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furry arts discussion => artwork techniques & tutorials => Topic started by: Wanderer on April 22, 2012, 09:06:26 pm

Title: Questions
Post by: Wanderer on April 22, 2012, 09:06:26 pm
Well i have a few questions :) that i hope can get answered.
1. Are there any good shading and lighting tips you guys can offer?
2. What do you use to improve your drawings?
3. What kind of pencils do you use?
4. Are there any free are somewhat cheap programs you can suggest?
5. From my art, what do you see needs improvement?

FYI: i mostly draw with pencils and i am kinda straped on cash so i can't really afford much.

Any help is greatly appreciated :)
Title: Re: Questions
Post by: PsychotixxFoxx on April 22, 2012, 09:22:44 pm
1. Study, study, study!! I used to practice by crumpling a paper bag and drawing it. You have to observe, and watch how light and shadow effect each other. As for drawing techniques, depending on what you're using, there are lots of different ways to shade. With pencils, you shade in the area (either pressing lightly or heavily, depending on the shadow) and blur it with anything like napkins (soft paper that blends the pencil.) I use a lot of pens, and I use a lot of cross-hatching (criss-crossing lines that can show the depth of shade by layers.) Remember that all things are not plain white (so shade the main image lightly) and use erasers to reveal the white of the paper for highlights (which are just as important as shadows.)

2. Lots of inspiration and references. Look up artworks of any kind (deviantart, google images, w/e) and study how other people understand and use the different elements of art. Find artists who you aspire to be like, and study their works. If you can, look for sketches from them so you can see the raw ideas for their art (plus sketches are in pencil.) Depending on the style you are going for, you can find lots of ways to improve. If you're drawing people, study the human form. I've spent years collecting anatomy books that break down (mathematically) how the body works, to give me a frame to create any type of person. If you're going for abstract, study illusions and how to trick the eye with colors and shapes. It just takes a little imagination and dedication to get better.

3. I use everything from regular #2's and mechanicals, to charcoal, to ebony, to prismacolors. I also use varied Sharpie pens, highlighters and markers, and watercolor.

4. When it comes to digital art, I've just barely entered that realm. But I downloaded a free program that's kind of a wannabe photoshop called TwistedBrush. It's actually quite capable, and plus, its FREE.

5. First off, NO LINED PAPER!!! It degrades your work by making it look unprofessional. As for the art itself, your faces/expressions are awesome. Keep working on that - it's so much fun. You might want to look into the element of composition (the harmony of the images, space, and color.) And work on the detail of clothing and the nature of folds and wrinkles (they flow together, and bend with creases.)
Title: Re: Questions
Post by: Storm Fox on April 23, 2012, 12:20:02 am
For starters, do what you can to stop using ruled paper as it degrades the quality of your drawings.
Because no matter how good you are or become, your art will never look as good as it possibly can if you use ruled paper.

And you don’t need to get expensive drawing paper either, unless you’re going to do drawings on a professional level.
Simple printer paper will do just fine for practicing and it’s usually only a few dollars per ream, ($4.50 USD for 500 sheets where I live).

Next, I'd suggest giving this website a thorough read through: http://hippie.nu/~unicorn/tut

And as far as software…
Some drawing programs to check out are Gimp (http://www.gimp.org), MyPaint (http://mypaint.intilinux.com) and Krita (http://krita.org/index.php) (And here's some Wikipedia info for Gimp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIMP), MyPaint (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyPaint) and Krita (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krita)).
(All of those are Free and open source.)

Another program is ArtRage (http://www.artrage.com) (wiki info on that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ArtRage)), it’s a very neat program as it simulates realistic drawing and painting, (for example, the brushes can actually get dirty from use if you want them to).
The only downside is that this one is only free for the “Starter Edition”, and that version does not have layer support, and a couple of special brushes are not available. :P

And in regards to techniques…
Most of my focus leans towards digital methods, so in that case, just remember that layers and opacity settings are your friends.
Don’t be afraid of having too many layers, (most of my projects usually have well over 50 layers and some as many as 200).
So if you’re ever in doubt about something, do it on a different layer so you don’t mess up the things you want to keep.
Also, with the exception of things that need to be combined, try to keep separate colors on separate layers, as it can help make things easier to work with.

The other thing is to make good use of opacity settings, especially for brushes.
When you don’t need a hard line, try drawing with a low brush opacity, (somewhere between 0.1% and 10.0% depending on the program), as it can help add nice gradient transitions, and works nicely for shading and shadows.

I can't add nearly as much advice for physical media as I can for digital so I hope that was helpful, …and beyond all of that, all I can say is practice. ;)