December 25, 2010

Developing new habits: 10 sketches per day

Some time ago I've started reading this book called The power of Focus , which is basically speaking about our habits and their influence on our life. While reading the book I've decided it's time to make a place for a new productive habit in my life.

I've decided that from now on I will make at least 10 sketches every day. No matter what kind of sketches - good ones, bad ones; detailed or rough. The goal was to draw per se, to make the maximum amount of sketching possible, a kind of sketching brainstorming.
To keep track on my actions I started adding a DATE at the top of the page and fill it with scetches.

To tell you the truth I was really looking forward to see what the result would be.

And you know what? It was pretty good!!! I can honestly say that I'm pretty proud of myself right now! I won't lie to you and say that I do it every single day as I should but even so my notebook starts to get filled with sketches. Some of them are really good, and some of them even became illustrations already! Like this one.

I just hope this habit will stick and stay with me for a very long time.

What do you think? How do you make yourself just sit and do what is supposed to be done?

Have a great year.

May 31, 2010

5, 10, 15 minutes pepper

It's been such a while since my last post, but it doesn't mean that I haven't been working.

I've been doing sketch after sketch exploring the simple form, let it be pepper

or a tissue box

This is funny because it seems that some of the 10-15 minutes are worse then the 5 minutes.
It means, once again, that I should work on my shadows and foldings.

Anyway, the most important thing is that I've been working a lot lately, and i will keep informing you guys about my progress.

Have a great day,

May 29, 2010

May 24, 2010

Mutating the character

Sometimes when creating a character a classic appearance it's just not enough. So to make it more interesting - aggustments must be made.

In this article Chris Leavens shares his ideas on Mutating a Rabbit .

May 23, 2010

Working on a theme

So how do you find a theme to work on?

There are few kinds of artist. There are those who work from a theme to character and those who work other way around.
When you are a beginning artists, sometimes it is difficult to come up for a theme to work on.

From time to time I turn to sites like Zazzle , Illustrationfriday and ShutterStock - these can be very helpfull when it comes to finding a theme. They can always give you an idea of what you might be working on tomorrow.

"Illustration Friday" brings up a new subject every week. Zazzle works according to international holidays/events which helps it's sellers to customize their objects.

But occasionally happens that while working on a given subject you come across objects that you just don't know how to draw. For example one of the recent tips Zazzle gave to its sellers was a that it's a graduation period. So, obviously, a graduation hat and a scroll come to mind when you think of graduates. And this is what you draw. And if you don’t know how to - you obviously look for a reference images. And you draw. You draw and draw for as long as it needed to get to the point when you've mastered this form and you can illustrate it without an effort.

These are my attempts to sketch these attributes.

Some of them are better, some of them are worse.
The importanmt thinkis that from now on I can sketch it whenever anyone asks me...

Have a great day.

What to draw? - Whatever you like.

So you’ve decided that you what to learn how to draw. Great decision. But what should you draw? Where the hell do you start?

Have you ever heard these artists/teachers saying that "it's not important what to draw, just draw everything that's around you". Well, it's a great advice - but pretty dull. I mean, it is great to be able to draw anything that comes in mind, but I think that this "everything" should somehow relate to the artist himself, to excite him.

So one of the things I would advise to do is to draw objects you like. If you like roses - draw them. If you like tulips and pansies like I do - draw them. If you like your dolls - please, don't be shy. And if you like the way your fingers look like - be my guest.

Anything goes.

As long as you practice.

Good luck!

P.S. Btw, these are some of my pansies:

May 05, 2010

How to create cute characters

In this post Sascha Preuss writes about Creating cute characters . It is not another step-by-step tutorial but a theoretical explanation on a general creation.

April 28, 2010

I wrote about this book in my other blog but it wont hurt to write about it here too.

So, everybody says that the basic form is a begining of every drawing.

I was facinated with drawing cartoon faces, so i found this cool book, Fun with a Pencil, by Andrew Loomis, wich basically says that you can draw a face from any circle shape... and it DOESNT HAVE TO BE A PERFECT CIRCLE!!!

So, i think you should give it a try.


April 18, 2010

5, 10 minutes pensil stand sketch

This is my pencils stand - the long ones, the short ones, it all here...

5 and 10 minutres sketch of it. Not more.

P.S. When looked at these sketches again, I saw that my perspective wasn't the same as the one on the picture... so the quiestion is was the shot done from the different angle or did I drew it wrong on the first place?
I thing i'll do another one in a few days.

April 15, 2010

5, 10 minutes hole puncher sketch

Moving from food to office supplies. Something a bit more complicated that a tomato or a paper - presenting The HolePuncher!

I didn't do a 15 min this time, because I somehow cheated the 10 minutes to 12 minutes so i've decided to not to do another one.

So here they are the 5 and the 12 minutes hole puncher sketches:

April 12, 2010

5,10,15 minutes sweet pepper

Today i've decided to sketch a sweet red pepper. I actually chose it for this very purpose on the market - to sketch it.

So this is the result.

See you next time.

March 20, 2010

IF: Expired

After some brainstorming on this subject I've desided to go with a Life - Death theme. I thought about the newly dead and came up with this:

Life Expires too, you know...

February 26, 2010

IF: Propagate

Actually, this is my first submition to IF.... Lets hope - not the last one....

Why mushrooms? Because they propagate!

February 25, 2010

Illustration Friday - New topic every week.

My first year of college was all about exersizes. Every week there was a different subject, every week another short porject, a week-to-week brainstorming... on every diciplne we had - photography, drawing, painting, sculpturing.
I remember that during our second year everybody talked about how much they missed these little week to week excerses.

So Illustration Friday is, as they say of themselves, "...a weekly creative outlet/participatory art exhibit for illustrators and artists of all skill levels. It was designed to challenge participants creatively.... "

I've known about this program for like a year or even more. But like i said - lack of self dicilpine. I hope it will change from now on.

February 23, 2010

Drawing an open book

In this tutorial I will show you how to draw an open book. Every new step will be represented by a punctured line.

1. Draw a basic trapeze and divide it in the middle.

2.Create another, smaller trapeze inside the first one.
3.Draw short diagonals in the corners of the smaller trapeze and connect them as shown.

4. Connect the corners to the center of the book with curvy lines as shown.
5. Draw a small triangle at the base of the central line - make sure its base is curvy.

6. Erase the unnecessary lines.
7. In the "pages part" draw some curvy lines so the book looks like it has some actual pages.

Thats all. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
If you have any question regarding this tut, dodn't hesitate to ask.

Making of an open book with Illustrator

Following the Making of a closed book tutorial in this one I will show you how to make an open book.

1. Open a new document and File - Place a reference image. Change Opacity to 25. Enlarge, if needed. Lock layer and create a new one.

2. On a new layer draw a cover of the book using a Pen tool - see red lines. Move anchor points to make the figure match the reference. Hold Alt to move each handle separately.

3. Create a New Layer. Outline the pages parts as shown – left and right parts separately - see blue lines. Add short lines for corners. Choose all (CTRL + A). Go to a Pathfinder menu, choose Divide. Right – click to Ungroup.

4. On a new layer outline the open pages part as shown. Draw a line in the middle, Go to a Pathfinder menu, choose Divide. Right – click to Ungroup.

5. Unlock layers, hide the reference and choose all. Apply white Fill color and black stroke to all elements.

6. Add some lines on the pages part to give an effect of actual pages.

Now let’s add some color.
7. Duplicate open pages and paste on a new layer. Arrange so that the bottom outline will be visible.

To color these pages we will use a Mesh tool.

8. Choose Mesh tool and click in the middle of the page. It will create a new anchor across the page. Add more lines – as shown.

9. When applying color remember, that the brightest color should be on the highest part of the page and the darkest – on the lowest.

10. First give it all a bright grey color. I used grey from Swatches pallet – k5, k10, k20. To apply colors choose three Mesh points on one page. Those inside the page will be the darkest those outside the page will be the brightest. Lock layer.

11. Choose the inside pages and apply a grey gradient.

12. Go to Cover layer and duplicate and paste the image. Bring to Back.

13. Apply any gradient to your book cover.

This is it. The book is ready.

If you have any question regading this tutorial, dont hesitate to post it here.

5..., 10..., 15... minutes drawing

A very known exerscise for training one's drawing skills is a 5, 10, 15 minutes per sketch exersise.

What you do is you choose a topic/object/scene and do a quick 5 minute sketch of it. Then you do the same - but for 10 and 15 minutes.
The idea is to learn how to create quick drawing. It is very useful when you whant to capture an object or a scene but don't have the time to create a fuul detailed drawing.

For the sake of this post I took a fresh tomato and this is the result.

It seemst that my 10 minutes is better than my 15 minutes sketch... Oh, well...

The one thing i've discovered is that 5-15 minutes are actually a lot of time for something like tomato...
So I guess i'll be posting this 5-15 minutes sketches... to see my progress...

February 19, 2010

Drawing a closed book

In this tutorial I will show you how to sketch this closed book. There is another tutorial explaining How to create a closed book with Illustrator .

So to draw a closed book you have first to draw a rectangle.

Then convert it to a 3 demential box.

Add two arcs on the left side of the box for a books’ binding and erase the unnecessary lines.
Add another line on the right side of the book – it will give it more depth.

We've created a binder of the book.

Now what’s left is to draw its pages.

Draw two lines parallel to the binder but a bit shorter.
Connect them with two arches.

Your closed book is ready.

If you have any question regarding this tutorial don't hesitate to post it here.

February 17, 2010

Making of a Closed book with Illustrator

In this tutorial I will show you how you can create an illustration of a closed book.

1. Open a New document and File + Place a reference image. You can create your own or use this one.

2. First we will draw the upper cover of the book using a Pen tool. Move anchor points so they fit the reference image – hold Alt to move each handle separately. Of course, you can do the same using a rectangle tool, but since it won’t be as flexible as a hand drawn figure we won’t use it this time. Delete the Fill color and change the Stroke color to something other than black. Also I made the stroke 2 pt (we will change it later).

3. Duplicate the rectangle and right click your mouse to Arrange and Send to back. Place as shown. Choose both objects and Align to Left. Make it fit the reference image

4. Use Pen tool to create the binding and the pages of the book.

5. To make the book cover look thicker, duplicate the pages outline and copy paste it on a new layer. Lock other layers.

6. Change the Stroke color of this new outline so you can see other lines – I changed it to Green.

7. Drag it to the right to make it longer.

8. Duplicate this figure and make it fit the book cover perfectly. Bring it to back (Shift + Ctrl + [). Choose both, go to the Pathfinder menu and choose Divide. Right - click to Ungroup them. Delete all the unnecessary parts.

9. Paste this element back to the main layer.

10. Hide the layer with the reference image. Choose all (Ctrl + A). Give it all a White color and a Black stroke.

11. If some of the elements are not in the right place - like the back cover is on front, or the pages are invisible, right click your mouse and arrange it the way it should be.

12. Make adjustments, if needed.

13. For the last touch, create some lines on the Pages figure to make it look like there are actually some pages inside.

The outline is ready – let’s put some color on it.

For the color I used green gradient with some mesh colors.

14. Choose a front cover and apply a Mesh tool (U) on it. Apply twice more so you have three parallel lines running through your front cover. Move the anchors, if needed. Don’t worry, if the outline disappears. As long as the lines are visible – we can work with it, we will apply the color later.

15. Choose central anchors and move them down a bit. Play with the anchors’ handles to deform the cover.

16. Now choose the color you want to work with. It will be a dark color, a light and the one in the middle. It is very important that when you are satisfied with you colors you will write down its data so you can work with it later. It might be helpfull to remove the upper cover to another layer and lock the rest.

17. Choose the element and apply the brightest color. I chose two RGB Greens – 0, 104, 56 and 55, 179, 74 and Black. Now for the interesting part. We will create a nice gradient using the meshes we just applied. Choose the central anchors and apply a darker color. For other two – the middle color. You should have a result close to this.

For my taste the cover curve is too small so I will move it a bit to the left. Also I will deform another part of the cover, this time just adding some anchor points without using Mesh.

18. Choose the Binding of the book and apply a Linear Gradient (G) tool to it. Apply the same Gradient to the Back cover and to its front.

19. Choose all and delete the stroke lines. Make adjustments.

20. Apply a Gradient on the “Pages” – bright yellow and bright grey.

21. Change the pages strokes to 0.5 and its brush style to Pencil Thin.

That is all. The book is ready.
I hope you found this tutorial helpfull.

If you have any question regarding this tutorial, dont hesitate to post it here.

Best regards

February 14, 2010

Basic forms - thats the start

Some time ago I found this cool exercise saying that when you combine two circles, you can create a new form.

It seems that since we have only three basic forms - a circle, a triangle and a square - the possibilities are limited. But when you are done with two forms - you can start combining three, and then four and then five and then.... well, you get the idea...

So these are my latest tryouts with circles:

I started with just circling with my pencil...

And then were these obvious glasses and bicycle, and this cute sunflower...

And then - more flowers and circles...

I think it is a great brainstorming exercise, so I 'm sure I’ll get back to it from time to time, or even use it as a pre-drawing exercise...

February 08, 2010

Creating a Valentine greeting card with Illustrator - Part 2: The Background

In Part 2 we will be creating a Valentine card itself using the Heart image we created in Part 1 .

1. Place the heart you created in Part 1 of this tutorial on a new document and group it (Ctrl +A, right click - Group).

2. Create a new layer and copy paste a heart on it. Lock and hide it for now.

3. Duplicate a visible heart a few times and place and transform it as shown - you don't have to be precise.

4. Choose this group, make it smaller and place in the upper left corner of your document. Duplicate it (Alt + drag) so it fills our working space.

5. Choose all hearts (Ctrl +A) and go to Object – Transform – Transform each.

6. First check Random and Preview so you could see all the changes you're making.
Play with the settings a bit. I suggest you make some manual changes after this step to spread it a little bit more.

7. Add a new layer above this one. Create a rectangle to completely cover the spread hearts. Fill it with bright pink corol(0, 9, 100).

8. Go to Transparency window and choose Screen.

9. Unlock the Heart layer and place it above the others. Duplicate and place as shown – or as you wish.

10. To write a personal greeting press T on your keyboard and start writing. To change size and font go to Type – Size/Font.

That’s it.
Happy Valentine!!!

If you have any question regarding this tutorial - don't hesitate to post it.