If you’re anything like me (and you probably are not, because I’m completely strange unique), then you like to find tutorials on the web and try them out. Or, you know, buy those Disney “How to Draw” books. Does anyone else remember those? Are those still a thing? I need to see if I still have mine. I’m pretty sure I got twenty.
(No, that wasn’t a reference to Little Mermaid. I swear.)
Ehem. Anyway, the point being, I love tutorials. And so, I’ve scoured the web for days on end (translation: I googled for about ten minutes) and found a list of art tutorials and projects that I love and want to try — and I hope you try them, too!
Tips for drawing backgrounds: I will be the first to admit that I hate drawing backgrounds. I don’t know why, but I do. So, that of course means that I should be practicing drawing backgrounds as much as possible because if it’s not something you love doing, you aren’t going to do it, then it’s going to suck, and then all your art is going to suck, and then you’re going to curl up in a ball and cry. So.
Step-by-Step Digital Painting Tutorial: Not only do I love this artist’s style, but the infographic-style of this tutorial is beautiful to look at and extremely thorough. I already follow several of her steps, so it will be easy for me to try this one out and tweak my current process!
Head over to Clementine Creative for a list of 12 watercolor tutorials that you can check out. (I, for one, want to strengthen my weak skill in watercolor. It’s a medium where you kind of have to let go — which I have a hard time with!!)
Talking about references… Looking at other artist’s work to help your skill along is never a bad thing (we all do it, and these tutorials are a great example). But, when at all possible, use live references (or at least photographs of live references).
Not only will you ensure that your style remains your own, you will also make sure you don’t inadvertently pick up any bad habits from other artists, either. (Sorry. We ALL have them.)
Along the same vein as clothing, shoes are something I am always trying to improve on. Well, feet and shoes. And I was going to look for a specific tutorial when I came across this link to a bazillion (okay maybe not quite that much, but close) tutorials and references on Pinterest. So, why try to invent the wheel?
Another aside on clothing: this book by John Peacock is amazing! I have one of its older siblings, but I may have to upgrade. It’s a great reference on different clothing styles throughout (most) of history.
One final tutorial on drawing figures – this article on Design Your Way has a ton of video tutorials on everything from eyes, to faces, to gesture drawing and poses.
You can also view more art references and tutorials on my Pinterest board, Art Reference – I update fairly frequently.
So, about those tutorials… Seriously. Try them. And let me know how they are in the comments.
I’ll wait. 😉
(P.S. If you have Netflix, they now have the entire Bob Ross series available to stream. That man fostered my obsession with art at a very early age. And, c’mon. Bob Ross. I dare you to watch it and not laugh you @$$ off or end up in a good mood by the end!)
This piece was done as a recent wedding present. I thought it would be perfect for this week’s Illustration Friday prompt, which is “Party.” I’d definitely say they are having a little party — especially the lone woman dancing. 😉
Illustration Friday: Party. A woman dances on the bar, smiling and in her own little world, while a man nearby playfully hits on two Russian women.
There are times when an idea plants itself in my head, takes root, and refuses to fade.
(Usually those times happen late at night, just when I am trying to fall asleep.)
Last night, I had one of those ideas. Having earlier finished a new book, one particular scene caught my fancy and it wouldn’t let go. So, being the obsessive-compulsive that I am, (very) early this morning I took pencil to paper and sketched out the basic architecture. Still it remained. I then blocked in the highlights and shadows. Then, color.
Hours later, I finished the sketch to my (not-really, but I needed sleep) satisfaction.
It isn’t often that a story will do that to me. Take hold of my thoughts so obsessively that I can think of nothing else until the idea becomes a tangible manifestation. Since this one had that effect, I thought I would write up a quick review, because if you like fantasy, especially that takes place around the turn of the 19th century, I think you’ll really love this book.
First, the scene I depicted (below) is a small one where Matthew Glass removes India Steele’s coat for her. A simple gesture, but the whole moment is wrought with romantic tension and I loved the chemistry they shared. So much so that I had to sketch it.
Matthew Glass assists India Steele in removing her coat.
Now, for my (brief) review:
India Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.
Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.
This story has everything I look for in a quality, entertaining piece of fiction. 1) A strong female lead, 2) a dark and mysterious male character (I admit, they are my weakness), 3) eloquent writing, and 4) lots of quirky humor and banter.
It kept my attention and while the story unfolds at a leisurely pace, I did not find it overly sluggish or at all boring. There was just enough mystery to keep me turning the pages. The characters are well written (although the villain aspect was just a tad one-dimensional for my tastes).
I will be the first to admit: when it comes to vacations, I am a planning machine. There is something magical about seeing all the little details of our trip… planning makes it even more real. But, when it comes to characters… the process is a bit daunting. I never could figure out why, until I realized that the act of staring at a blank sheet of paper scares me. My mind goes blank.
Once I figured that out – Eureka! A character expression sheet was born! Below you can see an example of expressions I created to help me come up with the finished illustration to the right.
I recently came across a wonderful, (extremely!) in-depth article on this subject: “Human Anatomy Fundamentals:Mastering Facial Expressions” by Joumana Medlej. At one point, the author discusses different cues used by performers when conveying an emotion. They use different tones of speech and exaggerate body movements while “an illustration needs to make up for real-life clues that are not present on paper.”
She then continues to break down a litany of different facial expressions and the subtle differences in features that make up these emotions. It’s a brilliantly written how-to article and I highly recommend it.
While I think my expression sheet is a great starting off point, in the near future I plan on incorporating many of Ms. Medlej’s tips into a more comprehensive Character Profile document, so be on the lookout! ♥
I am a professional artist who specializes in pop art, illustration, and graphic design. My work includes both digital and a mix of traditional wet media. (Check out my art gallery to view my work!) I find inspiration from animation (e.g. Disney and Japanese anime), fantasy, fairy tales, and those magical little moments in everyday life.