you are my inspiration! I aspire to be as good as you are! Do you have any tips on drawing heads and on what programs are the best for drawing? :/
OMG- first of all, thank you sO much for the lovely message. Second, I’m not a pro nor have I EVER been in an art school/life drawing class/ any art class in my life so.. just gonna tell from my amateur experience..
- Im no pro i think my head anatomy is still wonky, but it depends what style u want to go for, you can draw realistic, anime, stylized, slight-stylized but the base however remains the same for it- a circle.
not that circle goddamit random lion king references-
now what I have seen most people do (and naturally- i followed) was to make to lines to the side and get a base head- which is not correct way.
trust me when i look back at the sketchbooks from a year ago, thats what i notice (and sometimes i still do this, don’t chinshame me) , you wanna go with something else- a rectangle
also also also, sketch a skull sometimes and notice- well, everything . The different perspective, the movement, the different bones…
and last not least,
no, seriously, its not easy. I used to take those big ass calendars and fill their backs, entirely with faces. doesn’t matter how, who, what. just filled it up.
you will see hose generic lifeless faces looking back at you and you will feel useless (I’ve been there), but it speeds up the style evolution quite nicely.
for life drawing lessons I recommend this lovely website, you can draw whatever you want in life. this tutorial nicely covers it up too!
for the drawing programs
depends on what system you use, if u have windows, Painttool Sai is the only way to go (can u smell the bias?). Here’s a link to the free program because we all are broke here bruh (no virus^^) or you can download Ps too (no i haven’t got any links)
If you are Mac user, first of all- I share the pain of not being able to download pirated softwares. there is no Sai for mac sadly, there is Ps obv so try that?
I have heard big deal abt Krita too (haven’t tried it) and its free and good!?!
I use FireAlpaca/MedibangPro (same software, same developers, same features, just different colors) and its.. good? no variety for brushes tho so get a Ps if u can because there are so many good brush kits out there in Psd files:’(
You sure have seenthis post. It has spread like wildfire over the past few days so I doubt there is any artist out there who hasn’t seen it. But even if you didn’t, you should read on because I’m about to tell you a handy little thing that can help you to protect your art from such assholes as the anon who submitted this bullcrap, as well as art thieves in general.
The magic word is Metadata.
Metadata is like an invisible signature that is embeded into a file. It can contain all kinds of information, like Title, date, keywords for online seach engines, and copyright information. And the best thing is, since this information is “hidden” in the code of your picture, it’s hard to remove it.
There is a nice basic tutorial on how to add Metadata, or “additional file information” to your images in photoshop. It’s really, really easy so check it out!
I’m not sure if you can do the same with any other art program. If you know how to do this in other programs / can confirm that it works the same way there, please tell me so I can add the information to this post.
Adding the Metadata will not stop foul carrots from taking and reposting your art. It also won’t make them stop editing out your signature. It WILL however, help you prove that you are the original artist whenever you have to. Always remember my friends. You, the artist, are protected by law. No one has the right to take your intellectual property and hard work and repost, use or edit it without your permission. Ever.
EDIT: Thanks to the many people who added their comment to this! I’d like to add a few things that may be helpful:
LOOK HERE for more info on how to add metadata with Windows / Without photoshop! (Thanks, Humbird0!)
“in GIMP you can add copyright information using File > Properties.
Should bring up a window where you can enter title, author, description,
(Thanks to Pyrotogepi!)
the metadata works for all the adobe products in CC
and can also be added via Adobe Bridge, which is free!
Please note that of course, metadata is not a 100% foolproof way to protect your art. There are ways to remove it. But adding it won’t hurt you and means more work for those who are desperate to erase any traces of the original artist. So yeah, don’t rely on metadata alone. Use a signature and watermark too.
And on another note, please, for the love of spagetti jesus, don’t send hate to the Drama Rising blog. The post I linked was not made by the person who runs the blog. As I said, it was submitted to the blog by an anon.
to other mentally ill artists who are obsessed with getting better
- Finished Pieces TM are NOT the only works that matter. That half-lined sketch is good. That page of nothing but shapes and doodles is progress. If you’re doing whatever it is that you CAN do that day, you’re doing well
- take. BREAKS. as often as you need to. stop when you gotta. if you try to dig into tomorrow’s spoons to finish something, trust me, you’re going to hate yourself and whatever you’re working on later
- if you really want to, you CAN draw (or paint, or sculpt, or craft etc.) every day
- everything counts. everything. can’t draw for more than 20 minutes today? you drew. less than 5? you drew. take a pencil and draw three different circles on a sticky note. you drew. lay out your arm and trace whatever comes to mind with you finger. everything counts.
- if you drew SOMETHING today, you gained more experience than someone who did not
- draw whatever you want
- reward yourself for it
- don’t get so wrapped up in something that you forget to eat, drink water or sleep please. if you can’t make yourself care about what it does to your body, remember it WILL affect your productivity, which will lead to Bad Times, again, trust me
- you are SOMEONE’S art goals
- your art is good
- “this person doesn’t know me or my art, how do they know it’s good-” shh. doesn’t matter. its good
I tried to put as many links as I could
on sites i trust, but I bought a lot of these from local art stores cause I love art-supply shopping at stores. I didn’t buy all of these at once though, i collected them slowly over the years :).
Different artists prefer different brands and tools so it’s better to experiment slowly to see what suits your needs best.
Hope this helps somewhat :)
A few people have asked about this recently so I tried to break down my method of painting faces to the best of my ability. I personally like to use gritty chalky brushes, and this particular painting was mainly done with this brush by Mark Winters.
The image above is one I did when I was just leaving college. I was about to embark upon my journey as a freelance illustrator…
(All I wanted to do was draw and lift…college photo from 3-ish years ago^)
Sporting a decent portfolio and a potent drive for success, I began emailing people frantically in search of work.
I sent over 50 emails in the first week alone, using a list I had compiled through a technique I call “lead scraping.”
To my surprise, I actually got a few gigs.
The pay wasn’t great, but at least it was something. I completed the jobs, collected the money, and….
My clients were happy, but their budgets were limited.
They didn’t have the funds to rehire me to continue their projects– let alone pay me enough to keep up with my student loans.
This was a painful realization. My inbox was quickly filling up with No’s and my bank account was draining along with my inspiration. Things were looking grim.
I had to do something, ANYTHING. Or I was going to drown in depression and debt. My anxiety was at an all-time high, and my drive to succeed and all-time low…
but that didn’t matter, I had to find a solution.
I began to read books on business, and to dig through art blogs from artists who had already “made it.”
I kept my spirits up by confiding in friends who I knew would understand. I watched motivational videos and listened to audio programs that would help me keep things in perspective.
But above all, I did 3 things.
3 VERY IMPORTANT things.
It took me months to figure them out, but once I had these 3 keys to artistic success…doors opened, rejections mattered less, and my bank balance got out of the red.
It’s my sincerest hope that sharing these 3 methods with you will enable you to prosper as I have. Any artist who’s willing to improve their work knows that you have to improve yourself and your approach to life as well.
So here are my 3 my gifts to you:
1. Diversify you income.
2. Charge what you’re worth (to people and businesses who can pay it.)
3. Reinvest in yourself and your craft/business.
Sounds simple, no? Let’s take a closer look at each of these keys:
DIVERSIFY YOUR INCOME
Anyone, artist or not, who only has one way for money to come to them, is in jeopardy. You MUST spend time opening up new avenues of currency to come to you. In order to be sustainable as an artist, this is pretty much non-negotiable. Having just one client won’t cut it. You have to find people who will hire you on a regular basis and then find others who will do the same.
You can also start thinking about product creation, or selling your work online to fans instead of doing commissions. There are many, MANY ways to open up different income channels.
Spend some time thinking of ways you can use your art to provide value to others. I recommend taking 15-20 minutes a day to brainstorm methods through which you can open up avenues for your work to flow out and currency to flow in.
The point here is to really take the initiative with your income, realize that getting repeat clients and finding new ways to sell your work is going to help ensure that you’re growing your income for years to come.
CHARGE WHAT YOU’RE WORTH
Seriously. So many artists have the terrible habit of under-cutting. I myself was guilty of this as well. It’s really hard when it seems like people won’t pay you more than $50 for a piece that takes 8+ hours.
The simple fact is, there are many people who will pay you more than that. MUCH more than that. The key is to connect with this people and not to be shy about asking for $500 instead.
Funded kickstarters, certain indie game teams, businesses that hire artists, the list goes on.
There’s always someone who you can make contact with who will pay you more. The key is to focus on digging for those people and then making a good impression with your work and personality.
If you’re lucky, you may have a decent industry for artists where you live– look for studios, as they’ll typically start with $33,000+ a year at entry level. It’s not great, but it’s definitely liveable while you plan your next move, which should be to….
REINVEST IN YOURSELF
This is non-negotiable. You should be taking classes, going to figure drawing sessions, buying art books, finding courses and/or mentors to help you along your journey.
GROWTH is the factor that keeps you green and mean. Stay hungry, and be vigilant in looking for ways to do things better. I wouldn’t be anywhere NEAR where I am today if I hadn’t continued to take at least 15% of my income and put it back into increasing my skills and optimizing my process.
There you have it.These are the 3 things that will help you step it up in terms of your abilities and your income. Above all, don’t stress yourself out– It can be emotionally and mentally taxing trying to improve your work, find new clients, serve the ones you have, and reinvest in your creative business/brand. Take it one step at a time. Even if you aim to do things just 1% better than you did before, you’re making progress.
It’s not a race, there is no end in sight. You’ll never be done learning, growing, making mistakes, correcting your drawing, refining your style, and opening up new doors for you career to grow. Making a living as an artist is a wonderful and challenging journey, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
Seeing as how you’ve read this far, I’m sure your heart is plenty capable.
Remember the 3 keys.
And keep up the good work.
P.S. Sign up for the Power Painters Email Newsletter and you get Art Commission Doctor (teaching you how to get your own commissions) + two free video tutorials.
Here you go anon!! top row are lineart brushes (but can be used for other things too) i also included a few of my favorite texture brushes. all of these are collected off other sai brush posts people make, and the PS brush is one ty put together to emulate one of their photoshop brushes! feel free to name these something else haha i have like five billion “pen/ink/sketch/pencil” brushes
I know I’ve been asked a lot on what sites I use to practice/look for study refs, and I honestly just google for them. But here’s some that I’ve found to have gone back to over and over again because they’re just really helpful:
Hello there; I've been looking through your blog and, as many others say, I just ADORE your art! I was also wondering if you could give me some advice. For quite a few months now I've utterly lost all motivation to draw. I want to go into something with art, so this devastates me, and whenever I try to draw I just get so easily frustrated. I've been an avid artist since I can remember, so for me to suddenly not want to draw for months on end really concerns me. Any suggestions to fix this?
(hi!! apologies for the late reply. i hope this can still be of some help to you despite that!)
i think that’s a feeling every artist struggles with at some point. you love art, you love making art, and
it’s immensely frustrating when that suddenly doesn’t work out despite all the effort you’ve been putting in. and then you start to lose motivation, question yourself and everything you’re doing, and it’s a vicious cycle that’s really hard to break out of. so what can we do?
well, here’s a thing. let’s call it the productivity branch.
i feel like my own creative cycles are very seasonal. not in the sense that my creativity depends on the season, but rather that my creativity itself goes through different seasons.
spring: new ideas, motivation, productivity still low
summer: lots of ideas and very productive
autumn: still productive drawing leftover ideas, but new ideas are harder to come by. and then
winter: nothing. art-block. lack of ideas, everything-sucks-syndrome, no motivation, the creative part of my brain is basically hibernating
that’s you up there. you’re in a creative winter right now. and without any inspiration or motivation it’ll be hard to find a way to cross that gap over to a new spring (pls bear with the cheesy analogies). and if your cut yourself off from inspirational influence you might start to think that, hey, this isn’t so bad. i mean, who needs spring right? just means you have to do things. be active. yikes. winter’s pretty chill. haha.
but don’t do that. it’ll come around and bite you at some point, because that lack of motivation and activity might start to seep into other parts of your life, not just the creative one, and you don’t want that.
so! when you don’t have ideas and motivation to create, then don’t create. but instead make an effort to inspire yourself. inspiration entails motivation (and vice versa).
read books, short stories, poems, science articles, anything
go on walks, explore your surroundings, if affordable maybe even go somewhere farther away
let people tell you stories
listen to new music
try things you haven’t done before (deliberately break old habits)
go through other people’s inspiration blogs
collaborate with a friend
get really invested in something, talk to others about it
watch movies, animated shorts, documentaries
or speedpaintings and art tutorials
try different techniques, or new brushes
look at art that’s so inspiring that you can’t believe you’re still just sitting there not drawing anything yourself
and most importantly, be receptive. take in the world around you, rearrange it in your head, and draw whatever you end up with. that’s the core of what creativity is
think about what you want to achieve. make your friends smile? draw something really cool you can print out and hang up in your room? touch people’s hearts? deliver a message? whatever it is, and however small or inconsequential it might seem, keep it in mind. it’s your light at the end of the tunnel.
if want to keep drawing for the sake of muscle memory while you’re still looking for your inspiration:
illustrate your daily activities
draw a random shape or find one in a photo (clouds are ideal for this) and turn it into a character or object
pick different pictures and combine elements from each of them into one drawing
do plain ol’ studies
basically don’t try to come up with things completely from scratch. find something to work with and go from there. that will save you the mentally draining task of coming up with a subject, so you can start actively drawing right away
if you still can’t make yourself pick up a pen, make a schedule. train your brain to turn its creative gears at a specific time of the day, make that a habit. do it for pavlov
approach drawing with the awareness that what you create might suck, especially when you’re out of practice, but this doesn’t mean that it will always suck, and it doesn’t mean you suck. if you learn to dissociate your current creative achievements from your worth as a person and your future potential you will get back to work a lot easier, improve faster, and be more resistant to setbacks.
find something that makes it worth the effort of working through the frustration.
you might need to try a lot of different things because everyone copes with this differently, and even when a method worked once that doesn’t mean it always will. so start trying! you can only find inspiration if you start looking for it. 👍
hi- I was wondering if u had any process gifs of your background art? like how do you go about adding the textures? is it at the final stage that you do it? I'm also interested in working as a bg artist after I graduate and you're a really big source of inspiration!
hello! i dont have any process gifs but i put together a little tut for you, i feel like im overdue for a proper one :8) i want to make a more in depth tutorial on background painting (maybe a video?!!?!) but for right now i’ll just address your questions on texture if that’s okay!
here is an ultra basic bg we’re gonna spruce up. keep in mind i’m not going to talk about lighting and composition really so, try to put that out of your mind for now. anyway, there is no texture or edge difference in this yet. everything is smooth and samey (but there is a little bit of atmospheric perspective in the color). the most important thing at this stage is that every unique shape or plane is on its own layer. this is because all texture and lighting will be clipped to the corresponding layer.
sorry this is kind of ugly but this is how i arrange my layers LOL. everything is arranged on planes. i think of it like cut paper stacked on top of each other.
make a clipping mask for the texture you’ll put on each shape. i talk a bit about clipping masks and how to use them here. normally i’d have a clipping mask for texture, shadow, and light, so it can get a little crazy when you have a lot of layers but it’s invaluable for experimenting and getting things just right.
ALRIGHT SO LETS TALK ABOUT ACTUAL TEXTURE. i think about texture as having two functions: 1. to draw the viewer’s eye to where you want it to be, and 2. to describe the material/feel of objects. for our very first texture, we’re going to put some snow on the front tree. im using a variety of brushes, please check my FAQ for a full list. since i want the viewer to focus mostly on the front tree, i’m going to put the most texture on it. to answer your question about when i add texture, i usually just kind of follow my intuition and use it when i feel it’s needed. i will almost definitely go back and add/take away throughout the process of the image. a lot of things change and it’s cool to change your mind throughout. i don’t really follow solid “steps” for every piece, they’re always different for me!
now i am just continuing to add texture here and there. the middle ground trees get a bit of snow, but it’s subdued enough to not be the focal point. as well, i added some texture to the snow because i wanted the front plane to be the one you look at the most. everything behind the middle ground trees is wholly untouched. now we have a nice contrast between smooth/textured going on! and contrast/opposites is the key to guiding a viewer’s eye.
after all that i decided at last minute that the front plane could use some texture to differentiate it. but looking at it now, i’d probably go back and rethink it. that’s life.
finally! i added some color corrections and some gradients to push back the mountains and trees. i also added some falling snow and an overall paper texture to simulate a snowy feel without having to paint it all. the paper texture is behind the front plane, again to push everything behind it back. i would be very careful about putting a texture over everything, it can really flatten everything or make it look fake/gimmicky. clip it to shapes or erase where necessary.
lastly, a short word about more contrast. here, i am trying to push the contrast between soft and sharp. the only difference between this image and the last step is that i blurred and sharpened some planes. there are multiple ways to think about this, but for me, the photographic approach is easiest to understand and it’s just how i like my art to look. basically, i try to always make my focal point sharp and in focus, and blur other elements.
this felt a bit all over the place….sorry!! but, i hope it helped. i would like to do more in-depth tutorials in the future so please hang with me til then. thanks for the ask!!
Meg here, and welcome back to another round of TUTOR TUESDAY! This weeks topic was recommended byKisarii, thank you! Today we look at anatomy and some tricks that may make it easier to understand. This is a pretty vast topic so this is just Part One of The Human Body ( aka Gosh Darn Bodies are Da Best and Hands are the Worst ‘n’ We Gon’ Find Out Why)
Have any recommendations for tutorials? Send them on over to either this blog or my personal blog here! Keep practicing, have fun, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!