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  31 May 2015 - Digital paper preferred :: Posted in Drawing art

It's been quite some time since I wrote about my attempts to pick up drawing again, but that doesn't mean I haven't been drawing. Actually, last couple of weeks I've been drawing quite a lot, but it's not been 'just for fun', but to make art for the 'Bubbles project'. While making the art for the 'Bubbles project' (for which I'm bow busy making the game's name logo), I noticed that more and more my drawing was getting better. Though it's still not what it was, but I think by the end of the year I've rivaled my old (school times) drawing skills, and I found out why: digital paper.

Why is that digital paper so important for me? I think because I never really took lessons in drawing, other than that one hour a week at school, I never really learned how to use and apply layers in the right way on physical paper. And looking at my use of layers in ArtRage, I don't think I want to learn it anymore either...

Layers on digital paper are so easy to use. I start with a very rough sketch on what I want to make. The next layer I'll get more the the actual drawing I want to make, where I add lines around the rough sketch in the previous layer. While doing that, I'll lower opacity to 25% of the raw sketch and I see the image that I have envisioned in my mind come to life on paper. The next layer is one where I add color and the final adjustments on lines, and depending on the kind or drawing I want to make, I'll use the previous layer's lines in this one or just keep this layer as main layer. Then I'll add one or two more layers for what is probably the most important part of the drawing: shading and reflections.

At this point I have described only 4 or 5 layers, but certain parts of my drawings will be set in a different layer to make editing it at a later point easier. No need to erase parts with the fear of ruining an other part of the drawing, because that's in an other layer.

When 'm finally done, I hide all layers I'm not using (the raw sketch for sure and most likely the next one with lines as well) and I'm ready to export the drawing as a PNG file. Or in the case of art for the 'Bubbles project', I'll merge all layers down (after having saved the drawing of course ) and I'll export the current layer so that I have the transparency around the art I've made.

All this with digital paper I could never have managed with physical paper. Or I could, but it'd take me days which takes me now only hours, and honestly, I don't have that much patience to get something done...

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  11 January 2015 - Manga for Dummies #6 - the eyes (again) :: Posted in Drawing art
I know I said I would not post this weekend's attempt on drawing the eyes, but I just have to. Sadly, Friday and Saturday I didn't have too much time and today not that much either. But I really wanted to make a new set of eyes.

This time I took a closer look at ArtRage and found out that I could change the number of pixels per inch. By default it's set to 72, and I figured that when drawing eyes of around 1 inch it would be way too low. There for I set the number of pixels per inch to 144 this time.

 photo MangaLessons2c-1_zps80e07787.png

I also changed the approach of the eyelashes. Where last time I draw them somewhat forced per lash, this time I started with the above line and from there on made it thicker until it looked pretty real. I also make a rough guide line to set the approximate length of the eye lashes. Using this new technique, I think the eyelashes look a lot better than the previous ones.

I honestly am extremely content with the eye on the right. I think that one really hits the nail! The one on the left looks good, but I think a few small things could have done better (or that's my perfectionism talking now ).

Coming week I'll practice on the nose and mouth, but from what I've seen, those two things are extremely easy to draw in manga. If it's really as simple as I think (hope) it is, I will start making a full face by the end of the week...

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  08 January 2015 - Manga for Dummies #5 - the eyes :: Posted in Drawing art
I didn't really feel like drawing yesterday, partly thanks to a massive headache I had (which was quite a while ago I must add). So today I picked it up again and started anew with the eyes.

This time I tried to keep the eyes a bit 'in sync' when looking from the front and the side, and I think I did manage it a bit as well. If you look at the iris, you'll notice that this time the lines are quite at the same place in the side few as they appear at the front view.

 photo MangaLessons2b1-1_zpsd1f8331b.png

I've split up the drawing in 2 parts. The drawing above is the 'finished' first picture with the contours of how I have to continue for the picture below. I on purpose did it this way because most of the eyeball itself had to be erased. I know that I could have added one or two more layers to do the job, but I'd rather be save than sorry and screw up the drawing all together - do keep in mind that I'm still a (re)starting artist

 photo MangaLessons2b2-1_zps7de36a9f.png

Above is the finished drawing. In the book the artist has drawn the shadows on the iris 100% black, but I think that's in error because shadow is never 100% black, while your pupil is. And while there are still a couple of things I think I could have done better (eyelashes), I am quite pleased with the end result.

Tomorrow and this weekend I'll practice a bit more on the eyes. I most likely won't post the results of those drawings, unless I really make an extremely beautiful one...

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  06 January 2015 - Manga for Dummies #4 :: Posted in Drawing art
After having (somewhat) mastered drawing the face contours, it's time to start on the eyes. In the book is seems pretty daunting, but the basics are not. It's just a bunch of ovals set at the right place (hurray for stencils ) and then draw a couple of lines to the centre of the ovals.

 photo MangaLessons2a-1_zps469b88d7.png

Only that last part is what makes it a bit difficult. I can't really over do the number of lines in the iris, and I can't add too few lines.  I also have to keep in mind that some lines have to be longer than the others and some have to be drawn darker than others. With that, the side few of the eye also had a bit of a challenge too. Here I couldn't add straight lines, but they had to be curved a bit to show the view from the side...

And while at it, I also experimented a bit with the pencil settings. ArtRage has a couple of nice settings that influence how the pencil behaves. These settings are Pressure, Softness and Tilt Angle and they seem important to use with delicate things like the eye.

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  04 January 2015 - Manga for Dummies #3 :: Posted in Drawing art
I've done an other attempt on sketching the basic manga models. This time I also included the male models (bottom row).

I gotta say that drawing the female models went a lot better (and faster) than yesterday. This time I only looked at the book a couple of time as a reference to remind me where the ears had to go (only to avoid to put them up too high ).

 photo MangaLessons1b-1_zps7f3aecf7.png

The male models as a first attempt I think went pretty well too. I'm only not overly found of how the right one looks. The edge of the face at the left side has a bit too much of a curve...

I've also added more layers to the picture than I did yesterday. This time I used 4 layers in total, using the 1st one for the guiding lines, the 2nd one for the ovals, the 3rd one for the facial contours and the 4th one for the ears and neck.

Tomorrow I'll make an other set of these models, and when that goes well I'll continue with the next part of the book: the eyes. This one will be quite a challenge I think because of the complexity of the human (and manga ) eye.

Oh, the above sketch I made in 60 minutes. That's a lot faster than I did yesterday with over 2 hours for only 3 models...

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  03 January 2015 - Manga for Dummies #2 :: Posted in Drawing art
Same picture as posted earlier today, but a couple of hours later (I did take a break as well). I'm starting to get the hang of it and an pleased with the first results.

 photo MangaLessons1-2_zps37f96e1a.png

But I'm not too pleased though... I can do better and will make the same pictures a couple of times more. Not only to get to better myself with the tablet when drawing, but also to master these basic techniques more. Eventually I want to be able to make these basics in a couple of minutes instead of close to 2 hours

When making this firs tutorial I've also seen the difference between the mouse and the tablet. The ovals and guiding lines you see in the drawing are done with the mouse, while the rest is done with the tablet. The lack of pressure levels for the mouse makes the lines hard, while with the tablet I have 2048 pressure levels, allowing to make soft lines that look better for these basic sketches.

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  03 January 2015 - Manga for Dummies #1 :: Posted in Drawing art
It's been quite a while since I've posted my first post here. July last year I wanted to become more active on drawing art, but somehow it just didn't get started back then. Ever since the will to draw was there, but time (and effort) was lacking. With that I also noticed that the books I bought back then were lacking some simple basics as well...

Now that my MMO gaming gets less and less it's becoming time to get really started on drawing. The last two days I made a start with the book Manga for Dummies. After a lot of theory that I've taken to me it was time to bring it into art.

 photo MangaLessons1_zps95551c21.png

Well, art...? I still have a long way to go as you can see. But the basics are there already. Okay, I admit, the ovals come from stencils (and drawn with the mouse, while the tablet has different pressure settings) and the left 'face' not yet looking 100% as a face. But the basics are there already - it's a learning curve I have to master...

And speaking of mastering... There's also an other thing I need to master. I was used to draw with pencil and paper (well, that's over 20 years ago already), and now I'm drawing with the tablet. And it's the tablet that gives a lot of trouble to get used to drawing on the computer. Though it's a Wacom Intous Pro (small), I don't see at the tip of the (digital) pencil what I'm drawing. Instead I have to get used to looking on the screen when I'm drawing. Because of that 'problem' the above drawing took me about an hour to make

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