Tag: artwork


Sketchbook: When Art is no Longer Fun, Take Two

One thing I’ve noticed since creating this blog is that my post I made a while back about solving the problem of becoming bored with art is the most viewed of my posts. Apparently, this is a problem I am not alone in facing. The skill of practicing art becomes tedious and unrewarding for many individuals, so many in fact, that I wonder how many have given up.

I’ll admit that I draw less than I used to when a child and teenager. Art was my way of coping with poor living situations, and now that I have a better life, I’m pouring almost all of my creativity into my novels and fresh ideas for future books. My mind is so cluttered with these plans for stories and books, and I spend so much time story-boarding them that I don’t encourage myself to draw often enough. The result has left me with a satisfactory improvement to my writing skill, which had surpassed beyond what I thought possible for myself, but my skill in art lags somewhat behind. While I can draw well, I feel I can’t do it well enough. In my mind, there is always room for improvement.

One of the many things that helped me get excited about drawing again were series of Youtube tutorials on perfecting drawing methods. Some artists help make drawing fun and easy with guides to help you start learning new techniques, and to even get you started fresh from scratch. One such artist I’ve been following for a while is named Sycra.

Here is a list of art tutorial videos by Sycra that should help any artist looking to improve
How to Draw Playlist

Sycra not only introduces new concepts and theories into artwork on a regular basis, he teaches you these same methods as a means for learning. Improving your art is all about adapting, and more importantly, the time you spend on it. Every single day, I write. If I can’t proof or edit one of my novels (whether it’s writer’s block or something else just as nasty), I write side stories. When I wake up, all I can think about is writing. I can’t go a full day without doing at least thirty minutes of it. This is how you must treat your artwork if you plan to do it professionally, or to get better. I can honestly say that after long periods of not drawing, it shows that I haven’t been practicing. If I drew as much as I write, my quality would be twice that it is now.

I get frustrated easily, and failure discourages me. Nothing turns out right, and I want to throw everything out.
Don’t get discouraged by this emotion. It happens to me, too, and it does force me away from my artwork. But I’ll tell you now that it shouldn’t. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, and art will probably sacrifice many eggs in the process of learning how to make what you want to. Drawing is fun and easy– once you already know how to do it well. On the way there, the road is bumpy and unpleasant at times. You have to remember that it’s all part of becoming better than you were before. Even the failures are things you learn from. Failing over and over is how we succeed in the future.

Once I draw something really well, I’m afraid to continue in fear of never making something that good again.
Maybe I’m the only one that goes through this, but I’ve seen people worship smaller accomplishments, which hold them back from working on tougher things. Repetition is the key to practicing. Even if one out of a thousand eyes you draw is the only one that looks good, you still need to draw many more so that all of them will look good and normal. This was a trap I once fell into, and anything that looks even semi-good compared to older work, I cherish it instead of improving myself, and working too hard on one project for hours will bore the hell out of you if it ends up not looking the way you wanted. Draw a thousand tiny mediocre pictures before working on one huge project that’s beyond your capability.

I have such good ideas for comics and pictures, and I want to make them reality! I’m too excited to wait!
Don’t rush a skill. It will take you years to perfect it. If you’re not the patient type, perhaps drawing isn’t for you. I speak from experience in that I myself am not patient at all. I don’t sit and practice because that’s “work” to me, rather than fun, like it should be. Writing is always fun for me, even when I’m working. Art has to be fun for you, and if it isn’t, again, it might not be for you. Consider your reasons for why you want to draw.

I don’t like people criticizing me.
This is one I can’t help much with. No one likes to be criticized. When developing a skill, it’s okay to ask for critique from other artists. Most are professional about it and recognize that you’re in the stages of learning. Remember to have some thick skin and try not to take everything too personally. Some people are trying to help you improve.

If after the tutorials and suggestions you still feel like drawing is too tough to tackle, there might be other kinds of art aside from drawing that appeal to you. For instance, I’ve always wanted to try sculpting, and I’ve made it a goal of mine to attempt it.

Remember, an artist spends time with their craft every day. How much time would you like to invest?

Manga Studio Versus Photoshop

I’ve recently made a switch to Manga Studio for my comic-style artwork. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with it. I didn’t have much high hopes for it at the start, but when using the features for inking artwork, I fell in love right away.

Usually, I use Photoshop for my artwork. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Photoshop– in fact, it’s one of the greatest programs for an artist. My issue with it, however, is it’s lack of versatility when it comes to inking. The pen in Photoshop is not very user-friendly, in my opinion, and using a brush to ink… well, that’s just time-consuming and frankly, frustrating. Photoshop is by far better when it comes to it’s functionality with layers and abilities to blend colors, but it’s also more of a hassle to create comic book panels in Photoshop than it is in Manga Studio.

Manga Studio, much to my relief, had various options when it came to pens. I love my inking lines to have a “tapered edge” look to them. It looks cleaner, in my opinion. There is a pen you can choose to use called “For Effect” pen that offers this automatically without having to change a whole bunch of settings like you do in Photoshop. I eventually chose not to use them in Photoshop when trying to ink my pencil work since it was way more hassle than it was worth, and looked clunky. In Manga Studio, it looks fluid, crisp, and really makes the black lines pop out.

I still prefer coloring in Photoshop over coloring in Manga Studio, however. I did try out the coloring for my latest drawing, the one featured here, to give it a shot to see how well colors mixed and faded. While I was able to give my brush soft edges, there’s definitely an ease-of-use (at least, in my opinion) when coloring in Photoshop. First, using the Alt key to use the eyedropper. That saves me a multitude of headaches. I don’t know if you can map the eyedropper to a key in Manga Studio, but if I can, I’m definitely doing it. Second, I find brush sets easier to find for Photoshop than for Manga Studio. Everyone’s come up with a million different kinds of sketching brushes for PS that come in handy for me.

Overall, Manga Studio wins out for me in terms of comic book art. The options you have to create panels and lines are much broader than in Photoshop. I mean, it is called Manga Studio. It’s sole purpose is to make comic drawing easier. I haven’t tackled a whole comic page in the program yet, but I hope to do so soon. It should be a lot of fun now that I have a program that can make it a bit easier on me.

Seeing how clean my art came out of the program, I look forward to starting a web-comic, which I hope to eventually make when my time isn’t as restricted. It gives me all new reasons to draw again. I’ve been considering quite a bit making one featuring characters of mine that star in my next novel, or to plot out a future graphic novel. So many opportunities.

Just Married – Chainmaille Shop Re-opened!

I finally took the time necessary to get my business information sorted out. There are still more things that need to be done, more supplies to order, but in the meantime, my bracelets are back up for sale!

Check out my shop at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/thornmaille

As it says in the title, I just got married on the seventh. Naturally, I’ve been busy as hell with that, but now that things have settled down, I can get back to work. I’ve been actively writing, mostly working on the series I’d like to release, and plan to craft wedding rings for me and my mate 😀

Also in celebration of my marriage, I plan to soon do a promotion for my book. What kind of promotion? That depends on what I can afford at the time. It will likely be a promo for the Kindle edition, and I hope to do it within the next week. Stay tuned!

I’ve made another Captive Inverted Round Maille bracelet recently which I plan to post for sale. More news on that as it occurs.

I’ve had a growing interest in sculpting. I’d love to learn how to sculpt statues. Depending on my income, that will be the next thing I learn how to do.

New Chainmaille Bracelet Available!

Just released a new chainmaille bracelet today in the Etsy shop: a round maille weave in black and blue. I know. I already made one in black and blue, but they look so damn good together!

You can order it on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177923907/round-maille-black-and-blue-anodized.

As of right now, it’s up for $22.95, and only ships in the US.

I’ve been really looking forward to making more, and not just in black and blue, and I love to keep myself busy. When I’m not writing, I’m working on a bracelet, and it’s so much fun! No matter what weave I’m working on, I get really lost in it, and it passes the time extremely well. I would recommend crafting to anyone looking to hone a new skill! It feels awesome!

-Thorn out!

Etsy Shop Now Open!

I finally opened my Etsy chainmaille shop, and have five pieces up for sale. You can see them on the chainmaille page here on the site, or, you can go to www.etsy.com/shop/thornmaille.

I know I’m going to post more pieces in the near future, because I’m always making things and learning new weaves. Right now I’m working on a spiral chain, and hope to move on to Jens Pind linkage. They both look like loads of fun.

My novel will also soon be published within the next week. Excite!

I’ve finished making my business cards as well, which was a really fun task. They turned out awesome. Here’s to hoping this year is a good one!