Thursday, July 23, 2009


Going to be sketching live shortly to test things out for Saturday! Watch my twitter for when!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Of Programs and Resources!

Artists always get asked what their methods are and such. I came to a realization yesterday as I was working and figured I'd share the stuff I use to create my art.

My art is often switched from digital to traditional depending on my mood and available space to work. So I'll split this into each!


My staple for my traditional work is generally my sketchbook. I'm not picky and have been using Canson 100% recycled paper sketch book for the 10 years I've been drawing. While markers bleed through(which is usually remedied with a scrap paper under it), I love the way the markers blend so smoothly on it.
For sketching I use a 0.3 technical pencil, modified with a grip because it's more comfortable. Sometimes I use the blue animators lead for sketching, but not very often.
I erase with Magic Rubs and a Pentel automatic eraser. They erase with less pencil residue than anything else I've tried.

I've recently come to a realization that my original pencil sketches are really important, especially in this modern age of digital art. So I've changed my methods of inking in order to preserve them.
I use Copic Multiliners for inking. If you're ever looking for them, look for the metal ones(you'll know them when you see them). Multiliners are not only refillable, but their tips and nibs are fully replaceable, so don't let the $5 price tag scare you away from them.
Many people use Microns for inking. I will admit, I was a solid Micron supporter for awhile. After all, they were readily available, didn't bleed with markers, and helped avoid the messes that were made with my previous method of quill pens and India ink which still do well when coloring with Prismacolor colored pencils, but didn't do so well when I moved to marker. I learned quickly, however, how quickly Microns dried out and, more importantly, how quickly the nibs wore out, split, or bent.
I went through a journey to find good inking pens.
I loved my Rapidographs, but after a while, the ink dried up and clogged my nibs. They also liked to tear into my paper.
I tried Faber Castell, Ziqs, you name it I tried them, and most either bled too much into my paper, or bled with my markers. So once I found Multiliners, I was hooked. They were perfect for me.
I recently bought a Pentel ColorBrush brush pen, which I have yet to try, but I've heard good things about.

To ink, I actually use simple computer printer paper. It's smooth and the pens take well to it. Most of the time, this inked picture is never my final...just an inked draft.
I use my light desk(bought at Hobby Lobby for like...$30. Awesome investment!) to create my inked draft, so that my pencils are preserved.

At this point, I decide how I'm going to color the picture, either traditionally or digitally.

I like using markers and water colors the most, though I do use acrylic paint or colored pencils from time to time.
I use Copic sketch markers for the most part. I used Prismacolor Markers for a long time until I saw the beautiful effects and blending of the Copics. The investment was much more cost effective as well, since Copics are refillable. A Copic marker at $5, while more than a $3 Prsima, can be refilled about 7 times with a $5 refill. $10 for Copics compared to the $35 needed to buy the same amount of Prisma markers...well, I was sold.
I love using Windsor and Newton Watercolors, though my collection ranges from that to Crayola. I also adore Dr. Martin's Inks for awesome washes! I use cold pressed aquarelle watercolor paper, with my awesome(and expensive) field Watercolor board, which I happily bought with birthday money this year.
Other than that, I use Liquitex acrylics, and Prismacolor pencils for other methods.

Or I go digital, scanning my inked(or sometimes just the sketch) drawing into one of my computers using my Canon LiDE 30. Little and outdated, but it's one hell of a tough scanner.


I've been coloring digitally since 7th grade, when Photoshop was Mac only. My school was one of the first schools to offer computer imaging as an art course, and I'm forever thankful for that.
Since then, my programs have expanded and I use a good mix of all of them to make a finished piece.

If I scan an inked drawing, I always start off in Photoshop. I have more knowledge of adjustments and settings to prepare my lineart in Photoshop, so it's all pretty much second nature.
Lately, though, I've been sketching directly onto the computer. The undo is an awesome tool and it saves trees!

My digital drawing tools consist of my two laptops and tablet. I own a Mac Powerbook G4 Titanium, which I've had since 2002. The battery is dead, the disc drive no longer works, and both hinges of the screen are broken so it needs support to stay open. Despite all this, it multitasks better than any other computer in this house, and for that I love it. And Macs are pretty.
With my Mac, I use my Wacom Graphire 3 tablet.
I also have a Fujitsu Stylistic TabletPC, which has been taking the bulk of my work lately due to the ease of drawing in the computer directly.

While I prepare lineart in Photoshop,a lot of my work lately(sketching, inking and coloring) has been done using Corel Painter X. I like the painterly effects and natural feel of Painter.Photo shop is used for special effects, text, and other things I can't find equal methods to do through Painter.And my brush library is extensive.:D

I also use Illustrator in times when I need a more graphical effect to a piece,such as solid outlines or things only vectors can work with. The pen tool is SO much easier in Illustrator.

That's pretty much what I use once I have a piece planned. Lately I've seen the wonder of using stock resources, and have just gotten Poser to use when I can't find what I'm looking for. Working on a lighting model right now to help finish my picture from below.It's become a staple for my art and I likely will continue to use it as a drawing resource.

And, well...that's it!

I have a web camera in the mail coming to me, so I'm expecting to have my first artcast on Ustream next week! I'll keep you all posted here!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seriously...I'm working!

So...I'm beginning to get frustrated at the fact that I've set so many projects and pieces before me that I've been lacking in actually finishing anything. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving my advances, and adore the pieces I've been working on, but silly little me wants to FINISH something. I've been trying so hard to catch up with what I missed with my mother's wedding in Texas.

I've been working non-stop, essentially. At least 8 hours each today, which I'm using as a day of rest for my hand. I've been told to make Sunday my day of rest no matter what...because even though I love drawing, my body needs a rest.

For those who don't know, I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand when I was 18. To have it so early was unusual, but because I was drawing and looking at art as my profession at that point, me, my parents, and my doctor, though it a possibility to reduce further damage.
Previous to my drawing, I typed a lot, hand wrote stories a lot, and played Oboe for 5 years, so stress to my carpal tunnel didn't seem too out-there.
I was drawing within a week of getting my stitches taken out, and while the constant ache went away, I felt over time that the surgery didn't do anything but give me extensive scar tissue.
I decided to get over it and just deal with it.
There's a really long story that follows this that comes back to last year when I was dealing with some numb spots and burning in my leg. After a long summer, I was diagnosed with an unknown Neuromuscular Disorder/Disease. Could be Multiple Sclerosis, could be Muscular Distrophy, could be something new...we don't know and I don't have the money to get further tests needed. In any case, I deal with a lot of muscle pain and fatigue daily, and this can put a damper on my work, though I try to not let it get to me.
Recently I've had to resort to taping my pinky to my ring finger when I draw due to the Myotonia in my hand. This keeps my hand from cramping up as quickly, and I'm glad to have thought of it. I think once I get a Cinteq stylus, I might be able to reduce my pain and inflammation due to the grip on the pen, and might not get numb fingers anymore. Hoping for this very soon.

I'm also hoping to get a web camera soon(I've got a good and affordable one picked out already), so that I can get on Ustream and join the art movement of having a drawing channel.

Anyway, without further ado...I give you part of what has been my task for about two weeks now.

She's undergone a few skin re-colors and such...and this is probably far from what the final will be, but I'm loving it and learning SO much during this. Doing a lot of experimentation with colors and color theory, lighting...a TON of research and looking at references. This picture here, I think, has marked a moment in my life where I'm really working hard as an artist. And loving every minute of it.