Professor Smeargle: Digital Art Tutorial / Tutoring Thread

Shinxe

there and back again
is an Artist Alumnus
#30
Haha I *think* at least nasty, Orugos, Chou, and I are all female.

But on topic, I will help people if they have questions, but I'm super busy and can't really volunteer to tutor, per say. Definitely would be fine with answering inquiries and so on. I'll even redline or crit when I have the time for it!

So I dunno, maybe that *does* qualify as tutoring?
 
#31
Chou's a guy, he's posted pictures of himself. Orugus is a girl, and you're a girl. Yilx is a girl. I think that Rising Dusk for some reason is a girl. I can't draw with a mouse, nor with a pen but I think that this thread and just looking at all of the fabulous art on Smeargle's studio has opened my eyes as to what art is. I don't need to be able to draw. Great thread.
 
#32
Well even if you don't "sign up for tutor", if you or anyone feels like hanging out in #Smeargle, and we end up helping/chatting that's good!

Also I'm glad to learn the genders of Shinxe and Orugos. As for myself...

 
#36
Yilx is a girl? I knew the others, but...Well, anyway, this is really really helpful, and I just got GIMP 2, which is hardly the best but it's better than Livebrush which is incompatible with conversion to a Smogon-readable file and has no eraser tool. You guys and girls are all helpful!!!!
 

Shinxe

there and back again
is an Artist Alumnus
#37
....but NatGeo, I can't do/suck at/take forever to make complex lineart. 6_9

LOL oops. See, my default is just thinking internet artists are female, sorry. 8[
 
#40
Hey this thread is great!

So for anyone looking to get legit digital art programs but don't want to shell out for expensive programs like Photoshop, Illustrator or Painter:
ArtRage is a fantastic program that imitates real media and canvas really well. Check it out. They have 3 versions available ranging from $20-$80 USD.
Paint Tool SAI is I believe more like Photoshop, and seems to be especially great at line control (enabling you to make smooth lines more easily). I haven't tried this program (it's Windows only) but I know a lot of people who really love it. It's about $65 USD.

If you are a Photoshop user and you want to get a more textured, real media feel to your works, here's a great brush set that absolutely rules: http://ditlev.cghub.com/scripts/

Also I'd be happy to try redlines/critiques/tutoring. I am on IRC pretty often, so if you see me there and I'm active then feel free to ask about anything art related.

Aand one last thing. Wacom tablets are amazing. Worth the money absolutely. Plus they have the very affordable(less than $100) Bamboo line now. I have had my (gigantic) Intuos2 for about 9 and a half years and it still works perfectly. I got it in December 2001. SERIOUSLY!
 
#41
Adding to paintseagull's last paragraph!

Wacom Bamboo is a really good line for tablets. I got my Pen & Touch one for 100 dollars I do believe, which I thought was a good deal already but it also comes with Photoshop Elements 8, along with a little miniature thing (dunno what to call it) that you can add apps on to, one is SumoPaint (which is a bit less advanced than Photoshop and can't take opacity, but alas, IT'S FREE). I think some tablets come with Corel Painter (is that what it's called? I've never used it) as well.

I would make a tutorial for you guys if I actually had a consistent drawing method, lol.
 
#42
Just wanted to chime in and say that for a beginning artist, fancy tablets are not necessary. Bamboo funs are good tablets, I used a small for 4 years, and I now use a medium.
 
#45
Hi all! Little bit new around here, but I'm a freelance digital artist in my spare time and I'd like to chime in that while it's true that you can create amazing work with Wacom's Bamboo line, the Intuos4 has the advantage of tilt sensitivity, which does wonders for making things feel so much more natural.

However, don't think you'll be good at art with a fancy new tablet. It's my opinion that the art hierarchy goes like this:

1. TECHNICAL SKILL: This is the most important thing. Most artists start off thinking that imagination is the most important. It's not. If you can't express that imagination of yours accurately, your art will look bad. How do you develop it? Draw from life. Seriously. Don't stylize your drawing in anime/manga style (I know most artists start this way, but the best move back to life drawing for improvement). Study perspective (ugh), lights and shadows, and anatomy. Learn how bones connect to muscles and how they appear under skin. It's a long, tedious process, and it will take you years of practice.

2. COMPOSITION: Second most important is how your overall art piece looks. How it sits in the frame is one thing, but more important is how you direct your audience's eyes around the piece. The great art masters paint/draw their pieces in ways that make your eyes travel around the piece in certain ways, whether its moving along the edges in a circle before focusing back on the figure or staring the figure deadpan in the face. You've got to arrange your art so it doesn't look like a mess. Composition applies much less to technical drawings and concept art.

3. IMAGINATION: This is obviously important (unless you're aiming for a career in hyper realistic portraits, in which case, it is only slightly less important). After you've mastered technical skills and composition, your imagination makes what you draw "your art". However, as a precaution, don't let imagination get ahead of technical skills/composition. This is something SO MANY artists (including myself) fall into. The worst result is that you end up using imagination to make up for lack of technical skills, such as hiding hands/feet behind things so you don't have to draw them, or giving your characters weird armor/clothes to cover up your weak points.

4. EQUIPMENT: Last but not least is equipment. I'm speaking mainly for digital art. You can do amazing things with Wacom's Bamboo line. I used to use a Wacom Graphire, the smallest, least expensive tablet out there (I recall it was $50 new). I now use an Intuos4 and it has improved my art by smoothing out my workflow with shortcut buttons and allowing more precision, but most of my improvement is due to practicing technique and composition. I recently used a friend's Graphire (mine has long since broken) and found that I can produce artwork of the same caliber as my Intuos4, but it just takes me much longer. Point is, equipment is probably the least important. Software-wise, you need a painting/editing program with layers and pressure sensitivity. MSpaint can only take you so far. Paint Tool SAI is good, Corel Painter is great, and Photoshop is the preferred tool for most professionals. I haven't tried GIMP having been spoiled by the afore-mentioned programs, but I've heard good things.

Here's an example of my work process:


I usually start by painting random abstract marks as a background and work up from there. It's not everyone's cup of tea (some like to sketch first). I then do a really rough sketch and block in base color/shading.

Why I put in the background first is that it makes composition (rule #2) so much easier, since you're not putting it in later. You get to see the colors and how they work out before you invest all that time into the character. The drawing I did above is a bad example because I decided partway through I liked a different background color (huzzah photoshop layers!), but usually I stick with my initial background and just develop it.

From there on out it's my favorite part. I just take a hard brush and paint over my colors and sketch. This is where technical skills of shading, colors, and anatomy come in. The rough sketch tests your technical skills a little, but the final rendering of a character will really show your abilities.

The final touch is overlaying textures/other special effects in Photoshop to really make the piece "pop". If you're a really great artist you won't even need these, but sadly I'm not there yet so Photoshop really helps tie my piece together.

Wow, that was a long post.
 

Moo

Professor
is an Artist Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
#47
This thread is so coooooool :D
I love GFX but I can't draw for my life. Once my laptop gets fixed im gonna try out some of the digital art guides and add #smeargle to ajoin :p Oh yeah I started drawing too, just so I can improve
 
#49
Alright, this is going to be a bit of a random question, but I'm hoping it goes under the simple question heading... does anyone know a good website for poses/anatomy?

I used to visit a website like that early last year, it had a bunch of (iirc) computer generated models (sans skin) in different poses and had options for things like 30 second speed sketches, where they'd show you a model and you had 30 seconds to get the general pose down before automatically switching to another. It was really useful but, of course, being the idiot that I am, I forgot to write the website down and lost it after reformatting multiple times last year. Anyone know a site like that?
 

icepick

she brings the rain
is an Artist
#50
Alright, this is going to be a bit of a random question, but I'm hoping it goes under the simple question heading... does anyone know a good website for poses/anatomy?

I used to visit a website like that early last year, it had a bunch of (iirc) computer generated models (sans skin) in different poses and had options for things like 30 second speed sketches, where they'd show you a model and you had 30 seconds to get the general pose down before automatically switching to another. It was really useful but, of course, being the idiot that I am, I forgot to write the website down and lost it after reformatting multiple times last year. Anyone know a site like that?
http://www.posemaniacs.com/blog/