Sunday, 21 March 2010

Steve Prescotts Sketch Of The Day Blog

A Fantasy artist Steve Prescott shows his art and sketches for random days when he has the time and posts them on his blog with a small paragraph on the inspiration behind the drawing.

Often his art, drawn in pencil reflects a god or a theme that may be referenced in traditional fantasy worlds and since his sketches are very professional looking and comic book in style I think his blog deserves a mention...

Prescott Blog

Friday, 19 March 2010

Drawing A Mans Arm Muscles On Video

Drawing arms can be tricky for some, but I did a quick video showing you how to draw them quite easily, there's no real technique with it, it's really just about knowing your muscles, maybe you could try this book on drawing anatomy if you need extra help, in the video I show you how to draw a mans arm straight and then an arm drawn like it's flexing the muscles.

Here's the video and I hope you learn something from it...

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Promote Your Artwork Online

Promotion of your artwork online is really easy as you are spoilt for choice with many free sites to choose and use and in fact I recommend you use a combination of the sites that you already use now with some new ones you may not have heard of, first of all there are many social networking sites available to sign up for that could potentially aid your art promotional efforts, the big contender Facebook is one as it is beating Myspace in terms of scalability and applications features as more and more people start to use it as an all round promotional tool.

Social networking

So lets start with the social networks for promoting your artwork, you could set up networks that could grow on Facebook, Myspace, bebo or any other social network and these could feed traffic into each other providing some links along the way and this in turn could make your art and any web pages that it appears on slightly higher in the rankings, many people worry about some social media sits that have a thing in the code called a nofollow tag, which says to the search engines that links contained within certain areas of a page cannot be followed and indexed, but what you'll find out is that different search engines obey their own rules, so nofollow links may appear in some search results.

But even if there are nofollow links, people in your network that are interested about a particular topic, they will click on it and read your content, so never discount this fact, the funny thing with networks is that they can grow over time, double, triple or even quadruple in size, it's like a snowball effect that keeps on snowballing.

What you'll also find now is that social media can have the added feature of being tied into the main blogging platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress, making it far easier to share your content around the web on social bookmarking sites which can also be searched on within their own index or database and sometimes links can be picked up by roaming RSS feed software which aggregates feeds for blog content and video sites such as Youtube, so you'll find your blog posts and videos ending up shown on other sites as a result, which is in turn another way to say a backlink.

Promoting your art online comes down to having the time to write small content posts that link to your art and creating a whole marketing strategy that gets yourself known as an artist, back to Youtube, I think this is a fantastic free opportunity to show your art and plus how you create it too. There are many artists on Youtube and some of them are truly amazing, my efforts only scratch the surface as there some who do amazing portrait art of celebrities.

What I like about the promotion of my artwork is that some people either love it or they think it sucks(trust me I get a few comments like that!) but so long as your art appeals to someone, then does it matter, will it frustrate you if your art rubs someone up the wrong way? course not, just keep on creating your art and carving out a niche for yourself in whatever art you create.

Craigslist is a site that you may want to try and test out, just to see if you can get people interested in your art, whether that's to buy or look at through your gallery of art like an online exhibition, it's free, but like the majority of free advertising sites out there, there are rules that you have to abide by so that you ads don't come across as spam or an illegal advertisement, but this should be common sense thinking.


As mentioned above blogging is one option that should be an option, it should be an essential component of an art promotion as you can write useful content and insider artist notes that people won't find anywhere else, because it's unique to you, you can mix up the blog posts too, by simply showing a new drawing with a small paragraph that explains about it or you could do a long drawn out post on the day that has just passed by with all the work you have just completed. When it comes to blogging, you have many options available to you and it doesn't have to be the same written blog posts, you could do video or even podcasts which tend to give a personal element to your ramblings.

Provide a versatile blog which appeals on many levels and people will be interested to come and see your art and listen what you have to say or read about your opinion on something, blogging is just something that you have to keep up with and stick to on a regular schedule to make it more worthwhile, as readers will expect new posts each week or at a timescale that they have gotten used to.

Promoting your art is easy, so look for more posts like this soon....

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Scripting A Comic Book Is An Inspirational Process

In my latest hubpage, I examined the process of scripting a comic book and I did an example of a page that could be scripted which gave a good insight into the methods that I use when creating a script for a comic book, but now I thought I'd examine how you would get inspired by the project of a script and that would motivate you to create a worthwhile story or script.

First of all if you are going to draw your very own comic book, you can instantly get inspired by the quick drawings that you do for your story, I for one always draw, everyday if I can get away with it and there are numerous sketchbooks within my studio that are full up with various unfinished and finished drawings and so you can begin a story from any number of sketches that you create.

If you like movies, then you'll get a feel for the whole storytelling process and comic books are similar in a way, in that the dialogue can be as spectacular as possible but also realistic so that the characters can shine or be as dispensible as you want in terms of characters that you want to have a round for awhile versus those that you don't.

Some other ways you can inspire yourself in your scripting....

  • Reading - This is a top one as you can gather ideas from different sources and mish mash them together and come up with something new, I do this frequently for times when I get stuck with ideas, it's guaranteed to work anytime.
  • Writing Notes - Notes for this, notes for that, keep them organized though as you may find that a desk full of scraps of paper may make you look like a messy tramp who has just ransacked your own desk looking for scraps of food.
  • Watch neverending tv dramas - Tv dramas can be inspiring, even if the stories repeat somewhat with conventional soaps and family dramas, you can analyze story and narrative structure through the real life scenarios that play out and also you can get a feel for the many different characters that exist or could exist in the real world.
  • Study favourite comic books - Sometimes just sitting down with a few of your most favourite comic books you can suddenly have more ideas and more enthusiasm for your comic book scripting, the art and the writing should be studied well as a whole and separately.
Whatever way you choose to write your comic book script, you may want to try the approach of a challenge to try and see if you can create a comic book script that is spontaneously creative in many ways, Scriptfrenzy runs a competition or rather a challenge to write a 100 page script in 30 days and you may find this a good way of creating a rough comic script to work with.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Drawing What You See

For a couple of years now, I've been really trying my best to draw what I see and take more notice of my surroundings for artistic inspirations and for now it is working as I can relate to my environment more as  a result and see things clearly now to actually try and draw what I see and that is just mindblowing, because back when I was at school I hated drawing rocks and trees and boring life based stuff, but now I can appreciate that it certainly does help to learn to draw from life.

Not only does it give you energy when walking out in the fresh air, you can see some fantastic sights if you capture them with a digital camera, even at my local park I took some fantastic snaps of just trees and the different areas of the park and it gave me a great sense of the outdoors and landscapes it filled me with enough visual ideas to draw new worlds based on my imagination and this to me is just excellent.

Here are a small collection of the photos that I took quite recently....

Drawing what you see is a useful exercise, because life is full of stuff to draw, even the mundane can be made exciting if you try to make it so, try it, take a picture of some trees or a fence and try and draw it, then see if you can make it better in some way, use it as a foundation and move on from there with your imagination, let it take you on a trip.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

A Great Oil Pastel Resource Site

Oil pastels is something that I haven't done for years in creating art, I have some oil pastels in a box that I haven't even opened yet and this site that Robert Sloan has created is a fantastic resource for anyone who is interested in trying out Oil pastels for sketching and colouring in artwork, Robert has started to do some youtube videos too and they are presented well with clear audio instructions.

There's lots to discover over at Robs oil pastel site, such as oil pastel reviews and examples of the kinds of work you can achieve with good quality oil pastels, I like the way the site is presented and I sure have learned a few things from Roberts Site, so what are you waiting for, go check out - Oil Pastels With Robert Sloan

Saturday, 6 March 2010

What Pencils To Use?

When it comes to pencils for drawing I use almost any type, from the Derwent range to the Mars Lumograph pencils and even sometimes the cheap pencils for 10p each, but lately I've been using mechanical pencils, because of their ease to use and you never have to sharpen them, although you do have to re-fill with new lead every now and then, but I find that mechanical pencils really are the best when it comes to sketching as they have a fine point that is ideal for drawing.

There is no specific make that I use, because I use any, even the cheap ones, I have occasionaly bought the bic range of mechanical pencils, but when I can buy a box of 15 for £1 then I will do that to save some money, I do find though that cheap pencils sometimes can leave cheap looking pencil marks when you start ti draw and by cheap pencil marks I mean those annoying ones where you try to draw and they end up almost crumbling and leaving varied tone on your paper and that is not on.

I find the paper mate lead refills great for most mechanical pencils and particularly as they are 0.5mm which is usually the standard for mech pencils, though what you've got to be carefulabout is dropping your mech pencils as the lead breaks very easily, so if you have some kids who thinks it's funny to throw around pencils like my kids, then hide them and give them cheap ass pencils to play with, that's what I do.

Whatever pencils you choose to use, just make sure they deliver great results, out of interest, what pencils do you use?

New Drawings: Sketchbook Notes

Today I thought I'd go through some of my latest drawings in my sketchbook and just tell you about them, the thoughts and ideas behind them, because that's what could be important and you may find something of use within my notes.

Very often I draw just for the sake of drawing and so sometimes my results for the day end up rather samey and so it is quite a challenge at times to try and draw stuff that is outside of my own comfort zone, but here we are with this first drawing of a viking head, it's a quick and rather sketchy drawing that obviously isn't finished yet but I like where it's headed and it looks alive almost, although there are certain things about it that I certainly would change, like the face needs a bit of shading, but that is the challenge of sketching, sometimes things don't turn out right the first time around.

The viking drawing turned out not so bad as I sketched it with a fine line ink pen and I had fun drawing the serious face and the viking helmet is a classic too with the horns.

I hope to do some more viking drawing practice to get a bit better at them, what is it they say? the more drawing you do the better you get at it!

The next drawing is back to old school for me, because I could do these types of drawings in my sleep and in pitch black darkenss and they'd still turn out alright, such is my confidence in drawing them it is totally arrogant, because I love drawing them and that's a skull, this is in my natural style whch is rather comic book in style and that's the way my art has evolved over the years and I'm glad of that, it would be nice to maybe draw some skulls in the manga style sometime as I like that style of art.

This skull was originally going to be just a skull that would be surrounded in fire, but I couldn't be bothered as it looked just fine without all that flame and most times I would ink the skull but not on this occasion as it looked kind of finished in pencil, all that mattered at the time was for the skull to look angry and evil in some way and I achieved that.

Another thing that I seem to always keep drawing in my sketchbooks, mainly because I am working on several graphic novels which do take up my time frequently and that is a demon sketch, I try to make them evil and always scary looking all the time, so when I first drew up this piece I thought about it either as a stand alone piece or as a tattoo, but quickly realized that there is just too much detail for it to be a tattoo, so I just filed it away for use another day.

I liked the way that it appears like it's looking directly at you, so maybe I could further it's depth by scanning it into my computer and colouring it that way through Gimp or even Paintshop Pro.

A sea creature drawing which was only a quick draft sketch for a larger more finished drawing that I didn't even complete, but it still gives me the raw idea to finish it some day, I liked the idea of the creature trying to coil over the small boat and some water splashing around the boat or at least a few waves being created because of the sea creature attacking, this is definately one to finish as I have fond memories of this 6 year old sketch and it must be a six year old sketch because I don't sign my drawings like that anymore.

I'd like to do more sketchbook showcasing here as I think it provides a useful outlet for showing inspirational sketches and if I talk more about them than I did in this post then you may find it more useful, What do you think?

Friday, 5 March 2010

What To Do When You Can't Draw Or Think Of New Ideas

Take a break is my usual plan of action, either take a walk, watch a movie, walk the dog, go to the pub or write a plan of ideas that you may be interested in in the future, this is what I like to do and it works every time.

Sometimes taking a break from what you've been thinking about too much helps you come back to it refreshed and ready to go again, there's been times when I've been trying to draw something and it just screws up every time and so I walk away and do something else like have a coffee, although I've just given up coffee and I only drink tea or hot chocolate, the five or ten  minutes you take to rest your mind and your eyes away from your drawing is the best thing that you can do for your creativity.

I'm a great believer in planning for these so called non motivating days that seem to hide and wait for you to fail and by planning I mean so that you always win over them negative thoughts that do cry out and whinge that you can't draw or think of anything to draw, I'm always writing lists of ideas and sheets of notes to guide me on my way, call it my wonder sheet where I wonder what I'll draw next, well that's what I do and I take it anywhere, even on days when I'm not at my desk because that's when ideas strike.

When you're watching the telly or reading a book, ideas infiltrate your brain like planted thought suggestions, I tend to think of visual and audio helpful in bringing excellent creative ideas to the forefront of your mind and while were at it, sleep is one of the best idea generators that we can have, especially if you can remember your dreams, even if they seem vague, but interesting enough to write down moments after waking up, it's all about inspiring yourself in ways that you like and by doing the things that you like to bring about those thoughts and feelings of exhilaration.

For me, there's nothing like working solid on drawing for a whole day and creating some great drawings and pieces of art that you are proud of, so try taking a break, have a sleep if necessary or do something else that will help your creative side to shine!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Draw A Vampire

Been busy on youtube for awhile creating some new videos and a couple of them in how to draw a vampires head and so in the first video I draw up a storm rather quickly with a short video on going through the process of drawing a vampires head.

Drawing quite quickly you can sketch some good vampire heads, so if you want to do that before you start the actual vampire drawing, just to get an idea for a particular way that the head of the vampire will face, I did a fornt facing vampire head which is a good one to do because you can show all the face and features.

Here's the first drawing video...

In the second drawing video I wanted to see a progression of the original drawing so that it looked like it was evolving and gaining some depth on the face, this is achieved through a combination of shading and darkening the pencil lines so that the lighter lines will fade out and eventually be erased later on as they become irrelevant.

Watch this video as you see the vampire becoming more vampire like with it's fangs and the blood dripping from it's chin...

Monday, 1 March 2010

Drawing Tutorial: Let's Draw A Mermaid

Drawing Mermaids!!!! I've never ever drawn a Mermaid before, so there's a first time for everything, I'm more used to drawing monsters and demons, but that's the reason why I want to diversify and show more drawing tutorials and how to blog posts on other stuff, because I'm still a learning artist like you, the thing about drawing is you've got to constantly challenge yourself and draw things you wouldn't draw in a million years, and so Mermaids are the order of the day!

Getting the balance right of a half fish half woman can be difficult, as there is a tendency to over weight the woman half of the Mermaid and leave the fish tail half looking ridiculous, the thing that I've realized when practicing drawing a mermaid is that you can draw the fish tail end as large as you want and the woman half still looks ok.

Right, lets get on with it shall we? - First of all, what I do in my tutorials is to draw the drawing complete and then I backtrack through each step using my lightbox to trace each step as I would have drawn it from scratch, so throughout, you will see a changed pencil line on some of the drawing, this is because I traced at each step to show again how each part of the mermaid is drawn.

First I like to draw a rough skeletal shape which is an ideal place to start and I like to draw a curved line which will be the mermaids spine and fishes tail, see the drawing below to see what I mean...

Now we want to work on that fishes tail first, so that we get that curved tail right as this will be the most dynamic part of the mermaid together with the mermaids hair which will be floating under the water, try and draw the shape around the spinal line that I've drawn below...

Now we need the drawing to come together and the arms need to be sketched in at this point, so that there is some sort of balance, it's all about testing the position of the arms, to see if they look right, it took me two times to get the arms looking good against the flow of the fish tail, take a look for yourself at how the mermaid is coming along....

Now the hair is drawn in roughly and the head is sectioned off with a cross grid to mark out the eyes and the mermaids features, aswell as some smal detail on the fin of the fish tail and my favourite part the boobs are drawn in roughly too....

Now the final stage of the pencil drawing is completed with the eyes and nose and mouth drawn in, try to keep them in proportion of the body and a criss cross pencil mark has been added to a random part of the fish tail to show fish scales and also we draw a cheeky star fish bra to cover the mermaids bazookas....take a look!

Now, you can ink the mermaid drawing to make the mermaid appear more clearer with a permanent ink that is darker, I use the finest ink pen which is usually the cheapest from the store, see the final drawing below.

Drawing mermaids are quite fun to draw, so why not have a go and draw a great mermaid....

Learn To Draw Peppa Pig (Just For Fun!)

Drawing Peppa Pig and any cartoon character is not my usual drawing tutorial to show here on this blog, but since my daughter put in a request, then I thought I would have a go at drawing Peppa Pig in an article drawing tutorial, which you may find quite useful in a step by step kind of way, just to see how you approach the process of drawing a cartoon character.

See how to draw Peppa Pig

Watch Me Draw A Twisted Skull

A new video has been posted to my Youtube Channel on how to draw a twisted skull, the video only lasts a few minutes and it shows me drawing a twisted skull design in real time like most of my videos, I welcome any feedback on this video if any as I do intend on doing loads more drawing videos about different stuff to draw and drawing skulls are great to do and fun!

Enjoy the video....

Also see - Drawing A Skull Tattoo