I’ve been getting this for a while now in PM and stuffs. I’m probably the worst person to ask this since I self-learned everything and I have a strong case of not wanting to read/watch tutorials. I like to reinvent the wheel so to speak. ._.
I know a lot of art friends would tell you to read Andrew Loomis‘s books. Some would even say you should draw from life. And yes this is true. You should, they’re great reference. You can’t create (or in this case, draw) something you don’t understand. You have to look at objects as shapes (an old friend of mine misled me with this one and told me to look at them as lines. This is not true).
But if you’re persistent and don’t want to start from a good vantage point, then reference your favorite anime, I guess. After a while, you’ll find yourself wanting to understand human anatomy and some such to do dynamic gesture drawings. Especially for poses. Every artist has a weak spot with their anatomy. That’s why it’s always said to draw from Life.
As for how I do digital art, here’s a list of what I use.
- Paint Tool SAI
– It’s only $60 and has the best lineart and vector tools I’ve ever seen. I use the Pen Tool for everything.
- Adobe Photoshop
– This is not compulsory. You can use GIMP. I just like Photoshop since I’m familiar with it since Adobe Photoshop 7. I like it for its text tools, adjustment layers, filters and the resizing tools. I resize my pics using the Bicubic (Smooth for Gradients.)
- A Wacom Tablet
– I started with a graphire. But after using Intuos 3~5. I can say that I prefer 4 or 5. The reason one would buy a tablet is the Pressure sensitivity. 4 is good but I prefer 5 for the wireless device.
– NOTE: If you don’t have a tablet and you only have a mouse, don’t worry, SAI’s vector tools are exactly why I recommend it. It makes lineart with mouse possible. You have to practice with it but the learning curve is easy. While it’s possible with Illustrator’s or Photoshop’s Pen Tool, I don’t really use them and find them too hard. I can’t guide you with that. Sorry.
For the procedure, here’s what I recommend.
- Multiple Layers
– Don’t do everything in one layer. You’re giving yourself a hard time. Don’t be afraid to have as many layers as you want. Just label them. Once you get used to it, Multiple layers are nothing. If your PC slows down, then don’t be afraid to merge some layers. They’re also great to make easy changes.
- Learn Clipping Masks or Preserve Transparency
– I’m not going to teach you how. This is the time you actually self learn something. Try to guess what they’re for. The more intimate your experience is with a program, the easier for you think of ways to apply them. Same goes to RM. ;D
- Draw at a High Resolution
– I draw at a 3000×3000 canvas. So when you downscale them, they have will have that high definition look. If you want to make RPG Maker Busts, then just triple or scale the canvas size to 6x and draw. Then resize it back to 272×288. I resize my pics using the Bicubic (Smooth for Gradients.)
- Draw Everyday
– It doesn’t matter if they’re sketches. Just draw everyday. And try new things while at it. Art is annoying with the fact that it takes years to develop something. Stop for 3 days ~ a week, all those skills will disappear on you. And you have to condition yourself again to return back to your previous skill level. So that’s why, draw everyday.