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View Full Version : How To Art: Tips, Tutorials, and Other Resources


Lobst
01-15-2011, 06:51 PM
A lot of us seem to be big into the idea of drawing cute pictures/crazy comics/amazing animations to pass around; now that there's a forum for this sort of thing, I figure a help thread will work nicely.

Online Tutorials:
Andrew Loomis (http://alexhays.com/loomis/) - a variety of valuable print resources, all downloadable for free
deviantART - der-shing (http://alexds1.deviantart.com/gallery/1604172) - a mess of marvelous tutorials
deviantART - fox-orian (http://fox-orian.deviantart.com/gallery/?9162487#Tutorial-Series) - series of tutorials on perspective, composition, shading, halftoning, tablets, and other things
deviantART - Phobs (http://phobs.deviantart.com/art/face-tutorial-177059553?q=boost%3Apopular+in%3Aresources%2Ftutor ials%2Fmisc&qo=11&offset=0) - marvelous guide on facial expressions
deviantART - PurpleKecleon (http://purplekecleon.deviantart.com/art/How-I-See-Color-A-Tutorial-184642625) - a popular guide to color theory
deviantART - Sherm Cohen (http://shermcohen.deviantart.com/gallery/23661671) - tutorials on clarity of emotion and intent in character poses
Disney's Comic Strip Artist's Kit (http://www.scribd.com/doc/5119/Comic-Strip-Artists-Kit) - tutorial on how to lay out panels/poses in comic form
flickr - arborwin (http://www.flickr.com/photos/arborwin/5057890119/) - a tutorial/rant about subtractive methods
Itchy Animation (http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/light.htm) - light and shadow basics
Lackadaisy (http://lackadaisy.foxprints.com/exhibit.php?exhibitid=333) - a lush and detailed series of notes and illustrations on facial expressions
PSG Art Tutorial (http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm) - essentially a visual-foundations crash course
The Punchline Is Machismo (http://thepunchlineismachismo.com/archives/553) - four detailed comic-process tutorials by the artist himself
Walt Stanchfield - Gesture Drawing for Animation (http://www.floobynooby.com/pdfs/gesturedrawingforanimation.pdf) - a comprehensive book in .pdf form

Instructional Websites/Blogs:
Dresden Codak's Tumblr (http://dresdencodak.tumblr.com/) - routinely updates with illustration/design tips

References:
Athletic Body Diversity Reference for Artists (http://ninamatsumoto.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/athletic-body-diversity-reference-for-artists/) - police-lineup-style photos for the human body in different variants of physical fitness
colorschemedesigner.com (http://colorschemedesigner.com/) - a web application capable of instantly spitting out complementary and analogic variants of any color
deviantART - Cedarseed (http://cedarseed.deviantart.com/art/Emotions-and-Facial-Expression-47118559) - facial expression map (full-view/right-click/view-image/zoom-in for text)
posemaniacs.com (http://www.posemaniacs.com/) - free database of poses from numerous angles

Useful Books:
Anatomy For The Artist (http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Artist-Sarah-Simblet/dp/078948045X/) - a massive full-color directory of anatomical reference photographs
Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist (http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Human-Anatomy-Artist-Galaxy/dp/0195030958/) - a dry, but in-depth analysis of the human body
Cartoon Animation (http://www.amazon.com/Cartoon-Animation-Collectors-Preston-Blair/dp/1560100842/) - technical manual about cartoon character design and movement mechanics
Character Animation Crash Course (http://www.amazon.com/Character-Animation-Crash-Course-Goldberg/dp/1879505975/) - contains lessons on staging, posing, composition, and layout
Comics And Sequential Art (http://www.amazon.com/Comics-Sequential-Art-Principles-Instructional/dp/0393331261/) - the most widely acclaimed book on comics creation in existence
Figure Drawing: Design and Invention (http://www.amazon.com/Figure-Drawing-Invention-Michael-Hampton/dp/0615272819/) - a valuable resource on basic construction, anatomy, and gesture
Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy (http://www.amazon.com/Human-Anatomy-Made-Amazingly-Easy/dp/0823024970/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296676257&sr=1-1) - a beginners' workbook that reduces complex anatomy to its expressive elements
Making Comics (http://www.amazon.com/Making-Comics-Storytelling-Secrets-Graphic/dp/0060780940/) - a somewhat comprehensive overview of comic storytelling techniques
Perspective! For Comic Book Artists (http://www.amazon.com/Perspective-Comic-Book-Artists-Professional/dp/0823005674/) - a book-length tutorial on perspective, entirely in comic form
The Animator's Survival Kit (http://www.amazon.com/Animators-Survival-Kit-Richard-Williams/dp/0571202284/) - useful for animation, but also for learning elements common to visual storytelling and composition

Writing:
102 Resources for Fiction Writing (http://www.heretocreate.com/2007/11/01/resources-for-fiction-writing/) - same as this thread, but as a comprehensive writing resource
The Elements Of Style (http://www.bartleby.com/141/) - a must-read for anyone who intends to express any concept through text

Art Programs: (all links come with trials)
Adobe Photoshop (http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/photoshop/)
CorelDRAW (http://apps.corel.com/coreldraw/coreldraw_graphic_suite_a.html)
GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/)
Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/)
Manga Studio (http://manga.smithmicro.com/d_trial_offers.html) (warning: trial must be manually cancelled, else they'll try to charge you for the full version)
OpenCanvas v1.1 (http://wistinga.online.fr/opencanvas/)
Paint Tool SAI (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/)

Seminars:
Marshall Vandruff (http://www.marshallart.com) - (southern california area)

Other Threads Like This One:
Drunk Duck - Ultimate Digital Artist's Resource (http://www.drunkduck.com/community/view_topic.php?tid=55307&cid=240)
Something Awful - Comics Shop Talk (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3386435)

Post your guides here, I'll put 'em in the OP! Or just ask for help, if you're trying to figure out how to do something! TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE BETTER ART A REALITY.

Chu
01-16-2011, 07:09 AM
Here's a recent and popular guide to color theory on dA (http://purplekecleon.deviantart.com/art/How-I-See-Color-A-Tutorial-184642625) and a tutorial/rant my friend made on reductive techniques (http://www.flickr.com/photos/arborwin/5057890119/).

Traumadore
01-16-2011, 09:45 AM
and a tutorial/rant my friend made on reductive techniques (http://www.flickr.com/photos/arborwin/5057890119/).

Well artists actually call that a "Subtractive Method" but he is completely right. It pushes a lot of good compositional skills, like awareness of negative space and focusing on edges rather than lines to define the subject. Interestingly your friend still chose to draw a cartoon with the space he carved out instead of a voluminous form, which means even he kind of misses the point. Not against the rules by any stretch, it will still create a more interesting cartoon. Here's another example of subtractive method, it's used extensively in Monotype printmaking, and should be a basic skill of digital painters I believe. You can even do it in Adobe Illustrator with the new Blob tool to make vector art. Folks should give it a try.

http://www.conceptart.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=1118446&stc=1&d=1291908928

Kirin
01-16-2011, 11:30 AM
I think Dresden Kodak (Aron Diaz)'s entire blog (http://dresdencodak.tumblr.com/) belongs here.

It's his tumblr, so it has random comic previews and such in there, but he periodically posts these in-depth discussions of design and illustration principles that are pretty amazing. Or at least they look that way to me, though I'm not really much of an artist.

DemoWeasel
01-16-2011, 10:37 PM
If you live in the Southern California area and feel like you need to brush up on a wide variety of arting skills, Marshall Vandruff (http://www.marshallart.com) runs affordable seminars on figure drawing, sequential art, and others that teach you a whole lot for a good price.

teekun
01-16-2011, 10:44 PM
Andrew Loomis' books (http://alexhays.com/loomis/) will never cease to be fantastic resources, even if they did cease to be in print.

Donny
01-16-2011, 11:11 PM
Figure Drawing: Design and Invention (http://www.amazon.com/Figure-Drawing-Invention-Michael-Hampton/dp/0615272819/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295243106&sr=8-1) is probably the single best book I've read on basic construction, anatomy, and gesture.

The tutorials Sherm Cohen made featuring Spongebob Squarepants (http://shermcohen.deviantart.com/gallery/23661671) are incredibly instructive and to the point.

gahitsu
01-17-2011, 04:58 AM
Here's a recent and popular guide to color theory on dA (http://purplekecleon.deviantart.com/art/How-I-See-Color-A-Tutorial-184642625) and a tutorial/rant my friend made on reductive techniques (http://www.flickr.com/photos/arborwin/5057890119/).

I've said this before, but I've always struggled with color theory - not the theory, really, but the application. This tutorial doesn't cover anything new for me, per se, but it covered it in a way that really works for me. Thanks oodles!

Also, "reductive" art (hehe) is fun. I miss my old scratchboards and block printing and shit from art classes.

DemoWeasel
01-19-2011, 12:31 AM
Hey! There are a couple of animation books I have that do more than give you tips on how to make drawings move; both Richard Williams' The Animator's Survival Kit (http://www.amazon.com/Animators-Survival-Kit-Richard-Williams/dp/0571202284) and Eric Goldberg's Character Animation Crash Course (http://www.amazon.com/Character-Animation-Crash-Course-Goldberg/dp/1879505975/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1295422345&sr=1-1) have plenty of lessons on stuff like staging, posing, composition, and layout that can be easily applied to comics or individual pieces/whathaveyou.

An anatomy book I've been using is Stephen Peck's Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist (http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Human-Anatomy-Artist-Galaxy/dp/0195030958/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1295422373&sr=1-1). It's a bit dry in some spots and can sometimes read like a medical journal, but the upside to that is that you get a really in-depth analysis on the human body.

Also, I request that this thread be stickied :)

Chu
01-19-2011, 11:49 PM
Saved from the Pit of Flames:
Lackadaisy: Notes on Expressions (of the face-type kind) (http://lackadaisy.foxprints.com/exhibit.php?exhibitid=333)

I agree that this thread should be a sticky.

Kate or Die!
01-20-2011, 12:38 AM
Yes to stickiness. Also, can anyone recommend a tutorial for learning how to color things digitally? I'm kind of deficient in that area.

gahitsu
01-23-2011, 04:23 AM
This is a really, really good facial expression map. I highly recommend it.

http://cedarseed.deviantart.com/art/Emotions-and-Facial-Expression-47118559

(you will need to right click > view image > zoom in to see all the text and facial features. there's a lot covered cause human emotions are complicated or something!)

Lobst
01-23-2011, 11:05 AM
I've been silently adding everyone's entries to the OP! I also added two things: fox-orian's deviantART tutorial series on a bazillion digital-art topics (http://fox-orian.deviantart.com/gallery/?9162487#Tutorial-Series) and a series of photographs of Olympic athletes of different body types (http://ninamatsumoto.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/athletic-body-diversity-reference-for-artists/), in case anyone wants to give their characters varied (but realistic!) body structures.

DemoWeasel
01-23-2011, 09:16 PM
Late animator Walt Stanchfield had a lot of his notes on Gesture Drawing for Animation compiled into a free .pdf (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.floobynooby.com%2Fpdfs%2Fgest uredrawingforanimation.pdf&rct=j&q=gesture%20drawing%20for%20animation&ei=BwA9TcuTLoWBlAfc5LjNBg&usg=AFQjCNEZz3vZlDvNM3U5T6HZk3Gkweb0_Q&sig2=Hi2-NhVRhQ4RdirZEoc0pw&cad=rja)for all to read. It has some really great tips on loosening up a tight drawing arm.

Donny
01-23-2011, 09:22 PM
Late animator Walt Stanchfield had a lot of his notes on Gesture Drawing for Animation compiled into a free .pdf (http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/023/a/5/are_you_game___commission__by_tagl-d37u7on.png)for all to read. It has some really great tips on loosening up a tight drawing arm.

Might want to check that link again.

Edit: Awesome, fixed. And holeeee craaaap thats an excellent series of notes.

nunix
03-10-2011, 02:39 PM
Oh sure, theres a bunch wrong I'm totally sure. I'm not too familiar with male anatomy. Not that such a thing "excuses" the error, but it leaves I my self curious to what muscles and lines should be going where. I need to buy that Anatomy book Demo suggested to me.

Large number of photographs of athletes showin' off all them muscles (http://ninamatsumoto.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/athletic-body-diversity-reference-for-artists/).

Lobst
04-21-2011, 11:34 AM
Ah, Something Awful has a similar thread (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3386435)! Aggregating the resources they link for convenience's sake:

deviantART - Phobs (http://phobs.deviantart.com/art/face-tutorial-177059553?q=boost%3Apopular+in%3Aresources%2Ftutor ials%2Fmisc&qo=11&offset=0) - marvelous guide on facial expressions
deviantART - der-shing (http://alexds1.deviantart.com/gallery/1604172) - a mess of tutorials on figure-drawing, poses, and facial expressions

Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy (http://www.amazon.com/Human-Anatomy-Made-Amazingly-Easy/dp/0823024970/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296676257&sr=1-1) - a beginners' workbook that reduces complex anatomy to its expressive elements

102 Resources for Fiction Writing (http://www.heretocreate.com/2007/11/01/resources-for-fiction-writing/) - same as this thread, but as a comprehensive writing resource
The Elements Of Style (http://www.bartleby.com/141/) - a must-read for anyone who intends to express any concept through text

Nerdy
04-21-2011, 02:24 PM
Crysa on DeviantART has a good tutorial on drawing clothing folds (http://fav.me/dd3ex9), and how to draw frillies. (http://fav.me/ddg6vm)

Traumadore
04-22-2011, 01:21 PM
Crysa on DeviantART has a good tutorial on drawing clothing folds (http://fav.me/dd3ex9), and how to draw frillies. (http://fav.me/ddg6vm)

Oh for gods sake don't waste your time with these. You could find a better resource (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=14739) in 10 seconds if you knew the accepted terminology. It's called Drapery.

How come people on deviant art don't seem know anything about the language of art? It's like they're all determined to shut their ears and stubbornly reinvent the wheel.

Mr. Sensible
04-23-2011, 06:48 PM
How come people on deviant art don't seem know anything about the language of art? It's like they're all determined to shut their ears and stubbornly reinvent the wheel.

They're just ignorant of the terminology, which you're unlikely to know unless you spend time taking art courses or reading through art books.

Granted, the more prolific artists on dA should probably brush up on some of that stuff, but keep in mind that most of the site contributors don't even claim to be professionals. They're just people who like to draw.

Traumadore
04-25-2011, 09:44 PM
Granted, the more prolific artists on dA should probably brush up on some of that stuff, but keep in mind that most of the site contributors don't even claim to be professionals. They're just people who like to draw.

Don't want to derail this thread any further, but I look at art as a technical field. A community of art enthusiasts ignoring the language is as laughable to me as a community of computer enthusiasts that refuse to learn what all the parts are called and invent their own fragmented terminology. It hampers communication in their own area of interest.

Excitemike
04-25-2011, 10:29 PM
How come people on deviant art don't seem know anything about the language of art? It's like they're all determined to shut their ears and stubbornly reinvent the wheel.

It's because they learned how to draw from the internet.

Kirin
04-26-2011, 02:10 PM
Don't want to derail this thread any further, but I look at art as a technical field. A community of art enthusiasts ignoring the language is as laughable to me as a community of computer enthusiasts that refuse to learn what all the parts are called and invent their own fragmented terminology. It hampers communication in their own area of interest.

Honestly, when computers were less developed that would have been kind of impossible, but these days I could almost see it happening. Any hobby that is somewhat technical but relatively cheap and easy to get started in will develop its own fragmented communities. The internet theoretically makes it easier for these splinter communities to communicate with professionals in the field (and each other), but that doesn't mean it's always going to happen. Humans naturally tribalize.

Mr. Sensible
04-26-2011, 06:54 PM
Don't want to derail this thread any further, but I look at art as a technical field. A community of art enthusiasts ignoring the language is as laughable to me as a community of computer enthusiasts that refuse to learn what all the parts are called and invent their own fragmented terminology. It hampers communication in their own area of interest.

I don't think codifying every possible artistic technique necessarily helps bring a community of artists together. Art is much more subjective than computer science; for example, you can't really say one artist's style is objectively better than another, at least not in my mind. Art resists rigid definition, especially at the amateur level.

gahitsu
05-20-2011, 02:13 PM
Google SketchUp (http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/index.html) - no idea why it wasn't already mentioned! There's a paid pro version, but the free one works just fine. Stan Lee himself recommends this for comic book artists, plus it's kind of neat just to play around with. You don't have to stick with just architecture!

gahitsu
06-23-2011, 11:32 AM
I was going to post this in the not-worth-its-own-thread thread but it might have a better home here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-VK8WXOSAU

Just food for thought.