Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

Watercolour Illustrations: How I do them.

December 6, 2012

Hey Everyone hope you’re all well!

Today we’re gonna have a wee art lesson, I’m going to show you how I make my watercolour illustrations! Now keep in mind, the way I do things is not gospel it’s just how I like to do things and it works for me. Today I’m going to be drawing my favourite X-man Gambit!

gambit08-11-28

Now obviously in my style it’s not going to look anything like that but you’ve got to work with what you got and we’ll start by pencilling out our gambit.

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It’s pretty rough but I quite like the pose so let’s stick with it. Next I’m going to ink over the pencils, I use fineliners (or sometimes brush ink) in this case I’m using a 0.1 pen. I sometimes also use a 0.3 for thicker lines. These guys are good pens.

3Okay so I’ve penned over my Gambit and rubbed out the pencil from underneath with an eraser, he’s looking like this.

2Now it’s painting time! I’m using mid range watercolours, Windsor and Newton Cotmans to be exact. Brush wise I’m using a small flat head for colouring in and a small round for finer bits.

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Also for a palette I’m using a plate covered with tin foil, basically so I don’t have to clean it (when I’m done I just put the foil in the bin).5

Now, with watercolours there is a strict rule of working from light to dark, following that rule I’m going to colour my Gambit in with the lightest shades possible. You can do this by really watering down your colours.

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I should also mention I keep a scrap of paper handy to test my colours before they go on the page. I should also mention I’m using 300gsm watercolour paper.

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Right, now it’s starting to take shape I’m going to start adding in darker tones. It’s very important at this stage to choose where the light might be coming from in this illustration, hypothetically the sun is to Gambits right hand side so his left hand side will be darker. While I’m doing this I sometimes use a damp brush to blend the dark and light tones.

8He’s looking sweet! Now I’m gonna add a very thin and watery layer of pink around his cards for effect. I’m also gonna make him say something funny.

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Now you might not be as funny as me but that’s totally cool, everything in time. It is also very important to SIGN YOUR WORK or it’ll turn up on reddit with 2 million views and no credit (true story). Right once it’s dry it’s time to scan it in.

gambit

In photoshop I might brighten it up with the levels adjustment and that’s it that’s how I do it!

Thanks for reading I hope someone out there found this helpful!

Take care!

Neil.

How to Draw a Robot

September 4, 2010

Hello hope you’re all doing well and having a great weekend! I’ve had a very exciting week as I’ve started my new job as a community art teacher, which so far has been the most fun I’ve ever had in a job so as you can imagine I’m chuffed to bits!

Anyway whilst in teacher mode I mocked up a little how-to sheet for the kids, but you can try it too!

It’s four simple steps to drawing a robot, as long as you know your shapes you’re sorted, and if you have a ruler even better!

Step 1. Draw a large rectangle with a square directly below it

Step 2. Add circles to the large rectangle and join the two shapes with 2 small lines (that’s your robots neck).

Step 3. Add in some arms and legs,keeping everything square.

Step 4. Give him a cheeky smile and some buttons!

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? you could even colour him in :)

Try it yourself!

nx

Finding Inspiration:5 tips from me to you

August 23, 2010

Hello there!

Today I’d like to talk about inspiration and where it can come from.

As a creative, I continuously run into walls and blocks where my mind just gets stuck and won’t work, but as someone who depends on their creativity to generate an income I have no choice but to do my best to overcome them.

So I’ve made a short list, with details, of some of my methods of sparking imagination, I hope this’ll be useful not just for artists but for other creatives too.

1.Getting outside the box


We all have our comfort zones, we all know what we’re good at and what we’re not good at but it’s when we take a little jump out of these zones that we can sometimes find other things we’re good at.

I don’t necessarily mean try totally different things, I think it’s more important to experiment with different approaches to what you’re already doing, for example In an artistic context it’s good to try or mix mediums you wouldn’t usually use, subjects you’ve never studied before and colours you wouldn’t normally think of using.

A little trick I sometimes try is drawing something with my left hand, which gives a little wake up call to right side of my brain which often goes into auto pilot after a while.

2. Research the competition


It’s a well known rule of life that there’s always going to be someone better than you, doing what you want to do just that little bit better. Of course this isn’t a bad thing, it’s good to know the competition and it also can be inspiring whilst giving you a good sense of direction.

This is something I quite often do, be it buying magazines and books, keeping tabs on my favourite artists, checking blogs or even just googling ‘robot painting’ to see Eric Joyner pop up and place a firm boot to my back side.

3. Carry a sketchbook/note taking

Some of our best ideas are forgotten about, this was what my last exhibition was solely based on.

Keeping a sketchbook, pad or note taking device is essential for creatives because lets face it, do you remember every idea you had today?

Even if you are 100% sure that you’ll remember a certain idea by the time you get home or wake up the next day make sure you take note anyways. sometimes when I’m having a block I’ll look into old sketchbooks and find great ideas that I’d totally forgotten about, after a while they turn into little idea banks!

On another note I always get ideas just as I’m falling asleep so keep a pad and pencil next to my bed just incase, although most of the time I wake up to find random babbling.

4. Go for a walk
Sounds simple enough? personally most of my blocks occur in the house, getting out and getting a bit of air and space to think is sometimes all you need, that said it also pays to not whap in the headphones and listen to your head for a while instead of drowning it out.

5.  Write and reflect

If like me, your work is inspired by life and its events this can be a really helpful practice. Basically it involves writing loosely about anything, your day, you’re weekend, you’re relationship with someone, (it doesn’t have to be incredibly important) and in most cases you’ll come across something you’ve forgotten about that’s worth making something of.

It can sometimes even be as simple as having a little reminisce of past events until something pops.

Well Thats all I have to offer, I hope you enjoyed my little tips and hope that one or two comes in handy one day.

If you have any of your own please let me know!

nx

Monsters by numbers.

August 21, 2009

Ever wanted to paint a monster? well this is for you!

i get asked now and then about how i do my paintings,how long the take, what materials i use etc hopefully this should cover all those.

Ok lets get started!

1. I’m using a stretched canvas here,but this should also work on thick paper or board or any other surface that takes to paint.

I have my monster sketched out, i started very rough, erased the bits i didn’t think looked right and refined the bits i did. I’m going for a big cute simple look.

Initial sketch2. Alright,lets get painting! i start with the background with quite a watery base coat working from the inside out, I’m using acrylics here which dry fairly quickly so I’m going to do the background in one go.

start painting3. we’re going to finish the background now, i like to make the outside of the background alot darker than the inside, this makes for more focus on our monster. I also use a bit of matt medium and a bit fat brush to help blend the shades of blue,although this is not essential. thats out background done! woo!

blog-0203. Right, lets get started on our monster. it’s best to start with a base coat that is not too dark and not too light, this will help make room for shadows and highlights etc.

blog-0214. He’s lookin good! ok wer’re almost there, now we’re going to add in the shadows and highlights,i start with the shadows, adding a little blue to my yellow to get a nice dull green shade,I’m going to have the light coming in from the left so all my shadows will be on the right. knowing where to put your shadows really helps the shapes pop and come to life a bit. next i add the highlights,mixing a tiny bit of white into the yellow and painting sparingly with a dry-ish brush where i see aplicible.

shadows and highlights5. ok! here’s the last and probably the most tricky bit,the outline. you can use black acrylic for this (some people use marker pens) although i find it a bit easier to use indian or acrylic ink as it flows a alot better and is a lot easier to control when working with lines. I go over all the lines (carefully) and block in his eyes.

And that’s that! we have created a monster!

finished!Hes a hottie! im going to call him Herbert, Also, using the same process i made him a friend, meet gary!

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Both of these chaps are now available in my etsy shop! i Hope you enjoyed our little painting lesson, remember its not a mistake its a happy accident!

if you have any questions or anything let me know :)

take care

nx


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