set for character design and illustration, so attempting to perfect your ability to render other factors of world-building is the next step!
18. How much personal stylization is allowed in 14DC? Keep stylization low, any style that emerges is not style but habit. You are not ready to attempt to formulate or experiment with style. You are here to learn fundamentals and push your workflow thresh-hold and many other benefits. Do not use other artists work as reference for the 14DC, only use photographs selected to help you build your desired face.
19. What if my taste in beauty changes half way through my challenge? That's what the challenge is for! Move along your taste changes, and if a change of reference is necessary, that is fine.
20. Does the 14DC have to be grey-scale? Yes, your first attempt of the challenge must be in grey-scale, this will help maximize how much you improve in your form language and contrast, as well as keep you focused on geometric anatomy and all other fundamentals. Color can be attempted in another separate study.