Hi! :) I just wanted to ask, do you use the CSP default brushes for sketching or custom brushes? I love the texture of the brush you used in the Lady D & Maiden sketches! (I hope I didn’t miss that in the FAQ, I couldn’t find anything related to the brushes you use) Have a great one!
thought I'd answer this publicly since my brushes have changed since my last colouring tutorial.
my lady d and maiden sketches and any sketches with that similar texture are are semi custom, i messed around with an old Kyle Webster brush (that I bought back when he was selling them as packs on gumroad) and converted then from PS tools to PS brushes to CSP brushes and made my own tweaks so despite the changes I've made I still paid for them and still using the brush shape so I cannot give the brush away for free or sell them.
i can however show you the number of brushes I've created using this one brush that have given me a few shortcuts. (I also colour with these same brushes)
I really recommend just messing round with brush engines or dissecting brushes that you use to learn what makes them tick and what can make them feel good to you. I'm someone who uses a very light brush pressure so any brush I pick up normally has to be altered to account for that.
Someone's probably asked you this before but how long did it take you to plan out the plot for knifetrick? What did you do to come up with everything and do you have any tips for other writers who are struggling to put together their own fics?
after checking out my history lol,
it seems i did serious brainstorming and research for about a week before i started writing.
what happened first was that i had in my head the funny idea of ran failing to kill jackie and them getting tax-benefit married (to make ran feel guilty and admit his plot)
and once i realized i wanted to make it into an actual story, i had to change some of it and come up with plot and reasoning.
the first thing i did was ask my followers for song requests, lol. i asked specifically for “songs about futuristic settings or being married to/loving your assassination target”
i listened to a lot of that music to get my brain juices flowing. i had to put together a couple of Reasons for why things happened. i also knew i couldn’t just write the fic on the assassination alone, or else ran would have nothing to distract him and be the overarching plot, lol
the music helped me picture scenes and concepts. i then just jotted down a bunch of stuff i thought would be interesting to happen (possible scenes)
a couple thoughts on this image— for one you can see that i originally wanted to name my fic after a movie. i looked up ones where assassins grow endeared to their targets and fail to kill them. but i realized i didn’t want to name the fic after a movie in case it was controversial or something, so i ended up going for a song instead. ALSO, as you can tell, some of these points got dropped! again, this was just brainstorming for things i wanted to include
the next thing i did was ask for ranjack classpects, lol. for those unfamilliar with classpecting, it’s sort of like personality types for really sad nerds (/lh). aka, hogwarts houses but more complicated.
@dyketubbo wrote some INCREDIBLE classpects for ran and jackie. it was based off what we knew about their personalities (which wasn’t much) but it also helped us infer a lot MORE about their personalities by figuring out where they could go or how they probably think in their minds.
if you don’t know classpects you can probably do this with personality types. or, just, figure out your characters personality some Normal way. i wouldn’t know.
there was a lot more brainstorming i did (where i came up with ms. laramie, scoots, and clementine) and tried to come up with a basic plot of what would happen and what they would do. during this i did some research on a proper three-act story structure so my plot would hit just right.
during all of this, i watched a bunch of spy and futuristic flicks (not too intensely, just had them on in the background to absorb the vibes).
i then made a plot map once i figured i knew what was gonna happen
(the last few chapters are on the other side of the paper, so you don’t get to see them haha)
a lot of this stuff got switched around or dropped completely as i was writing. honestly, the details don’t matter too much— the FLOW of the story is what’s important.
i’m very flexible with my scenes— literally what happens in a chapter is completely up in the air until i FINISH the chapter. sometimes they’re entirely different from my original ideas. it’s not too important to me what exactly happens, as long as it makes sense and i like it and it fits in with the rest.
in my mind, the events themselves are not as impressive as the characters in them. as long as i’m still developing the characters the way i need to throughout the story, and they eventually get to the plot points i need them to, i don’t worry too much about the specifics! as long as they’re fun.
i also didnt write chapter-by-chapter— i mapped the plot first, and then drew little dividing lines where i thought it would be good to end the chapter after. chapters are useful to me as pacing tools, but i didnt want the plot to seem too episodic by Planning it as chapters.
after i wrote the plot map, i did research on deserts, cities, and fantasy politics for DAYS. (i also watched videos on how fantasy militaries should work.) i ended up not using most of that information i came up with, but the parts that do leak through into my current writing do wonders to make the world feel real and alive. each character has a personality and a life, they aren’t just there to be background characters for ran and jackie.
then, i re-read a few books by authors who really inspire me. to get their narration voice fresh in my mind and feel really inspired
eventually we got to where we are now— i write the chapters and i post them!
as i’ve mentioned, i’m very flexible with my plot— so while i’ve foreshadowed certain things since the beginning, some parts of the story have only come perfectly together towards the end. and i have @shrugofgod to thank for that!
my wonderful editor is always willing to chat with me about what scenes and bits work and are most satisfying story-wise. of course lyssie also EDITS my chapters after they’re drafted — to make them more polished, and also ask me questions about things that are going on to clarify them.
many thanks to lyssie shrugofgod for making the story so much better :D
because my chapters have a tendency to get away from me and do whatever they want, if there’s certain plot things i need to hit in a chapter, i’ll outline the chapter before i write it.
also, recently, (after coming up with one too many REALLY COOL scenes and lines in my head while cleaning, but then completely forgetting them later) i’ve implemented a protocol for myself to jot down anything that comes to mind WHEN it happens so i don’t forget.
these are unprofessional and have spelling errors and all that, because i just wrote them really quickly, often while doing the dishes or laundry, lol.
so in conclusion:
um yeah that’s how i write knifetrick! i’ve never done this much work for any other fic though, so don’t feel like YOU have to. i did so much research for knifetrick because it was very out of my wheelhouse.
at most all i think is necessary for a good story is a plot map, and a hell of a lot of inspiration. (i got mine from music, movies, books, and drawing ran and jackie a lot, haha!)
make sure you’re having fun with your plot. writing won’t always be fun, but you should at least like your PLOT. because if you don’t then you won’t be inspired or enjoy it at all!
hii this is probably annoying, but what settings do you use to make your Mackie gifs that quality with the sharpening etc? and how do you do that grain thing? iv been playing around with settings for the past few weeks, but cant really seem to get any good results. appreciate it so much if you could help thanks!
this isn't annoying at all! so my sharpen settings vary??? but i don't add grain, trust me, i'm always trying to remove grain 😞😞
so you gotta use convert for smart filters, after you do that, add this:
standard 500% / .4px
then you add another sharpening layer:
this will darken the edges of the gif and make it pop more
then you add a blur layer:
set the opacity for this layer at 40% - 60%. this really depends on your gif.
then add another sharpening layer:
and another one to sharpen the edges of your now blurred gif:
now you had one more blur layer (this is optional) and set the opacity to 10%
and this is the final product without any coloring or addons:
aaand it's finished! An artist's guide to custom rigid frame wheelchairs! This is completely free to use, reference, and save. Reblogs are welcome but please do not repost without permission and credit. Have fun, lovelies!
Little quick and light kimono tutorial because I’m noticing a trend of weird things non-Japanese people do with them.
Bathrobes =/= Kimonos
Kimonos aren't sacred. They're for everyone. Just practice drawing them, use tons of refs, be respectful, and have fun. There's also tons of other types of traditional clothes you can mess around with. Research is your best friend
You know those gems some clothes have? The ones that are glued on, but then the shiny part tends to fall off, leaving you with nothing but the backing?
If you still have the rhinestone that fell off, they're easy enough to glue back on.
If you've lost it however, there's an easy way to hide the backing without having to pry it off and risking damaging your garment.
The picture below shows a close-up of the lace on a beige top of mine. It has three large orange rhinestones and two beige pearls. It also used to have six small beige rhinestones, but three of them fell off.
I've already covered up two of them and have one left to fix. You can probably tell where the one I still need to hide sits, but can you spot the other two?
I took a thread with a colour that matches my lace, then covered up the backing of the rhinestones that fell off by sewing over it. You can hardly tell the difference in real life.
[ID: the same picture as above but with red circles indicating the placements of the two covered rhinestone backings and the uncovered backing, which is gray. Other ID: see paragraph above first image.]
So, if you've got a damaged rhinestone that's an eyesore, just sew across it. If that doesn't work, then try to sew another decorative element over it.
If the rhinestone sits on a piece of jewellery (or something else that doesn't take a frequent trip to the washer), you can just paint it with a bit of nail polish.
I use nail polish all the time to fix up bits of plastic or metal: it works pretty well. It's also a great way to mark your keys so you never forget which one goes on which door.
I often get asked how I digitally paint my sketches, so here’s a really simple tutorial explaining the process. You can pretty much use the exact same technique on photoshop or any other digital painting program!
Quick little video tutorial! This is a method I use to block in shapes when I’m fighting the urge to polish my lineart at an early stage, especially in rough concept art that doesn't actually need polished lineart.
I group two layers in photoshop—a rough sketch, and a flat color—and then carve out the negative space by painting into a mask on the group, instead of filling in the positive shapes. From there I can start painting and adding shading into that group, knowing that I’ve already locked down a good initial silhouette for the object/character:
It feels like oil painting, and I end up finding silhouettes/shapes in a way I wouldn't if I was obsessively cleaning up the linework first. Digital art has a tendency to veer towards cleanliness/polish, so I love finding little opportunities for happy accidents and a bit of mess!
I used it on my unicorn piece last month, for instance, which I think would have lost a lot of its dynamism and charm if I had worried too much about doing a full ink pass:
Hope this is at all helpful! It’s not a method I use 100% of the time, but it really helps move my process along when I do need it 👍🏼
Everyone says NEVER TRACE!! THAT'S ART THEFT! Ok but we can do a little crime in the name of Learning.
Trace to learn, not to earn.
I like to take my own photos, but you can study whatever you want. Link back to original photos, and don't post copied artwork unless the artist is dead, cool with it, or both.
As always with learning, start every sketch with the intent to throw it away (trash for paper, quitting without saving for digital) This takes the pressure off and lets you make Bad Art, which is very important.
So let's make Bad Art of a Deer
because I happen to have one handy
Start with a photo of your subject in a nice/neutral pose with all four feet visible. (so not like me)
Freehand copy it. Try not to stylize, focusing instead of matching proportions and pose. Don't get too detailed!
It's ok if your art looks terrible and has broken legs. I've drawn LOTS of deer so I have a leg up. Everyone's art sucks in their own eyes and here's where mine went wrong:
Either lasso-distort (recommended for beginners) or redraw a copy of your first sketch with your reference behind it (scaled to match the main body of your sketch)
Put the original and modified sketches together and compare the differences. Write it down if you want. This shows you where your eyes saw things the wrong size, so you can correct for that next time.
After learning about both deer and yourself, try freehand copying again.
Marvel at your newfound knowledge and skill!
but there's always room for improvement
You can stop here and move on to your real drawing, Or do another freehand-fix-compare cycle. I actually overcorrected my "draws heads too big" and veered into "heads too small."
Another note on tracing: Learning HOW to trace is more important than anything you could learn By tracing. Draw the Anatomy, not the outline. In real life, things don't have outlines, they have bones.
These are from the same shoot which is extra useful for consistency. The lines are minimal and follow where the animals joints are, and only important parts are drawn.
You won't know what Important Parts means right off the bat, which is where in-depth study comes in. You need to do learn the hard parts to do the easy parts right.
I created a quick walkthrough on my process! You can do the same with any digital art program and brushes you like. As always, learning comes with critical thinking and if you feel this does not apply to you, then no worries! There’s no correct way to do things as long as you achieve the results you want.
The technique can be customized with different brush types and colours, and can be as simple or heavily rendered as you so desire. I hope it helps a little! I like to do lighting like this in my own work for a sense of atmosphere.
Please ignore the fact I spelled complementary wrong, it’s been a long week ok lol