Tagged: tutorials
  1. 9

    Dec 2014

    Book Review ~ 3DTotal’s Sketch Workshop

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    When 3DTotal offered the Illustrator’s Lounge an opportunity to review their Sketch Workshop series I jumped at the chance. I first heard about it through their exceedingly successful Kickstarter campaign. My intrigued was peaked, how would they tackle explaining some rather complex and layered subject matters to a novice?

    Expecting to receive one or two of the workbooks, when I opened the parcel to find the entire Sketch Workshop bundle, there was a genuine gasp of joy. It included the leather-style folder, all five workbooks, and a set of drawl-inducing drawing tools, including five Koh-I-Noor graphite pencils. It is a very attractive set, which I sat staring at for a while, before it suddenly dawned on me that I may need some help if I planned on doing a review of this set any justice.

    I decided to recruit the help of my 8-year-old cousin, (appropriately named) Arty. Definitely younger than the demographic that these workbooks are aimed for, but I was interested to see how accessible the tutorials are. I know that Arty already has an interest in illustration and has an attention span that could rival mine. So I knew it would not be too laborious to ask him to sit down for an hour or so and work through some of the pages with me.

    I thought that Robot & Spaceships and Creatures workbooks would be best, as I know that Arty has a love of cars, and as you can’t really draw “creatures” wrong, can you? When I arrived workbooks in hand and told Arty that today we will be drawing together, he got really excited. When I pulled out the stationary he got even more excited, which is an indication of a future artist if there ever was one.

    Given the choice of the two workbooks, Arty decided to go for Creatures. So I opened it up to a tutorial which looked the simplest. I showed him the page and explained what we would be drawing, then I read all the instructions to him, to which he responded “Wow, that’s hard”. I laughed and then tried to simplify the instructions a bit for him. He chose his pencils and got started.

    Interestingly I had already given the Anatomy workbook a go a few days earlier, and my initial reaction was very similar to Arty’s. I am a competent illustrator and there was not anything in the Anatomy workbook that I would particularly struggle drawing, but yet I found some of the tutorials intimidating. A combination of a beautifully rendered sketch accompanied with instructions that neglected to explain the basics just threw me off. All workbooks have multiple tutors, so this scenario is not case for all tasks, but it is a common theme across the workbooks.

    An example that came up when drawing with Arty was that he did not understanding the 3D aspect of the jaw and stuck to drawing the front row of teeth. I sketched a cylinder to help explain how he should think of a jaw and he quickly understood adapted his drawing to show back teeth. After an hour of drawing, Arty had filled a couple pages of A4 paper with a few pretty impressive creature teeth and dinosaur eyes. That was sadly as far as his attention span went. He then proceeded to shape the putty rubber into a rocket and throw it around the room. However, working alongside Arty’s helped me better gauge whom these workbooks are best suited to.

    It is sadly a tad advanced for an 8-year-old (specifically Arty). I felt the tutorials were a bit too specific for my own needs, but I will probably give Robots & Spaceships and Cityscapes another go, as I have always found this area of technical drawing difficult. So ruling out the novice and the seasoned illustrator (ahem) I would say that these books best suit intermediate artist, those who have a good grasps of the basics, understand construction well, and have just starting to push their art into a direction.

    Which brings me to the strength of the Sketch Workshop. It does a great job of encouraging the artist to really think. If you are drawing a creature, is it dangerous? If so where will their jaw hinge? If it is a robot, what fuel does it use? After you have really thought about the physicality of the drawing you are asked to consider lighting, so that you can render your drawing as realistic as possible too. These are definitely areas which can get left behind when learning to draw, so there is obvious merit in their approach.

    All in all, if I had the Sketch Workshop when I was in Secondary School it would likely be one of my most prized possessions. It is beautifully presented and impossible not to get excited about. I will surely be wrapping the bundle up and gifting it to Arty for Christmas, and just like a Christmas jumper, hope he grows into it.

    Try Sketch Workshops for FREE!

    3DTotal is currently giving away a free sample chapter of the Robots & Spaceships Sketch Workshop on their site. Check it out here.

    Sketch Workshop Bundle
    3DTotal Publishing
    Includes:
    The Sketch Workshop leather-style folder
    5 Workbooks (Anatomy, Characters, Creatures, Robots & Spaceships, Cityscapes)
    A set of drawing tools (graphite pencils, sketching pens, a putty rubber and dual pencil sharpener)
  2. 31

    Oct 2014

    J.A.W. Cooper

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    I follow quite a few illustrators on Instagram, but recently the work of J.A.W. Cooper has been blowing me away. You know when you complete an illustration, take a step back and think to yourself, “Yes! Nailed it”. Well, that’s what I imagine Ms Cooper is doing every time right before she uploads a new picture to her Instagram.

    Born in England but currently living in Los Angeles, Ms Cooper is a freelance illustrator, sculpture, jewelry maker and member of the Prisma Collective. Professionally she illustrates for the entertainment and advertising industry creating storyboards, concept and character design. Personally she frequently produces work for galleries. Her work has been exhibited in Gallery Nucleus, Spoke Art Gallery, and La Luz de Jesus Gallery.

    J.A.W. Cooper regularly updates her blog. Which is of course filled with her beautiful artwork, and lots of photographs of her process. So much so that she set up a separate tutorial section just for it. Ms Cooper breaks down her process step-by-step and explains her thinking as well as highlight problematic areas of her process. It is full of good tips, and very helpful to see such detailed breakdowns of her work.

    You can find more J.A.W. Cooper on her website.

  3. 3

    Mar 2014

    Sebastian Ramn

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    Sebastian Ramn is a freelance Art Director and Illustrator, operating out of Stockholm. His work ranges from editorial illustration to TV Network identities, animated shorts and graphic novels.

    Mr. Ramn’s recently established a new website to plays host to much of his current work, but with the key aim of providing in-depth background on his process and reasoning. His finely written article are definitely worth a read, you can start with Omission in storytelling.

  4. 13

    Nov 2013

    Toerning

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    I recently stumbled on the wonderful work of Toerning through one of her few, but very useful, tutorials. Her tutorials are filled with tips about lighting, perspective, composition and colour, and well worth a gander.

    Often working with traditional mediums such as ink, acrylics or gouache. Toerning’s knowledge of lighting and colour really stands out. And her marrying of both traditional and digital processes create some stunning results, as seen in her Selkie pieces.

    To see more of Toerning’s work, check out her DeviantArt and Tumblr.

  5. 4

    Jun 2013

    Tony Cliff

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    In the post today I received a copy of Delilah Dirk and the Seeds of Good Fortune by the very talented Tony Cliff. Delilah Dirk is the successful webcomic series, nominated for Shuster, Harvey and Eisner award. It has recently been picked up by publishers First Second whom will be releasing a paperback edition in August.

    Besides Delilah Dirk, Tony Cliff also contributed to the Flight anthology, and keeps a pretty tidy blog. Packed with latest news, sketches and his popular tutorials.

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