Tagged: tutorial.


Every now and then, I saw pictures on my dashboard that looked so deliciously smooth— almost painterly— that I knew there HAD to be some trick to it. I asked around. Lots and lots! No response. 

I assume this is because people simply don’t like sharing secrets.

So hopefully I don’t get paint thrown on me for spilling the beans. 

The secret to the ultra-smooth photo edits is a program called Topaz Clean! This is a great little Photoshop plugin that’s perfect for editing portraits. Works best with high-resolution photos. 

Let’s take this macaw as an example.

After installation, Topaz Clean is under the Filters menu.

Which opens into this special interface:

There are seven default presets on the left menu of the Topaz interface. Some of them are fairly similar, but they all have their values.

CARTOONED: Flattens the image and gives it a heavy brush/daub-y effect. Smooth and chunky and very blended. Most detail is lost.

CRISPSTYLE: Smooths the image with little loss of detail. High-res photographs that are a little grainy will get a kick of quality with this preset. Some detail is lost, but nothing necessary.

CURLY SMOOTH: Here’s where things get a bit crazy. This great feature of the program sharpens detail and stylizes it. Hair, fur, feathers, and wrinkles look DYNAMITE with this preset (and Stylize Details, but that’s essentially the same thing). Some detail, like blotchy/blemished skin, is smoothed out, while details like facial hair and fine wrinkles are enhanced.

DEGRUNGE: For a preset called DeGrunge… see for yourself. Adds a little bloom effect.

FLAT STYLE: Similar to the Cartoon effect. Pick one or the other.

SKIN EVEN: Insignificant, helps even out skin. (Not recommended for parrots).

STYLIZE DETAILS: Last on the list of presets. Similar to the Curly Smooth effect, just a hint sharper.

You can toy with the different levels on your own, but these presets get the general gist of what Topaz Clean is capable of.

Have a Joker, because everyone loves the Joker.

At only $30, this is a pretty sweet addition to your photoshop toolset.

Have at it. Hope I helped.

  11:31 am, reblogged  by macchabee 127  |

OK, I'm worried that my art might be suffering from same-face syndrome, and people have suggested that I draw more faces from life, but I have a few problems: 1. How do I know the ethnicity of the person whose face I'm sketching? What if they are mixed or are from a more uncommon ethnicity, such as Lebanese? 2. How do I know which types of facial features to use for any character?

You don’t need to know specifically the ethnicity of the people you’re drawing. Researching different cultures of people is a great way to expand the types of facial structures to draw, but unless the character is super-specific, I doubt many people will quiz you on that character’s heritage based on their facial appearance. Just concentrate on drawing different shapes in the face.

Buuut if you really want to study facial structures of different ethnic people, either google it, or check out this handy guide.


04:22 am, question from rocmegamanx, answered by pencilcat 11  |  Comments

How to Draw Ears: Anatomy and Structure

In this tutorial I dig deep into the ears and explore ear anatomy and structure to show how to draw an ear. Learn how to simplify the complex forms of the ear: helix, antihelix, tragus, antitragus, concha, ear lobe, ear notch and ear hole.

(Source: proko.com)

08:10 pm, by pencilcat 190  |  Comments




Got some spare time? Make a comic!

Download the sample printable comic right here!

Hey internet, wanna try something silly? If you’re near a printer, and going to NYCC, you can print out a bunch of these and leave them at Comic-Con. It’s just a little something that helps demystify the whole comic making process.

This isn’t exactly self promotion, I don’t care to see my name or site on any of these. I’m just putting it out there, that making your own zine is really, really, really simple. And you can start as tiny as multiplying one page into eight. And one post into thousands.

^Very useful!^ :D

04:00 am, reblogged  by pencilcat 26100  |

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Exercises

04:31 pm, reblogged  by pencilcat 66478  |


How to make the “Just add water” tool in Photoshop

07:09 pm, reblogged  by pencilcat 123  |

How to Draw Lips - Step by Step

Learn how to draw the lips step by step: lay-in, two value, dark accents, halftones / highlights, and details. Start with the 5 squishy little pillows of the lips and render 3-dimensional form using tone.

07:43 am, by pencilcat 65  |  Comments

How to Draw Lips - Anatomy and Structure

In this video tutorial I show how to draw the structure of the lips and it go over some of its anatomy. We get to see the romantic side of the orbicularis oris and have fun with lipstick! Cover the tubercle, philtrum, top lip, bottom lip, nodes, tuna cans and milk mustaches.

(Source: proko.com)

01:33 pm, by pencilcat 265  |  Comments

This was sent to us by Dalf, who asked us to look at his first video tutorial on traditional inking. It has some great advice and pointers, so I posted it here. (btw Dalf, I could understand you well, so no worries about your english.)

Here’s some tips on making a better video tutorial (and for anyone else who wants to make one).

-Get a tripod or some sort of solid surface for your camera to sit on. This will help prevent shaky cam and inconsistent focusing, as well as give you both of your hands to work with!

-Have an outline of what you’re going to say. This will help you keep track of what you’ll be talking about and prevent too much rambling.

-Have a good mixture of both demos and talking. If you think the demo will take too long, edit it in a video editor and speed it up, which can be lots of fun to watch!



04:55 pm, by pencilcat 41  |  Comments


Today I gave my students a quick presentation on some of the basic considerations for composition, which I am now sharing with you! I’ve given them separate talks about color and tonal value/contrast, which are also super important compositional concerns. (I’ll be sharing those presentations too once I properly format them)

I personally love learning about different compositional techniques. It’s fun to think about the ways that the brain views & sorts images, and how we can trick it into feeling a certain way or looking at certain aspects of an image first! It’s easy to fall into compositional ruts (which I am also guilty of) because a lot of art gets by with mediocre, though serviceable, compositions. If you can generally understand what’s happening in an image then it’s generally fine. However, it’s the truly great compositions, where everything in the whole image has been considered and ‘clicks’ together, that bump up an illustration to a visual slam dunk. NC Wyeth is one of my favorite artists for this reason: his compositions are rock solid, varied based on the image’s intent, and always enhance the mood or action he is depicting.

For extra reading, some online compositional resources that I’ve found helpful or interesting include:
Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis (download it for FREE. Such a great book all-around.)
Gurney Journey (check out the “Composition” tag, but really everything he posts is great)
The Schweitzer guide to spotting tangents
Cinemosaic (a blog by Lou Romano with some truly WONDERFUL compositions captured from various films)
Where to Put the Cow by Anita Griffin

Happy composition-ing!

04:00 pm, reblogged  by pencilcat 37278  |

How to Draw a Nose - Step by Step

In this video learn to draw the nose in 5 steps: lay-in, two value, dark accents, halftones / highlights, and details. We visualize the minor and major planes of the nose and render 3-dimensional form using tone.

(Source: proko.com)

01:25 pm, by pencilcat 139  |  Comments

so i'm currently trying to learn perspective, but all the drawings i make of blocks, boxes, etc. are always looking distorted/warped. is there any tutorial or something that could help me with this?

It sounds like you have your vanishing points too close together, which causes the warped look. A good rule of thumb is to atleast have one vanishing point out of the field of view (the picture). 

There are tons of perspective books cheap that I highly recommend reading, but you can start out with Fox-orian’s tutorial.


10:08 pm, question from Anonymous, answered by pencilcat 18  |  Comments


Adding character diversity: Body type

Unique Features Tutorial Pt 1 by jeinu

Tips on how to draw not so cookie cutter characters! Change body type and shape, showing off natural differences in build that happen in real life! Not everyone is built the same!

Pt 2 and 3 will follow but check it out on the original posting on the artist’s deviant!

  09:30 am, reblogged  by pencilcat 17379  |