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One, Two, Middlesboogie 06-24-2002 09:07 AM

Share your artwork tips.
Among true artists, there are no secrets. Pooling our knowledge can only make us better, so share the secrets of your success; whether you've got some good writing or drawing tips.

General drawing tips:

Don't be afraid to use an existing picture as a model or a base. But never blatantly rip off someone else's pic.

Black and white can be more effective than colour.

Draw a basic outline and decide where all the body parts and props are going to go before adding detail.

Think about lighting, and where all the shadows will be (bit hypocritical of me; as I'm often too chicken to add shading). If you're good at sculpting, you could make a basic clay model, and position it in various light sources to see where the light hits it and where the shadows go.

Make sure you've got something to lean on and are comfy. I do my best drawings sat on my bed with the warm sunshine pouring softly through my window and a friendly cat nearby.

Consider proportion. A burrowing animal, for example, will not have long, lanky legs. Look at animal drawing carefully to see if it can support its weight, where its centre of gravity is and so forth. Try to imagine it moving.

Pencil drawing tips:

Keep more than one pencil, and keep at least one sharp and at least one blunt. Use the sharp one for fine detail and narrow lines, and use the blunt one for shading; you'll automatically press less hard and you'll get a softer texture.

Erasers: have two. Keep one in an old film canister (or its own plastic holder if you have one of those funky ones), to keep it clean and fresh. Use it when you want to totally obliterate something. Keep another one in a case full of pencils that you use a lot, and in a few weeks it'll become nice and grubby with pencil graphite. Use it when you want to smooth out scribbly lines or blocks of shading. It'll smooth out the graphite on the paper without erasing it.

For highlights, or to show that something is wet, try shading the whole area, and then rubbing out where the highlights will go with your clean rubber.

For fur, once I've drawn the outline, I go over it, but with a slightly jagged/wavy line, then put in individual fur strands along the outline with short, sweeping pencil strokes.

Get a quality sharpener. Some people even sharpen their pencils with craft knives.

Invest in pencils of different hardness grades.

Oil pastel tips: (I love my oil pastels, I do. They can be expensive but they're worth it.)

You can always add more wax, but you can't take it off! Layers, not bulk. Suprisingly, the same goes for GIMP - whack some colour down with a paintbrush, then use the smudge (which blends colours in an oil-pastlly effect) and blur (which makes outlines hazy) tools to mix it in. You can always add more colour, but it'll take a lot of smudging to work in too much excess.

Use a different finger for smudging each colour.

For large areas of uniform colour or to create a base on which you will alter small areas of colour, colour the area in with coloured pencils first. Do it lightly, though (and add layers, not one huge thick one to start with); oily wax won't take on thick layers of syntheticcy graphite. You can use watercolours as bases, but I don't very often as I can't be bothered to set everything up, wait for the paint to dry and then tidy up afterwards.

Wash your hands when you've finished. :)

General artwork tips:

Keep practicing. Compare my pictures of half a year ago with ones now (well, actually you can't; I deleted from the internet all my old pictures I no longer like), and even though there's only a few months' difference, there's a huge improvement. I love drawing, and I didn't stop.

Everyone has their own style. Keep trying until you find yours (it's ok to borrow bits of other peoples' until you get there).

Draw/write what YOU want. It is better to write/draw for yourself and have no public, than to write/draw for the public and have no self. I have plenty of pictures and pieces of writing that I made purely for my own enjoyment.

Do it again until you're happy with it. If you call it 'finished' even though you don't like it, that's wrong. If you really can't be bothered to work on it any more, discard it or come back to it another day.

Don't compare yourself to others. You'll only make yourself sad if you find someone's work that you think is 'better' than yours. This is not a competition. This is ART. There is no right or wrong way.

Experiment! Pioneer daring new techniques. Try a medium you've never tried before.

Sl'askia 06-25-2002 01:17 AM

Right...here are some tips for computer coloring and inking.

For those that have Photoshop or GIMP, use the Pen tool to trace the path of the outline of the pic. Then use the 'stroke' command (may be called something different in GIMP) and you'll have a nice outline. Make sure you use that command on a layer separate from the original pic you are tracing off of.
Also...make sure the foreground color you selected is the color you want the outline as...and make sure you have the right brush size for tool you are basing the stroke command off of. (if you base the stroke on the pencil tool...and that tool is set at a 17 round brush...you'll get a line that is 17 pix thick...a wee bit too big for outlining purposes...a 1 or 3 pix wide is usually big enough.)

For those that don't have those two programs I mentioned (and those are the only two I know of...) MS Paint does a decent job of inking...just use a color that isn't anywhere else in the pic (I usually use red or blue). Then erase the pic you traced off of.
Powerpoint I noticed does a good job as well...but don't try to use different line sizes when inking in powerpoint...as when you transfer to a poper coloring program the lines convert to all the same size *grumble*

Computer Coloring
Alright...assuming you inked using PS or GIMP. When you start coloring...put the colored layers under the layer with the outline. Have the basic colors on one layer...the shadows on another above it...and the highlights on yet another layer. This way if you end up not liking how you did some highlight/shadow you can erase it of the layer it is on without messing up the rest of it. I also tend to work on one part at a time; like work on the shadows first...merge with the basic layer...then make new layers above to work on the highlights. I also tend to do my shadows/highlights on four different layers: dull highlight, bright highlight, dull shadow, dark shadow. Also be sure to use the blend/blur tool to make things blend in nicely.
Also be sure to use your selection tools so you can work in a certian area without 'going over the lines'.

General Coloring
I usually start with the base colors (what the pic would look like if there were no lightsource), then use lighter/darker shades of those colors to do the highlights/shadows. Point to note...I only rarely use pure white and I avoid using pure black for highlights/shadowing. Pure white I only use for hightlight purposes if I need to make somethign stand out more...black I found to be too strong a color to use for shading. Obviously...when a character of mine is all black or white...I have to use those colors...
I have heard something about using the base colors exact opposite on the specrum to use as shading....I'll have to look into that...

Sl'askia 06-25-2002 09:46 AM

Forgot one thing....SAVE OFTEN! You never know when Photoshop (or GIMP) will decide to crash on you and you lose all your hard work.

Black Dragon 06-25-2002 01:22 PM

I don't have many tips... but what the hey...

Computer Art
-When computer inking and/or coloring, it is IMMENSELY important that you scan BIG!! If you don't, your lines will have that jagged look to them and you may not have the cleanest fills. The best way to ensure that you scan large is to set your scanner's 'Color mode' to 'Color (Photos)'. Also, when outlining, this allows you to use a bigger pencil point, which helps get rid of extra jagged-ness.

-Use layers! Layers are an artist's best friend. When you scan your image (big, remember, big), automatically add a new layer on top and start outlining on that new layer. That way, it becomes a hell of a lot easier to fill (You won't get any of those stupid little unfilled pixels)!

-Format! Format is another important thing to consider. Save your initial image as a bitmap, as that way your coloring won't get all gross. Never save as JPEG, it's a horrible format for detailed pics as it blurrs everything. The best two to use are .PNG and .GIF.

-Shading... ah yes. This is the hardest part of any kind of art that you do. Shading is very important. It adds life and shape to your art, believe me. What you want to do is either use opposite tones, (Ex. tan-purple) or just a darker or lighter shade of the color you are enhancing. Study your objects before you shade if you must!

Pencil Sketching
-Shading... again. Yes, shading is even more important if you wish to do a black-and-white picture. As this is the area I'm most comfortable with, I think I can go a bit into detail. Shading here doesn't mean showing differences in color. It means showing where the light hits you subject. Do be afraid to be drastic! The more difference there is bewteen a shadowed part and a highlighted part the better your image will look!

-Sketch the outline. Sometimes it is better to just use rough lines to map out where your subject will be before you actually draw them. Most of the time, I do not use this step, but if I do, I usually draw their skeleton, simplified: Their skull, backbone, tail, and limbs. Sometimes it can help a great deal.

-Proportion. This is a killer to a lot of artists (including myself. If I reject a piece of mine, it's due to this). Step back, hold your picture from a distance. Make sure a certain part of the body isn't too lage or small. If drawing a creature of your own creation or if you're having trouble, think about the creature itself. If the creature is wild or is on its feet a lot, it's limb muscles are going to be well-developed, as this is how it is in a lot of real animals: wild cats, dogs, horses. Using bigger looks more realistic than using thinner. Say your character is anthro. Alright, then, will they be active or not? Take that into consideration for your proportion. Will they be smart? Then make the skull larger. So many things are taken into consideration for proportion.

-Sketch lightly!! This will help you erase things with ease and it will make the picture look neater. If you are planning on just doing pencil-shading, then go back and darken the lines when you're finished.

Colored Pencil Use
-Texture. Very important. This depends on the artist and what they are looking for/what they are most comfortable with. I personally can't stand to use drawing paper, as it smears and bleh! I use printer paper. It gives my subjects a very 3-dimensional look. However, for those that are used to drawing paper, a switch probably wouldn't be beneficial.

-Contrast. Don't be afraid to have dramatic contrasts.

Alector 06-25-2002 04:31 PM

I'm not going to share my artwork tips for two nongeneric reasons:

- Artists don't need to give tips among themselves

- Stuff like 'inking' and 'coloring by a computer program' aren't necessary (-I think beginners would like to read things like "how to draw bodies" or want to see examples-).

That's the truth, I'm also not going to post a ton of tips, when anyone isn't reading it anyway...

Oddsville 06-25-2002 04:36 PM

My only tip is create your own style of doing things, its ok if you borrow from other people because eventually you will mold it into your own style. Me, I took alot of styles from people here and people at OWI and now I have a mix of each. Im gonna start posting my picutres so I can see what people think of them so get ready...:fuzsmile: :fuzwink:

Alector 06-25-2002 05:06 PM

I really can't wait to see your drawings here. By and by, I think that the FC isn't popular anymore. And this one is going to flood.


Two Art corners... that's really not bad to live out my creativity :fuzgrin:

One, Two, Middlesboogie 06-25-2002 07:35 PM

Au contraire, Alector, I think it is a good thing if artists give tips to each other.

Here are a couple of tutorials I found on the web.

How To Draw Manga - I'm almost certain this has already been posted on this board, but I did a search for it and couldn't find it. Oh well, can't hurt to post it again.

Merekat's Tutorials - Kristen Perry, aka Merekat, is a serious computer artist; she has designed and drawn several commercial posters. Se's got some ace tutorials for people with the hardcore colouring software (like Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator).

That's a good idea, Alector, about 'how to draw bodies, etc' for beginners. I might have a go at making something along those lines.

Sydney 06-26-2002 12:23 PM

What a fabulous idea!

The most important advice I could give (from experience), is to refrain from treating your drawings preciously. Treat every new drawing as an experiment. You'll find that you gain confidence quickly and can throw lines and tone across the page like magic.

Naxos 06-29-2002 05:35 AM

My advice is practice, the more you practice drawing the better you get.

If your sketching or just drawing with pencils always use hard pencils for thin lines and detailed things and use soft pencils for shading.

When going over a pencil drawing in pen wait about 30 seconds for the ink to dry before erasing unwanted pencil lines.

Dequibenzo 06-29-2002 08:20 AM

Well, I'm not all that experienced, but here's what I've learned thus far that could be of some help. When I started drawing as a real hobby, buying the right supplies was definately the most intimidating part, so I worked with basically crap- normal #2 pencils and printer paper, like we all do in the very beginning. Here are some tips on how to improve that situation.

Deq's drawing supplies tips-

1- The art supply and office supply stores are your friends. Don't think that, just because a certain thing comes from a fancy art-oriented store, that it'll necissarily be expensive or hard to find. Actually, most of the stuff you'll want is pretty affordable- only a tiny percent of professional artists are even financially stable, let alone rich, so the basic stuff can't be too high priced. Ask for help if you need it- even if a clerk doesn't know about it, they can usually pull out a pamphlet or something that is of some assistance. A lot of art supply companies have very detailed catalogues that explain a lot about their products, and they'll usually send them to you for free if you write. However, some things, like straight edges and lighting sources, aren't that complicated, and you can pick them up anywhere- an expensive Tsquare from a catalogue is rarely any better than a medium priced one from Office Depot. Shop around, don't be afraid to ask questions, and research what you need, and you should do fine.

2- Things like the grain of paper and the hardness/softness of pencil lead is important, they don't just put it on the packaging to be pretty. But remember, there's nothing to stress about. Most of it is self-explanatory, or you can find a catalogue guide or book to explain it in detail. Most importantly, you can still get a good selection on a limited budget, at a local store. For serious drawings, you want to have a range of leads and a heavy, smooth paper, but these are not hard things to find. You can get all sorts of lead for a mechanical pencil, my tool of choice, at the office supply place, and the selection of paper there is pretty good too. Buy some good .7, .5, and, if you're really into it, .1 lead pencils, then buy refills- really good pencils will be a little more expensive, but over time you'll save money, because the refills are usually no more than three dollars each (and they last a while), and the well built pencils will take a lot of abuse without busting. You can even get colored leads and what are called "effects" leads, ones that are glittery or spiraled or change color throughout the piece.
A lot of "serious" artists bash mechanical pencils for creating too uniform a line, but it's a good way to learn, and some professionals stick with them for good, especially for preliminary designs. Best part- no sharpening!
As for paper, it's a little more complicated. There are a lot of different grains and finishes and such, and the only real way to see what you like is to try them out, just like with erasers and paint colors. What I like to do is split a pack of something new with one or more friends, so none of us spend too much money and we all get a couple of sheets to experiment on. Believe me, you'll probably find something totally different that you're comfortable with, but I personally like using Wausu Exact brand Bristol for sketches and small drawings, which is most of my stuff. It's pretty stiff- medium card stock, with a thick grain but not too rough (semi smooth is the technical definition)- a good step up when you've learned on normal printing paper. The best part- you can get 250 sheets of it at 8.5 x 11 inches for about 8 dollars (it's also sold at larger sizes in pads- see next tip)

3- The biggest misconception I found when starting to draw with professional supplies is that, when you look at a really good artist's work, you're looking at the actual size of it. This is DEFINATELY not true. Most of the serious fantasy art you see in books, on standard 8.5x11 paper, is actually done 2, 3, even 4 or 5 times larger, then shrunk in printing. Even in comic books, which are usually not that finely detailed, the originals are almost always on 15x11 inch 2 ply bristol board. And for painted work it gets insane- some popular artists like Brom and Greg and Tim Hildebrant will do their originals on 4 or 5 foot canvases, which is nuts when you see it reprinted in a 1.5x2 inch format in fantasy card games. No wonder they look great!
My reccomendation- If you have an idea for a project that isn't just going to be a sketch or a little thing, but a real effort that you wouldn't mind framing (if it works), do it big. I myself like 11x14 inches, but, again, I like working kind of small, relatively. You can get pads of stuff as big as 2.5 feet, though it'll cost you about 20 dollars for 25 sheets, which can get kind of expensive. Luckily, it's usually thick and high-quality stuff at that price. You can also get thin sketching crap at those sizes, but that's up to you. I personally don't see the point, but that's just one guy's opinion.
More reasons I like 11x14- it's freeingly large when you're used to standard 8.5x11, but not cumbersome. You can get it in nice stiff bristol, and a pad of 40 sheets of it will only run you about 15 bucks. And, in case you're so inclined, it's a standard frame size (this may not seem important, but believe me, IT IS if you ever want to frame it. I've been looking everywhere for a frame for my autographed Munch's Oddysee poster, but 2ft by 1ft is not a standard size, so a custom one is probably going to end up costing me 50 bucks instead of 12. Yeah, standard sizes are nice)

(super hidden bonus word to make sure somebody actually read through all this!- Zepplin. Mention this word in this thread to win something all cooly-cool... and stuff)

4- Here's a tip that's sure to piss some people off- if you don't like inking your pencil work... don't! If you don't want to, then don't bother with pens, or computer program tracing, or any of that stuff- just go over the finished product with a heavy pencil lead to fortify the lines. I have ruined a number of good drawings by inking them, and wasted a good many hours tracing them in photoshop just to have them come out crappy and I revert them to the scan. If you have a good scanner, turn the resolution up really high, scan the darkened pencil, and spend a little while cleaning up the smudges and stuff, brightening the backgrounds, etc, but don't worry about darkening stuff anymore. You actually lose a certain charm to the graphite when you ink over it and erase it- it doesn't look as natural, but again, that's just my opinion.
If preserving your originals is the concern, say, you don't want the pencil to smudge in your portfolio, inking is still not the only option. Go back to our good friend the office supply place again, and pick up a box of sheet protectors- see-through plastic sleeves that fit a standard piece of paper, but they sell them in all the other sizes we talked about too. A box of 200 8.5x11 protectors- 13 dollars. That's 400 drawings (you can put another in the back!), for just 13 bucks, all protected, and, for the additional price of a three ring binder, all kept neatly in an impressive looking portfolio. You can even carry it around with you a little, if you take some clear tape and close the tops of the sleeves, and it should be okay. Just don't go nuts and start stomping through the river- they aren't magic, just cool.
If you have a wild squirrel up your butt and you really REALLY want to ink stuff, I personally reccomend Zig and Rapidograph drafters pens, as these are the brands I've failed the least embarresingly with. The Zig are probably best for beginners- Rapidograph require refilling cartridges and being much more careful with the nubs, and they're more expensive, but they can be worth it if you practice. As for inks and brushes- yes, it looks wonderful when done well, and yes there's a whole world of techniques that open up to you when you get good, but they're a bitch to clean and maintain, it's easy to screw up in the beginning, and the stuff is expensive as all heck. I'm struggling at the beginning of learning more, so I'll try to explain more at a later time. For now, stick to the pens, if you really want even that.

(Remember, Zepplin is the magic word. Super cooly cool coooool prize!)

5- I know everybody says this, but it's important- don't be afraid to screw up, everybody does it a lot more than you'd guess. I've used up entire pads with attempts that turned out sucky. Don't look at it as wasting the stuff- look at it as a development process. That way you won't get too pissed about essentially having just crumpled up and thrown away 14 of your hard earned dollars. It's all a part of the learning process.

6- I'm tired, so I'll make this the last one for tonight. It's the most important thing I've learned thus far about art- always remember to take all advice from other artists with a grain of salt. In other words, listen to them, but don't follow anything religiously. Drawing is just like playing music or writing books- there are fundamentals to learn, and learning them from people who know something already is certainly useful, but no two artists are the same, so what you are comfortable with is going to be different from them. If you really like the way your work looks very small on thin paper and heavily inked, then run with it, bucko, and to hell with how I do it!! What we say to you are merely suggestions, NOT RULES. There are no rules, that's the beauty- and the difficulty- behind it.

Phew, that was long. Did it help? Somebody, validate my existance, please!

One, Two, Middlesboogie 06-30-2002 10:00 AM

ZEPPELIN! WhaddoIwin?

Thank you very much, Deq; that was some very sound advice.

One problem with doing things big is that my scanner only takes A4 paper. Still, I'm not a serious artist; so it won't be a problem.

I must get some proper art supplies too... I'd like some more brown oil pastels. I only have 3 shades of it and they're all starting to wear out. I haven't even touched my purple and hot pink ones!

I know what you mean about inking ruining a picture sometimes. I've lost a few pics by over-zealously finishing them.

As Deq and Alector said; computer finishing is totally optional; so don't freak if you can't do it. I like doing it because I've only just started doing it properly, and it's still all interesting and new. I'm not going to let my hand-drawing skills atrophy.

And another tip; a lot of my paper is re-used. I always draw lightly until I'm happy enough to solidify the lines a bit more. That way, if I totally don't like a picture, I can rub it out and re-use the paper for something else. My 'Dune Cat' drawing was done on paper that had had four different rejected drawings on it! Re-use and recycle; don't scrumple up and throw away.

I actually keep a few of my failed drawings, and some of my really old ones when I wasn't so good, so when I feel frustrated about not getting something right, I can drag them out to remind myself that I used to be worse.

And does anyone have any tips on drawing realistic human faces? Bodies I can do, and I'm okay at drawing cartoony faces. But I just can't do realism; they always end up vampirical. And when I try to put in shadows they always end up looking either emaciated or as though they just have a grubby face.

Dequibenzo 06-30-2002 10:30 PM

Congratulations- Your prize is that I'll answer your question-
This is a total cop-out answer, but the best way to get good at human faces and heads is just with LOTS of practice with LOTS of different examples. Start by copying photographs, line for line, not changing the angles or the shading, just copying them until you're comfortable with the outcome. Start paying attention to the things that are constant- eyes are always around here, chins are like that usually, ears are always above this which is always above this- stuff like that. There are rules to it, and the only real way to learn them is to see them for yourself.
Of course, there are some fantastic books on the subject that will explain the really detailed rules, like mathematical relations of the features to eachother and what the different parts are called. My personal reccomendations, if you can find them (which shouldn't be all that hard if there's a good book store you can get to or you look online)-

Drawing Dynamic Comics
By Andy Smith
Watson-Guptil publications, 2002

Drawing the Human Head
By Burne Hogarth
Watson-Guptil publications, 1965

Actually those "drawing superheroes" books are a great resource, even if you're more than a beginner- there's a good amount of musculature study in them, and this one in particular has an entire chapter devoted to the basic proportions of the human face, which is what you really need to build on.
As for the Hogarth book, he is just absolutely fantastic, and, should you get the chance, I reccomend reading ALL of his works in the Dynamic Anatomy series. They're generally considered the quintessential drawing anatomy books, but they'll cost you an arm and a leg, so check the library first.
And remember- hold in there. People are, without a doubt, the most challenging subject in all of art, so don't worry if you have a hard time now... and for years and years and YEARS to come. I don't want to discourage you, but, just so you know, it is QUITE a long and difficult road to drawing human heads realistically and to your satisfaction. Rembrant was still learning about the face when he died, and he's generally considered one of, if not the, greatest portrait artists of all time. It is NOT an easy subject to grasp in a realistic style.
But don't just give up and do them Anime style (nothing against anime artists, but way too often potential art students just turn to copying this one style because it's easier than learning how to do it the hard way, not because it's what they really wanted to do)

Teal 07-05-2002 12:04 PM


Originally posted by Sydney
The most important advice I could give (from experience), is to refrain from treating your drawings preciously. Treat every new drawing as an experiment. You'll find that you gain confidence quickly and can throw lines and tone across the page like magic.
Heh, exactly what I do, except with my "best" ones. I look at some of my ones from this time last year and cringe... Most of the time, I post a picture and say "although this, this and this bit on this one is crap, but I might be better next time..."

I don't really have any tips, other than practice, practice, practice. I like to use really soft pencils to draw the structuring, and then go on to harder pencils for the definition, although I don't go any higher than about 2H unless I want it permanent (5H is hell to erase, and it scratches the paper). Shading I tend to do in 4H or 6H (I usually only use even numbers, for some reason). With colouring, I usually colour the whole image very lightly in "base" colours, ones that'll work under the colours I use for details. For instance, I drew a dull green creature a while back, and used a base colour of jade green, which evened out my other colours and prevented them being too bright. Also, if you use a base colour, you get a feel for how hard to press for your shading and so on. For shading (which I'm only really just starting to get confident with right now) I tend to use about 50% french grey, or indigo. Cool greys tend to look a bit fake, as sunlight is usually a warm light, not cold like cool grey would imply. I use really cheap 90gsm paper to draw on, and hate computers, they're evil. Especially scanners. And Paint programs. I might like them better if I had a decent colouring program, but I'm far more confident with just plain old colour pencils, as I'm not too smooth at drawing with a mouse... Graphics tablet, now, that could be a lot different... ;)

Erk, out of time again. See you again soon, folks.

sligster 08-13-2002 07:59 PM

One thing: Shadows. Often, shadows make a drawing look better, but too much shadowing can ruin a drawing. for the best shadowing results, pretend that there is an imaginary sun somewhere in your drawing, then draw where you think the shadows would be at that angle.

M.O.M 11-14-2002 05:33 PM

could someone give me tips on how to draw swords

Mac the Janitor 11-14-2002 11:47 PM

Well, I don't have any drawing tips, but I do have tips on creating your own characters...

1) Turn on some music, put on the headphones and close yer eyes. This usually makes me get quite cool character ideas.

2) Make oversized features (basically hands, eyes, feet) if you're going for a friendly look. Trust me, this helps a bunch.

3) Make a basic color scheme for all characters in a series and stick with it. This will create a certain style and look for yer guys.

4) If you're doing a cartoony look, keep it simple. If you add too many details and lines the character will look cluttered and messy.

5) If you want a cute/friendly character that you want to popular with children, use circles or ovals for most features (head, eyes, ears, etc...). I don't exactly know why, but this really helps. Walt Disney used this strategy when creating Mickey Mouse (just look at a pic of MM and you'll see what I mean). Also, if you want a cold, mean, scary character, use sharp edges and straight lines. Disney does this with most villans (just look at Jafar from Aladdin).

Erm...that's all I have, hope it helped...

M.O.M 11-15-2002 06:00 AM

good tips

paramiteabe 11-17-2002 08:00 PM

Ah art tips well since I am an artist myself I shall give you good tips to make your drawings or paintings look realistic.

Drawing things in prespective. Remember the horizon line is basically your eye level. So if say you look up at something the horizon line will be off your paper. Same if your looking down. Remember when you are drawing in linear perspective every single line goes to the vanishing point on the horizon line. You can have an entire city and every line will go to the vanishing point or points because in this case your dealing with 2 point perspective.

Be creative destroy your canvas and you will find cool interesting designs you could use in paintings. in other words expierment a lot with what you have.

Be abel to take constructive critisisem because if you cant then you won't succeed in art.

Have a general knowledge on the different techneques because at first they seem boreing but when drawing or painting things to look real then your going to need them. Take as many art classes as you can the more the better you get at art.

And lastly just have fun doing your work because whats rewarding is when you finish your painting or drawing and you look at it and you will say "wow I really did that." you will feel like you created your own world on paper. which is cool.

To be really good you have to be abel to see the uncommon in the common. To be abel to look at something and just imagine it as something else which in my case its fantasy or fiction. I do a lot of oil paintings dealing with fiction or fantasy. That is also one of the reasons why I like Oddworld aswell.

Oh and I forgot the best of paper to use when your drawing in charcal or what ever, use Bristal pad. The meteral I find works pretty good.

Canned Gabbiar 01-05-2003 02:48 AM

Canned Gabbiar's tips
Well, I'm an artist and I've spent a lot of time in Art classes and reading watercolour books. So I know a thing or two. But, I'm not the best at explaining, so bear with me.

First, I'll just make a small comment. "Without rules and order, man cannot have freedom." Forgot who said it. But anyway, the same applies for art. There are rules to follow, but once you know those rules, you can break them. hmm.. contradicted myself. But you know what I mean... I hope.

There are steps to developing a sketch/pencil drawing. I have had two proper art teachers. But they have opposing viewpoints. First, remember to think about your idea carefully. A good way to get the positions of the objects is to draw ovals or other shapes to represent the position. These can be erased or drawn over later. Study the positions. Remember the vanishing point (someone would've said something about it). The further an object gets, the smaller it looks. That applies to everything (unless it's abstract...).

A few techniques with the lead pencil. There are different ways to shade objects. One way is called layering. Start light and build up the layers to create the different tones. Cross-hatching is where you cross lines to create tones. You can use dots to create tones too. Make the dots more densly grouped when you want to create darker tones. Another way is just to continue to draw lines. Move from darkest to lightest and varying the pressure of your strokes. Just remember, work from the darkest area to the lightest.

Ok, well, my sister is bugging me right now. So I'll start talking about water-colour in the next post. Have fun producing artwork.
Until next time!

cooldude 01-29-2003 06:34 PM

dont try to get it perfect the first time just take it slowly and on your first drawing whatever you dont like take off and maybe add some stuff

nads 07-28-2003 12:37 AM

My rules(actually one rule)

-Draw goodly

Sekto Springs 08-10-2003 03:02 PM

Art setup:
you need to be close to a window, in-home lights acan distort colour unless they are "Daylight" brand lights. You need atleast 3 sharp pencils at your disposal for the sketch, aswell as papertowels, pallets, and glasses of water, it is good to wrap a towel around the glasses so when cleaning your brushes no water droplets get on your artwork.

sketch a quick sketch of the picture, it's best to do this because you can erase unwanted lines without hassle.

get your watercolours and paint, keep inside the lines and remember that all must be dry before inking, dont be too dilligent about spacing between colours because it usually shows up in the finished stage, occasionally use coloured pencils for some smaller areas just to set the tone.

best if your use i light pencil to shade in areas, the pencil automatically shades a colour by simpy colouring andd smearing dont smear to much though and make sure your watercolours are partly dry.

now add the lines, make sure the paint is dry or else the ink will bleed over the picture, it's best to use a thin sharpie, graphic #3, or a roller pen, the inky kind for the inking. For black areas, colour the bulk of them with a thick sharpie or black marker.

Finishing touches:
make sure your add additional shading, ink, and paint to spruce up your artwork, but remember not to over-do it, if your happy with it: dont add anymore and risk ruining your drawing.

LuLu_Fund 08-11-2003 12:35 AM

Err... my basic steps towards beginning and improving art...
* PRACTICE makes perfect. Probably didn't need mentioning now.

* BASIC PRINCIPLES of art is very useful to be aware of, even if you don't conform to it. Be aware that it's there at some point!

* ARTISTS/INFLUENCES are always very important if you're seriously developing your art at a further level. Make sure you are motivated and being inspired, artists via web, museums and books can often give you ideas as well as teach you about how they approached art. It doesn't need to be artists.. even say you were doing something about Oddworld, you can look up similar wildlife creatures, look at industrial -related subjects etc. to influence you when you're working. You'll be surprised how much someone's work and information could affect your thinking and creativity. It's a key thing to consider when you look for your own style.

* ESTABLISHING YOUR STYLE will make you stand out from other people and vice versa; You know you could be doing something right if people respond or recognise your work. Don't forget you can use influences without jeopardizing your own style, if anything they enhance it by inspiring you with new ideas.

* YOU DON'T NEED TO CONFORM: Whatever your art is for, you do what you want to do! (As long as it doesn't harm people unfairly, of course!)


A general idea after you develop your art is to think about your paper space you're working with... and how you're going to compose everything that will go onto the paper.

* NO NEED TO OVERDO! Despite what some art teachers say, if you overdo a piece and you feel like it might be too much... DON'T ruin it! You do as much as you're comfortable to do for the picture to be at its best. If you do like working over things, start lightly, end boldly!

*TEXTURES: You create a lot of character in your pics depending on how you apply your media to your paper.... harsh sharp marks are aggressive or bold, light marks are careful and conservative. Think about it with your art!

* BEGIN observational drawings without a clue! Don't read up on anything first, just try it out yourself and start practicing a little; just do several observationals... still life, body etc.

*AFTER START READING about colour, proportion, tones etc. and question what you have drawn before. You can now look back on what you've drawn, you've now practised and understand how you observe, and now you have a starting point as to how to go about your art. When you take into consideration things like proportion and tones, you begin to know where you can start working on it and begins your building blocks.

* KEY RULE, make sure when you do observational drawings that you always look at the subject you are drawing, and NOT what you're drawing on paper... can be very distracting.

*MEASURING WITH PENCIL is usually a good sense of ruler when you measure up proportions, use its length to compare proportions of the body to each other, always keep looking and comparing differential length between for example, the chair and a stool.

* POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SPACE: don't just look at the objects, look at the space in between them when drawing, this usually helps when you draw accurately.

*LIGHT AND SHADOWS are useful when looking at positive and negative space, to compose this, use lamps or section out lights that reflect onto your subject... use interesting objects that can create interesting shapes within the shadows in the light.

*PROPORTIONAL DRAWINGS: life drawing is best; those wooden man-models are extremely useful for that kinda stuff as well as animation as you can really learn and experiment with movement and how body movement works.

* USE PENCIL, CHALK AND CHARCOAL as instruments, whether you are good or think you're crap on charcoal or pencil, you become more experienced.

* SMUDGING: It always looks so kewl because the shades all merge to create and impressive 3d perception. However, use it with care if you decide to use this.... I also think you should try drawing WITHOUT attempting to smudge using pure tonal work with the marks you make.

* WHEN YOU DO TONES AND SHADING, it might help exercising or giving yourself a tone guide. Draw 5 (2/4cm X2/4cm) squares next to each other. Shade square 1 black and 5th square remain white. try and attain a middle tone in the 3rd square so it's a perfect gray middle tone between black and white. Then compare sq 1 and sq 3 so you shade sq 2 in between the shades of those squares, and same with 4 in between sq3 and sq5. With this tone guide, you can do pics and refer to your tone guide looking at what tone the area you are observing is most similar to. You can do a similar guide with colours.

* Good tip/idea to have an improved effect on light and shade is to cover your page completely when you shade or tone everything. When beginning to draw, draw lightly, and work darker and darker when you work on your piece and finally working into the dark areas... rubber is also useful to correct or enhance light areas (as mentioned previously). Go as black as you can when you do the darkest tones, it intensifies overall tones in the pic.

* MARK-MAKINGS: you can produce whole pics with lines, or you can scribble... it all works if you practice!

* EXPERIMENT with other media i.e. paint and pastels etc. Find what you're comfortable with (maybe all of them).

*WHEN BEGINNING TO PAINT, try using just Red(Cadmium red if pos) Yellow (Process Yellow) and Blue(Cobalt or Ultramarine) paint in your pics... start mixing them as well to get your green or orange etc.;you learn to begin with these primary colours so by the end of it you know how to mix your colours. Then start using a wider palette. When you get the grasp of colour and soforth, you can do what you want...

* EXPERIMENT: I think it's always a fun exercise to experiment with brush marks and ways of applying paint to your 'canvas'. I don't think there should be a conformed way of using paint after you are aware of its basic principles.

*NOW YOU ARE EXPERIENCED with initially doing black and white drawings and looking at tone and proportion, you use colour and possibly painting (if you want) to develop your art, so after practicing colour, you can then handle tones and shades with it in your pics.

*ACCURATE/FINELINE GRAPHIC PAINTING: If you paint with precision, NEVER pollute your colours. Make sure they are mixed well and have a fair texture in terms of the paint thickness. It usually helps if you are using solid colours (rather than watercolour) that the texture is solid so if you do a mistake, you can paint over enough to conceal it. When doing fine lines, use a flat brush and take your time as you carefully drag it along lines with your wrist slightly off the 'canvas' (also meaning paper).

* INSPIRE AND CREATE: be influenced by other artists and subjects, and let your imagination or creativity run wild!

guitar kid 09-22-2003 08:14 AM

a true artist is never afraid of what to do next

TheRaisin 02-17-2004 02:23 PM

Does anyone have specific tips for manga?? I really want to be able to do manga style drawings, but I don't have a clue how to do them, and I'm a fairly crappy artist... as of yet. Must be able to give comprehensive step-by-step instructions, experience appreciated. If you are a MegaTokyo fan, I especially want your help. Repeat: MegaTokyo fans wanted especially. MT is perhaps my greatest source of inspiration, and Fred's artwork is what really got me interested in doing manga. If you've never heard of MegaTokyo... shame on you! Go to www.megatokyo.com and redeem yourself by reading the comic in its entirety! Thank you.

That sounded like a very jerk-y plug, didn't it? Sorry. What I meant to say was, MegaTokyo is a very excellent example of American manga doujinshi, and that if you have not heard of it or read it, I highly recommend doing so. It is very good. And L33T. Man, is it L33T. If you l0v3 L33T, lemme tell ya, this thing has a lot of L33T.

Sekto Springs 02-17-2004 03:44 PM

Depends on the type of Manga my friend. The original Manga was painted with a series of watercolour and oil washes laid on in thick, wet, Sbotes. Ink and pencil are then applied followed by a series of shading with a specific type of Uruki Ink. What I described earlier was similar but you have to be much more familiar with the techniques used with such paints, I'd start off with learning on how to draw anime first. :fuzwink:

TheRaisin 02-18-2004 04:56 PM

Okay, yeah. Anime. Can anyone teach me to do anime? Once again, artists who are avid readers of MT would be especially helpful.

Havoc 04-28-2004 03:44 AM

Hmm... tips tips... I cant realy give you guys tips on pencil drawing as I only use pencil form my basic sketch work. I never shade with my pencil and I never put much detail in with my pencil. I only make the outlines. Then I scan it and start to work on it in photoshop.

Tips for Photoshop.

Ok, so here we go. The first tip I can give here is to get to know the program with its tools. And get some good tutorials for digital inking in photoshop. A good resource for photoshop tutorials is Good Tutorials.com.

When working in photoshop one of the most important things for getting good results is time. Sometime's when you look at pictures with all that detail, you think: Wow! How does he do that! What techniqe does he use?!
Knock knock, most of the time they just use the airbrush or the paintbrush. Its just the fact that they put a freakin lot of time into it. Ever seen realistic fur? There is no special effect to make something like that, to make realistic hair, you draw every hair indivitiual and yes, that takes a lot of time. But thats worth it if you look at the result.

Shade & Highlight
As said before, shading and highlighting make the biggest diffrence in digital art. They creat depth. The best way to aplly those things is using the airbrush with a big brush and a low pressure.

Drawing Tablet
If you have one of those things, it will mean the biggest diffrence of it all. You can edit the picture on the computer just as you would do on a normal paper!


Ive been using Photoshop for about 2 and a half month now and Ive tried a few diffrent techniqes. Each one improving the quality of the picture. Now Im experimenting with shading and highlighting. Im using pure shade and pure highlight to create depth into the pic, I do'nt make the trditional outline's anymore.
Its pretty hard and time consuming to do, but its worth it. The picture im currently working on is great all together and im not even done yet. Il let you guys know where to find it when its done.

Olli 01-12-2005 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by Havoc
Drawing Tablet
If you have one of those things, it will mean the biggest diffrence of it all. You can edit the picture on the computer just as you would do on a normal paper!

They're not the same, working with a tablet means huge files and choosing tools, it's not like editing on paper.

And wow, these threads are intimidating, there's an awfully long list of tips for artists to consider.
So the appropriate action is to add some more:

1. Practice when you can (be bothered), if you're a casual artist, you're under no obligation to practice all the time.

2. If you don't enjoy inking, don't do it. I don't, it's great! If you're going to ink though, do it before colouring, otherwise you defy the point.

3. Experiment. If you don't, you're going nowhere. Try new media and new subjects. So, don't stick to pencil renders because it's all you can do.

4. If you mirror your image, structural flaws are more apparent. Use this to check if your'e going for accuracy.

5. Get your own way of doing things, and don't stop if someone says its wrong. In fact, poke them in the eyes. Repeatedly.

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