Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Inspiration By Story Creation

Stories make the best inspiration and one that are so personal to the individual that you can create excellent results by letting your mind wander and describe things in exact detail. Reading other authors works can be similar and can often freely flow more ideas into your creative output than anything at times.

I regularly read extracts from the lord of the rings", as it is richly descriptive of scenes and characters, something that's a fine example of creating new ideas from something that're years old filled with classic fantasy creatures and literature that were written to help the imagination do. What is does best and that is imagining.

Writing stories should come from a place you are familiar with and have a strong interest in the subject matter for it to be inspirational to your own art and style of concept art. Being inspired from reading stories comes as no surprise as this is what makes reading a book a personal one, because each person imagines the story and characters in their own unique way.

Creating your own imagined stories helps to evaluate enough creative material to work from that will inspire greater ideas and drawing concepts. Typically, writers who write imagine their stories creations in their mind but may not be able to draw themselves, but still the useful way that writers build content and story narratives, serve as a valuable reference for any artist who cares to read up to get a creative booster.

Therefore, we have established that reading and writing help the artist and inspiration can be gained from the pursuit of exploring our own inner archive of visuals that we interpret from every available reference and resource.

A Creature Drawn With Biro Available As An Art Print On Zazzle

This is a new product in the zazzle gallery I have running over there, it has been drawn with a bic biro pen and this is fast becoming my top art pen of choice even though they are meant for writing, I like the way you can sketch and shade at the same time and finding an equal balance between the use of biro pens is something I would certainly like to look more into online aswell as any other artists offline.

Fantasy Art Galleries For Visual Reference

This is a simple post with links to fantasy art galleries that is always a good place to look at for visual references and inspiration when you need it the most.

These galleries are from the best of professional and amateur fantasy artists out there online with the casual comic book gallery too along the way and if you really do need that visual boost of inspiration for your own work then it is a great thing to sit back with a cup of whatever and just click through the galleries which will give you ideas and also the motivation that you need to create some fantastic works of art yourself.

This is an ever growing fantasy gallery art list by the way so if you feel there is a top fantasy art gallery that isn't included then drop me a line in the comments.

Creation is 98 per cent inspiration!

Fantasy Art Galleries

Epilogue Fantasy Art Gallery
Fantasy Gallery
Elfwood Sci-Fi And Fantasy Gallery
Imagenetion Art Gallery

Comic Book Art Galleries

Comic Book Art Community

Fantasy Artist Professionals

Frank Frazetta Gallery
Selina Fenech Fantasy Art

I Draw Girls: Drawing A Dragon Video Quick Tutorial

Building a concept of a dragon drawing on an art software program and it is inspirational stuff, seeing the basic frame of the dragon coming through and the indications of light and shadow, this is a quick video from the IDrawGirls.com website featuring many more videos of creative inspiration fantasy work

Monday, 23 February 2009

Finding Your Inner Creative Mind

Being creative is something that anyone who draws anything wants to be and sometimes we lose sight of our creativity for whatever reason and this is a post all about finding your inner creativity which is somewhere you will want to go so that you will always draw some good sketch ideas and create whatever you want on demand.

To find your creative streak if you have lost it or have simply lost focus is something that can be easily brought back from the dead, a renewed and refreshed outlook on the creative tasks at hand that have to be accomplished are set out in the following ways:-

Inspiration - when we are inspired to create we do just that create, we can assign methods to gain inspiration.

Determination - This is linked to inspiration in some way and it is the energy of being determined that will drive you on.

Motivation - Following on from determination comes being motivated builds up reasons in your own mind why you must do your tasks.

Planning - Plans incorporate the other three points above and using this you build an excellent plan that will never fail.

Lets go into detail about inspiration and what could inspire you further.
For this part you will need to find out what really stimulates your creativity, and for each person it could be something different. For example I am inspired by multiple things like looking at my comic book collection, watching a few dvds or reading some books, inspiration is a wonderful thing once you appreciate that there are others artistic creations out there to help you visualize drawings and interpreted new ideas and concepts.

When the mind keeps active and is interested in the stuff that the person likes then good things happen for the processes of creativity to take effect, we tend to look at the visual concepts first and then see how we can incorporate them into our own works.

Being determined helps the process of inspiration to be carried through by wanting to be inspired and this follows through with the realistic goals that every creative person should adhere to, also a determined mind brings about action based on the desires that someone wants to have. Working out your end goals could make you more determined in the long run.

Motivation is almost the same as determination but there has to be some special focus or reason that all this creativity matters to you or you wouldn't be doing it at all, the very fact that you are determined makes you motivated and this is a good thing for a creative mind to prosper.

Together with good planning of your creative ways you will find a daily routine and way of working that suits you better than it would if you had not planned your creative endeavours beforehand and going through a to do task list is an easier thing to handle as you have all the jobs you need to get done all laid out in an agenda that is customized for you by you.

Finding your inner creative mind can be as much an exploration of you, than it is just simply finding a way of visualizing ideas on paper, by the very realization of what you like and what you enjoy and strive to get accomplished should be anyones main life goal, so make time for your inner mind to be free and creative by soaking up what suits the artist that you are.

Music can help your mind become free to flow the energy of creativity....

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Forging Dragons By John Howe

Forging Dragons John Howe Book Cover

John Howe is a fantasy art legend in my mind and one that has created several paintings and art pieces for such iconic imagery of The lord of the rings aswell as several other fantasy worlds and realms.

And forging dragons is his book which delves deep into the dragon design, more like a process of the way he works giving notes and advice on certain techniques and thoughts of each project within his book. With detailed illustrations and sketches throughout he attempts to evoke the atmosphere of diverse dragons and provide a history of sorts to the dragons mythology with extracts from some other sources which serve as examples for which John can illustrate how he tackles a certain dragon in a different way.

One of the most fascinating things about Johns art is that it is easy to get caught up in seeing his artwork being processed and feeling the desire to draw along with him as you are reading. I find this true a lot with some of the other top fantasy artists, that I just want to get started straight away and almost skip past reading the book, but then I realize I have to read on.

Watch this short video with John giving a little personal introduction to the book Forging Dragons

The exploration of dragons as myth is the fantasy stuff of dreams and it is the imagination of drawing dragons that appeals to many especially from an artist who seems to do it almost effortlessly.

John Howe is an artist to study if you are interested in the intricacies of watercolour painting as he is a master of watercolour, as I once read a book about the process he used for a Lord Of The Rings Gandalf painting for which he built up lots of glaze layers or washes and created a misty fog effect before creating more detailed shades of paintwork at the foreground with Gandalf being the off centre focal point and here is that painting.Gandalf The Grey Painting

See some more of John Howes Work on Lord Of The Rings Concept Paintings

Popular John Howe LOTR Paintings
More John Howe Lord Of The Rings Paintings

Waterstones John Howe - Forging Dragons Synopsis and Review

Monday, 16 February 2009

Epilogue Fantasy Art Gallery

I often am a browser at times and can just spend hours on end looking at the many galleries on Epilogue - The Fantasy And Sci-Fi Art Gallery To look at other fantasy art is the most inspirational thing any artist can do. Of course just like Elfwood there are a mix of professional artists and just fans of the genre but as an artists I believe we can learn from the art of anyone, professional or not.

As you'll find new ideas in the strangest of places, take Youtube for example there are various videos which are from excellent artists and then from people whose drawing may not be perceived as good, but I say rubbish, the very fact that any artist is having a go means they are celebrating the fact that they love the art form of fantasy art and that is good enough for me and inspiring to watch no matter what the result turns out like.

The good and well intentioned forum users in the Epilogue forum entitled The Common Room is a fabulous place to see others work unfinished or not and to discuss each others work.

In addition to the fantasy art forums there is a tutorial section that goes through many things any artist might need to know about certain things like selling your fantasy art on Ebay or commissioning art and many more helpful resource articles.

So if you are into the mechanics of fantasy art and want an extra outlet for your work then Epilogue is a friendly place to get to know other artists and highly recommend getting to know people there.

The Fantasy Art Of Amy Brown

Amy Brown is a fantasy artist and she sketches, paints and creates fantastical images of fantastic fantasy fairy creations. Amy Draws Faeries with a beautiful eye for detail and the fantasy wonder of these delicate creatures and she has many books and ornaments designed by her, but perhaps my daughters favourite is the Amy Brown Fairies Coloring Book.

Amy's fairy artwork has been published in a book entitled The Art of Amy Brown and also a volume 2 featuring more wonderful artwork and Amy has become something of a specialist in drawing and painting fairies and this is a good example to specialize in an area and then build on that success, although quite largely Faery Art has remained her top priority she has been known to dabble in a few other fantasy genres of the art form, but again she is a fairy artist first and foremost.

I suppose one of my favourite pieces of hers(and there are many!) has to be Rose Spell it just has so much to say and the atmosphere of the piece is just really soothing with two fairies stood releasing rose petals into the wind and the stony pillars contrasting against the skies background and the red dresses of the fairies become the focal point with their wings spreading out at the back of them.

Amy has been painting and drawing faeries for years and professionally for nearly twenty years and was inspired by many other artists like many artists should be as well as films of fantasy and creative inspiration. Whenever I think of fairies I simply think Amy Brown.

Amy Brown Fairy Art

Other Fantasy Fairy Art Websites

Fairie Amber
Flower Fairies

Also, check out Kirstens Fairy Art Blog

Friday, 13 February 2009

The Way To Draw Fantasy Trees From Real Life

I often go out on a nice sunny day or a terribly rainy day and just take photos of trees and get some great looking reference photos of trees to draw from (I may get some strange looks from people, but who cares?)

Trees and their winding, twisting branches with all that fine detail tree bark that is highly textured just makes me want to draw trees and branches all day long.

Like everything that could exist in a fantasy world it is quite often that what you draw is an exaggerated version of a real life scene or visual.

Look at the photos below and see some of the view points you could possibly draw your trees from. Taking photos really does help you with angles and composition and gives you a valid starting point to draw the trees.

Tree Photo ReferenceTrees In The Park Tree Close Up

Upward Tree View Photo

When drawing a tree, the only thing you need to get right is the roots and main trunk of the tree, because once it looks balanced then you can begin to draw all the branches and then the leaves.

So once again the planning of the structure is of great importance.

See the next post on how to draw a tree based on some of these photos above tomorrow, until then take some photos of the things you see.

Tools And Materials For Creating Fantasy Art

When it comes to materials and art equipment it becomes a personal choice as to what you are comfortable with working with, the artists tools can come in all shapes and sizes and you'll find at first that you won't need a lot to start off, but your equipment will grow over the years and you'll eventually have use for quite a bit of kit as your experience improves.

Pencils - Using pencils become a habit when you learn to draw at every available moment, so the choice of pencil you choose to use are your own, but I would recommend the Staedtler range as these are professionally produced but saying this it's handy to get cheaper pencils and stock up too. So pencils are cheap if you get them from any other place than an art shop, in packs they are obviously more expensive if they are the quality ones, but as I said an artists choice of art equipment is a personal one.

See some of the best available pencils below.

Mechanical pencils are also worth a shot because of the fine lead and there is no need for sharpening, just remember to refill on the lead when it runs out.
Again the more time passes the bigger your toolbox(art materials that is!!)

Pens and markers - When the part of the drawing comes to inking you will need a range of markers and pens for this process, the part of pen and ink drawings demands the light and dark to be finalised at this stage so having a grasp on what pens and markers might do the job effectively here is the important thing.

For markers I use anything from bingo markers to permanent markers to black in large areas that need shadow and these are fairly cheap from the pound shop or dollar store. But I have invested in some magic markers as these are the industry standard, well, in comic book art anyway.(and if you have noticed my art style is comic book inspired!)

Fine liners and other specialist pens come later as your toolbox expands(steady now)

Lastly paper is a necessity when it comes to drawing obviously, so any types of good quality paper is a must, but personally mixing and matching quality with the cheap paper is a good practice to split between the sketching of draft drawings and superb masterpieces.

I recommend Strathmore sketch pads for their range of paper sizes alone and a couple of cheaper alternatives.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Creative Art Visualize Success!

Visualize creative art for success

To visualize something is the realisation of a thought, a single idea that could transcend your creative output and propel it to a higher level. To see the art you want to create is one thing but to become part of the visualization process is very intense as an artist, and it's this part of the creative ways we work that we may lose ourselves along the way.

If you can see the path ahead and you know where you are headed, then that's ok, but what of the unsure? The people who cannot realize their artistic visions as some sort of clear walkway ahead? It is time to think about your creative goals and really think about where you are headed, Do you want to just be an artist or do you want to visualize some success?

I'll tell you some of my story first and that the reasons I started this very blog.

First I came from a background were it was just normal to get a regular job and that was an existence, some way to say that you are in the gang, the supposedly normal people who have day jobs working for other people and do what they are told through an annoying "boss and menial worker relationship"

I soon realized I was worth more than this and came to the wonderful world of the internet and that was fine, but what could I do online that would fulfill my life without a boring day job to use up all of my valuable time offline?
I began to research the internet for opportunities, to see what I could do.

During my study phase I came across all manner of brilliant work from home resources that said you could earn up to $2000 in a day just like that and sometimes that amount of money within 30 minutes, well I sure was thrilled, so I began to look further into what would become an endless bore of ridiculous claims and scammy looking information sites that all looked the same, I soon became one of those people who got fed up with make money this and that and tried other options and in doing so I learned a lot about the scams and other things, but more importantly I learned one big lesson that struck me late one night whilst blogging on my many blogs I set up to try and earn some money.

And that was....I had a talent for drawing and I was not using it to my full potential, you see talents are one thing, but if you don't use them enough then what's the point having a so called talent? so I began to plan something out, I read more on being successful as a content writer and became more of a blogger than a writer, I consumed helpful blog articles from the likes of Steve Pavlina and his personal development blog, then I digested lots of blog posts and Darren Rowses Problogger articles then through the archives of many other useful blogs and just found lots of helpful advice about success and creating value for others.

It wasn't until after nearly 4 years that I realised my lifes purpose and that was to create and immerse myself in writing all about my passions of drawing fantasy art and other related comic book art concepts and visualization techniques as that is my number one passion.

To visualize success and understand how you get there is an important step and one that is your own personal path to follow, taking action to get there is the recommended course of well...action. Recent times of a bad economy may get you down, but on the positive side it is an excellent time to evaluate where you want to be in your own life and in the area of creative art, it is so specialized to each artist who needs to get noticed or needs some form of success whether that's writing an ebook, selling some of your art, or creating and maintaining a blog about your work.

5 Ways I Personally Visualize Success

1. I take a pen and paper and I just write goals for the week and I make damn sure by the end of the week that these goals are met, no matter how large or small, these goals could be written in the form of a simple to do list and you just follow it as a daily task.

2. I think and plan ahead....alot! this helps you to overcome potential obstacles before they arise, any decent working business does this in the form of a cashflow forecast or a business strategy and by planning things well ahead you keep ahead of others who are trying something similar to you an you can keep them in check by rising well above them.

3. I look up to others who are successful and invigorate myself with their inspiring and thoughtful content, I'm always interested by other peoples stories and how they became successful, this is like reading case studies of the most successful people in your industry and taking their lead.

4. Constantly learning, always finding new stuff about your area of expertise is always something of high importance and relating that information to others creates value and success in your own eyes and in others, this is where networking comes in handy to find out and learn new things and also share your knowledge with others too.

5. NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF!!!! By being of a positive mind you can achieve more than being either negative or on the fence not doing anything, in my case I look to my to do list and keep active, I create new ideas and concepts, sketches and written notes and I act upon them, usually taking action means it's in the bag and you can move on to new projects that bit more quicker.

So what have we learned here? My guess is you already know where you are going, or you may be unsure, either way visualizing success comes down to one of two things:

The vision to succeed

And the desire to succeed

Be an entrepreneur about visual art and be your creative self at all times and you'll be amazed at the results you can generate.

See also How To Create Value

Drawing As A Relaxing Therapy

Today I got to thinking, that to draw is an amazing thing and one that is totally relaxing for anyone, even if they cannot draw, you can find the time to draw and relax whilst doing it.

Maybe it's the sketching rhythm you build up or the fact that you are sat down the whole time you are in your own comfort zone, drawing what you love to draw that you become relaxed.
Drawing and relaxing go quite well together. Your heart beats at a steady pace whilst quietly thinking in a creative way, much like writing it becomes quite calming and soothing that you begin to draw to see how long you can draw in one sitting.

A nice bit of relaxation is something we all need from time to time and this is especially true with the life styles that we may lead.

I'm sure alot of the great artists had some time to relax and draw and paint what they had to or just wanted to draw in their spare time, drawing lowers the heart rate and is something so personal that it becomes a great hobby for most who take it up.

Also by drawing the things we like to draw or draw best can help you relax to as if you are confident about drawing what you draw then the more relaxed you will feel.
Drawing shouldn't be frustrating it should be fun and one that should be theraputic, filled with purpose and intent.

Got some anger going on?

Then thrash it out on a piece of paper, draw hard lines and sketch what you feel, this can be hard to do but often it lets something out as you transfer pencil to paper, much the same way as you punch a punch bag to relieve the stress of something, drawing has that therapy quality that helps you through, for me it's the sight of my hand drawing and a combination of me sitting down relaxed whilst drawing, the sounds of the pencil scratching the papers surface as you draw, that helps me be relaxed as does other factors like listening to music.

So just sit, relax and draw long into the night!

Other Articles about drawing to relax and bust stress

Drawing To Relax Stress Busting!

Drafting The Ideas And Concepts

Drawing is all about drafting and the drafting end result is a drawing that shows your immortalized idea or concept and imprints it on your mind and on paper, keeping a record for you and serves as the idea to be used for further projects ever after.

Visualize your end results by drafting more than one idea on top of the other. More ideas make more options to draw from, so always try to draw variations of one theme and keep drawing until you have exhausted your current ideas for that particular drawing you want to achieve.

Keep written notes together with your collection of sketches to add further details about your ideas, because if you're like me then you forget a lot,so writing notes helps you relate your art to your notes and keep the ideas alive.

To be an artist does require you to conceptualise 90% of the time and then complete pieces of art the other 10%, taking on board new ways of organizing your time, help effectively create new concepts and ideas and help you to focus too.

Small memo pads are very useful and can fit in your pocket, even a small digital camera can be placed in your pocket to capture scenes whilst out and about on a walk about, this contributes to your ideas and the creative process of drawing.

Simplifying Your Art To Draw More Ideas

The act of simple knows best wins the race with art, the process of drawing quick to capture ideas is essential in the fantasy art industry and simplifying your art in this process helps you along.

Reducing the quantity of lines and shading can make your drawings appear empty, but most of the times this is the desired effect you want to achieve, because all you should really care about are new ideas and concepts you can build on.

By simplifying your art along the way you allow for quicker and faster quality results to emerge in your own art style and drawing more ideas helps you create more possibilities.

An example that best fits what I am talking about is if you look at a cartoonists work, now I don't know if you have ever seen a cartoonist draw, either up close or on television, but they often just start to draw with marker pens and just sketch spontaneously and just seem to know what they are drawing before they have finished drawing it, characters just seem to trip off the pen and faces and expressions and all that quick drawing of lines relates to simple but professional looking work.

3 Tips for making your drawings simple, but effective:

Draw fast and sketch quicker - Knowing what you want to draw is the key, then next you can draw fast to capture it and often the quicker you draw the more energy your art will have, useful for drawing characters in motion or action.

Lose the detail, details are only for your finished drawings, detail just gets in the way at this point and it can distract from your main goal or purpose when focusing on your drawing.

Always have a couple of sheets of paper to sketch ideas out before hand, test the quick sketch method on these sheets and see what ideas you can speed draw...oh and time yourself too, this is all about making your time more effective and useful.

Remember if you always plan to draw quickly, then you will become a better artist at planning other aspects of the art creative process and you'll certainly be a better artist because of it.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Women In Fantasy Art

Perhaps one of the best examples of women in fantasy art is either one of two highly excellent artists and these two are Luis Royo And Boris Vallejo, these two artists produce great paintings of women in fantasy battles and scenes of danger and peril.

Perhaps more prolific is Boris, who has been painting for years and has honed his craft considerably over the years and plus he usually tag teams with his wife Julie Bell on occasion to split the art duties on several paintings.

The link to this post shows one of them paintings and it is a small snippet of an insight into a way of working that seems to work well for them.

Fantasy Art Women

In reponse to this short post, I am writing a drawing tutorial on drawing basic women in fantasy art and I'll let you know when this is complete.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Fantasy Art Demon Art Button New Design

I drew this quite recently on Zazzle and placed it on a button, it is of a demon and as usual is shaded and inked with black fine liners to get that comic book feel that is in keeping with my art style.

The steps to drawing this demon was a simple process and one that I enjoy drawing with all of my art.

I Love Fantasy Art

I love fantasy art and to prove it I have created a button on Zazzle to show that I do indeed love fantasy art.

If anyone who you know loves fantasy art, I recommend getting this button, you can customize the buttons colours if you wish and get the right button size for you, they come in the standard size 2 and a quarter inch.

Other sizes include:

1 and a quarter inch

3 inch

4 inch

6 inch

This fantasy art button also comes in a square shape too