View Full Version : Not a tutorial, per se, but

Sir GreenSock
12-11-2004, 06:58 AM
more of a list of tips and suggestions(i.e. rant-tutorial ;) ) to help people avoid many common mistakes. Hopefully this will help "newbies" avoid repeating the same error as well as help with encouragement and a few tips.
Now I'm writing these things as they come up in my mind, so my apologies if this turns out a bit frantic. Most of these things are from my personal experience, but feel free to add ideas from your own experience. If it gets too messy, I'll edit it to make it more understandable. :)
I would also appreciate feedback on how helpful this was, and how I could improve it.
Maybe I'll add some visuals later on since this will be pretty long. Also, if this turns out too much like a lecture, I'll cut out the parts people don't like/care about, so your input is important! :)

Starting out
Everyone has to start somewhere. The beginning is an important time as it helps build your confidence, and is usually the time during which you learn a lot.
It is important to understand that you are not perfect, and you do not suck. Do not be afraid to post your work here, and when you do, be ready to take critiques. Most members at this forum will try to help you out without hurting your ego, but you should still be prepared to take a few blows against your work. If someone points a mistake out, don't be defensive; try to see where the mistake is, and why it happened. If you don't understand what the mistake is, or how to fix it, ask. Work on fixing the areas that need work individually, with practice and using references for help. In drawing, the same mistake can occur many times as you practice, and it usually takes time to see the improvement.
Also, as was pointed out by Triclone, its important to not take people's critiques to heart. If you get attached to your work you still need to be open about where you can improve. A critique is not a personal attack against you or your credibility!Those giving critiques are trying to help you, and getting upset or defensive about your work will only result in flames or lack of comments in the future.

On References
It is also important to learn the importance of references. Photographs, books real objects/people as well as the work of other artists could be used to help you figure out an area you are working on. As long as you don't trace, or copy the artist's work exactly, references are useful. If you are using an entire image or large section of someone else's stuff, please give credit to the person who did the original to avoid starting huge problems and flame wars. I've seen countless artists make the mistake of not giving credit to another artist, resulting in long arguments and loss of credibility on the artist's side.
It is also important that you don't become too reliant on references as this can lead to problems when you can't find what you need. You should also practice working from you imagination to help with creativity and working independently.
Working from life is a huge help to improving yourself, as it helps to improve your skill as well as help memorize the subject matter so you can work from imagination. Drawing people and animals helps with proportions, anatomy etc, drawing buildings is a huge help with understanding perspective, and drawing simple objects and such can help with defining light and shadow. Don't hesitate to draw from life, as the things around you are your best resource.

On Tutorials
Although tutorials are references designed to help you, you shouldn't rely on them. They usually deal with the technique the artist uses, and if they appeal to you, you should try them out. On the other hand, too many people become reliant on them, and start looking for tutorials on whatever subject they are stuck on. The truth is, tutorials are nothing more than shortcuts. By always following them, you never learn. You need to learn why something happens, or looks the way it does, rather than be told how to draw it happening. Relying on tutorials gets you stuck, you should research and experiment on your own, and then use tutorials and references if you are stuck or are interested in how someone else does it.

Traditional Media
It is a good idea to start out using traditional media (i.e. pencils, markers, paint...) before moving onto digital, as it gives you a more secure base and confidence for when you go into using computers.

Your pencil would probably be your main resource, so you should have lots of those. Pencils come in different grades of lightness-darkness and softness-hardness. They can range from 9H (very hard, very light) to 9B(very soft, very dark). Most artists I know use pencils somewhere between 4H-4B, but you should experiment with all of those until you find a combination that works for you. (I personally use 4H,2H,HB,2B and 8B pencils) It is important to note that the extremities of each type have different properties; For example, H's are hard, light and non-reflective. They are not as hard to erase and see, but they also donít need a lot of sharpening, so they can last a while. B's are soft, dark, and usually very reflective. They are harder to erase, as they leave a stain on the page, but also leave a softer quality of line, and are good for smooth (i.e. with smudging) shading. B pencils are softer, so they lose their tip faster, and need more sharpening. Experiment with different combinations to achieve different effects. Personally, I would not recommend using a darker step of pencil everytime you want a darker shade, since it can make the pencil mark look 'muddy', it is usually better to built up value slightly through hatching and cross-hatching and use softer pencils for extremities.

Pen is another useful medium, both for inking and drawing. Different types and qualities of pen give different results. Dip/Crow Quill/Fountain pens give variety of line depending on how hard you press down. They are hard to control at first, but can be invaluable for varying line widths and expressive work. However, left-handed people generally shouldn't use them, as these pens are used on a pull stroke, and will break their tips if they are pushed across the page. The other kind of pens are technical and ballpoint pens, which give you a set line width and continuous flow. They are very good for thin lines and detailing work. You can get them in different widths and qualities, so experiment with what you like. A good exercise it to draw using pen, since you cannot erase it, so it teaches you to get your line down correctly on the very first stroke, resulting in more confident work.

Pencil crayons and markers are good mediums to experiment with, but you shouldn't worry if you don't get along with them. With pencil crayons, it is important to get a good quality brand (I find Prismacolour, Prang and I think Koh-I-Noor make good ones) so that blending and colour mixing doesn't turn messy. With both pencil crayons and markers (and every other medium for that matter) experimentation and practice are essential. I find that with pencil crayon, best results are achieved when you use blends of 2-3 colours, instead of just one, or too many. This way you achieve the richest tones without it turning out muddy. As for markers, two very important factors are paper and speed. Different papers take in marker differently, either absorbing it like watercolour, or sitting on top, allowing for blending. The former is achieved with regular papers, and the latter with specialized marker papers. Speed is important with markers in order to avoid streaks, as is the way you use move them. Moving them in regular one-direction strokes can increase streaks, while rounded strokes helps reduce them, but increase bleeding if regular paper is used.

The painting mediums are probably the most versatile and difficult to use. The best way to improve your skill with them is to practice and read some books on the techniques of other artists. Personally, I don't have too much experience with painting mediums other than acrylic and gouache, but I will add in what I do know.

Watercolour and gouache are fairly similar mediums. They are both mainly used with water, but their main difference is that watercolour is translucent (you can see the colours, pencils etc underneath the paint), while gouache is opaque (you can't see beneath the paint, unless you use a lot of water). The trickiest part with both mediums is controlling the brush to get the results you want. Both mediums are mostly applied with soft brushes.

Acrylic paint is opaque, fairly thick paint that can be used with water. Imho, it is the most versatile medium for this reason. It can be applied to any non-smooth surface (so no glass) as long as it is prepared properly. When used without too much water, it is sticky and blends easily. Acrylic can be applied with any kind of brush.

Oil is the trickiest medium to use. It is thick, repels water and takes forever to dry. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be used to create blends and colours superior to the other mediums. The fact that it takes longer to dry also means you can work on individual areas for longer. Oil isn't too good for your health, so it's best to be used in well-ventilated areas. It is applied with bristle brushes, mostly on canvas.

On SurfacesWhen it comes to the traditional mediums, there are a variety of surfaces that you can explore. These range from different kinds of paper (manilla or other stained/coloured surfaces, rough paper, smooth paper, rice paper etc) to other surfaces (canvas, plywood, glass, etc). Depending on your medium, experiment with different techniques and papers to see all the different effects you can achieve, and use them to your advantage. (thanks to Triclone for the suggestions)

Sir GreenSock
12-11-2004, 06:59 AM
* :crying: I went over the 10000 character limit, so have to add as reply. :p

Digital Media
Once you have a grasp of traditional media and digital software, digital painting/drawing becomes easier and more successful.
There are many programs you can use for digital art, the most popular(and most expensive) being Photoshop and Painter. The two most popular free programs and Gimp and OpenCanvas (the older version at least, you can still find it online). The software you choose is simply a matter of personal taste and money. Each program can be a powerful tool, so if you can, try out each one of them.
A tablet is also a valuable tool, since it allows you to draw and paint as you would traditionally. Wacom is the most popular brand, and you also get free software with their tablets (my Graphire came with Photoshop LE and Painter Classic, compressed versions of the programs). They take a bit of getting use to, since you watch the screen instead of your hand, but once you get a hang of it, you can even draw straight on your computer. This also makes it easier to cg, instead of using a mouse. If you don't have/want/can afford a tablet, a mouse can be used for cg, too, but it's generally harder. Personally, i use a tablet to draw and cg on the computer. but always use a mouse for vector work due to its precision.
An important factor in tablets is their pressure sensitivity and size. Tablets come in various sizes, ranging from 5x3.5'' (the one I use, also the cheapest one) to the massive 12'' tablets. Now don't think that bigger is better, because it varies from person to person. If you have a small amount of desk space, a 12'' tablet won't fit, at the same time, if you're use to drawing/painting using large strokes, a 5'' tablet is too small for your needs. Try to find a store that lets you try it first, so you know what you want. The other important factor is pressure sensitivity. All (Wacom) tablets have this feature, some more than others. It essentially allows you to customize your brush-stroke based on how hard you press with your pen (ie. brush size increases the harder you press). Depending on how sensitive you want this to be different tablets accomodate this. The cheaper Graphire brand has less pressure sensitivity than the more expensive Intuos brand, so once again look at what you are looking for before you buy your tablet.

Photoshop and Painter are the most versatile imagery software. Photoshop is the industry standard among illustrators and designers alike, but is also the most expensive one. It seems complex at first glance, but after a few days of experimentation you will probably have a basic understanding of its abilities. Painter is popular because itís designed to emulate traditional media such as oils. Its slightly cheaper and less complex (at first glance at least). The tools as-is are straight-forward, but the most interesting part is the fact that each brush can be customized more than those in Photoshop.

My personal favorite free program is OpenCanvas. Its very simple, but effective, plus it has a neat recording tool, as well as the ability to draw with other people at the same time over network. I have no experience with using other free software such as Gimp, except that I know it is designed as a free replacement for PhotoShop. It isn't as versatile and the interface is a bit odd, but a lot of artists seem to like using it.

The other program (this one isn't free) that I know little about is Paint Shop Pro. Its one of the cheapest programs of its kind, so it's probably worth checking out.(if anyone has more experience with the Gimp, PSP , or other software, post more info about it, or PM me please.)

The other digital software on the other side of the spectrum is vector software such as Illustrator, CorelDraw and QuarkXpress. These programs use vectors (similar to Photoshop's pen tool) instead of pixels, which makes them good design tools, and very printer friendly. I know more about these, but don't want to go into detail unless someone is interested. (If anyone is interested PM me or post here)

On Colouring
Colouring your work digitally is fun to do, but often the first few tries are filled with error, mostly due to inexperience. Before going into colour, I would personally recommend looking into colour theory as well as the behavior of light and shadow. Try a few monotonous pictures to get the hang of light and shadow, and I guarantee that the coloured result will look better. Another common mistake is the use of filters such as the dreaded lens-flare in your CG. This is a no-no, since it usually looks amateurish. Of course, everyone wants to try out the neat things the software can do, but from my experience, as well as a lot of other people's, filters are usually avoided.
There are many different techniques you can use to colour your work, do don't just stick to one, try out a couple of different ones to see what you are most comfortable with.

On Anime/Manga
Many artists(including me, and probably everyone else at this forum) start out and get into art through anime or manga. Its a great style thatís fun to do, but it has a number of issues I've been dying to address. ;)
Wanting do draw manga, and working in this style is great to do, but if you are serious on improving and going somewhere, you shouldn't just work on and stick to this one style. Books and tutorials such as the How to Draw Manga series teach you only how to draw something, and not why. Manga characters are exaggerations of reality, and by only knowing how to draw these exaggerations, you hit a dead-end and can't develop your own style, or work in other ones. You need at least a base in realistic drawing in order to understand how and why the exaggerations occur. By understanding human anatomy, you can develop your own style, and make the stuff you do in the traditional manga style more convincing and understand why everything is drawn the way it is.
For example, the how to draw manga site has a tutorial on how to draw an eye. It basically tells you to make a few lines, draw an ellipse inside, and add a pupil. What you have done is drawn an exaggerated version of an eye, but you don't know how or why. By looking at the structure of a real eye, you can draw eyes in this style more convincingly and even make believable modifications to the style.

It is also important to understand that the styles of the artists who you are trying to emulate have taken them years of practice and work to achieve. If you simply copy their final product, you miss out on the development that has taken them so far. As such, your work will never reach their level, so you'll never be able to evolve. It is important to remember that the best way to achieve your style and the highest quality of work is through constant practice, experimentation and trial-and-error. It will definitely take longer than simply copying someone else's style, but on the long-term, the quality and experience will pay off. (Thanks to ArcaneG0th for the suggestions:) )

Thatís all I can think of for now, I will most likely add more as I think of, if you have comments or suggestions, please PM me or reply here. I'd appreciate feedback and thoughts on the above rant. ;)

12-11-2004, 11:46 AM
This is great! I hope everybody on this forum reads it. One thing I would like to add ti is the part that you touched on twice. About trying to mimic other peoples style. I think it should be said that it has taken the artists who many people like to mimic decades to achive the style that they use and it wont work out as good as it could for you if you just copy their work and dont draw from life. Practice, practice, practice. Thanks once again for the tips.

Sir GreenSock
12-11-2004, 12:13 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, I agree, and have revised the write-up. :)

12-12-2004, 10:03 AM

In regards to starting out something interesting that I've been told: Be cautious when your pieces reflects too much of your ideals or get too attached to you character. If you do, realize that when your piece is criticized, it is not a personal attack on you as well as your character's well being (well it shouldn't be).

I'm not sure about manga being an exaggeration of reality... that would be caricature. If anything manga is a subtractive idealization of reality... but that's just me.

Experiment not only in media but your drawing surfaces too: rice paper, manilas, paperbags etcs. Something I've been keeping my eyes on is recycling and creating my own paper. There are alot of creative combinations you can do and interesting texture effects you can end up with.

Sir GreenSock
12-12-2004, 12:51 PM
Good points. Thanks for the input! :D
I forgot to mention different kinds of paper.

12-12-2004, 07:21 PM
:O You must have probed my brain or something! I've been thinking a lot about this stuff lately and I agree with everything you said. Hooray! :D

12-12-2004, 07:36 PM
This was some good stuff. My only thought is that it would be nice to clean it up a bit since it was bulky and hard to read sometimes. I know you said you had problems with the character limits, but put some spaces between paragraphs and make sure some of the areas are broken up a bit and bolded. The oils and acrylics sections for example could probably be on their own lines.

12-12-2004, 07:56 PM
I agree. It would be great if all newbies would read it.. :D

I personally have used Paint Shop Pro a lot, but it's such an old version I doubt it would be helpful to post about it.

Sir GreenSock
12-13-2004, 04:40 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys. I agree its bulky and messy, I'll work on formatting it.
Meko - It doesn't really matter that it's an old version, general tips and description of its capabilities and such would probably be enough. :)

edit: Did some formatting, It'll do for now until I add more in the future.

12-14-2004, 03:52 PM
That's a mighty fine rant ;) . In the digtial section I think it would be great if you covered tablet vs mouse a bit, maybe even discuss pressure sensitivity and recommended size.

I think it would be cool if you gave your thoughts on what art is or give general information on difference between an: illustrator, graphic designer and fine artist. By explaining this I think people get a better idea what direction they want to go with their art.

I think you are on a roll, keep going.

Sir GreenSock
12-14-2004, 05:34 PM
Thanks pigeonkill, those are great suggestions! :)

I'll get to work on those as soon as I can spare some time. :D

12-15-2004, 09:37 PM
Excellent work! I think you've pretty much summed up what everyone has been trying to tell newbies for so long. Well done.

Here's some excerpts of a similar post that I made in another art forum:

"Digital Art programs are just a tool. There are a few essential things you must know first:

You must know how to draw. That sounds like a pretty basic statement, but it's not as simple as it sounds. When drawing the traditional way, do you pay attention to things like perspective, line weight, and things like that? Do you know how to break things down into more simple shapes when drawing structures like humans, animals, cityscapes and landscapes? These are a few things that will make your job a whole lot easier if you know them before stepping into digital art. Some excellent tutorials that you can download from the net are the books by Loomis, found at www.saveloomis.org (http://www.saveloomis.org/) . It's important that you learn from these tutorials, and practice what they teach. It will take a bit of getting used to (especially if you've never successfully used guidlines before), but soon you'll be whizzing through your drawings. Please don't underestimate this step. You will make your life a whole lot easier if you do this first.

You must learn how to use a pencil before you know how to use a Pen Tablet pen.

The Patience:
There is no magic way to learn how to 'do' digital art, or traditional art for that matter. You must practice. You can have all the tutorials in the world, know their theories off by heart, but you still won't be able to do it. You must build a connection between what you know and what you do. The only way to do that is to practice. I've read probably hundreds of tutorials on drawing over the last couple years, and you'll see that my works are far from perfect. However, I have noticed from experience that you will improve quicker than ever if you practice regularly. The time you spend on practice is well worth it.

Don't Take the Shortcuts; They Lead to Dead Ends:
People think that tracing over photos or other drawings will help them improve their skills quicker. Granted, you will get a finished result quicker than if your were to work from the beginning yourself. But there are major hazards here. First, you won't be able to legally post those works online. Secondly, you will work yourself into a rutt. Speaking from what I know as fact: if you get into the habit of tracing or heavily relying on other images to create your work, you will find it mighty hard to break from that habit.

As you create more images, it's inevitable that you start to treat your work more seriously. It's no longer gratifying to see your completed piece knowing you didn't create it completely yourself. You will want to start drawing pictures from what you see in your head. Problem is, now you have to undo your nasty habit, and then start back at square one with learning art. Learn and practice art properly now, and you will become a better artist for it, much quicker.

Seek Opinions:
Critiques are one of the best ways you can learn what you're doing wrong, and therefore improve. That's why I love this community so much- critiques from fellow artists have helped me no end, and continue to do so. When you recieve a constructive critiques, errors in your work that you didn't notice before will suddenly become obvious. When you know what you need to improve on, refer back to your tutorials (aka Loomis) and work on that aspect for your next image. But, if you don't recieve critiques, don't think that means that you can stop practicing- that you've reached your peak. Even the most talented Elite artists here are still learning how to improve their art. When you recieve a critique, work on improving that bit, and more. Making the same mistakes over and over, and not listening to critiques is a sure fire way to getting nowhere."

What you wrote is a tutorial. It's a tutorial for success. I hope the newbies read this all as well. :thumbsup2

12-16-2004, 08:07 PM
i think this should be a sticky in the tutorials section or thr frequently asked questions section...

12-27-2004, 07:51 PM
I finally understand Anime and Magma now...no joke...I just thought thats how people see the world..

Sir GreenSock
12-31-2004, 10:09 AM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Sorry for not posting for a while, been on a break. :D

I have to continue the tutorial here, since I went over the limit again :laugh:

Also, everyone should take a look at CityRose's excerpt on this topic posted above. Very good stuff. :D

On Art and Careers (thanks to pigeonkill)

If you are reading this post, it means you are likely interested in art, and possibly even pursuing a career is the trade. Here, I will try to cover some general paths of art. I'm still not fully familiar with all the details myself, so it would be a good idea to do some research yourself, or better yet, contact me with more info on the topics or to correct my mistakes. :)
I'm not going to post my thoughts on what art is, since I don't want this thread to turn into a huge essay. I'll let you make up your own mind on what you see as art. I am going to try and discuss the different career paths and their differences.
Illustration is probably the career path most people on this site are interested in. It covers everything from book illustration, comic book artist to concept artist and more. Illustrators can work both digitally and traditionally. A formal education in illustration is not mandatory, but would be a good idea to help you have more of an edge on the competition. Depending on which field of illustration you go into, the job description can vary. In general, you can expect to spend a lot of time drawing and probably conferencing with other artists. Like most art careers, you can do both freelance work, or with a specific company. Unlike the other two paths, here you will spend more time drawing realistic or semi-realistic images of people, places and things, both from life and your imagination.
Beware of the pretentious fine artist, who doesn't see your work as "art". :p If you like illustration, don't get discouraged when your art teacher looks down on all your work, but also don't ignore their lessons, if done properly, fine art and illustration go hand-in-hand beautifully.

Graphic Art/Desig is probably the second most popular path on this site. Of the three paths, I know the least about graphic design, but I am takiing the class at school, so I will discuss what I've learned there. It is basically a mix of illustration and fine art and the careers can range anywhere from architectural design to graphic art and design. It basically involves using elements of art and design to create an image for various purposes. This can range from websites and magazine ads, to illustrations and animations. One of the key parts of it is aesthetics and translating a message or attitude into graphic form. Once again, a formal education is not necessary, but would prove very useful. In my experience, today's graphic artists and designers largely work digitally, and do a lot of work in vector based programs such as Illustrator and CorelDraw. Also, you can do both freelance and work with specific companies and clients.

Fine Art is likely the least popular topic on this site, largely due to the overall atmosphere. This form of art is most difficult to explain, mainly since there are infinite ways to do it, and since it is always evolving. Fine art is a field where it is difficult to succeed, which is why many fine artists have another job such as graphic art, illustration or teaching and do fine art on the side. Also due to the fact that the fine-art culture always changes, it may be difficult to keep up. But don't let that discourage you. Now when it comes down to it, an education is unneccesary, but many fine artists do have some form of formal education. The job description is difficult to explain, you would most likely work with an idea and create artwork using any medium, either commisioned or on your own. The interesting part about fine art is that anything you create can fall into its category, and your success fall purely on taste. Your work can be a thoroughly thought-out concept worked out countless times until it "works", or be a completely thoughtless work of aesthetics and design. Whatever works for you is fine. :p. Hopefully this section was somewhat helpful.
Oh yeah, and beware the stubborn illustrator, who views this line of work as "senseless, stupid and nothing to do with art". They're just jealous. :p

Thatís all I can think of for now, I will most likely add more as I think of, if you have comments or suggestions, please PM me or reply here. I'd appreciate feedback and thoughts on the above rant. ;)

12-31-2004, 04:31 PM
Illustration's purpose is answers the 5 W's (who? what? when? where? and why?) These artists can accomlish selling a clear message at a momentary glance. They are sensitive of their target demographics and plays with their options in the prospect of being noticed.

Fine Art
The field with the least exterior restraint. They are free to express themselves through social, political, global to personal statements.

Animation (boo for Greensocks... j/k :D )
Yes, even though it is a grunt work we still prides ourselves of being the penny that makes up the dollar. With lines and splashes of colors, an animator's duty is to instill life on a plain white sheet putting the audience in a suspension of disbelief allowing them to go through a catharses. Animator's are competent in timing, storytelling, staging and layout, drama, gestures and anatomy and movement as well as having quick dexterous hands. Being in an animation team means you have to share your creativity to your peers so PR and communication skills are a must.

Misc. Suggestions:
Being an art history buff is supplementary but highly recomended. When you're asked to draw a concept with a post-WWII existentialist feel, you better darn know how to :p.

Communication skills. You're representing yourself in the game and no jawdropping piece can prop you up if you don't know how to present yourself.

Networking. The only way you keep yourself on the ball.

In regards to Sir greensocks "beware..." just remember the saying that goes be kind to people you meet as you climb up for you'll meet them again as you climb down.

Edit: I think Video Game design in worthy of mentioning but unfortunately I can't really speak much for it... with someone would. And yes there is a poetry in a good game mechanics.

Sir GreenSock
01-01-2005, 09:36 AM
Nice post Triclone, I can't believe I forgot animation... :ugh:

01-15-2005, 03:39 PM
Those are great tips. ^^ "You do not suck..." I really need to remember that, lol.

01-16-2005, 12:16 PM
Awesome... whatever you want to call it :)

Seriously, I'll probably read this several times over the next month...

01-27-2005, 01:13 AM
Took a while to read the whole thread, but it was definitely worth it!
I recommend reading it to everyone and thank Sir GreenSock and the other contributing artists for their efforts. :)

02-03-2005, 12:01 PM
great work dude.,
though i have some comments on the mimic section,
well immitating is wrong but not That wrong,
what i mean is , learning can be achived through copying
(and before u get me wrong, I dont mean by copying that u get a paper ,put it over the drawing and start to trace lines. THAT's REALLY WRONG).
,i meant look at the way the look and try to draw something like it,, it will teach u some stuff, but dont copy 1 style , try diff, ones . u'll get some experience out of that , atleast i did,,
but hey coping is wrong , and this method is not an ideal way of learning , u can consider it as a training . and "warrning" do not over do it, it Kill innovation!!
and another thing.. try reading the crit. in this drawing section and learn from people's mistakes, thats REALLY helpfull.

02-22-2005, 02:13 PM
WOW... (best read ever) that was really insightful and should help us all! Peace and thanks for the heads up!!

03-03-2005, 11:15 PM
Some additional thoughts and clarifications on the above excellent posts:

(Credentials: I've been a a graphic designer/designer/conceptual designer/whatever-you-wanna-call-it who also happens to be a moderately passable/decent illustrator for approximately 40 years. Before that, and now since my retirement, I'm primarily back to printmaking, painting, and sculpting...what most of you call "fine art," though I've worked both ends of the art world for the entire time.)

Illustration and all it's variations (animation, design-illustration, 3-dimensional illustration and construction, cartooning, architectural and product rendering, comics, etc.) are all WORK FOR HIRE. This means that you agree to do something for someone who will pay you if you do WHAT HE WANTS. There may be a lot of creative freedom within the given project for you to experiment, etc., but ultimately, if the CLIENT (the guy paying you) doesn't like it, you do it over.

This is a strictly commercial process only because of the WORK FOR HIRE agreement. You can be as original, creative and groundbreaking as you want, as long as the client will accept it. That's your limitation. Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish were great artists by any definition without any argument, but nearly 99% of everything they created was for a client, and therefore had to be acceptable to that client. This makes what they did ILLUSTRATION.

A Designer/Graphic Designer/Conceptual Designer is a completely different bird. They do work for hire for the same clients, and many are even incredible illustrators, but in the capacity of their DESIGNER title, they are not artists in the sense that most people here see an "artist." They are thinkers. They solve problems. Many of them can't draw or paint at all. Ironically, some of what they do for their clients actually would rank as "great art" even though the only art tool used was the ballpoint pen used to scribble the idea on a napkin for the client to approve. They're idea people who solve (usually) visual problems in commercial advertising.

So-called Fine artists are simply people whose primary clients are themselves. They can do what they want because they are the ultimate client. This is absolute freedom. It also means you may starve to death if the public doesn't like what you do :).

Any artist at this level that uses tricks, marketing techniques to hide lack of talent, and basically pulls the wool over the eyes of the buying public is basically a hack because he's actually doing the most vapid form of cutsey illustration while ranting about his "artistic independance" to make a fast buck. Anyone who would sink to that level---lying both to himself and to his public---would be better off raising rabbits or sweeping the streets. It would be more ethical.

Sorry...I got a little ranty there, but I hope this helps clear up the terminology some.

03-04-2005, 04:39 PM
for someone like me who have ADD or something, i don't have the patient to read all that very very long tutorials or something long. i have a very short attention span.....:crying: :crying::crying:

Sir GreenSock
03-22-2005, 01:00 PM
Here's a link to another artist's tutorial, mainly focusing on rendering and such, but it also touches on some stuff in this thread. Link (http://itchstudios.com/psg/art_tut.htm) This link should probably also go to the references sticky session I guess.