Art Books and other useful things.

Discussion in 'The Common Room' started by wolfcry, May 19, 2015.

  1. wolfcry

    wolfcry High Priestess Staff Member

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    Hi all, this post is going to be a list of Art Books, Tutorials and other things I've found helpful when doing art over the years.

    First Up: Andrew Loomis

    His books were among the first serious how to draw/ art books I ever read, they were originally published in the 1930s, but have stood the test of time. This is what I'd recommend for those who are just starting out and want something that is easy to follow. Here are his three most popular/ top books (and the ones I looked at most).

    • Figure Drawing for All it's Worth It's in the title, this one is all about drawing the figure, using the skeleton and simple shapes to build the figure + important stuff about proportions and measuring.
    • Drawing the Head and Hands Two things that are the most difficult for most artists, I should go back and look at this one again myself.
    • Creative Illustration Overall design and illustration. Would recommend looking at this one after the first two.
    These books were out of print for a long time, and only recently reprinted, so if you can't spare the (u7:guilders) for dead tree versions there are some free PDFs of these floating around the net.

    Next: Learning how to use your tools.
    This is primarily for if you want to do digital stuff. The books I'm listing focus on Adobe products, but it's a good idea to look for books about whatever software you choose to use.

    • Illustrator Classroom in a Book If you want to use Illustrator you really need to go through one of these books, working in a vector based program is very different from using Photoshop, Painter, etc. Trying to learn it on your own by just fooling around with the program will leave you totally lost.
    • Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book Everyone and their cat has used PS to draw stuff at some point, but it's good to go through these lessons and learn exactly what each tool is for and how it works.
    • Vector Basic Training Another one about working in vector, but can be applied to more programs than AI. Focus is on good point placement and efficient ways to build shapes. Great for graphic design. There's a new edition out for 2015, which is probably good, but I haven't checked it out myself yet.
    I listed the Classroom in a Book for CS6 of PS and AI because those are the ones I've used, however if you have an older/newer version then it's probably best to get the one for that version.


    And Finally: Other Books and Online Tutorials.

    • How to Draw This one is all about how to draw objects and environments correctly in perspective. More for the person who wants to get into advanced stuff. I'm still working through this one.
    • How to Render The follow up book to How to Draw, this one is all about lighting and rendering after you've drawn your scene/object with the perspective you want. Many of the examples from How to Draw appear in this book again, now fully rendered.
    • Proko - How to Draw Site with a whole bunch of video tutorials on drawing. Similar to the Andrew Loomis books, and Free!
    Lastly let me plug this site: Chris Oaley.com Good podcast and general posts on art and writing. The main thing I take away from his site is not to become depressed about your art, and keep at it.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
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  2. wolfcry

    wolfcry High Priestess Staff Member

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    Two other tips for digital art:

    Learn and use the keyboard shortcuts in programs as often as possible. For instance, to create a new layer in AI you press Ctrl L , rather than having to find that option in a menu and click it. Saves a lot of time. The new layer shortcut in PS was something nonsensical I didn't like so I changed it. Which is what you should do if a shortcut isn't working for you.

    Buy a proper tablet that is meant for drawing. Drawing with a mouse is for masochists. Likewise trying to draw using the stylus that comes with touch screen tablet computers and phones is going to leave you equally frustrated. Tablets meant for drawing have multiple pressure levels and tilt sensitivity, they are also faster and more precise. Wacom is the most popular of the tablet makers, but there are others. Their Bamboo and Intuos tablets are good and relatively inexpensive. I'm still using the Intuos 3 I got while I was in highschool (10 years ago).


    Drawing on a tablet that is laying on your desk while looking up at the screen where your image is can seem counter intuitive at first, but once you get used to it it's great and even preferred by a lot of pro artists. People who could afford to buy a Cintiq and draw directly on screen. A lot of professionals do use Cintiq's and draw on screen but they're pretty pricey ($600-$1000+ at the cheapest) and not worth the trouble IMHO. The old ones used to get really hot, and the new ones have flimsy cords without proper strain relief that break. I've also heard of more problems with drivers and other issues.

    Feel free to post your art thoughts, other questions.
     
  3. thundara

    thundara NPC

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    I've been very slowly working through Drawing on the right side of the brain (very slowly). It's neat, and surprisingly helpful though I don't really dedicate the amount of time I'd need to be not terrible. It's a little mumbo jumbo on the science-y side, but does a decent job explaining how to observe the shapes and textures of things.
     
  4. wolfcry

    wolfcry High Priestess Staff Member

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    Update: Will it Blend?

    Been learning to use Blender the last couple weeks. Blender 3D: Noob to Pro is a decent wiki book/tutorial for it. Bit of a learning curve if you've never used 3D software before, but I'm starting to get to the fun stuff now with building meshes and such. Should have picked this up years ago.

    Blender seems decent, just not as polished as say Maya, but, I like not having to pay over $100 a month and still get to play with 3D.

    Will post more when I get further into it, and can actually make something worthwhile.
     
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  5. Bemoliph

    Bemoliph High Priest Staff Member

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    Ctrl + Paint is supposedly good for learning digital painting with a stylus, based on recommendations from people I actually know who went through it. It's largely free with some paid series, but also mostly videos (via Vimeo, so RIP bandwidth more than usual).
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  6. wolfcry

    wolfcry High Priestess Staff Member

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    It won't blend as well as I'd liked.

    Blender is still good for trying out 3D, but it lacks the polish of a professional program. Means making anything beyond basic models is frustrating. Going to get Lightwave sometime, and may also try Houdini in the future. Houdini Apprentice is a free version that can be used in perpetuity if you just want to try things and see if you like it. Lightwave has a 30 day trial period, but after that you have to buy it outright.