Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

Never Stop

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Designing characters through clothes


A while ago, someone asked me how to use costume and fashion to design characters, here are some of my tips and favorite references:


    For modern characters, being up-to-date about fashion styles and what they mean/what kind of people they represent will be really important. You don’t need to know too much designer information, but knowledge of what types of people wear what clothes, someone’s amount of modesty, self-expression, and lifestyle will be really important (for example, someone who hikes a lot will probably wear durable clothes and shoes, a music junkie will probably wear a lot of band tees, etc)

    I check a lot of fashion blogs, here are some good ones:
    -For celebrity/Hollywood: 
    -New York street style:
    -Korean high-end:
    -White American menswear:
    -Black American street style:


    For fantasy character designs, you need some historical knowledge. Knowing what general time-era and what part of the world you want to base your character in will help a lot. Wikipedia (and more importantly the cited sources) will be your friend. Once you pinpoint the general area, time period, and influence, you can do Google searches for “___ era clothing” or “traditional ___ clothing” etc. Sometimes I will look up performance costuming from that era as well, for more visually stunning and exaggerated examples.

    I suggest art books from games like:
    -Assassins Creed series
    -Dynasty Warrior series
    -Samurai Shodown series
    -Soul Calibur series
    -and the costume design behind the Lion King stage production

    You can also check out some of these artists:
    -Kekai Kotaki (one of the artists for the game Guild Wars)
    -Justin Sweet (artist for Narnia movies): you can navigate to his other projects in the “galleries” tab up top


    Sci-Fi character designs are a lot trickier, but it’s a combination of modern OR historical fashion, and some small knowledge on technology and it’s origins.

    As examples, let’s look at existing popular sci-fi genres and their origins:
    -Cyberpunk was invented as a way to explore the possibilities of cybernetic technology, often expands into digital tech as well (see Blade Runner, Tron, or Ghost in the Shell)
    -Steampunk was created as an alternate-universe exploration of steam (or coal) -powered tech achieving the technological power of modern science (see Rocketeer, illustrations of Jules Verne’s books, Dinotopia, or anything with airships)
    -Clockpunk, often confused with Steampunk, more specifically uses gears or kinetically powered technology to explore another kind of alternate universe like Steampunk (see Syberia, COGS (it’s a phone puzzle game), or Assassin’s Creed II)

    Also consider looking into art from:
    -“The Skillful Huntsman” found here
    -“Metropolis” (both the b+w film and the anime)
    -the Tron series (especially the game Tron Evolution)

I HOPE THAT HELPS, sorry for all the links!

Filed under art help

199 notes


I’ve been wanting to write something like this for a little while now.

Basically I wanted to let people who are illustrators know that if they have a condition that makes it more difficult to draw, that they can overcome it.

I’ve had fairly bad essential tremor (shaky hands) all my life, and while it’s getting worse with age, it’s not impossible to overcome it. Here are my left and right hands on a fairly average day~



And generally, I draw by steadying my dominant hand at the wrist with the other


But, what I want to address is the fact that it’s totally fine to get frustrated.

Whether it’s a mental or physical condition stopping you, you will inevitably get fed up, because it seriously sucks when you want to draw and just simply can’t do what you know you’d be perfectly capable otherwise.

Just be sure when this happens, to step away from the drawing, take a break for 10 minutes, then get back to it, otherwise you’re just going to make the situation worse. Don’t get into the mindset that you won’t be able to finish it if you don’t do it right now, because that’s not true, you can.

And most importantly, remember that your progress is going to be slower, depending on the severity of your condition. Don’t let that faze you, just work to the best of your abilities and practice as much as you can to catch up to everyone else.

Use your condition as a reason to practice more, not as an excuse to give up!

Filed under art drawing practice self help illustration advice condition disorder medical essential tremor shaky hands shakes tremor art help

344 notes


How to save hardened paint brushes!

This has been one of the most
useful tips I have learned while in
college so I thought I would share
how I save paint brushes that I was
too lazy to clean out good enough
the first time.
  1. Step One: go buy murphy oil soap, or check your cabinets and look for it. I was surprised when I saw it sitting in my cabinet at home because I had no idea we actually used to clean our house. It’s pretty common to find in stores. You can buy it at dollar general for just a few bucks.
  2. Step Two: take your brushes that you have let become really hard because you either used glue in them, or acrylic paint. Soak them for as much time as possible! The more you let them soak, the easier it will be to work apart the bristles. I have let mine soak anywhere from 24 hours to 96 hours.
  3. Step Three: once you have let your brushes soak, rinse the brush under slow moving water, use your hands to move the bristles around.. all you are trying to see how much the murphy oil soap did on its own, and if it is still a little stiff you will want to let it soak some more.
  4. Step Four: I have a pinch pot I made in a ceramics class to be able to wash my brushes. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it does need to be textured! I drew patterns on the side so I could rub my brushes to make bristles start working in different directions. 
  5. Step Five: after you loosened the bristles by rubbing it on something textured, dip them back in the murphy oil soap and rub it a few more times on the textured surface. this allows the soap to get in all of the new openings in your paint brush.
  6. Step Six: rise it out with the bristles facing down so that anything hard comes out of your brush instead of staying up in the top. You should really use your hands a lot in this step to make sure any glue or paint chips are out.
  7. Step Seven: put a little bit more soap on the brush with a little bit of water, only dampening the bristles. leave it like that until the next time you want to use the brush, and it should be like new.
Bonus to this reference post:
one of my professors used murphy's to
get paint stains out of clothes. 

Filed under art art resource art resources painting collage art reference art ref artref art help