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Skills development

 
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

This thread could be a great place to share all those resources and personal practices we use to advance our skills in illustration and art in general!

I prefer to encourage my own growth through diving in to bigger and more challenging art pieces one after another. It holds my focus better when there is going to be a finished piece to enjoy.

But periodically I convince myself to drill the basics before starting a new project.

I’m currently using some fantasy art books and just reading cover to cover while practicing the skills suggested. My main focus is on drilling figure drawing, especially dynamic and active poses, character creation, and sci-fi and fantasy landscapes in preparation for a series of paintings I hope to complete for Quarter 2 of Volume 39. 

I’m starting with these books because I have them on hand:

Drawing and Painting Fantasy Figures: From the Imagination to The Page by Finlay Cowan

The Compendium of Fantasy Art Techniques by Rob Alexander, Finlay Cowan, and Kevin Walker

DragonArt: How to Draw Fantastic Dragons and Fantasy Creatures by J “NeonDragon” Peffer

The topic of exploration that I’m gonna be using free-form process art to explore is the creation of watercolor special effects to rival/match digital. I created some effects I’m proud of in my last piece and that has me curious just how far I can push the medium to render light, shadow, and magic!

For Watercolor basics I like 

The Complete Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook by Gordon MacKenzie

I’ll be looking up more resources as I go and will share anything I find that’s helpful. 

What are your favorite resources for illustration skill building? 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 3, 2022 2:22 pm
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

 

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Gesture drawing! 

It took me a bit when I was introduced to gesture drawing to see the point of it because I’d been self taught for so long and my process was very different. 

Now I see the benefit of the exercise as well as its many applications. I’m primarily drilling gesture drawing again as a way to step up my speed and confidence in my figure drawing and to build up a more broad mental library of gestures.

They are also great for thumbnail composition sketches! 

It’s a great exercise to draw 1 inch gestures (only from real humans and not other drawings) and fill the page. You can fit around 50 on an 8.5x11 page. I’m going to do a second page to get about 100 in.

There is an added bonus in stretching your perception if you alternate between styles from stick and ball, basic 3D shapes, gestures lines, skeletal figures, and whatever other simplifications of the human figure you like to employ. 

It’s also going to be most helpful if you find a diverse array of poses and body types, combat, reclining,dancing, male, female, tall, short, full-figured, child, infant. 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 6, 2022 10:56 pm
PenMark, Wulf Moon, Disgruntled Peony and 1 people liked
Physa/ Guthington/ Amy
(@physa)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 112

Okay, I have a question regarding digital art and IOTF contest. I completed 2 pieces of artwork using the program that comes with windows 10: Sketchbook. I started with pad and pencil, took a picture of that, and used the program to color and finish it. Then I created a folder for when I have my 3 entries and looked into the requirements for digital uploads and see the minimum is 300 dpi. PROBLEM, Sketchbook maxes out at 72 dpi. 

What do you use to create digital art suitable for IOTF contest? Back in the day I learned out to use Photoshop, but nowadays you have to rent it (no way to own). I'm looking for a writing program I can load onto my laptop which has touch screen that's a one time purchase (so I want to own it).

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

Best, Amy

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Posted : January 7, 2022 6:02 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1229
Posted by: @physa

Okay, I have a question regarding digital art and IOTF contest. I completed 2 pieces of artwork using the program that comes with windows 10: Sketchbook. I started with pad and pencil, took a picture of that, and used the program to color and finish it. Then I created a folder for when I have my 3 entries and looked into the requirements for digital uploads and see the minimum is 300 dpi. PROBLEM, Sketchbook maxes out at 72 dpi. 

What do you use to create digital art suitable for IOTF contest? Back in the day I learned out to use Photoshop, but nowadays you have to rent it (no way to own). I'm looking for a writing program I can load onto my laptop which has touch screen that's a one time purchase (so I want to own it).

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

Best, Amy

Clip Studio Paint is a one-time payment, and it goes on sale periodically (current listed USD price on their website is $49.99; I got lucky and caught a Black Friday sale a few years back). It's designed with comics and/or manga creation in mind, but it can give you pretty much anything you'd want from a digital art program. They have a free trial option so you can see if you like it, too. You can check it out here:

https://www.clipstudio.net/

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Posted : January 7, 2022 8:29 am
Physa/ Guthington/ Amy
(@physa)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 112

@disgruntledpeony thanks for the info and link. Will check it out, Smile

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Posted : January 7, 2022 10:04 am
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

I am not an expert in digital art options but when I do digital now I use procreate on an iPad. I do also use photoshop because it’s what I learned first. I have a discounted educator subscription. 

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 7, 2022 10:49 am
Cherrie
(@clfors)
Advanced Member
Posts: 46

@disgruntledpeony thanks for sharing your knowledge!

3x Finalist Illustrators
2x Semi finalist Illustrators
5x HM Writers
https://clforsauthor.com
Author of the Primogenitor series: Progeny, Adaptation, Reunion

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Topic starter Posted : January 7, 2022 10:49 am
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 450
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony
Posted by: @physa

Okay, I have a question regarding digital art and IOTF contest. I completed 2 pieces of artwork using the program that comes with windows 10: Sketchbook. I started with pad and pencil, took a picture of that, and used the program to color and finish it. Then I created a folder for when I have my 3 entries and looked into the requirements for digital uploads and see the minimum is 300 dpi. PROBLEM, Sketchbook maxes out at 72 dpi. 

What do you use to create digital art suitable for IOTF contest? Back in the day I learned out to use Photoshop, but nowadays you have to rent it (no way to own). I'm looking for a writing program I can load onto my laptop which has touch screen that's a one time purchase (so I want to own it).

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

Best, Amy

Clip Studio Paint is a one-time payment, and it goes on sale periodically (current listed USD price on their website is $49.99; I got lucky and caught a Black Friday sale a few years back). It's designed with comics and/or manga creation in mind, but it can give you pretty much anything you'd want from a digital art program. They have a free trial option so you can see if you like it, too. You can check it out here:

https://www.clipstudio.net/

I want to add my voice to this, albeit largely by proxy--when I got a drawing tablet as a gift from my wife this Christmas, my friend (a pro illustrator himself, when he can find the work) recommended exactly this same piece of software with nothing but glowing reviews. Aside from celebrating its features and capabilities, he also pointed out that there are quite frequent tutorials from the community that can teach you how to make great use of the package. It's the software he uses himself, and he is frankly bafflingly good at what he does. I've barely had time to play with it yet very much, but the three-month trial appears to be pretty much unrestricted from what I've tried so far.

R: 0 / HM: 10 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Entered for Q1.V39 / Q2.V39 draft zero ~85%
Last result: HM for Q4.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle

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Posted : January 7, 2022 1:13 pm
Disgruntled Peony, Cherrie, Wulf Moon and 1 people liked
Physa/ Guthington/ Amy
(@physa)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 112
Posted by: @doctorjest
Posted by: @disgruntledpeony
Posted by: @physa

Okay, I have a question regarding digital art and IOTF contest. I completed 2 pieces of artwork using the program that comes with windows 10: Sketchbook. I started with pad and pencil, took a picture of that, and used the program to color and finish it. Then I created a folder for when I have my 3 entries and looked into the requirements for digital uploads and see the minimum is 300 dpi. PROBLEM, Sketchbook maxes out at 72 dpi. 

What do you use to create digital art suitable for IOTF contest? Back in the day I learned out to use Photoshop, but nowadays you have to rent it (no way to own). I'm looking for a writing program I can load onto my laptop which has touch screen that's a one time purchase (so I want to own it).

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

Best, Amy

Clip Studio Paint is a one-time payment, and it goes on sale periodically (current listed USD price on their website is $49.99; I got lucky and caught a Black Friday sale a few years back). It's designed with comics and/or manga creation in mind, but it can give you pretty much anything you'd want from a digital art program. They have a free trial option so you can see if you like it, too. You can check it out here:

https://www.clipstudio.net/

I want to add my voice to this, albeit largely by proxy--when I got a drawing tablet as a gift from my wife this Christmas, my friend (a pro illustrator himself, when he can find the work) recommended exactly this same piece of software with nothing but glowing reviews. Aside from celebrating its features and capabilities, he also pointed out that there are quite frequent tutorials from the community that can teach you how to make great use of the package. It's the software he uses himself, and he is frankly bafflingly good at what he does. I've barely had time to play with it yet very much, but the three-month trial appears to be pretty much unrestricted from what I've tried so far.

Thanks @disgruntedpeony and @doctorjest. I got the program and found out I can use it to change resolution to 300 dpi from what I already did. This is great! I'll also learn how to use clipstudio to do artwork directly. Smile Happy dance, Amy

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Posted : January 7, 2022 3:28 pm
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