Screentoning Tip


Adobe Photoshop Elements icon

Image via Wikipedia

So, for most of us, we only have photoshop to use for screentoning. And searching for them is pretty hard if you don’t know where to go. So this tip is a searching tip and an implementing tip.

  1. First thing you can do is find a nice A4 sized screentone image, select all go to edit and selected “Define Pattern” and use the “Pattern Stamp tool”
  2. Use gradient on one layer, tone on a new layer above the gradient and play with the layer blend mode to get gradient screentones.
  3. Search deviant art for free use pre-made pattern tools. Download the PAT. file and install it yourself and enjoy flawless tones if the author gives the permission you need/are happy with, if not respect the creator and try find someone that offeres it for both free and commercial use.
  4. To install PAT. file, go to, your C: drive, find adobe photoshop (whatever version you have, I am using PS7) pressets/Patterns/ then copy paste the PAT. file there, open photoshop, use and enjoy
  5. Mix up the use of diffuse and the grain filter to make you own textures or tones.

In any case, searching deviant art first for free use tones that work in both PS and GIMP will give you more results than google. Also searching DA for screentoning tutorials will give you better results and turn out a lot more good useful tutorials because not many of these show up in the google search engine which has to do with google page rank which I really don’t want to get into right now, but honestly search DA FIRST for most art tutorials and it will turn out a heap of results. I actually go there for web coding tutorials before I google it. They just have bigger and better resources.

 

Livestream!! Come Say Hi 8D


draconianrain on livestream.com

Basically just me drawing and planning pages for my friend and I’s webcomic. Mostly concept art at this stage. Hope something will be of use. It’s also going to feature some annotations etc so excuse my awful handwriting.

More Concept Art Coming plus REVEIWS! (But mostly ramblings)


Adobe Photoshop Elements icon

Image via Wikipedia

So I’ve been thinking about putting together a bit of concept art video’s together. So basically more than one artwork in one video, but that’s IF movie maker doesn’t crash as much as it has been doing lately.

I am however going to record an event file sometime in the week just to avoid using movie maker. Speaking of which I have two freeware programs to suggest OTHER THAN GIMP! I know GIMP can be quite good, but these two are a lot better suited to anime/manga and various cartoon art and just about anything you want to draw with a paint feel to it. Google search Project Dogwaffle. I am certain it is one word. Now becareful with downloading it because of all the ads, but it is very good, quite easy and if you really like it the upgrade is cheap but the free version stays free. The other is opencanvas 1.1 if you haven’t already heard of it which would be a bit odd by now but some people don’t know of it. It’s really awsome to watch your art replay in the even file later ^^ I love to watch my sketches replay but it’s an excellent way to spot where I went wrong.

I really loved project Dogwaffle but I have such a heavy arsenal of digital art programs already that I really didn’t need it but I went through a phase of trying to find a program that go that wonderfully soft watercolour look that I loved so much. In the end, I settled for Opencanvas, paint tool sai and eventually I learned how to watercolour in photoshop though it is very hard and time consuming. I have tried Corel painter, was not for me and thankfully I tested the trial before considering buying it because it is expensive! So my last bit of advice, download the trial before you buy! I bought Photoshop Elements 7 convinced it was the one I needed… how very wrong I was, I needed CS for the art I do but silly me took the advice of the sales man who doesn’t do digital painting and went by the pictures on the back. I did however find a painting technique in ps7 but what I am saying is, you shouldn’t have to adapt to the wrong program. Now I’ve learned my mistake, I will get the trials first. It’s saved me a lot of money.

Like one time I used the Trail of Manga Studio and omg after 2weeks into it, it used up soooo much ram it lagged and crashed and I was considering buying it after the first two weeks but the fact of the matter is, I’m not a big time comic artist and don’t have an industry standard working station and I was heartbroken after that because the tones were so beautiful and clean. Then I saw illuststudio and I tried the out of date english trial, saw the video’s on youtube and now I am saving up to buy it from akadot retail because it does the same thing without eating your pc, plus the coloured tones has me rather interested. I’ve found out opencanvas, the newer ones also have toning capabilities but illuststudio is a lot better for it since it’s made to create manga. My main reason is that it’s a japanese software specifically made to make manga so they’ve thought of EVERYTHING! And it’s so much cheaper to buy that Manga Studio. I don’t know how successful people think most comic’s artists are these days because most of us just make webcomic’s now in the hopes that someone will read and enjoy it.

Anyway I am getting side tracked now so to sum everything up, I will be posting a drawing video soon. Remember that just because my art turns out nice in a program doesn’t mean it will be the same for you because we all make art differently so, try before you buy. And have a great time drawing!


Follow Me on Twitter

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Firstly, sorry for no posts recently. I had a 21st party to both organise and go to. It was a lot of fun, met a lot of people.

So for the next update, I will be posting a Vlog of me speedpainting a gift art, from start to hopefully finish. Some parts may be missing because half was done on live stream and the other was done on camstudio. If you are interested in viewing my livestream then click HERE. I usually post a link via twitter when I go on livestream, so if you would like to get those updates then you can Follow Me on Twitter. My Twitter link and updates are always available on the right side of my blog so if you ever loose the link, you can always catch it here as well take a sneak peek of what’s going on lately ūüėČ

The programs I will be using will be a mix between, opencanvas, easy paint tool sai if it’s not lagging and mostly photoshop elements 7. I don’t have CS even though it’s the one I really want, I simply can’t afford it. But maybe one day or if I get enough art commissions I will spoil myself and buy it. Though that is looking to be very unlikely. Mostly because bills come first >_> Also, as always I will be working from my bamboo fun pen and touch tablet.

 

Concept Art Video


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Image via CrunchBase

Hey there everyone! I’m back again with a new video. This time on Concept art, but more specifically character concept art. So first, please view the video, I will add annotations to the video later when youtube lets me so be sure to watch again, then after you watch please read on. Also if you would like to subscribe or add me as a friend on youtube you can find my profile by clicking the page link labeled Youtube or CLICK HERE.

One more thing to keep in mind, this is just my opinion on how I do things etc and please forgive my gramma mistakes.

So the first thing I do is check my settings on my wacom bamboo tablet. The reason being is because sometimes when I update the tablet driver either my settings are reset or there are some bugs with the driver I installed. I set it to almost 100% firm giving me personally the best pen pressure range. It is very close to my intuos settings but not quite as good, though good enough to do the job. For those of you who don’t know, I use to own and Intuos3 but sadly it died, not the manufacturing, it would have lasted years had someone not knocked their drink on my tablet sitting below the table… ahem lets move on.

Once I have my settings at my desired pressure I go straight into painting. In the video you can see that I opened up a sketch that I’ve already drawn. I had planned for the young man’s¬†jewellery¬†to be white but with the pale hair I decided that it would be to hard to see. With the skin, I just started with something soft because I want the character to have a soft look about him, even feminine to a certain extent. As far as the shading goes, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. This is the beauty of concept art. Initially I wanted to do dark and brooding shadow on one side and make him seem like he had two sides to him but as I worked the shadows I realised that it simply didn’t match his personality the more I coloured. This then changed his previous design which landed me at his final look. Just from this colouring alone I was able to finish writing about the characters bio and background storyline.

Next part I want to talk about is the characters eyes. The old version of this character had pale blue eyes but after my many years of figure study and drawing realism and semi-realism I learned that often the best eye colour is one that matches the hair and makes it look more natural or even gentle. I originally had this character with stereotypical ice¬†villain¬†eyes but in the end the more I wrote about the character the more I wanted to steer away from stereotypes and stereotypical designs. This particular character of mine has the longest and most changes that I have ever done to any character that I have ever created to this date! I’ve redesigned him so many times already but now I am genuinely happy with how he looks and that’s something that a lot of people don’t understand about character concept art. It’s all about trial and error and sometimes you have to draw them in the scenes in several designs before you finally come to a character design that you actually like.

Next part I want to share is the black cloak. I made it look wavy like that with the blend or finger tip tool. This particular character is one that dabbles in shadow magic and has a dark aura around him a lot in my story and until now I had not found a particular way that represented that in a style that I liked. Ok so misty can look mysterious but it would block away that pretty face so that’s one reason I ditched that look, the second was most people use that and I want to separate myself a bit from the crowd. The biggest reason was if I were to do it traditionally, it would be a huge mess and once it’s done, it’s done, there’s no turning back. Just another reason why I favour doing my comic’s digitally. Through out all the concept stages of this character this is the first time that the smudge tool has works so successfully on his cloak, but it was through trial and error on previous designs that I was able to get to this final stage and that is something that is really important. A lot of people don’t realise how much work really goes into concept art and how many times you have to draw the same thing over and over before you finally get there so please keep that in mind. I know my video shows it happening instantly but I can garuntee you that this character has been¬†under-construction¬†for a few years now. The main reason a few years was because I kept completing the design instead of sketching or testing out the character by colouring my sketches because I didn’t know how to make concept art properly before. I didn’t know of the trials and errors but I was also

1) Very young

2) I’m a self taught artist

Next part of the video I want to talk about is the headdress or jewellery. I mainly want to talk about colouring it properly and not half-assing it like I did. When I had certain beads shaded and lit with dodge and burn tool, I knew from there alone that I loved how the beads would look if I spend the time necessary on them to make them sparkle. It wouldn’t have taken long to do, because all there is to it is, shade in a¬†crescent¬†moon shape on one side only, then a light dab of light in the unshaded area up top like in the video shown. If you can colour properly quickly, then spend that time on the concept art colouring it right, it makes a world of difference to your decision making as well as making the right decision. After all concept art is basically sketching out your idea and building up that idea till you can find a practical use for it.

And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. Most people know what they want straight away, do up the line art and colour it in and that’s the end of that but for other artist like me with endless stories or epic plots you just have to slow it down and put a lot of work into something so seemingly simple as clothing, hair colour or eye colour. Often I might draw one eye and colour it in 19 different ways until I find the right one but some may see that as pointless work where as I see it as an opportunity to use it later on other designs. Never throw away you concept art or sketches because every little bit can be used again later or for another project! I do it all the time. I often find myself recycling old designs and turning them into bigger and better ones later on in life so try your best to keep that in mind, no matter how ugly it might look to you now I can garuntee, you will find a purpose for it later.

My last bit of advice which is in the video, concept art is an excellent way to practise colouring and maintaining that skill as well as a useful boredom killer!

All Healed and Back to Work!!


The color spectrum rendered into the sRGB colo...

Image via Wikipedia

So, for those of you that don’t know why I disappeared for so long, it’s because I got the dental work done! I had 15 extractions and am almost totally healed up now and already I feel soooo much better. I’m full of energy and I am no longer upset with my art. In fact half the reason I was so frustrated was because I was so terribly ill, but I am healthy now so it’s all good! I am going to keep up with my Vlog though and here is the first one for 2011.

Ok so there’s been numerious questions on why I don’t shade with the standard browns like other artists and personally I find it looks too unnatural by the time I finish, even if I adjust the hues or levels in photoshop. I’ve actually found more natural looking shading from using very low opacity burgandy, aubergine, rich and deep reds and shadowy grey/purples than I have with hand picking the browns myself plus I am a bit colour blind as well and picking colours is terribly hard at times so this alternative suits me just fine. The other reason is because when these colours are on a low opacity eg 10% it mixes/blends to make that brown in just the right colour and it is easy to build up or darken in the right shade for each level of shadow desired.¬†I’m also very heavy handed on using purple in everything from backgrounds to clothing and¬†jewellery¬†so the skin tones often suit my art better when they have a slight purple hue to them anyway.

So all that info aside I will explain why I’ve used blue this time. Like I mentioned, if the dominant colour is in the background, clothes etc then I tend to shade with that colour to make it suit. I’ve found doing this, I rarely have to use the hues and contrast any more because it already matches. I also used blue because he’d be understandably FREEZING! And that’s all there is to it. I was unsure of this character and how he’d look with blue around his eyes and lips so that is why I coloured the sketch. I liked it so much that I am going to finish it later in the week. I’m currently way to back logged on DA to post it there just yet because my laptop over christmas died. I’m currently borrowing a friends to do an important commission until I can get my new PC which is hopefully going to be sometime in February.

Sorry I don’t have much else to say on this picture but that’s all I have to say on how I colour and why. The plain and simple reasons are because it gives me the ability to slowly build up when on a low opacity right up to where I need it to without having to colour pick every ten minutes. Actually it’s cut my working time down by several hours doing it this way. I hope some of you find it helpful and I hope that it has cleared up some things for those who keep asking me why I or how I pick my colours to shade.

Good luck and have fun! I’ll be writing a new post in a few hours because I just finished a new video on concept art only it’s my way of doing things when I design my characters =D