A quick tutorial on how I paint (mostly angular) shaped objects in a BG.
DIY Guide to Dress Necklines from Paper Blog here. For other popular guides go here:
How I remove white backgrounds from scans.
I can never get the other method to work that I have seen here on some tutorial blogs. So I found another way which is much more simple in my opinion. I am not sure if it will work on later versions of photoshop. I am using the cs5 version.
Hope this helps someone!
posting without a source is unfortunately pretty common, but it doesn’t have to be. with a few minutes of hunting, you can make sure the artists you like get credit for their work! :) hope this is helpful.
I have been waiting my entire life for someone to point this out
((Also, I want to thank you for both making this and doing it in an informative matter rather than screaming at them :) ))
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises
just a good lil’ reminder
Sadly relevant to my life right now.
Keep the magic hand healthy, folks.
don’t do these if its acting up and hurting though. It can make it worse. The best you can do when it really starts hurting or gets strained is to try and rest your wrist, ice it, and wear a brace
Character design and drawing are tome-sized topics and even if I had all the answers (I don’t - I have a lot to learn), I’m not sure I could communicate them effectively. I’ve gathered some thoughts and ideas here, though, in case they’re helpful.
First, some general things:
- Relax and let some of that anxiety go. This isn’t a hard science. There’s no wrong way, no rigid process you must adhere to, no shoulds or shouldn’ts except those you designate for yourself. This is one of the fun parts of being an artist, really - have a heady good time with it.
- Be patient. A design is something gradually arrived at. It takes time and iteration and revision. You’ll throw a lot of stuff away, and you’ll inevitably get frustrated, but bear in mind the process is both inductive and deductive. Drawing the wrong things is part of the path toward drawing the right thing.
- Learn to draw. It might seem perfunctory to say, but I’m not sure everyone’s on the same page about what this means. Learning to draw isn’t a sort of rote memorization process in which, one by one, you learn a recipe for humans, horses, pokemon, cars, etc. It’s much more about learning to think like an artist, to develop the sort of spacial intelligence that lets you observe and effectively translate to paper, whatever the subject matter. When you’re really learning to draw, you’re learning to draw anything and everything. Observing and sketching trains you to understand dimension, form, gesture, mood, how anatomy works, economy of line; all of the foundational stuff you will also rely on to draw characters from your imagination.
Spend some time honing your drawing ability. Hone it with observational sketching. Hone it good.
- I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone do this sort of thing better than Claire Wendling. In fact, character designs emerge almost seamlessly from her gestural sketches. It’d be worth looking her up.
- Gather Inspiration like a crazed magpie. What will ultimately be your trademark style and technique is a sort of snowball accumulation of the various things you expose yourself to, learn and draw influence from. To that effect, Google images, tumblr, pinterest and stock photo sites are your friends. When something tingles your artsy senses - a style, a shape, a texture, an appealing palette, a composition, a pose, a cool looking animal, a unique piece of apparel, whatever - grab it. Looking at a lot of material through a creative lens will make you a better artist the same way reading a lot of material makes a better writer.
It’ll also devour your hard drive and you will try and fail many times to organize it, but more importantly, it’ll give you a lovely library of ideas and motivational shinies to peruse as you’re conjuring characters.
- Imitation is a powerful learning tool. Probably for many of us, drawing popular cartoon characters was the gateway habit that lured us into the depraved world of character design to begin with. I wouldn’t suggest limiting yourself to one style or neglecting your own inventions to do this, but it’s an effective way to limber up, to get comfortable drawing characters in general, and to glean something from the thought processes of other artists.
- Use references. Don’t leave it all up to guessing. Whether you’re trying to design something with realistic anatomy or something rather profoundly abstracted from reality, it’s helpful in a multitude of ways to look at pictures. When designing characters, you can infer a lot personality from photos, too.
And despite what you might have heard, having eyeballs and using them to look at things doesn’t constitute cheating. There’s no shame in reference material. There’s at least a little shame in unintentional abstractions, though.
Concepts and Approach:
- Break it down. Sometimes you have the look of a character fleshed out in your mind before putting it to paper, but usually not. That doesn’t mean you have to blow your cortical fuses trying conceive multiple diverse designs all at the same time, though. You don’t even have to design the body shape, poses, face, and expressions of a single character all at once. Tackle it a little at a time.
The cartoony, googly eyed style was pre-established for this simple mobile game character, but I still broke it into phases. Start with concepts, filter out what you like until you arrive at a look, experiment with colors, gestures and expressions.
- Start with the general and work toward the specific. Scribbling out scads of little thumbnails and silhouettes to capture an overall character shape is an effective way begin - it’s like jotting down visual notes. When you’re working at a small scale without agonizing over precision and details, there’s no risk of having to toss out a bunch of hard work, so go nuts with it. Give yourself a lot of options.
Here’s are some sample silhouettes from an old cancelled project in which I was tasked with designing some kind of cyber monkey death bot. I scratched out some solid black shapes then refined some of them a step or two further.
- Here’s an instructional video by Feng Zhu about doing much the same thing (only way better).
- Shapes are language. They come preloaded with all sorts of biological, cultural and personal connotations. They evoke certain things from us too. If you’ve ever stuck about where to go with your design, employ a sort of anthroposcopy along these lines - make a visual free association game out of it. It’ll not only tend to result in a distinguished design, but a design that communicates something about the nature of the character.
Think about what you infer from different shapes. What do they remind you of? What personalities or attitudes come to mind? How does the mood of a soft curve differ from that of a sharp angle? With those attributes attached, how could they be used or incorporated into a body or facial feature shape? What happens when you combine shapes in complementary or contrasting ways? How does changing the weight distribution among a set of shapes affect look and feel? Experiment until a concept starts to resonate with the character you have in mind or until you stumble on something you like.
If you don’t have intent, take the opposite approach - draw some shapes and see where they go. (It’s stupid fun.)
- You might also find it helpful to watch Bobby Chiu’s process videos in which he feels out his character designs as he paints.
- Cohesion and Style. As you move from thumbnails to more refined drawings, you can start extrapolating details from the general form. Look for defining shapes, emergent themes or patterns and tease them out further, repeat them, mirror them, alternate them. Make the character entirely out of boxy shapes, incorporate multiple elements of an architectural style, use rhythmically varying line weights - there are a million ways to do this
Here’s some of the simple shape repetition I’ve used for Lackadaisy characters.
- Expressions - let them emerge from your design. If your various characters have distinguishing features, the expressions they make with those features will distinguish them further. Allow personality to influence expressions too, or vice versa. Often, a bit of both happens as you continue drawing - physiognomy and personality converge somewhere in the middle.
For instance, Viktor’s head is proportioned a little like a big cat. Befitting his personality, his design lets him make rather bestial expressions. Rocky, with his flair for drama, has a bit more cartoon about him. His expressions are more elastic, his cheeks squish and deform and his big eyebrows push the boundaries of his forehead. Mitzi is gentler all around with altogether fewer lines on her face. The combination of her large sleepy eyes and pencil line brow looked a little sad and a little condescending to me when I began working out her design - ultimately those aspects became incorporated into her personality.
- Pose rendering is another one of those things for which observational/gesture drawing comes in handy. Even if you’re essentially scribbling stick figures, you can get a handle on natural looking, communicative poses this way. Stick figure poses make excellent guidelines for plotting out full fledged character drawings too.
Look for the line of action. It’ll be easiest to identify in poses with motions, gestures and moods that are immediately decipherable. When you’ve learned to spot it, you can start reverse engineering your own poses around it.
- Additional resources - here are some related things about drawing poses and constructing characters (click the images for the links).
- Tortured rumination about lack of ability/style/progress is a near universal state of creative affairs. Every artist I have known and worked with falls somewhere on a spectrum between frustration in perpetuity and a shade of fierce contrition Arthur Dimmesdale would be proud of. So, next time you find yourself constructing a scourge out of all those crusty acrylic brushes you failed to clean properly, you loathsome, deluded hack, you, at least remember you’re not alone in feeling that way. When it’s not crushing the will to live out of you, the device does have its uses - it keeps you self-critical and locked in working to improve mode. If we were all quite satisfied with our output, I suppose we’d be out of reasons to try harder next time.
When you need some reassurance, compare old work to new. Evolution is gradual and difficult to perceive if you’re narrowed in on the nearest data point, but if you’ve been steadily working on characters for a few months or a year, you’ll likely see a favorable difference between points A and B.
Most of all, don’t dwell on achieving some sort of endgame in which you’re finally there as a character artist. There’s no such place - wherever you are, there is somewhere else. It’s a moving goal post. Your energy will be better spent just enjoying the process…and that much will show in the results.
I finally remembered to save shots of a piece along the way so I can show you guys a step-by-step!
First just let me emphasize that this has nothing to do with “how to draw” or “how you should make a picture.” Blindly following someone else’s process isn’t gonna help you learn a damn thing. My hope is that people might benefit from this by THINKING about my decisions and analyzing how you may or may not be able to incorporate this information into your own approach. Picture-making is an active problem-solving process. This serves as a good example of how I generally work, but I don’t make every picture the same way! I can’t, because every picture is different. If you only learn how to follow a set of steps or rules, and not how to think and problem-solve, you are going to hit a brick wall as soon as you have to create anything remotely outside of a very limited comfort zone.
Okay, now the steps I went through with this picture:
- Recently I’ve shaken up my usual way of working by starting out with silhouettes rather than sketching with line right away. Strong, clear silhouettes are important, and it helps to focus on the basic shapes of the pose rather than getting lost in markmaking and detail.
- I started over with a different pose because I wanted something more dynamic, based on this ref. Holding hands may be cute and all, but maybe not so practical when in battle. Besides, what’s cuter than two people with the dokis going into battle together knowing they’ve got each other’s backs?? IT IS THE CUTEST DON’T ARGUE ME ON THIS
- Lowered the opacity of the silhouettes, made a new layer on top, went to town. Drawing on top of silhouettes gives me enough information to go straight into clean linework, without the stiffness you get when you do clean lines on top of a sketch. Don’t trace the silhouette, it’s just a general guide. BE FREE.
- Got rid of the silhouette layer and made a new layer for color underneath the lines. Used the magic wand to select all the negative space. Expanded the selection by a few pixels, inverted the selection, then filled with an obnoxious color so I could see what I was doing. You may have to clean up some areas where the fill doesn’t match up with the lines (that’s where the bright color helps).
- The “coloring book” stage. Locked the transparency and blocked in the local colors (i.e. don’t worry about lighting yet).
- Added some hue variation. Again, we’re not worrying about lighting yet, so this isn’t about values. Getting some color variation in skin is really important, especially in faces (see here). I also created a clipping mask above the lineart to add color to the lines.
- NOW is when I start working with lighting/values. I like to work dark-to light, so I start out by putting a blueish shadow over the characters with a Multiply layer (on a clipping mask above the flat color layer, like all my lighting layers will be). Then I add in the first light source on a Hard Light layer (test out others like overlay, screen, etc. because different layer modes work better than others depending on the particular image you’re working with).
- So far my Multiply layer and my primary light source are both cool-hued, so I’m gonna add some variety with a warm secondary light source. I also added some very low-opacity white to fade some parts of the figures into the background more gradually (particularly the sword and the bottom of the shield).
- The last step is to add a subtle texture overlay, which in addition to providing a bit of natural texture also makes the colors a bit richer and more unified. I always fiddle with the hue/saturation/value of the texture image, because it has to fit the picture and it has to enhance it, not overpower it.
I hope that was helpful in some way! If you have any questions about how to use clipping masks, where to find brushes/textures/etc., please actually don’t ask me, because that stuff can be easily discovered by googling. But aside from those kinds of inquiries, or things addressed in my FAQ, I do welcome any questions I might be able to help with!
Different ways I draw hair (sorry the actual tutorials are so small here! ;; click through the link to see the full thing on DA uvu )
I loooove hair, so I made a more formal tutorial for an anon ask! These are the ways I enjoy rendering hair- and there are many ways to do it! Observing from life, knowing how hair behaves, and knowing how to stylize that knowledge will let you make some rly cool art uvu
WOOOAAA! Loving it, I find this tutorial on deviantart. http://f0rmaldehyde.deviantart.com/
the totally awesome f0rmaldehyde made the tutorial. I hope this can help any hardcore digital artists out there!
Yo, I’mma reblog this here first because I can. Later I’ll reblog it to my new reblog blog Pastellitaivas. I tried this today ‘cos I hate to spend ridiculous amounts of money on things if I can get the same or better for less. Found 1,65mm from Tokmanni for 2,99€
and I can tell you it feels heavenly. I remember Kaikkitietäjä at least was wondering if it’d actually work and it does. 100/5 I’d recommend. My tip is a bit long but I don’t mind it feels gooood~ Took me less than 10 minutes to make. It feels a bit smoother and bouncier than the original nib but I like that as well, it’d be only a problem if you want your nib to be on the stiffer side. But yeah, I have now 15 meters of pen nibs… :D
the lecturer hands us these art blogs every now and then, and they’re really useful. Tangents are pretty easy to fall for, too! which sucks ‘cuz then it’d look weird and you’d have to re-do some stuffs or worse, re-do the composition of the whole image.
the rest & explanations in Chris Schweizer’s blog : http://curiousoldlibrary.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/schweizer-guide-to-spotting-tangents.html
John K’s blog is really good too (the guy who did Ren and Stimpy) : http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com.au/2006/06/animation-school-7-when-generic-is.html
Yes! A friend taught me about these, and once you know them they are easy to spot and improves art by miles!
So I was chatting with the lovely Justin Oaksford yesterday, and he casually asked if I used photo reference for my recent Rolemodels piece- not as a bad thing, but because the pose and the camera angle read well. Pretty sure I grinned like an idiot when he brought it up because, goddammit, I’m proud that the work shows! I’ve felt like my work has been somewhat stilted as of late- I could feel myself subconsciously trending towards easier angles, easier poses, easier expressions just because it’s slightly less frustrating for my brain to process- so getting that confirmation from a colleague was pretty damn satisfying.
I think there’s a tendency for artists to take pride in being able to draw out of your head, and, while that’s an admittedly important skill, what’s actually important is what that skill implies- it implies that you’ve internalized reference. That you’ve spent so much time looking at the world around you, studying it, drawing from it, breaking it down, that you’ve amassed an extensive mental library that you can draw from. You are Google reborn in the shallow husk of a human being.
But heck, the world’s a big place- what are the chances that you ever get to a point that you’ve internalized all of it? Internalized it AND ALSO are never going to forget it ever? Probably no chance at all. Sorry buddy. So rather than bemoaning the fact that we don’t have impenetrable search engine cyborg brains- yet- you sure as hell better still be using reference to fill in/refresh those empty shelves in your mental library. You shouldn’t have worm-ridden books about dinosaur anatomy from the 60’s in there. Stegosauruses with brains in their tails? CLEAN THAT SHIT OUT.
So my general process for using reference of any sort is:
- loose thumbnails and brainstorming. If you have an idea, get that raw thing- unadulterated in it’s potential shittiness- onto paper. Good art is a combination of both instinct and discipline, so you don’t want to entirely discount those lightning strikes of brilliance. Or idiocy. Happens to all of us.
- research and reference. Start gathering and internalizing whatever reference is pertinent to your piece- could be diagrams, art, photos, good old-fashioned READIN’, whathaveyou. Please note that this doesn’t mean find one picture of a giraffe- this means find tons of photos of giraffes, read about giraffes, understand giraffes, and learn how to incorporate that knowledge into your art with purpose and intent (Justin uses the word “intent” a lot so I’m stealing it). Don’t blindly copy what you see, but understand how to integrate it in an interesting and informed manner.
- studies and practice. Could be lumped in with the previous step, granted, but it’s worth reiterating- if you’re drawing something new, it’s worth doing some studies. You discover things that you wouldn’t otherwise by just staring at them. It’s weird how I’m still learning this- “Gee golly, six-shooters are way easier to draw now that I’ve drawn a ton of them!” Yes wow Claire BRILLIANT. Gold star.
- go for the gold. Finally, I’m sure it goes without saying, you integrate all of that research and knowledge into your initial thumbnails. If you learned something about anatomy, or fashion, or color, or butts, now you can drastically improve your original idea with this newfound knowledge. Also, per the images above, this is also your chance to improve on the reference- photos are a fantastic tool, but trust your instincts. Cameras can’t make informed decisions.
…So that’s my soapbox- it’s pretty easy, and it’s totally worth it. Research and reference lets you stand on the shoulders of giants- it lends legitimacy, specificity, and allure to your work that wouldn’t be there if you were just drawing out of your head 100% of the time. To put it simply- it makes your work ownable. It makes you stand out.
It makes you a better artist. :)
Types of Indian Clothing - Women
So being tired of people constantly label every type of Indian dress as a “sari”, I figured I would make an informative post so that you all can educate yourselves. There are numerous variants of these, so I’m just presenting the basics.
(1) SariBasically a strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from four to nine meters in length, that is draped over the body in various styles. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat, and they’re known for their pleated fronts on the skirt portion. If your sari doesn’t have lovely pleats, you’re wearing it wrong. The blouses for sari’s can either cover or show the midriff. Dancing in a saree takes a lot of skill. This is a traditional dress so don’t be fooled into thinking they’re fancy wear—there are plenty of casual saris.
(2) Ghagra/Lehenga Choli
Traditionally worn in Rajasthan and Gujarat, as well as Punjab in folk dances and for weddings. It is a combination of lehenga, a tight choli and an odhani. A lehenga is a form of long skirt which is pleated. It is usually embroidered or has a thick border at the bottom. A choli is a blouse shell garment, which is cut to fit to the body and has short sleeves and a low neck. Blouses and either cover or show the midriff area. This is a very wonderful dress to wear for dancing. It’s Southern counterpart is the Langa Voni.
(3) Salwaar Kameez
Traditionally worn in Punjab, Haryana, and Himachel Pradesh, though now has become the most popular dress to wear. It’s referred to as a “suit” by many, and is similar to the suthar in Sindh and Kashmir. It consists of loose trousers (the salwar) narrow at the ankles, topped by a tunic top (the kameez). It is always worn with a dupatta which can be used to cover the head, otherwise draped over the shoulders. Most young women wear this in lieu of Western clothing on a casual basis.
(4) Churidaar Kurta
A variation of the salwaar kameez. A churidaar fits below the knees with horizontal gathers near the ankles. It’s usually work with a long kurta or a kameez. This is considered more “fashionable” than the salwaar kameez, and can be casual or dressed up. They look amazing, but sometimes the tightness around the legs can be constraining—like skinny jeans.
(5) Pattu Pavadai/Reshme Langa
A traditional dress in south India and Rajasthan. It’s usually worn by small girls and teenagers.The pavada is a cone-shaped garment, usually of silk, that hangs down from the waist to the toes.
(6) Langa Voni
A type of South Indian dress mainly worn in Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Kamataka. It has two components—the langa is the cone shaped long flowing skirt that covers the body from the waist, reaching the feet. In some cases, it might be as long as knees or just lower than the knees too. The second part is the blouse, or a jacket, that covers the upper part of the woman’s body. It’s Northern counterpart is the Ghanga Choli.
The traditional wear of women in Kerala. It’s actually the oldest remnant of an ancient form of the sari, which only covered the lower half of the body. The most basic traditional piece is the mundu or lower garment while the neriyathu forms the upper garment of the mundu.It is the cultural costume of women in the Malayali community (often referred to as the kerala saree).
(8) Mekhela Sador
Traditional dress of Assamese women.There are three main pieces of cloth that are draped around the body. It has three components—the mekhela which is the bottom portion and is in the form of a sarong folded into pleats to fit around the waist. The top portion is called a sador, which is a long length of cloth that has one portion tucked into the mekhela and the rest draped over the body. The third piece is the riha, which is worn under the sador.
Again, there are various styles and types to each of their dresses which vary region from region. Some styles are casual, while others are for more formal occasions or used as bridal gowns. Hope this was of some help![Explanations are a mix of things from Wikipedia (to make my life easier) and my own comments]