I have watched hundreds of videos on “How to draw this” and “Speed painting of that” from a lot of talented artists and great teacher and in this post I’ll tell you what I learned from Feng Zhu.

Feng Zhu of the FZD School of Design and renowned concept artist have a YouTube channel under the FZD Shool brand where with more than 80 videoes filled with gems and awesomeness.

The videoes are 20min to 1 hour-ish long and are usually Feng Zhu speaking while we’ere watching a timelaps or some real time creation. There are hours of great learning and I strongly recommend you to check them out if you’re doing any kind of drawing and painting.

The videoes and the show cased technics open my eyes to many new ways of doing things, achieving results and approaching digital painting. Besides that he has some great advice on how to work and think of thing as well as some good insight into the industry.

Here I’ll list some of things I found most usefull.

1. Finish the peace

Feng Zhu mentions in a video that it’s better to spend 30 hours finishing one piece than having 30 failed attepts at speed paintings.

It might sounds obvious but when I’m in front of Photoshop struggling with a new painting it’s becomes very tempting to just give up and start a new one. Hoping it turns out better faster. I did this for quite a while actually. I’m not a professional and I just draw and paint for fun in my spare time and therefor don’t have hours and hours a day to improve that fast.

But when I adopted this, it really worked. I had a 1 hour sketch I was happy about and I spend 20-30 hours refining in. It’s neither finished nor perfect but I had never achieved this level og completion before. I gave me quite a boost to see that I could do better when I spend the time on it.

Dark Angels Interrogator Chaplain Caphriel-1

Now I don’t spend less than 5-10 hours a piece. I start new ones before finishing old ones but I gp back to them occasionally slowing moving forward.

2. Extract forms from silhouettes

This is a technical lesson. I come from life drawing and comic book styles wih pencils and pens, not paiting. So the idea of creating a solid silhouette and extract forms from it was quite new to me and it has helped me a lot.

Not having to worry about lines and forms ar the same time as thinking about the design has helped me getting more done.  Fill out some blobs and take it from there is quite fun.

3. Draw more than one

If you want to draw and design a Space Marine, for instance, don’t just draw one, draw two or three. Show youself and others it’s not just a lucky coincidence that it turned out great, it’s something you can do.

I’m not quite there yet on this one but I try. his helps me also finding my own styles I hope.

4. Don’t worry about speed

This might be a no brainer for smarter people than me. But when you see videos on painting the artits always work fast – also in real time.

But Feng Zhu makes a simple point; they’re profs, they have to work fast. If you’re a student don’t worry about time so much. Take the time needed to finish the piece. Worry about speed when you have a deadline and bills to pay.

This relates to point 1 about taking the itme to finish a piece and see what you can achieve.

I hope this post convinced you to check out his works and the toturials on FZD School of Designs YouTube channal.

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