Hello... I hope you don't mind me coming to you for advice. I'm feeling frustrated with my art, like I have all these ideas and I can't draw them :( and I'm even having trouble drawing my ocs. My style keeps constantly changing and anatomy is really hard. And to top it all off coloring is super hard for me too because I've always drawn in black and white or sketched,
Before I give you any tips… Write down ALL of your ideas on paper. That way you can get back to them and think more clearly about them.
Secondly, It’s important for you to be aware of your emotional environment. Sometimes it may be an issue out of art that’s interfering. I’m not sure what you’re feeling in life right now… But I currently have some of the same problems, but my reasons usually circle around feeling like my life is a mess, that I’m not original or a lack of personal identity. If you have an idea about what is really unconsciously bothering you, it may loosen your tension by trying to tend to it. After all, good art comes from relaxation.
Also, there are tendencies to see flaws in our work rather than to sit back and ask ourselves how we can make the picture look right. Sometimes that pressure for perfection causes an artist’s block. However, in reality it just means we need to focus our attention elsewhere. I find that if I’m having a hard time digitally painting, it’s because I have a secret craving for traditional sketching. Sometimes it’s vice versa. Sometimes we just need to throw the pencil and art stuff aside and play some good old video games until we get sick of them. At the same time, think about any possible tensions you have, do something that slightly clears them up. Feel like you have clustered thoughts? Clean the room, do some laundry, grind monsters on an mmorpg, play the dmmd (dickwang mega millionaire destroyer).
In terms of coloring, the best advice I can give you right now is to just experiment. Try color palettes from color tumblrs. I spent a lot of time using them in the past before I did B&W pictures to improve my shading and highlights.
Get into your fashion tag and just draw characters in an outfit, regardless of if they would wear it or not. Doodle little chibis of your OCs. Apparently doodling chibis tend to loosen up tension because they remind you that you don’t have to draw 100 biceps seriously. Unless you wanted to…
Sorry I couldn’t give you any legitimate tips. But usually for those problems, it’s not your art style. It’s just a conflict internally that may be interrupting progress.
Finally, in terms of ideas, Its better try to find a more solid ground first. Ask yourself “which idea seems more realistic?” “If not, how can I make it more realistic?” “How can I tie these random ideas together to make more sense?”
However, keep in mind that ideas change all the time. The best thing to do is be patient and to sort out what you want. Typing seems tempting, but it’s better to jot down notes on paper.
Good luck with your art. Remember that your art will change with time, just like your thoughts and views. Use your references when stuck, draw silly things. Remember to find out who you are outside of art.
Because attempting to animate in the purgatory that is a midway between Sai and Photoshop is akin to sawing off your dick with a nail file, I got around to this last week.
The goal is to allow for viewing of wip animations being made in Sai without having to load the project into Photoshop, Flash, or whatever your external timeline of choice is. Essentially, you export each frame as a .png into a folder and then just overwrite them in the same way when you want to update a frame.
On load it defaults to whatever directory it’s sitting in, but if you want to keep it somewhere else you can select the folder source post-load.
Images are loaded alphabetically, so all of these are valid:
a.png, b.png, c.png
1.png, 2.png, 3.png
Frame1.png, Frame2.png, Frame3.png.
It runs off .png files because I don’t see why you’d use any other format in 2014. If anyone desperately wants .jpeg support or something I can add a toggle though.
Image locations are loaded fresh upon each iteration and held within the program so you can add, update and remove frames without stopping it if you want to. This means you can leave it open on a second monitor and have a looping preview without leaving Sai.
Shit runs on .net 4.5 since C# is cakewalk for stuff like this.
So my historical costuming resources list from 2011 was less than a page long- I’m not saying that I’ve learned a lot in the past three years, but this list is now sitting pretty at a solid nine pages. Whew. And people wonder why I want to redo this damn series.
This list is by no means an exhaustive one- it’s a list of (primarily western) historical fashion resources, both online and offline, that is limited to what I know, own, or use! It’s a work in progress, and I’m definitely hoping to expand on it as my knowledge base grows. First things first, how about a little:
ADVICE FOR RESEARCHING HISTORICAL FASHION
Read, and read about more than just costuming. Allowing yourself to understand the cultural and historical context surrounding the clothing of a particular region/period can be invaluable in sussing out good costume design. Looking at pictures is all well and good, but reading about societal pressures, about construction techniques, daily routines, local symbolism, whatever else will really help you understand the rhyme and reason behind costuming from any given context.
Expand your costume vocabulary. When you’re delving into a new topic, costuming or otherwise, picking up new terminology is essential to proper understanding and furthering your research. Write down or take note of terms as you come across them- google them, look up synonyms, and use those words as a jumping off point for more research. What’s a wire rebato? How does it differ from a supportasse? Inquiring minds want to know.
Double-check your sources. Especially on the internet, and double especially on tumblr. I love it, but it’s ground zero for rapidly spreading misinformation. Books are usually your safest bet, but also take into account their date of publication, who’s writing them- an author’s biases can severely mangle their original source material.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do everything you can to find out information on your own, but feel free to reach out to people with more specialized areas of knowledge for help! Be considerate about it- the people you’re asking are busy as well- but a specific line of questioning that proves you’re passionate and that you respect their subject matter expertise can work wonders.
Okay, onto the links!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of getting off the internet and looking into books! God bless the internet, but books are (generally, this isn’t a rule) better-researched and better-sourced. Bibliographies also mean each individual books can be a jumping off point for further research, which is always a fantastic thing.
Remember- owning books is awesome and you should absolutely assemble your own library of resources, but LIBRARIES. Libraries. You’ll be surprised to find what books are available to you at your local library.
A History of Costume A lot of good text and info, to be taken with a grain of salt. Be wary of any reconstructions and or “supposed” patterns that aren’t directly based on extant garments or firsthand accounts.
Fashion in Detail books Not what you want if you’re looking for photos of entire costumes- note the “in detail” bit up there. Just a beautiful series, and great reference for all the little things you might miss otherwise. The V&A has an amazing fashion collection, and it’s great to see them share it with the world.