Monday, January 28, 2013

Color Blending, FX Brushing and Photos for Texture

Hi Everyone,

For this week's blog I thought I would do a demo covering how to create light and shadow with color instead of just value and various texture techniques using Adobe Photoshop CS 5 and lower. In this demo you will see how to use the color blend mode for layers, how to use the FX options with your brush strokes and color blend mode, and how to use photos for texture using the color blend mode. These were techniques that I learned and adapted from my illustration professors Cliff Cramp and Christian Hill at Cal State Fullerton. I have broken up the tutorial into three sections because of duration limitations on You Tube. I would suggest viewing these demos at a high resolution so that you can properly see the settings. These demos only go over the very basics but they do give insight of how to approach digital painting.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Leaps, bounds and Muscle Memory

    For all the artists out there, frustrated that perhaps their skills are not growing fast enough, I give the advice of patience and diligence. While this advice might seem pat, I can assure you that this advice is sound for it is backed up from my talks with other artists about our shared personal experiences. The skills of some artist’s you see, grow at a slow and steady pace as they garner their art education and this is reflected in their work which slowly plateaus, but other people on the other hand learn by what I call “Leaps and Bounds” from which seemingly, from time to time, to spontaneously increase in skill.

    “Leaps and Bounds” in this case is a misnomer, it only appears to others, and sometimes even to yourself, that your skills periodically and spontaneously increase in level, which is then followed by a plateau time period before the next jump. What is really happening is that the education learned from teachers, peers and self-education has only laid dormant, then to surface when the artist is ready. The “ready” moment, varies from artist to artist and often won’t show for months or even years, so these artists need to learn a lot of patience. However, this plateau period of little or no growth is just an incubation period for the conscious and subconscious is assimilating the information, assembling its self like a jigsaw puzzle, then when the artist is ready to leave their comfort zone, those skills come forth in a epiphanic bloom.

    The “Leaps and Bounds” artist have the advantage of continued and ever climbing growth, but this is a double edge sword, for if the artist stops painting or drawing they start to go down hill and must re-learn everything once again. So, it is vital that artists who learn this way to maintain their skills and keep up the effort to always learn more about their craft. The diligent artist, no matter how they learn, gain a secondary skill which is called muscle memory, yet another misnomer. Actually, muscle memory crosses over into any skill and it is gain merely from everyday practice. You know when a skill has become muscle memory when you switch from thinking about what you are doing and not how you are doing it. For artists, muscle memory takes many years to totally sink in, but when it does, the artist’s art is like a bird released from a cage.

    So to all those frustrated artists out there who think their skills are not improving, hang in there, don’t give up and keep up the diligence, for you will never know when you will have a “Leaps and Bound”.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Digital Freehand Inking With Adobe Illustrator

Being a good inker is a valuable skill as either a comic book artist, graphic designer or an illustrator. While traditional inking skills with brush and pen makes for a good solid foundation, having digital inking skills in today's day and age is a must. When it comes to digital inking, knowing how to handle the pen tool is a must and it was something I quickly had to learn during my internship at MGA Entertainment, however using the pen tool, while can give you a lot of control, also takes a lot of time and has it's own problems. The ability to ink fast is another skill that is a must in the art world, because let's face it, the faster you can do quality work the more money you can make. So in this video I am showing how to digitally ink using the blob tool which is more intuitive and has a more natural look. In this video I have used a Cthulhu sketch I did for T-shirt flair in my new clothing line I am calling Lovecraftian Flair.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Talent, Potential and Skill

I want to talk about a little thing people call talent, it doesn’t exist, except in the minds of people who are unable or unwilling to do well in something creative or wonderful. Let me expand on that, from my own experiences and through talking with other creative types about their experiences, I found that when someone says, “This person has talent”, they have the mind set that the person they refer to has some innate ability that allows them to do wonderful and creative things without effort. This is from the truth, because every successful creative person out there had the passion to dedicated themselves to the time and effort it took to get their skill to that level, it isn’t easy.

While I don’t believe in talent, I do believe in potential and aptitude. Every single person has the potential to do wonderful things if they dedicate themselves, but some people have more aptitude than others in achieving wonderful things and that is the only real edge they have. Lets take artists for example, they start off drawing young just like everyone else and for the most part they don’t draw any better than anyone else and the only difference is that they either took more enjoyment from it or took it more seriously. So, as that artist grows up they continue to draw and learn from mistakes. Sometimes, if lucky, the artist grows up in a family that has an artist or two living with them, whom they can learn from. If the passion is particularly strong that artist might ask for art lessons or get books on the subject, but still that is not always enough. If the artist stops their artwork longer than a year they become rusty and have to retrain and this is devastating. The successful artist is the one that seeks help through training but also continues self education and is willing to explore, make mistakes, and discover for greater understanding to create wonderful art. So, the successful creative person often puts years upon years of time, effort, and dedication in order to become good at what they do; sometimes this takes a life time.

Enclosing, always remember that if you want a writer, artist, musician or other creative type to produce something wonderful for you, your business or any other venture, remember we all work for a living.

"If you are good at something never do it for free"— Joker (Heath Ledger)

The following pieces of art are to the best of my knowledge in chronological order to show how long it took me to progress to my current skill level in art.

  Around Age 5

 Around Age 8-10

 Around Age 8-11

Around Mid Teens ( I think I am going to revise this comp it is just to fun to pass up)

Around mid to Late Teens (was modifed in PS 10 years ago can't find original was two separate pieces)

Around mid to late Teens

Early 20s

 Early 20s

Mid 20s

Mid to late 20s finally in college studying art

 Late 20s still learning to paint digitally
Present day!

Check out more of my work at Tobias White Illustrations
You should also follow me on Facebook, linkedin, Deviant Art, or catch me at @TobiasWhite1
Don't forget, you can also purchase many of my works as full sized prints at TBW Designs On Zazzle