I wish to become an artist

We have a lot of talented artists who frequent these forums. This is the place for them to show off their stuff.
Agent 626
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Postby Agent 626 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:42 am

Yeah. Don't be shy with the eraser. I prefer a kneaded eraser, because you can shape it if you need to do some very accurate erasing. It comes in a little cellopack and looks a bit like a piece of grey bazooka bubble gum. You mash it all up and viola, you can make edges, points, or whatever other shape you need to erase. You can also use it to get some very cool effects.

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Ezram
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Postby Ezram » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:46 am

Staedtler supposedly makes some fine erasers.

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Postby GhostSong » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:44 am

Ezram wrote:Staedtler supposedly makes some fine erasers.


Staedtler makes AWESOME erasers. Their by far my favorite. At my school their getting rid of their stock and put them all on 50% off so I'm starring at twenty of them. I stocked up for those rainy days :)

Kneaded Erasers are good if you're drawing lightly with the H level hardness. The darker pencils don't erase as well and to get rid of ghosting bring in the Staedtler.
I run a group out of Ferndale (Michigan), were always looking for new blood.

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Ezram
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Postby Ezram » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:26 pm

But that goes back to my point: do you erase a mistake, or start over entirely? So far, the consensus leans towards the latter.

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Postby GhostSong » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:12 pm

Ezram wrote:But that goes back to my point: do you erase a mistake, or start over entirely? So far, the consensus leans towards the latter.


I've heard that some start over from the beginning when they screw up but for me that's not always the case. Unless I screw up a drawing over and over again until it's just hopeless. Otherwise you erase, tweak, and perfect.
I run a group out of Ferndale (Michigan), were always looking for new blood.

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Postby Ezram » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:03 pm

Anyone here use Sakura's Micron Pens, or can recommend a good drawing pen?

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Postby Shinobi » Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:50 pm

I like to ink with Rotring pens and I've also found that good old fashioned quill pens are quite fun to use too.

Regarding erasers, it depends how much I've drawn, if I like the layout I'll erase and fiddle - if it's just never going to work, I'll start over... then go back and play with the first one later. :)

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Postby Ezram » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:36 pm

I'm quite fond of what Flair pens can accomplish, but I will probably stick with coloring pencils for the time being.

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DrZero
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Postby DrZero » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:42 am

hey Ezram, when are you going to post some pictures mate? you would get some feedback and constructive crits which would help you out.

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Postby input.jack » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:51 pm

Just to chime in with my two cents....

Ive been drawing since 7th grade. I turn 45 in a few months. :shock:

In my experience as a largely self-taught artist, it doesnt matter what you draw with, or on, as long as you keep at it. I taught myself mostly on typing paper, using a standard number 2 pencil. Later I started inking my pencils with a Rapidograph tech pen. Now I draw directly onto a Cintiq tablet, but the skill base is the same.

As far as mistakes go, if you want to get better, you have to see the mistake, admit you made it (not always easy), and then correct it.

Ive had times when Ive drawn a fantastic character figure...then realized that I drew the head too large. In those times, Ive had to make a decision; which is better, the head or the rest of the body? If I was trying for a particular face (and I often do), I would have to erase the entire body and re-draw it to scale with the face.

Now that I use a Cintiq and draw directly in Photoshop, its made things a lot easier for me, and I have grown weak and soft.

I mean...its been very convenient to change my mistakes.

The most crucial element of being an artist, to my way of thinking, is not the hand. Its the eye. You have to be able to look at complex structures, and mentally break them down into simpler, basic shapes. Once you can do that, its a matter of manipulating the basic, simple shapes to where you want them on the page, then adding the more specific details until you get what youre after.

For me, it also helps to occasionally acquire models of things. Vehicle models, toy weapons, and (SOME) action figures can help, because they allow you to get a good, long look at the basic shapes of things, and orient them how you need them to be. Be careful with action figures, though; too many modern action figures have grossly exaggerated and wildly incorrect musculature and anatomy. Good references are hard to find.

My first realization of this came when I was in junior high shcool, and I wanted to draw a space battleship. But I looked at a few pictures of World War II battleships and was overwhelmed at their complexity. By chance, the next week my great Aunt gave me a plastic model of the Bismark, and in looking at it and putting it together, I saw how the basic structure of the ship was really a set of simple shapes stacked together, with rows of smaller shapes (turrets) along various places, with finer details (weapon barrels and ladders and doors) added on. I went back to my starship drawing and managed to finish it to my satisfaction. The fact that the resulting starship was hideous was a result of having had no idea how to make an attractive battleship, not due to a flaw in my methods ;)

You may find it useful to occasionally sit down and think about what elements of things make them attractive to you. In the early 1980s I was designing more and more superhero costumes, but half of them were appalling...even to me! So I took an afternoon, got together all the comics I had featuring characters whose costumes I -liked-, and started to analyze what features and aspects of costumes made them appealing to me. (In my case, I prefer more "classic" costumes, with large areas of bold color, and fairly simple lines).

Getting a good understanding of anatomy and proportions is key. A lot of beginning artists end up drawing characters with wildly unusual anatomy; heads half their body length, or everyone being fine from the waist up, but compacted from the waist down. I use "mannequins" when I draw; a simplified stick-figure with an oval head and bean-shaped ribcage, lightly penciled in to show me where to put the major parts, and make sure the arms, legs, torso, and head are all in proportion to one another.

You may also want to occasionally do "spot drawings"; not a full figure, but take the time to draw, say, a page of nothing but hands. Hands and feet can make or break a drawing, and having an understanding of how hands are constructed will go miles toward making your work better. My early work had people with both hands behind their backs, mysteriously standing in water. Dont do that! ;)

A lot of people use heavy shadow to cover their mistakes. I recommend against this. My own art style uses no shadows in the line art. Shading is done later during the coloring process. This forces me to place the musculature correctly, and means I cant cheat my way out of a bad spot. I have to learn! "Practice makes perfect" is only half of the idiom; "PERFECT practice makes perfect" is what I was taught.

Finally, (and this will sound odd after all Ive just said), dont drive yourself crazy trying to get everything "correct". Something that is drawn correctly, but that looks wrong, is not a good drawing. Draw things as they appear, not necessarily as they are.

I hope that this is helpful to you. And I apologize for pontificating at you from my soap box. Thanks for reading through all this. :)
My fingers and my brain work at different speeds. Please forgive my typoes

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Postby Captain Zero » Fri May 01, 2009 2:50 pm

Looks like the thread is still active, so I thought I'd offer tips from my own experience, both with art school, sketching and trying to do a webcomic. I skimmed the thread, and am guessing you're trying to draw comics or in a comic-style.

Draw fast. The best thing I learned at art school was to "warm up" with speed sketching. Something like Pose Maniacs is a big help. Try starting around 5 to 10 minutes per sketch, and work your way down to as little as 30 seconds (or less!). Don't sweat details, just try to capture the entire figure as completely as possible. Focus on movement, proportion, and light & shadow.

Your sketch book is private. Buy the cheapest you can find and burn through the paper quickly. Sketch books are for taking shots in the dark with any random idea you have. Take the idea as far as it goes, and if it sucks just move on to the next one. Keep it private so you don't feel self-conscious about 90% of it being crap.

Draw real life. Sit in a park or a bus stop or wherever and draw whatever catches your eye. Architecture is fun, as are cars and stuff. People are always helpful if they hold still long enough. Take a broad view of what "counts" as subject matter.

Use what works. I draw with a mechanical pencil and ink with a sharpie, when I'm not using a Wacom and Photoshop. Experiment with all kinds of stuff, but when you want to make a real drawing instead of a sketch, just use what you're comfortable with. Paper is the exception - nice paper cannot be overestimated. Bristol is usually sufficient, with a medium tooth (as opposed to smooth).

And just keep it up! Drawing is awesome and exhausting and wondrous. I'm looking forward to seeing you post some work.
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Postby GhostSong » Fri May 01, 2009 5:22 pm

Captain Zero wrote:Looks like the thread is still active, so I thought I'd offer tips from my own experience, both with art school, sketching and trying to do a webcomic. I skimmed the thread, and am guessing you're trying to draw comics or in a comic-style.

Draw fast. The best thing I learned at art school was to "warm up" with speed sketching. Something like Pose Maniacs is a big help. Try starting around 5 to 10 minutes per sketch, and work your way down to as little as 30 seconds (or less!). Don't sweat details, just try to capture the entire figure as completely as possible. Focus on movement, proportion, and light & shadow.

Your sketch book is private. Buy the cheapest you can find and burn through the paper quickly. Sketch books are for taking shots in the dark with any random idea you have. Take the idea as far as it goes, and if it sucks just move on to the next one. Keep it private so you don't feel self-conscious about 90% of it being crap.

Draw real life. Sit in a park or a bus stop or wherever and draw whatever catches your eye. Architecture is fun, as are cars and stuff. People are always helpful if they hold still long enough. Take a broad view of what "counts" as subject matter.

Use what works. I draw with a mechanical pencil and ink with a sharpie, when I'm not using a Wacom and Photoshop. Experiment with all kinds of stuff, but when you want to make a real drawing instead of a sketch, just use what you're comfortable with. Paper is the exception - nice paper cannot be overestimated. Bristol is usually sufficient, with a medium tooth (as opposed to smooth).

And just keep it up! Drawing is awesome and exhausting and wondrous. I'm looking forward to seeing you post some work.



You know what I like better than a sketch book? A pack of 8 by 11 printer paper and a binder. Then you can rip out papers that are horrible embarrassments. It saves some cash. I can't bring myself to buy those expensive things for sketching. It seems like if you want to experiment do it on something cheap and best of all, recyclable.
I run a group out of Ferndale (Michigan), were always looking for new blood.

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Captain Zero
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Postby Captain Zero » Fri May 01, 2009 5:47 pm

GhostSong wrote:It seems like if you want to experiment do it on something cheap and best of all, recyclable.


By all means! When it comes to sketching, the cheaper the better - especially if you're just starting. I like the feel of sketchbook paper, and it's important enough to me to pay a little extra, but probably not worth it to most folks.
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Postby DrZero » Sat May 02, 2009 5:11 am

I use 28-lb (105gsm) premium white, color copier paper for all my illustrations. You can get a pack of a few hundred sheets for the price of a premium art pad.

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Postby Omega Girl » Sun May 03, 2009 12:18 am

Captain Zero wrote:Looks like the thread is still active, so I thought I'd offer tips from my own experience, both with art school, sketching and trying to do a webcomic. I skimmed the thread, and am guessing you're trying to draw comics or in a comic-style.


Everything Captain Zero advises is spot-on! Warming up is as important for art as it is for exercise. 90% of what you produce WILL be crap. And if you don't draw with what you're comfortable with, you'll never really like your work.

I personally love drawing with a wax-based colored pencil (animator's blues to some people); I actually can't draw anything decent without my 'blues' (although I often use green or red versions of the same pencil); it just doesn't feel right. I take turns inking with Micron pens, Sharpies, Adobe Illustrator, and Corel Painter, depending on my mood. Every artist you talk to will tell you something different, so always remember when you ask an artist about their tools, you're only getting personal preferences, not scientific fact.

I've also noticed I draw my best when I'm drinking lots of water, eatting plenty of vegetables, and working out in the morning. It's important to remember that drawing is a mental and physical activity, so it's important to keep your body and your brain in the right place to do your best. It will probably take a lot of trial and error to find those elements that help put you in 'the zone.'


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