Categories
Tutorials

How to Approach Fan Art

Hey guys! We all have a book, show, movie, or game we’re obsessed with. For me, it’s the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. So today I’m going to draw Link, the main character, and share some tips for approaching fan art.

The hardest, but most important, step is finding a good reference picture. You want a picture similar to the pose you want to draw. You also want it to be a clear photo with lighting that you like. You don’t want to draw a character in the day from a picture of him/her at night! It can be hard to find good photos on the internet. I often just pause my show/movie/game and take a picture of the screen. It annoys my family sometimes.

The first step is just like any other drawing: sketch the figure. I have a whole post about female figures. Not male figures; I’m still learning that myself.

Next, sketch out clothes and accessories. Don’t be afraid to simplify something if you can’t quite make it out. You can also add extra details, such as more folds or wear and tear. I didn’t draw any folds on this one because the outfit was already pretty detailed. I didn’t think it was necessary in this case.

Add hair and facial details. You have to decide if you want to draw them in your style or the original style of the character. Either way is fine. If you choose the original style, your drawing will look strikingly like the character. If you choose your style, your drawing will have a pleasing uniqueness to it, but it will still be recognizable.

Ink your drawing. Some people, especially those that use paint, skip this step. Choose whichever suits you.

Color your drawing. Don’t stress over getting colors to match 100% to the original. It’s okay to go a shade too dark or too light. Some of my colors weren’t spot on, but the drawing still looks like Link. Anyone who’s played the game would recognize him immediately. (I tried it on my younger brothers, trust me!)

My biggest piece of advice for fan art is this: don’t stress about it! It doesn’t need to be perfect. I hope this makes fan art feel easier for you!

Categories
Tutorials

How I Draw Female Figures

Hey guys! Today I’m going to show you how I draw female figures. Male figures, maybe someday. I’m still working on that, myself.

Anyway, this is only my way of doing things. There are many, MANY other methods to draw figures. If you don’t like my way, you might try some of Christopher Hart’s books. Alrighty then, let’s get started!

I always begin with the head. I first draw a circle and then a long line. The line will serve as the desired length of the head, as well as the line of symmetry. Lines of symmetry are drawn in the middle of an object to help line up both sides. Hopefully that made sense…

Okay, so now I add a chin to the circle, plus cheeks and jawbones. Note how the point of the chin is at the end of the line.

Next I draw guidelines to help me place the eyes and define the head contours.

For the neck and shoulders, I just draw straight lines. We can soften them later.

For the top half of the torso, I draw this weird box shape. I add lines of symmetry to this, too.

This is the bottom half of the torso (hips). I just use straight lines and round everything out later.

I start the legs by drawing straight lines for thighs and calves, and tiny circles for knees. I’ll put some roundness on them later. I’m just drawing a basic structure, or skeleton. But if bones bother you (they freak me out), you can just think of it as the framework of a building before the walls.

For feet, I draw long triangles pointing in whatever direction I want the feet to go.

I draw arms and hands exactly the same way. Now the framework is done, we can add some walls!

The first thing I do is draw the neck and shoulders. I keep the neck slender. With the shoulders, remember that they should curve down a bit and be rounded.

I next add to the upper torso. All we’re doing is adding curves and roundness to our straight lines.

I think of the hips and thighs as one piece, so we’ll draw them together. Remember that this part especially is very round and curves in at the back of the knee.

I draw the thigh farthest from us slightly thinner and shorter to indicate perspective.

Calves are rounded too. Make it round out near the top, and slowly curve in to the ankle. The front of a leg is relatively flat (at least in manga).

Arms are thinner, and much less curvy. The upper arm is quite straight.

Forearms curve more. They round out, then slope in—like calves, but less extreme. Curve both sides of the forearm.

I draw feet very sleek and long. I often draw them on their toes, since I love to draw heels.

This foot is a front view, so I draw a weird paddle shape. I don’t indicate toes unless I’m drawing sandals or flip flops.

For hands, I often start with the thumb. The thumb doesn’t come straight from the wrist—there’s a palm there, too. I make sure to indicate that, and I don’t make the thumb very pointy.

Next I draw the pointer finger. I make it thin and tapered. Also note how there is a rounded arc between the thumb and pointer finger, not a sharp angle.

I draw the rest of the fingers the same way, making sure they are the correct length. Look at your own hand and copy the lengths of your fingers. Unless your pinky is a full inch shorter than your ring finger like mine… In that case, lengthen it slightly in your drawing!

For the other hand, I’m actually starting with the pinky, since it’s closer to us than the thumb. I took a photo of my own hand in the position I wanted to draw. You can ask your friends, siblings, or parents to pose for you, to. My mom poses for me quite often, though I can’t convince my younger brothers to.

I drew the rest of the fingers a touch too pointy, but I fixed it when I inked it. Speaking of inking, I need new fine-liners. If you have any recommendations for ones that don’t smear in alcohol ink, please tell me in the comments!

Last is the thumb. I just copied my photo reference.

And done! A full figure, ready to go. I hope this made some amount of sense and turns out to be helpful!

By the way, here’s how the drawing turned out in the end. I’m quite pleased with it. She’s an OC of mine named Embriel. She’s wearing a dress I designed myself.

I hope you all have a great weekend! If you have a tutorial request, go ahead and put it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do. Bye guys!

Categories
Art Supplies My Art Journey Tutorials

My Art Process

Hey guys! Today I’m going to show you my art process! Everyone has their own way of drawing, and it changes over time. I’m going to draw an OC (original character) from a story I’m working on. Her name is Aleen Dagova.

The first step is always getting to know your character. It will help you choose poses, clothes, colors, etc. Aleen is a queen, so her clothes need fancy touches like gems and gold. She hates all the restrictions placed upon her, so she’s going to wear her hair loose and not done up in spirals. It’s a small act of defiance. In the story, she’s rushing off on an adventure to rescue her little sister. That calls for travel clothes! Aleen is very practical and good with a sword, so pants and a belt are a must. Also, Meridia (the island she lives on) is cold, so she’ll need warm clothes.

Design

Okay, with all that in mind, we can start designing. I like to sketch a very rough, loose figure and then draw clothes over it in pen. I keep sketches like that in a separate sketchbook.

Basic figure construction

The pencil lines are a bit hard to see, but I draw the figure construction. I’ll save the nitty-gritty, in depth explanation for another post. Everyone has their own method for this step; some keep it simple, like me, and others break everything down into basic shapes.

Finished figure

Using the construction as a guide (and photos of myself posing), I finished the figure. Please don’t look too closely at the deformed feet!

Clothes

Some people draw the face next, but I draw the clothes. Hair sometimes falls on the clothes, so I just find it easier to start there. As you can see, the drawing is quite similar to the sketch, but with a few differences. Never feel bound by your design; you can change whatever you want to.

Face

Next is the face. Hair falls over eyes and ears, so I save the hair for last. Like most things, everyone has unique styles for facial features. I, myself, need to work on defining eye shapes. I also lengthened the sword, cause it looked like it needed it.

Hair

Lastly, I drew the hair. I forgot to put hair behind the ears until I inked it, heh heh heh…

Extras

Since this is a reference sheet, I added close ups of some of the details and information. You can do this with every drawing if you want to.

Inking

I inked this with Arteza 0.4 liners, but I didn’t realize they bled in alcohol ink. That came back to bite me a little bit later.

Digital Color Rough

I took a picture of my line art and colored it digitally. Just a messy color rough to figure out what colors I wanted to use.

Colored

I need to do a post about shading eventually. Coloring isn’t the last step though!

Highlights!

I love highlights! The Arteza liners didn’t like my Gelly Roll pens very much, so the eye highlights are duller than usual.

I made plenty of mistakes in this piece—my line work is wobbly, I didn’t always get consistent ink coverage, there’s that weird yellow line by the gem—but that’s okay. I enjoyed it and I have something to refer back to if I want to draw Aleen again. Plus, I learned that Arteza liners are NOT compatible with alcohol markers! Until next time!

Categories
Art Supplies My Art Journey

Watercolors: An Amateur’s Beginning

Okay, okay, I’m not a TOTAL amateur. I’ve been using watercolor pan sets for a couple of years. But “an amateur’s beginning” sounded better than “I just got fancy watercolors in tubes and have no clue how to use them”.

Honestly, watercolors in tubes kind of scared me. I mean, the pros use these. I’m not a pro. I ruined plenty of alcohol markers not knowing what I was doing. But hey, I needed more watercolors for art electives this year and my mom found the fancy tube ones on sale at Micheal’s.

I squeezed two colors into my beautiful, empty palette before realizing I had no idea if I was even doing it right. My mom found a YouTube video for me and I found out that I was supposed to clean my palette with rubbing alcohol first. Oops! So we did that and discovered that we should have spread the paint to the edges and corners of the half-pans (half-pans is the fancy artists’ word for those little rectangular wells in palettes).

We got into a nice groove, me choosing colors and squeezed them into pans with Mom spreading the paint out with toothpicks.

Ta-da!

We filled the pans all the way up, but I’ve seen people fill them partway, too. I have no clue why.

Partway filled and completely filled

I ran out of half-pans, so Mom suggested putting paint in the corners of mixing sections. I don’t know if you’re supposed to do that or not, but I did.

Is this even legal?

I left my palette out overnight to let it dry.

All dry!

Most of the colors had cracked a bit, some worse than others. Maybe that’s normal, maybe I filled them wrong. Who knows.

All cracked up

After my paint was all dry, I swatched it. I knew I’d never remember which color was which paint if I drew a row of squares, so I sketched out my palette and inked it. I also put a key on the side so I would know what color to put in when one runs out.

Inked sketch

By the way, the lemon pattern in the background would be my mom’s summer tablecloth.

Anyway, I filled in my swatch chart carefully, pausing constantly to oo and ah over colors.

All colored

I was anxious to get painting, but we lost power for an hour and I had to wait. It’s no use trying to use watercolors without the water!

I looked at my swatch sheet and realized that I would probably want a light grey and a light pink. It was no trouble at all to mix them up.

Mixing colors

Once that was done, I thought about what to paint. I decided to go with a few tutorials from dearannart.com. I’d post a link, but that feature is not currently working on my blog. Maybe if you just copy and paste the web address?

Poppy and cocktail
Cactus
Ladybug

I think they came out pretty good. Anna has tons of great mini-tutorials that go step-by-step. I love them!

I hope you enjoyed reading this little record of my first time using watercolors from a tube! I love them so much!!! The colors are SO vibrant and easier to get pigment from.

Oh, and a little side note, I’m done with school until September as of today, so hopefully I’ll be posting more!

Categories
Fashion

Steampunk Study

I have no idea if steampunk is still a popular style, but at one point it was. So today, I’m breaking it down so I can attempt to draw it.

After studying image after image of steampunk fashion, I think I can define it. Forgive me if I’m missing something, but it looks like steampunk is basically punk, Victorian, and a touch of modern fashion mushed together.

Okay, let’s break it down! I’ve included loose illustrations (rushed doodles) to go along with it.

First off, I’ll list specific garments that often appear in steampunk. You can poke through those doodles up there to find them if you want to.

  • Corsets
  • Vests
  • Button Down Shirts
  • Jackets
  • Pea Coats
  • Cropped Jackets
  • Trousers
  • Shorts
  • Baggy Shorts
  • Bloomers
  • Miniskirts
  • Mermaid Skirts
  • Puffy Skirts

Moving on to hats and shoes and whatnot! I use the word ‘whatnot’ far too often.

  • Top Hats
  • Mini Top Hats
  • Paperboy Caps
  • Floppy Hats
  • Boots
  • Heeled Boots
  • High Heels
  • Tights
  • Belts
  • Goggles
  • Spectacles
  • Fingerless Mitts
  • Ties
  • Chokers
  • Cravats

This list is extra details or design elements.

  • Old Watches
  • Watch Chains
  • Straps (like belts)
  • Ruffles
  • Lacing
  • Lace
  • High Collars
  • Cuffs
  • Rolled Sleeves
  • Garters
  • Puffed Sleeves
  • Locks and Keys
  • Bows
  • Feathers
  • Buttons
  • Pouches
  • Cap Sleeves
  • Fur Trim
  • Pouch Pockets
  • Flowers
  • Brooches

Finally, accessories!

  • Canes
  • Tools
  • Parisoles
  • Fans
  • Handbags
  • Watches

Hopefully all these lists are somewhat helpful? I’ll try to draw a few steampunk outfits to kind of illustrate all this. Oh, and as for hair, I think either short or done up in buns is most common.

Also, random comment, but I figured out how to use tags! Yay! Hopefully my blog will be a bit more organized?

Categories
Art Supplies Tutorials

7 Things You Should Know About Alcohol Markers

Hi guys, I’m back! Still figuring out this blog thing, so my posts won’t be very regular. Today, though, I’m going to share seven tips about alcohol markers that I learned the hard way. I may have ruined a few markers not knowing what I was doing… But hey, now you won’t make the same mistakes I did!

1. Since most alcohol markers have brush tips, you have to use them like brushes. It’s tempting to go up and down in rapid zig-zagging motions, but that ruins your tips! Going in slower, downward strokes not only keeps your tips sharp, it creates smoother color! With practice, you’ll be using these strokes faster. However, if your color isn’t smooth, you may have to slow down and go over patches again.

Here’s what happens after using zig-zag strokes versus downstrokes. Keep in mind, this is after extensive use. Your tips won’t fall apart after one use. If they do, well, that’s probably a heads up that something’s not right here!

2. I used to color with scrap paper under my coloring pages to catch any bleed-through. I had heard that alcohol markers colored super smooth, but I wasn’t getting that. One, because I was using zig-zag strokes, but two, because I should have been putting glass under my paper.

The reason alcohol markers dry smooth is because the ink blends with itself. It can only blend if it’s wet, though. The ink soaks into your work, but also into the scrap paper behind it, like a portal to another world. If you use glass, nothing can absorb the ink besides your art, so it sits there slowly drying and blending into a flat plane of color.

Yeah, this is what happens. Doesn’t look as bad as it sounds, but trust me: it’s bad.

So you may ask, “But Jenn, where am I supposed to find a big piece of glass???” I got mine from an old picture frame about the size of my sketchbook. You can tape the edges if they’re a little sharp. When you’re done, just tuck it between the pages of your sketchbook and it won’t get broken.

“But you said the markers bleed onto scrap paper; don’t they do the same on glass?” Yep. They do. Just fill a little mister with rubbing alcohol, spray the glass, leave it for about 30 seconds, and wipe with a paper towel or rag. Be SURE to do this after every use, because if you don’t, well. That dark blue ink you never cleaned off? It will bleed into the pink cupcake frosting you’re coloring right now. Speaking from experience here.

3. Ah, the joys of owning a colorless blender. You just put down the colors and go over them again and again until they blend. DON’T EVER DO THAT! Bad things happen, people, bad things! THAT would be scrubbing. Let me show you how to blend.

Step 1: Lay down color.

Step 2: Layer on another color. Or two, if you want to get fancy.

Step 3: Go over the line where they touch ONCE.

Step 4: You see that weird line on the light blue? That’s what a colorless blender does. I’ll explain why in a minute. To fix it, go over everything (including the dark blue) in the lightest color you used. Repeat steps 3-4 until you have a smooth gradient.

So that weird line I mentioned? If you had a smooth block of pink ink, all dry, and you made a few drips of rubbing alcohol on it, those lines would outline the alcohol drops. Why? Because alcohol markers are just pigmented rubbing alcohol. It’s a little more complex than that, but that’s what it boils down to.

If you drip water onto dried watercolors, same thing happens. Watercolors are water based the same way alcohol markers are alcohol based.

“Okay, that’s all cool, but what’s it got to do with my blender?” Your blender is just unpigmented alcohol. Same thing as rubbing alcohol, but in a marker for ease of use.

4. Sorry, couldn’t find a way to illustrate this one: there’s a bit of a delay when blending. Like, five to ten seconds. You think your ink isn’t blending, so you scrub at it, but the ink just likes to take it’s good old time.

5. Clean your caps!!! Every time you close your marker, ink gets on the cap. It builds up over time to form sticky MARKER JELLY! If you notice difficulty opening your markers, check for marker jelly on your caps.

To get rid of this art menace, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and get to work.

6. Swatch your colors! Swatch them on the paper you intend to use them on, ideally.

This marker cap looks just like R503…

Got you! It’s actually R605. See why we swatch our markers now? The caps usually look NOTHING like the ink.

7. Never, EVER ink your drawings in permanent markers! You’re coloring along and then you black lines start to bleed into your ink. Same thing with ballpoint pens. I HIGHLY recommend Ohuhu liners. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon.

And there you have it. Seven tips I wish someone had told me six months ago when I first picked up an alcohol marker. If you want to get markers, I’d suggest beginning with Spreey on Amazon. I’m currently using Caliart, and I love em! Ohuhus and Copics, maybe someday, but I’d start with cheaper ones until you get the hang of things.

I’m planning on making posts like this one about colored pencils, paint brushes, watercolors, and acrylics, so keep an eye out for those! See you later, guys!

Categories
General

Hiatus

Hello artists! I’m going to take a blog hiatus. I’m not sure for how long, but I need to focus on practicing my art and figuring out where I’m going with this blog. Hopefully, I’ll be back in a couple months. Bye for now guys!

Categories
Coloring Pages

Another Gemstones Printable Coloring Page

jarsofpens.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/youre-a-gem.pdf

It is just too much fun to draw button gems! The link above will take you to the coloring page, but here’s a link to a tutorial to color gems like in the picture above: https://sarahrenaeclark.com/gemstones-colored-pencil-tutorial/

It’s a great tutorial! Have fun!

Categories
Coloring Pages

Gems Printable Coloring Page: Take Two!

jarsofpens.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/gems.pdf

Remember the first coloring page I posted, the gemstones one? It cropped weird and the line work had gaps in it. Since then, I’ve learned a bit more, so I drew a second gemstones coloring page! You can download it in the link above. Enjoy! I think I need a better way to end these things…

Categories
Coloring Pages

Donut Printable Coloring Page

jarsofpens.files.wordpress.com/2021/04/donut-ask.pdf

Hello artists! Today I have a donut coloring page that you can download with the link above. At first, I just drew a donut. It looked kind of boring, so I added the bite. Then I thought the caption “donut ask” would be funny, so I drew it in. The background was still a bit blank, so I decided coffee beans would work well. Funny how one idea leads to another sometimes, isn’t it?

You know, I always have trouble ending these. It seems a bit abrupt to go straight to “enjoy”, but I can’t think of any transitions. Oh well. Enjoy!