Friday, 25 June 2010

Skull Art Keychain For Sale

This skull art keychain seems to be a popular item, even though I didn't add any colour on this skull drawing, it just seems to be good to buy, I'm thinking maybe there are some obscure keychain collectors out there that have snapped these up and so I hope to do more later on down the road.

Hey if there are any requests to do specific keychain designs then drop us a line in the comments below and I would be happy to create one for you.

New Skull Art T-shirt Available On My Zazzle Store

Just created a skull art design for a new t-shirt on my Zazzle Gallery, and how I created it I simply drew the design in pencil and then inked it, this was a very quick skull design and then I scanned it into my computer and used the free art software Gimp to colour it and add some smudge to the colours, I used reds oranges and yellows and then an almost turquoise blue for the eyes and a glow around the skull and then used the blend tool to blend the colors together.

Then whilst on Zazzle I just added the phrase "Evil is my middle name" just for fun wih the font picker from within the Zazzle product tool dashboard, there are some cool fonts to use there and then wrote the description for the t-shirt and title and then added the tags and placed it in a category and published it to my store.

If you haven't signed up for a Zazzle account yet, then sign up here - Sign up for Zazzle it's free!
You can sell your own designs and build up a proper online business of new products, including T-shirts, mugs, Buttons and badges and lots of other cool stuff you can sell with your designs on, I'm making a good go of it this year with lots of new designs currently in production behind the scenes and of course I'll let you in on some of the how to's of using Zazzle too.

Here is that Skull T-shirt by the way....

Thursday, 24 June 2010

How To Promote Your Artwork Online

Promoting your artwork online can be a task and a half, but it pays to know all the methods that you can utilize to promote and get the word out about your art, the online world is becoming vast and full of mini to large networks of artistic and creative types, so in the beginning, you will definitely want a blog or a website to showcase your creative skill in the form of an online portfolio.

Blog promotions

A blog is a very simple and popular way of organzing all of your art into an online portfolio and a blog is very search engine friendly too, meaning that your blog can be found for certain search terms that your blog could start to rank for, for example if your art is fantasy based, you could organize all of your posts within your categories on your blog into keyword titled blog posts, this makes each individual blog post searchable, but it does depend on you sticking with blogging quite regular.

Free blogs like Blogger and Wordpress are ideal to start out and then within the first month you get a good domain name that will point to your blog posts and a good domain name is one that is a keyword related search term ideally and you can also pick up some free blog templates to make your blog look attractive and professional, to start off with that's all you need, because you will be supplying the content and your artwork and also it's best if you write about personal insights into your artwork, like how you created it and what inspired you.

Blogs work on many levels and they help give an insight into the artist and your work and you can quickly build up a following quite quickly if you are commited to blogging and you can dominate a niche if you provide value and show that you are approachable and enthusiastic about your subject.

Website Promotion

Many artists opt for a static website in which you add the content on a number of static web pages, like a gallery page, a sketchbook page and about me page and a buy artwork page to name a few examples of pages. The content rarely changes except for updates that you may do to the site, but the smart artist will also have a blog that links to the static website, so that regularly updated blog posts feed updates to the site and also help rank your site in the search engines with every new blog posts that you create.

Search engines seem to like an updated website that updates often, as it feeds more content for it to index, so that the content itself can be found.

Along the way though websites need a little help and so do blogs actually, and there are ways to try and build more traffic to your artists website through social networks and building backlinks elsewhere.

Social network promotions

Sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter to name a few are ideal examples of website promotional tools, because you can build up separate networks on each site to aid your websites traffic, but don't rely on it too much at first until you build up your networks there, think of social networks as little outposts that you can place backlinks to, whether they are dofollow or nofollow, it doesn't matter, because you choose who to be friends and followers with and usually you choose the ones that are interested in your subject or topic, so that they maybe more likely to look at and read your website or blog.

Article marketing is a great way that requires dedication to do as you have to write related articles on your topic that you know about that will relate to your website/blogs keywords so that they will be linked together and readers of the articles will be able to find your website, I've started article marketing about 3 years ago and it really does work, although it does require a focus and dedication to follow through with it.

If there are other blogs in your niche or interest area it is wise to network with them and comment on their blogs now and then in a genuine way of course, if someone posts an article that you like you could tweet it or share it anywhere you want or you could link a blog post or website link to one of your websites or within a blog post if it's relevant to the topic at hand, I've done this often, because I find other artists work interesting and so I show my appreciation of it by linking to it or sharing the links around the net.

Social bookmark promotions

There are sites out there that you can create short bookmarks that will help to build backlinks to your web content, again these may be a mix of dofollow and nofollow (by the way dofollow is when the search engines index your links and nofollow is when they don't!), but it is worth doing bit by bit to create a natural linking strategy, ie: a few backlinks a day will be enough.

Delicious, Shetoldme, Redgage, Google Reader are examples of bookmark sites, but be aware that some may have banned some sites from leaving bookmarks on them due to excessive spamming and backlinking of the site, so just check out a bookmark site and find out for yourself what's acceptable and what's not.

Forum promotions

A forum is a discussion area online that can be targeted towards a topic of interest or subject area and when established on the forum as a prolific contributor you can start to promote your website(s) in the form of a forum signature link that links to your website either with a direct http link or a keyword anchor text link usually done with BB code.

The benefits of participating in related forums are many and you can reach targeted people who might be interested in your blog or website, the key is to be genuine and helpful in the forums and answer questions as well as ask them, get to now other forum members and generally network with like minded individuals.

An about page

Most websites and blogs should have an about page, which explains why the website or blog exists and the reasons why people will find the site valuable it is very useful to use this page to link to all your other networks, so that people can connect with you at these other sites online, sites like Twitter and Facebook and any other sites that you create content, such as a YouTube channel or article directories if you write relevant articles that relate to your site.

An About page is a very important page, because it can usually describe what the site is about in the first paragraph alone, so make time to create one and direct people to it as well as the domain name of your site.

Selling Posters Online Can Make You Money

Allposters sell posters from movies such as Twilight and very popular cult films like Pulp Fiction, but also they sell fantasy art posters which are very good to buy, also though they have an affiliate program that you can sign up for below with the banner, so that you yourself could earn some extra money.

The posters are good quality and mainly because I own a few fantasy art posters from there I know that they are of excellent quality and would highly recommend them to anyone.

Sign up for the affiliate program below or go and buy a poster here - Buy A Poster

Webmasters Make $$$
Webmasters Make $$$

Also if you are looking for a place to store your drawings, photos or other design images, then why not try Shareapic and plus you can also earn from the image views that you generate per image, does require a large amount of traffic to earn, but hey there are some great artists out there and storing your images elsewhere for free is a good option.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Inspirational Drawings Of The 4 Elements

The 4 elements, Earth, Fire, Wind and Water can be summed up with four separate drawings that are inspirational but also remind you of the 4 basic elements of life and that can be included in your drawings and as a bonus I will also include the other element - Ice.

I'm reminded of these elements after watching that classic 80's cartoon - Captain Planet (He's a hero lol!)

Earth is an easy one to draw as it represents our planet and all the things that make it earth like, if that makes sense, you can just draw earth and lots of rocks combined together or just draw the earth, here I've opted for drawing a mound of earth with grass on it, simple, but effective for our inspirational elemental drawings.

Fire on the other hand can be perfectly random, yet also the most fun, because it is very simple to draw and can be drawn in many different ways and in the way I've drawn it, I wanted to convey a small fireball, but a fire ball that was more of a spread out fire object than a totally round fireball.

Wind can be a difficult one to try and draw, but if you think in terms of hurricanes and tornadoes, then it can be a good inspirational thing to try and draw, here I've gone for the hurricane and I wanted to include dust and debris in it to make it look a lot more like wind should be and this isn't just a small exercise in drawing a fart, it's much more than that.
Water is just as fluid as fire, so it can be that random quality too, in the drawing below I wanted to capture some of that, but also the random way water can fall too...

Ice is frozen water just in case you didn't know ....duh!, so it can form icicles like in the image below and classic ledges like a good old fashioned platform game like Mario

The elements can be drawn anyway you want and that's good news for the fantasy artist, as you can come up with something much better and also very creative, for instance you could come up with characters that would depict the elements like other artists have done in the past or even animals, the possibilities are endless, so have a go at drawing the elements in your art.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Draw Muscles In Fantasy Art - Arms

Drawing arm muscles is really just a good old fashioned study of anatomy and how to draw the muscles that all are stacked on top of each other, but if you practice, by looking and seeing how other artists draw arm muscles then you will pick it up, no matter how long it takes, just keep practicing and then later on try and think in terms of 3D, so that your muscles and dynamic figures that you draw look like they are coming out at you, look to the comic books for inspiration, one great one is Savage Dragon, that's a perfect example of dynamic figure drawing.

Below I have a few quick drawings of arm muscles and in the first one I just will go through, the basics of arm drawing, so in the bottom right hand corner you will see an arm that has been drawn in blocks, these are a rough diagram of the muscles and is a simplified version of how you could build up your arm muscles, Note - This is for a mans arm as you don't see too many women with huge biceps like that unless they have been taking steroids to pump some iron....

There are a couple of other arm muscles examples too on the page as you can see in different positions and this will help you to draw an arm with muscle.

In the second sketch there are two sets of three examples of muscles, we have the first one, which is very muscle heavy as you can see from the amount of muscle lines, the next is a slightly toned down version of the first and the third is with hardly no muscle definition at all, of course not every man you draw will have massive muscles, but it helps to define the form better, but that's up to you in your own drawings.

And the second set are the same as the top ones, except I have drawn the arms bending and flexing their muscles, which is always good to learn to draw as arms obviously can't be drawn just straight all the time.

Drawing arms does take practice, so study people and figures and learn to draw them in your own style like I have....

Daily Sketching - My Zombie Hand

Daily Sketching continues now Yay!

Today I thought I would do something classic that I'm sure all of us have done at some point at school or when we was younger or you have probably done it recently and that is to draw around your hand, in the drawing below I drew around my own hand and then started to shade in key areas on the hand and a part of the wrist and then I thought what if I darkened the finger nails and really made it a scabby zombies hand.

And that's what I did, maybe I could have added more skin hanging off or a few bones poking out, but I'll leave that to your drawing and imagination to do, would love to see what you come up with!!

I uploaded the original pencil image and then the added charcoal drawing of my zombie hand too, although you can hardly see the pencil drawing one...oh well!

My New Scanner

My New Scanner just arrived and this will make it easier to scan images in for my daily sketching stuff which I wanted to do, but with a web cam the pictures looked slightly muddy, so now I can slowly go back and re scan them drawings in and start the daily sketch blog posts with a new found confidence, because the drawings will look great as the scanner is a HP Scanjet G2410 which is much better than my old one which is now ka-busted.

So expect to see new blog posts on the things that I have been sketching lately, to give you inspiration.

All artwork © Copyright Wayne Tully 2010.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Art Book Review: 100 Ways To Draw Fantasy Figures

Figure drawing by Leonardo da Vinci.Image via Wikipedia

Art Book review, this time it is the book that I just finished reading last night and it is the 100 Ways To Draw Fantasy Figures By Francis Tsai, the book is a good read at first glance with good sketches and finished artwork to inspire, but look a little bit deeper into it and you soon find out that this book is not for beginners, of course there are some beginners aspects that get mentioned, but this book is for artists who already know how to draw, but it's more a book on how to take your figures of fantasy to the next level.

As usual with these types of books, the art inspires more than the words, but at least with a book like this it gives a guide as to how to draw fantasy figures and it gives a good insight into the work of a professional fantasy artist, so it's not all bad as you do learn a lot about establishing a character from the research of that characters right through to the design of it, but you do have to have an open mind when it comes to this character development process as you do have to have an imagination to fill in the blanks when you try and do it yourself.

The basics of figure drawing are also explored throughout this book as you attempt to decipher your own way of working on your fantasy figures. What I found useful was the little notes that the artist made around his drawings to also guide you ad also to guide the artist for later on and the very fact that you must have a few sketchbooks to hold ideas and concepts to draw on when you are finding it difficult to come up with new ideas - See here for 11 ways to create new ideas from sketching.

As in most other art drawing books, you are given a mix of the basics and more advanced ways to draw creative stuff, so take this book for what it is and learn from it, I'd recommend this book for artists who are confident in creating figures, but need a bit more help with relaying the ideas to the audience with visual communication.

All in all, it was a good book, but for intermediate artists to advanced artists.

Buy the book if you are interested in being inspired further.....

See also other ----- Recommended drawing art books
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11 Ways To Be Creative With Sketching New Ideas

Sketching new ideas can be a vast amount of effort, but a good one to contemplate, especially the end results that you really want to achieve in your minds eye. So thinking on them lines here are 21 quick ways to be creative for sketching new ideas.

  1. Sketch your face in a mirror, once done, exaggerate the features and create a monster out of your face on a separate piece of paper.
  2. Go on a wander and draw some trees, mountains or whatever you like, then use these drawings and sketches as inspiration to draw other things, maybe fantasy trees or a fantasy scene with trees and mountains.
  3. Watch a good film, whatever inspires you and then have your trusty sketch pad to hand and draw whatever comes into your head whilst atching the movie or straight after, sometimes we need a bit of movie effects and story stimulation to boost our imaginations.
  4. Take a sketch pad and just draw whatever comes to mind, free drawing is like free writing and can produce a load of crap, but it has been known to create some good ideas and gems that you could use for a drawing project later on down the line.
  5. Draw what you are best at for a full hour, then suddeny change direction and try to draw what you have trouble drawing, this type of creative exercise works wonders with challenging your mind to come up with a realistically good drawing for the things you can't draw too well, try it!
  6. Listening to music always frees up your artistic side, it helps you to relax, but also almost magically it can release some very creative ideas from your imagination, almost as if you are under a trance.
  7. Quick sketch the things that you see in movement, try  and capture the energy of the figure or whatever is moving, this is a good skill to master for an artist, as you can quick sketch almost anything and create spontaneous art that still looks just as good.
  8. Always draw what you're best at, make a time that you set aside just to work on drawing the things that you are the best at drawing, trademarks are often created by the top things that artists create and plus, if you can draw something really good, then you can draw it from all angles and with infinite variations.
  9. Sketch big and sketch small, have large sketch pads and also small sketch pads for sketch ideas, the way of working large and small is quite different and it mixes your mind up to work in all forms, larger scale sketching can be good for drawing battle scenes and smaller scale sketching could be used for quick sketching fast ideas.
  10. Anything that you see, should be sketched, although ideally this would depend on if you take your sketch pad everywhere with you, so maybe take a camera and take the shots of things you find interesting as you can use these photos later for reference sketching.
  11. Take the time with your good drawings, but never be afraid to abandon drawings that simply don't work, this frees up more time for you as you can just file it away as an unfinished piece of work, but you could pull the sketch out another day and find something in it to use a a basis of another drawing or piece of artwork.
Just sketch daily and organize all of your sketches into usable or not, but every drawing that you do, regardless of whether it is any good should be kept.....

Also see - 20 Sentences To Inspire Creativity
And - Create Art Visualize Success