this looks a ton better in photoshop ):

Simple Sigil Creation: A How-To Guide

One of the most common messages I get on Tumblr goes something like this: “What is your process for creating sigils? It can’t be as simple as scrambling up letters, so what’s the real secret?”

The truth is, there isn’t a secret. Making sigils is actually quite simple. Anyone can do it. Even for a complete newcomer, the process should take less time than a coffee break. While there are many, many ways to create sigils — magic squares, automatic drawing, grid overlays — the methods don’t really matter all that much.

In this post, I’m going to show the step-by-step method I used for creating the most recent sigil I’ve published. It came at the request of a young woman who wanted to catch the romantic attentions of another female. It said simply: “She will see me in a romantic way.”

As you can see, I’ve gone with the most basic sigil-creation method here. I’ve written out the text, and I’ve isolated the consonants from the sentence. While there is an “occult” tradition behind this method, I wouldn’t get hung up on thinking that it’s the “right” way to make a sigil. It’s no better than any other method, it’s just easier to explain.

This first step is meant to abstract the coherent words into a less-coherent jumble of letters. The words stop being as meaningful, but the symbols behind the sigil’s intent remain. To keep things simple — and to speed up my next step — I arrange these letters into a grid.

The next step is to abstract the remaining letters even further. Here, I’ve simply started combining elements of the letters together. I generally start by picking two letters from the grid of consonants, and start combining lines, curves, curls, dots, and other pieces of those letters together.

I try to keep these new symbols as simple as possible — four or five pencil strokes at most — because I’ll be further combining them in the next step.

From here, I generally play around with a few ideas, combining elements of symbols as I go. Sometimes these ideas come easily, as seen in the picture, but sometimes it can take pages and pages of sketches to find one I like. In particularly thorny situations, I’ll even start the entire process over from scratch, just to give myself a clean slate.

Once I’ve found a design I like, it’s time to start on the final design. Much like every other stage in the process, there is no one “right” way to do this. This is also the step where most people could happily stop. When the sigil looks and feels “right” to you, it’s done. The sigil is complete, if you want it to be.

In my case, however, I’m also making art for my website and social media. That means creating a version of the sigil that will (hopefully) catch other people’s eyes. There are countless ways to do this — charcoals, crayons, digital painting, markers — and I’ve experimented quite a bit over the years.

I also like to have an excuse to play with ink and brushes, so that’s how this one came together. I like that it’s a little unpredictable — with streaks and globs and splatter — and I’m always thrilled when a happy accident improves the design.

As you can see, I create tons of variations, tinkering with brush sizes, stroke direction, the amount of ink in the brush, and other stuff. While I liked some of these versions, none of them looked quite right. So, I kept going until I found one that did.

A few ink-soaked pages later, and this version was the clear winner. From here, it was just a matter of scanning the image in and doing a few technical things in Photoshop to make it look better in black and white. I add the text, the watermark, and … that’s it.

Here’s the finished version.

As you can see, there’s no great secret to making a sigil. Nor should there be. Sigils are about focusing intent, and even a few pencil scratches on notebook paper can become a perfectly wonderful sigil with the right intent behind it. Yes, some people (like me) like to do a little showing off with things they picked up from art class, but that should never be a barrier to creating your own personal sigils.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave a comment or drop me a message.

You didn’t even say goodbye.

anonymous asked:

do a tutorial for the aesthetic character posts pretty pretty pls???

This is probably not really a “tutorial” considering I’m completely terrible at explaining things. It’s more of a “here’s how I do something, you can do it the same or completely different” so yeah. 

I used Photoshop CS5 Extended for this & I’d definitely say the level of skill is beginner, as that is pretty much my skill with Photoshop right now.

Keep reading

slickegg  asked:

Hi! Idk if you remember me, but I was wondering if you have any tips for drawing more realistically? I practice a lot, and its tedious, but I don't know if I'm making any actual progress. :v Thank you!

Hi! Yes, I do remember meeting you at GMG camp, though unfortunately (because of my terrible memory) I don’t recall your name.  I’m glad to hear you’ve been practicing a bunch!

Probably the two most basic tips for drawing realistically (after drawing every day, which it sounds like you have down) is to a) draw from life, and b) start with simple shapes (circles, squares, tubes) before refining it down to details. For the former, if you don’t have access to live models, sources like Pixelovely are super-helpful, as is just Google images. I also sometimes take a sketchbook out to a cafe or a park and just draw whatever I see there.

I wouldn’t worry too much about tracking progress right now; it can be helpful sometimes to look back at older stuff and see how you’ve gotten better, but it’s not something I do as a conscious step, more just a “wow, it’s been a year since I did this?” thing. 

Additionally, here are some resources that are really great: 

Ctrl+Paint - good for learning Photoshop and other digital tools, but also has a lot of great videos on basic principles and foundational matters

ProkoTV - a fantastic channel with tons of anatomy videos

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain - aimed at breaking down our conceptions of how we ‘should’ draw things and getting one to just draw what one actually sees. Really, really good for getting the most out of your reference images/studies. I would actually recommend this first for the beginner.

How Pictures Work - The simplest, most effective explanation of compositional basics I’ve seen. 

Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth - Loomis’ books are staples (including Drawing the Head and Hands and Creative Illustration), but this one is a good start. 

Perspective Made Easy (PDF) - Er, I actually haven’t read this one yet (perspective is my bugbear, so I really need to) but I’ve heard good recommendations for it. (FWIW Loomis also goes into perspective some in his books.) 

And maybe most of all: take time occasionally to draw what you like to draw without necessarily thinking about studies or practice. :3 It’s important to just do it for fun sometimes, to remind yourself what you liked about art.