Dan Fessler’s HD Index Painting Technique let’s you paint pixel art in Photoshop in a non-destructive manner, and lets you use pretty much every tool in a perfectly pixel-gradient fashion!
The article gives you everything you need to try it out for yourself.It’s easy to set up and use, and the results are so fucking cool.
I stumbled upon a website that allows you to blend any colors evenly no matter how opposite on the spectrum they are.
sharing the knowledge
WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE???
I love this tutorial SO MUCH.
I picked up this cool special effect makeup book and thought I should scanned some of the cool stuff in it. Sorry if you can’t read the text. just let me know and I can just type out what it say.
A generous fuck-ton of muscular male abdomen references.
* As always with large images, you gotta reverse-image search ‘em to find the larger size. Sorry about that. It’s the most helpful reference you will find on abs, so far, so I encourage you to search it.
The reason why some people have issues with abs is because, most of the time, the person who’s ripped has 0% fat on ‘em, so it looks ridiculously artificial. You gotta contrast the muscle in a very precise and concise way, and it can look fake, depending on the lighting and corporeal structure of the circumstance. And I say that cautiously, as by “fake” I don’t mean they look disproportionate; it just sometimes doesn’t look like how skin and muscle should appear. (And I know there are some repeated images in this post, but since it’s about something specific, I thought it’d be helpful to have ‘em conglomerated in one place.)
[From various sources]
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 heddy 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 detailed 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.
The world’s most viewed TED Talk. In GIFs!
I just can’t reblog this enough. If I filled up my tumblr with just this it wouldn’t be enough. Most of all I wish I could tell my immediate family about this because they perpetuate me growing out of creativity -.-
If you haven’t seen this TED Talk, I highly recommend it.
One of the things I’ve really focused on as a parent is making sure my kids know that making lots of mistakes is the best way to learn something new. If you get something on the first try it might be exciting, but you haven’t really learned anything. This is definitely something I was not taught as a child, unfortunately, which made me averse to trying anything new out of a fear of failure. It’s taken me a long time to retrain my thoughts to not take errors as huge blows to my self-confidence.
My kids deserve better. All kids deserve better. ~JJ
Mistakes mean you are trying and that is never wrong.
Torsos tips from Anatomy for Sculptors
I have an Anatomy Intensive class on Torso’s-Front and Back this term so expect a lot of information relating to it being put up.
wow hello inspiration did Jesus call and say I needed you
what a blessing
I made a walkthrough of my process for drawing faceted stones! Judging by the timestamps from the screenshots I took, drawing this one stone took an hour and three minutes, although I know I went and checked tumblr a couple times while I was working, so let’s just call it an hour.
Now MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
- This walkthrough assumes you already know how to use layer masks, the clone stamp, and the lasso tool. There’s also one part where I didn’t label it, but I inverted the selection so I could keep my lines consistent. It’s in the third image.
- Unfortunately I can’t really help with colour choice and the actual colouring of the pinwheel shape that makes up the back facets, but you can kind of see that I tended to colour with lines that cut across the facets and and kept the outer parts of the facets darker. It would probably be best to find a reference to work from!
- This particular cut of stone is called the ‘brilliant’ cut.
- There’s actually a lot of internal reflection business that goes on in a stone, but I elected to ingore all of it since at a distance you can’t really tell anyway.
now GO FORTH AND DAZZLE YOUR FRIENDS WITH YOUR SPARKLE