Saturday, January 16, 2010

On Anatomy and Posing

I think today, I will try to look for some more tutorials on anatomy. I remember seeing a couple good ones on DeviantArt (DA) that were really helpful.

It's amazing how much a bit of knowledge about anatomy can make it easier to draw characters in various poses. Knowing how muscles flow around the body makes it easier to draw arms and legs that look more realistic. I also find that artists often complain that drawing hands and feet are the hardest. This isn't really the case for me; I find drawing arms to be a lot more challenging. The overall shape isn't so bad, but when I start to put perspective into the picture or try to do a pose that I haven't really drawn before, that's when it starts to get hard for me. ^^

Also, I think that in addition to knowing anatomy, it's really important to have a clear idea of what pose you want to put your character in. I have a bad habit of starting to draw without a solid image in my head. I'll either have a very vague image of what I want to draw, or I'll just start drawing a face and try to match a pose to whatever expression I come up with. This is not helpful at all. XD In the end, I get something that doesn't feel natural at all and I usually end up struggling to get limbs looking right.

So my two goals? Look up tutorials and information on anatomy, and start trying to reference poses more. I think I may have to start looking at photographs and ads for ideas again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sketches: Miniature Characters

I really want to start selling cute little "chibi" (Japanese for "small") drawings of popular characters on things like buttons, bookmarks, etc. The idea would be to sell this stuff at conventions and hopefully online. I know that there's a demand for this kind of thing but I have a feeling that it's going to never amount to more than just a hobby on the side. I don't actually know how much money people make from selling this sort of thing.

In any case, here's some samples of the designs I'd be doing:

I'd like to take one of these and do line art for it digitally and then play around with colors. :D Eventually I'll get to this point.

Black Cat Sketches

Yesterday and today, I did sketches of the Black Cat. Yesterday's sketch started to take place directly on the computer but I just couldn't get it my ideas flowing very well so I resorted to sketching on paper instead. She turned out alright but it's not quite my style and I feel as if she's a little too cute and not quite sexy enough to be Felicia Hardy. The second one is more simple but I was able to get more of a feel for my style again in that one.

I think what I really need to do is work on my anatomy. I think that'll really help me do more interesting poses. Of course, planning out the poses before I start drawing would help too. /facepalm

You'll have to excuse the horrible quality of these, as I don't have access to a scanner. Gotta love digital cameras. ;P

Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Reading

I've been reading more of the DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics. I'm about half-way through the book I think and so far, it's been really enlightening. :D I'm so happy I picked it up! The author actually goes into a lot of detail on what you can accomplish with the use of paths and there's a lot of neat things that I would have just never thought about on my own.

I'm actually feeling really inspired to do some form of comic book art right now. XD Maybe a little sketch of the Black Cat? Or Wonder Woman, perhaps? Hmm... so many choices...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Book Review

Today I went out to Chapters to pick up a magazine (which I will post about later). While I was wandering around aimlessly, I came across the art section and decided to see if there was anything useful for me here. I didn't expect there'd be anything really relevant but it didn't hurt to look. Just as I was about to give up, I found the DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics.

Hello! This seemed exactly what I was looking for. After looking through the chapters in the book, I'm happy to say that I think I've finally found what it is that I'm looking for. The book is done by an artist who goes over the various methods of penciling and inking in Photoshop. At a glance, there's nothing much about coloring in here but it goes into a lot of detail unlike any tutorial type stuff I've ever read before. The author actually mentions what size brush he uses and how he goes about doing things (which is often glazed over in other tutorials and such).

Anyway, I just picked it up so I haven't really read through it yet but hopefully it'll get me thinking more about the process and how to better conceptualize what I want to do in my head. I already felt a bit more motivated when I leafed through it in the store, so hopefully that motivation will grow as I continue to read. :3

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tip: Start small, work your way to something bigger.

I found a really good tip online for drawing from scratch in Photoshop. The person posting it said to start out on a small canvas (600x600px) and do your sketch there. When you're satisfied with it, increase the canvas size to something larger (like 3000x3000px) and then start adding in the detail.

I think this is a great tip for someone like me, who would open up a 3000x3000px canvas and attempt to do a sketch or draft of a character. I found it was really hard to see the overall picture and it never really occurred to me that it's acceptable to start small for a rough draft and then increase the canvas size to add detail. It's so easy to overlook really simple things like this when you're trying to look at the picture overall. ^^;

I think for now, I'll focus on doing line art. I might try using this tip and draw a simple design on a small canvas, then blow it up to add detail. If I'm having too much frustration with it, I might just draw a design on paper, scan it in and work with that. Then I can worry about how to shade after.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Drawing is hard.

A long time ago, I used to do a lot of art. And by a lot, I mean I used to draw, sketch, color with pencil crayons, doodle on oekaki boards, etc. I remember years and years ago trying to do digital painting in Photoshop and I was just so awful at it. I could never get anything to look right and I gave up on it.

These days, the only art I'm really good at doing is sketching and illustrating on paper with a pencil. I was never really good at coloring with any medium and I never learned how to paint or anything. On the computer, I'm really only good at vector-style artwork. I can't really draw very well straight onto the computer screen like I can with pencil and paper.

With painting in Photoshop, I can never get any further than trying to figure out how to do my line art. Should I try doing it with the pen tool? Should I just use the brush tool? What size is best to work with? I learned that the larger the canvas size, the easier it is to be a little sloppy with the brush tool and still have it look good at a normal scale. But to do this, I think I seriously need to work with scanned drawings.

I haven't even gotten to the point where I can really start coloring in anything so once I DO figure out the line art, it's going to be a whole other mess. Laying down flat colors is easy but adding shadows and highlights... oh dear. I don't even know where to start. I suspect I would try to do some kind of cell shading and be unhappy with the results or get distracted with trying to do something far more elaborate.

Maybe the only thing here for me is to go to an art school but that's far too much money for me right now and I honestly can't afford it. If anyone knows of any really great tutorials or if anyone can offer me some tips on what I can do (brushes, brush sizes, canvas sizes, etc), they'd be really, really appreciated.

I make new blog.

This blog exists for the purpose of art! I shall use it to upload... art. *nods* Let it be so!