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December 23, 2012
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If you are working on a completely shaded drawing, or a finished art work, you may wish to follow the the ten per cent rule, which runs as follows: Make roughly ten per cent of your shaded areas black or near-black, and roughly ten percent white or near-white, with the rest of the artwork composed of a range of middle tones. This rule follows my deeper art philosophy that "beauty is in the middle tone." All areas of tonality must also follow the rule of balanced composition. I'm just formulating this rule now, but it seems that many high quality masterpieces, such as finished oil paintings and the best drawings, follow it to some extent. (not always, but many, I think.) For example, here's a typical masterpiece, a piece of art by Degas: penonpointe.files.wordpress.co… I think you can very clearly see the ten per cent rule in effect here.

The challenge is to my self (isn't it always?) to follow the rule and apply it to my best fully shaded art works. Since I rarely do anything that's fully shaded, let alone fully colored, this rule won't apply to most of the artworks I submit here, which are usually partially shaded sketches.

Additional news: I finished one of my bigger construction projects last week (see latest submission,) and another one is nearing the end and hopefully complete next week. I'll be working on the ground plan for "The Clove" town design next week over Christmas holiday as well, which should be very interesting, because I have to make all those cute little storefronts work together somehow, which will mean inevitable modifications and re-arrangements, but they final plan will be rewarding, I'm sure! Watch for that late next week, maybe a bit sooner.

Hope you all have a nice holiday season, wherever you are in the world. Thanks to all the new watchers this year, and, as always, I'm always happy to hear from everybody, respond to comments, and engage in verbal duels with whoever is up for the challenge! Don't be afraid to ask my advice, or even to give me a gentle critique (don't be to hard on me!) Yes, I do listen, I guarantee it.
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:iconpagodacomics:
PagodaComics Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Ooh, it's really interesting, I shall keep it in mind and experiment with it! :lol:
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
It's just a rough rule, but interesting to try use it...
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:iconeleven013:
Eleven013 Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that The Ten Percent Rule could be very usefull..!

And btw, happy holidays ^^
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
Thanks, have a good new year's eve, yes, I'm trying to put it into practice slowly. I'll try to devise some more rules next year he he...Not that I actually FOLLOW rules...
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:iconeleven013:
Eleven013 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hah ^^ Aren't rules there to be broken? ;p
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
Make the rule, memorize the rule, practice the rule, and, slowly, carefully, methodically, in just the right situation, you BREAK THE HELL OUT OF IT. Even Picasso was a classically trained expert draftsman in his youth.
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:iconeleven013:
Eleven013 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, the gret artists often start out by doing something ordinary for their time, and then they do something new - like Edward Munch :D
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:iconkurisiti:
Kurisiti Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The name made me think of something one of my instructors said when I was in the CADD program, so, since you do architectural drafting, I thought you might me able to answer my question (becuase none of my instructors ever did answer it). What is the rule of thumb (or the rule of ten)?
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
[link] Rule of Ten appears in at least two different fields, energy use at different biological levels, (simple to more complex plants, animals, etc,) and also as part of Six Sigma industrial/business/management philosophy. The professors don't explain it because it is difficult to explain. The link here shows fairly clearly how it works. As applied to CAD design, it has to do with resolution. How it actually works in practice, or what they were trying to tell you, is not clear to me because I don't ever really do CAD stuff, I had another architect draw my construction plans on the computer after I drew exact pencil drawings! It's a very good subject to study I think. See if you can comprehend the info on that web link I posted and apply it to what you were doing. Perhaps differences in scale between different components? I always do detail studies in larger scales of almost every component in an architectural design. It has something to do with resolution quality between different elements I think...
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:iconkurisiti:
Kurisiti Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
When the concept was first introduced to us, we were learning how to hand-draft (which did not go very well for my class since the instructor really couldn't tell us how to properly use the scales). After that the word pretty much kept popping up here and there--though no one dared to say more than, "follow the Rule of Ten". It makes sense that it would be applied to the scales since whenever to you do a detail of a portion of the floor plan, you have to blow it up (like from a 1/4" to a 1/8" or whatever).

I know that a lot of people prefer using electronics for drafting purposes, but I still think that its amazing that people can still make such detailed plans on paper (though I would hate to be the person who has to red line it). I loved the CAD program and wish that I could go back into it--its much better than having to listen to the dry lectures for Project Management!

*feels silly* I totally forgot that the Rule of Ten is applied to Six Sigma...XD

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain it to me and for link =) It just always bothered me when I was in the CAD program.
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Maybe I'll make up my own Rule of Ten...
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:iconlancelotprice:
LancelotPrice Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Happy Christmas!
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Thanks Gypsy same to you!
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:iconlancelotprice:
LancelotPrice Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Thank you, sir. :)
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:iconlocationcreator:
LocationCreator Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Yes, indeed! Wonderful advice and food for thought! As a lighting designer I tend to force the shadows, too. And making an actor stand out or not is often hard to do, but generally it is in the middle values where the story is told on the theatre as well. Recently though, Concert lighting has ruined perception with high contrast pizzaz, and the subtleties of storytelling are lost there. A drawing is meant to be READ, looked at, and mused over. Hence the needs to have middle values. So glad you have this idea!
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Thanks LocationCreator! Great perspective from a different angle. Concerts have a lot of over-the-top lighting effects now, plus video screens, lots of competing objects. You have very precise control over lighting on a theater stage it seems. Shadows are murky in real life, but in a piece of colored art, they can be full of nice color tones.
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:iconlocationcreator:
LocationCreator Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Totally agree, ~Built4ever! We studied a "hierarchy of visual stimuli" in college, but it is waaaay more than that. I'm considering the middle values with appropriate contrasts are what make successful HD photographs.
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
If I did digital photography, I would be tweaking the hell out of all the colors and tonal values til it became a piece of impressionism. I see lots of fabulous photo manips on Deviant, approaching the look of old paintings. Plenty of plain old reg'ler photos too, very bland. Use the software tools people!! You can get amazing effects. "Hierarchy of visual stimuli" sounds like an analysis of erotic art he he...
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:iconlocationcreator:
LocationCreator Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Hehehe! Hierarchy...only means our eyes are attracted to the brightest moving thing, or the brightest thing, or the most moving thing...on the stage. Hmmm That way a villain can apprear in the shadow and still take the stage if everyone else in bright light stays relatively still. That would be difficult to do in a still photo of a scene.
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
HMMM got it, very interesting.
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:iconartbypaulfisher:
artbypaulfisher Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice observations and tip, this made quite interesting reading. I'm a long way from your standard and lack your theory knowledge, but I've always considered extreme light to feature far less than extreme dark in a majority of images. This is possibly because I've always considered shadows to be the key factor in defining form (accurate shadow in a perfect place can clearly define an object that isn't even drawn in). Suggesting that it is possibly equal is quite an eye opener for me if true. I'll try to keep that in mind and try out next time I work in graphite as there is no way that I put even close to 10% of overall coverage into my palest tones usually.

On an unrelated matter, something I've always wondered when I look at works like some of your more complex castle pieces etc, is how much of the final image is in your head before you begin? I could quite happily look at a photograph of a castle and start recreating it, but when you have a blank page and there is no reference other than a written criteria of requirements - is it all imaginitive inspiration, some inspiration mixed with experience of what you know works, or do you already know exactly what you want before you've even drawn your first line? I'd love to see the first 10 minutes of your drawing process, just to see how you actually start on pieces like that.
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Yes I like the part about shadows. I'm notoriously "light" in the shadow department, for very reasons. There's a trick in architectural rendering called "forcing the shadow" where the shadow fades from darker to lighter to enhance the contrast at one or the other border.

There's a tutorial on a castle in the tutorial folder, but generally, I know NOTHING of it's looks when I start. The first ten minutes is a lightly drawn "flow" across the page. If you look at castles one or two, they flow and swirl from front to back, following the road. When I have the main plot for the castle itself established, a blob basically, I start to lightly sketch out the outline of the towers going up and down, giving it a shape, and I try to imagine the front wall, and circle it around. Also. Quick sketch of front gate. All very fast and flowing to get a nice organic beautiful swirl effect. Detail it out slowly. Usually inner courtyards come last. Roof shapes are very important of course. Also, give background depth by sketching outline of a mountain range or some such.
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:iconartbypaulfisher:
artbypaulfisher Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I managed to completely miss the tutorials folder when I was looking through your gallery, sorry about that - I'll have a look through those now! Thanks for sharing a bit of your creation process anyway, I find seeing the first few steps of a drawing as interesting as the final image itself - especially on completely original work or design where no full reference is used. Merry Christmas to you, look forward to seeing more of your works in the new year!
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
[link] Also check this piece that I just updated, it now has the early phases of a village, steps, etc., and shows clearly how I develop an idea...
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Yes, I agree, I like to see those first steps with other good artists too, very instructive, especially to see good composition, structure, flow...artistic minds, very strange indeed eh?
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:iconvonzott:
vonzott Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
And, here I thought the 10% rule had to do with how much you charged for your work!
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Oh no! What I charge for my work is a DEEP DARK SECRET. Even I don't know it.
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:iconvonzott:
vonzott Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
You sound like a jazz musician!
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
I like to improvise solos with my pencil.
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:iconjesusmarvelite3:
jesusmarvelite3 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the advice! And merry Christmas!
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:iconbuilt4ever:
Built4ever Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Yup, you too!
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