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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone use their phone for sketching or drawing?

What apps do you use? What kind of phone?

I don't know anything about digital art and I've been reluctant to invest in it as my laptop's pretty old and doesn't have a lot of memory. But it seems like some apps allow people to sketch on their phones, which sounds like a great opportunity to spend free time. So I am just wondering if anyone has experience doing this--please feel free to talk about it.

Or your experience with using a tablet for digital art...

Feel free to share any artwork in this thread from your phone as well.

Thanks!
 

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I've learned some more about digital art, since making this thread.

I'm going to change the topic to just being about digital art, rather than on phones--because phones don't have a ton of memory or whatever to run some of the more popular digital art programs.

Here's a video I want to study more carefully:

 

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Clip Studio from what I’ve seen is a great program for digital painting. If you purchase the full version you should be able to take it further with animation and graphic-novel/comic-book specific functionality. I believe its only a one time purchase as well. Unlike Adobe which is either absurdly expensive or a lifetime subscription.

When it comes to devices, you could go any number of ways. There’s a great laptop/tablet hybrid that comes with a good pen. Its the Lenovo Flex 14, starting at $600. Really good price for all it’s capabilities.

There are more expensive options, like the Surface Pro. Or a desktop with either Huion or Wacom tech. It only sky rockets in price from there.
 

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I mostly use an app called pixler on my android and gimp on my computer.
 
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XP-PEN graphics tablet and stylus. Software is Autodesk Sketchbook which can be downloaded for free. It was chosen because I'm not comfortable with photoshop which I find to be a pain in the arse. There are also additional brushes that you can download.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah--Clip Studio came free with the least expensive Wacom tablet at the store I went to. I think it's for two years and full subscription...so far it seems full, but idk.

 

I was super pissed off at first b/c the packaging for the wacom tablet also said that it came with free software for Corel Painter (which I can see why it doesn't now, b/c it's way more expensive than the tablet)...but it's only a 90 day trial. I tried being mean to wacom, but gave up b/c it's not the workers fault that the company didn't specify the software was just for 90 days. Still...poor advertising on the part Wacom. It's cool they give trials, but specify it's a trial on the packaging and not just complementary software.


I'm probably going to use this thread a little like a blog as well (though everyone is welcome to use it that way too or to answer or comment, or anything really, related to digital art). Also use it to keep track of resourses.

This process is slow and overwhelming--I have almost no experience with digital art. I used to have a pirated version of photoshop over a decade ago that I used to edit photos, but that's it.

So going to just record some of the things I've learned so I can feel like I'm making some progress.

Today I learned to make the wacom pen able to increase or decrease the size of the brush with the button. So that is useful.

I also learned how to change the brush's display to show the opacity (something I really feel is important and it wasn't always available for the pencils). I learned how to access the brush details or whatever through the bar on the top.

...I think I learned a little how to hide displays and bring them up again. I almost completely lost one and couldn't find it again, but then I did. Once I lost the entire selection of pencil brushes (maybe I accidentally deleted them?) but I reset everything to default. lol

It's slow going--like wading through a swamp. But at least I am learning something...I don't want to forget I learned it. I am most happy about learning to adjust the brush size with the pen.

Oh--also learned that the small checkerboard looking rectangle in the color wheel allows the pen to act like an eraser without having to choose an eraser.

OH! And I also made a shortcut to opacity ranges with my keys--like so 10% opacity is set to 1, 20% to 2. So that way when I want to change opacity while drawing I can just hit the number key.

Lemme count that...three things that are really helpful to know.

I don't think I'm ready to start trying to create a brush. I still haven't even created anything--I really really need to learn how to use layers. I didn't really get them well with photoshop and I still don't understand them. That is my next goal.

Baby steps--like being a baby trying to wade through a swamp. That's what it feels like. I've drawn since I was a little kid, and now I'm going through the learning curve where I feel like that again--though I know I will catch up a lot faster as soon as I learn how to use these tools.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I did a drawing today--I was really surprised, but I had an instruction video.

It was definitely helpful. The techniques for digital art aren't totally different than studio art, but there is a lot to them--it's less straightforward.

But I didn't expect to be able to make a painting yet. I guess it just goes to show that instruction can be really helpful.

I also think I figured out more about the layers just by following the instructions--how the y work. I'm still confused about what it means to have a layer on top of another layer vs. underneath.

I had to do the eyelashes over three times because it was like they were squeegees--like rather than being really dark, they showed a lot below them through in some spaces and not others.

But learning instruction on digital art, plus learning about the software helped a lot.

Edit: I also learned about anatomy--which I had no idea I'd learn about. I've taken life drawing class before, and drawn faces, but I learned techniques to help make the eye look more real--like drawing a light line around the side of the pupil, where the light shines from--since the iris is a muscle surrounding a hole (pupil). And I had never drawn lines on the eye.
 

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Totally impressed by how quickly you were up and running! 👏

FWIW, even now, months later, I erase a lot. Often enough, instead of erasing, I'll paint over using the original color since you can get into tighter corners and create cleaner edges with brush tips. And of course there's the best function of all, the undo.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks. And I love undo.

With charcoal drawings, the eraser is just as much a tool as the charcoal--it isn't really for correcting mistakes so much as for adding lightness and depth to the drawing.



So I'm doing a lesson, but I ran into an issue with just even understanding the tools. The guy resized the thing he drew, since it didn't really fit.

That would be useful to know how to do--I tried to lasso tool it and then it just turned white, and I had to delete the whole layer.

Alternating between watching that technical video and following along with a digital art drawing tutorial (I usually don't like tutorials, but they do help give quick results) seems to be good.

But so...I want to learn how do they use that little lasso/dotted line thing. I couldn't get it to shrink.

I also wonder what the difference between a raster layer and other types of layers are.

These are the questions that I would like to learn the answer of today.

She uses it a lot, but I can't figure out how she's using it, so going to go back to that video I posted first. Maybe I will also rewatch parts of her video first:



Edit:

So Control t allows you to move the layer around? And also to make it smaller or bigger....but it stays a layer somehow.

I don't see how to get to the actions without using ctrl t though--like through the menu.

It's called "transform" (at about 8:52 in the video with the girl drawing)

Edit Again:

So you can use the lasso tool and other selection tools plus ctrl t to resize the selection, but also to skew it. She talks about this at about 18:40. I wonder if I can create some other shortcut for control T.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I've been struggling with digital art. Sometimes being unfocused.

 

I skipped around to different instructions without finishing any of the classes, but I found it difficult to keep going with some of them since I know it's important to revisit concepts and some of them were really useful to get refreshers in like perspective, but I already understand some of the stuff like what value and hue is etc.

But then so after I got so tired of sticking to the external structure--the expectations in the classes, and going as far as my brain would let me with that, I just started trying to paint from reference. I found it worked well.

So then taking another class and not wanting to download anything (instructor had like line drawings with everything ready to download just so students could isolate what they were working on, I just started doodling and working on a painting.

And I did end up getting more into a focused zone, with a lot of experimenting.

I'm happy with the result, though this is really an embellished doodle.

The idea was to draw a dragon and I thought to myself, I bet a dragon would look really stupid with a narwhal horn (it's like an ocean dragon). But lol....hours later I have produced, despite the instructor teaching how to make cool looking dragons, the sparkly, tiger striped ocean narwhal dragon. lol


I'm really happy though because though it's got a lot of problems, I did learn some things.

I think if I do the shading and the highlights in another layer (two layers), I can have an easier time painting on the markings on an animal or thing.

That's something I've always struggled with any kind of art--how to paint on markings onto a form. Like I tend to focus more on the form and less on the texture or the defining marks or anything...or like blotching sunlight. Digital painting might make this easier b/c layers exist independently of each other.

I also learned sometimes pencil outlines are better than ink--I originally made this with an ink outline and then had to go back and delete it and then try to add definition to it without the ink outline, which was too thick.

Basically, it was a lot of learning experience and it may be the next one will be a lot easier (and ones after than will be better planned rather than "lets try to make a narwal dragon in two minutes." I will probably go back and follow the instructions to make different sets of horns or wings, and not just go with the first idea that pops into my mind.

There are a lot of things that don't really make sense about it (the feet, the horn, the glitter, the wings and tail etc.)--but it was still fun.

But it also shows me that a balance of structure and freedom helps. Like taking that time to do the learning and stuff--to do what is told of me, and then taking the time to just do whatever I want. It seems to help integrate the information better...maybe like switching from left to right brain and back.

871691


 

I also am not sure how you are supposed to save or deal with layers--like I didn't merge the layers in this before resizing it and saving it as a jpeg, so I'm not sure if you're supposed to merge first or not. It lost some of the detail after resizing and converting to jpeg--like it's less glittery and I think it'd need some background to show that the circle on the cheek is supposed to be glowing. I also made it before figuring out that I can have highlights and shadows on different layers...that will probably be easier than whatever I did with the purple stripes. But overall it's a huge progression and I'm happy to have finally been able to get back to a meditative zone.

I can be a little bit OCD (not trying to make light of the disorder, but I have a lot of symptoms of some types of OCD) and digital media and editing can get really engaged with that sort of obsessive behavior, because you can change something tiny and then compare with the undo or hide/show layer. So it really allows me to have an outlet for that obsessive doubting and tweaking, which is actually nice for hyperfocus and sort of meditative.

 

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You're doing amazing! If you can, save it as a tiff file. This format will preserve the layers.

Btw, this thread compelled me to learn about raster layers and now, I've become a fiend for them. Hated them in the past but now, I love them to death!!! One problem. Keeping track of each item, relative to which layer. It can be a pain when you want to blend.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
You're doing amazing! If you can, save it as a tiff file. This format will preserve the layers.

Btw, this thread compelled me to learn about raster layers and now, I've become a fiend for them. Hated them in the past but now, I love them to death!!! One problem. Keeping track of each item, relative to which layer. It can be a pain when you want to blend.
Thanks!

Did you use different layers before or just no layers? I understand there are different types of layers, but I have no idea what the difference is or what they do.

I did notice that about the layers I use (I must be using raster--I forgot)--that you can't blend them very easily...I'm just now learning how the order also affects them (I probably had fifteen or twenty layers in the above).

I did this one today and I used a much more streamlined and simple process with less layers (still probably ten at least)...layers for highlights, shadows, and coloring, and line work, and background.

It took relatively less time as well, compared to the red/blue dragon. Though the pose and the idea weren't mine--I didn't come up with this one, just did my own version of it. It's called the "long-horned savannah dragon." Except mine is the cute version that I'm not sure even looks like a dragon anymore (that was unintentional--I probably need to sketch more, but it's so fun!)

I am still having kind of a lot of trouble with my outlines, but at least with this one I didn't feel the need to completely get rid of my contour lines like I did with the other dragon. And using the "light source" on the bottom, which is like a light outline, kind of broke up the original outline...seems like a useful trick.


I am OBSESSED with this course so far--you can see what I was supposed to draw (at 1:10). This is the funnest art lesson I've ever had.


Like I am way too excited about this.

I should start meditating more or something.

I just used to love fantasy art as a child and now I can make it. And the digital art process is a bit easier because you can undo mistakes and so experimenting (on different layers) isn't going to end up hurting anything.
 

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Looking good since you're getting more 3D! It appears that you're outlining on a higher layer than the ones you're painting on. Move the outline layer lower and see what happens. If that doesn't help, the beauty is that you can return the layer to its original position. Also, your outline is a different color than the dragon. Maybe try a more neutral color like black. That's what this guy used. And possibly, a slightly thinner line quality. Do you have any kind of line wobble corrector? My software has this, as well as a predictive function. These two have helped me a lot since it's difficult to draw proper lines using graphics software.

Fantasy is my thing too, whether books or artwork! And yes, using a graphics tablet is insanely addictive. I've been drawing like crazy since learning more about raster layers and yes, that's what you've been using. This has been the most exciting and fun thing that I've experienced since the beginning of the pandemic. Love the challenge of learning something new.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looking good since you're getting more 3D! It appears that you're outlining on a higher layer than the ones you're painting on. Move the outline layer lower and see what happens. If that doesn't help, the beauty is that you can return the layer to its original position. Also, your outline is a different color than the dragon. Maybe try a more neutral color like black. That's what this guy used. And possibly, a slightly thinner line quality. Do you have any kind of line wobble corrector? My software has this, as well as a predictive function. These two have helped me a lot since it's difficult to draw proper lines using graphics software.

Fantasy is my thing too, whether books or artwork! And yes, using a graphics tablet is insanely addictive. I've been drawing like crazy since learning more about raster layers and yes, that's what you've been using. This has been the most exciting and fun thing that I've experienced since the beginning of the pandemic. Love the challenge of learning something new.
Yeah--I think I am outlining way too thickly. And I think it will help to have the outline on a rough pencil, rather than like an ink sort of pen. Because I think it will put less pressure on the line since pencil already breaks it up.

The guy in the video seems to use a more grainy pencil to do outlines, and it is much thinner.

I think I'll choose that rough pencil for the next one's outline (these last two have been done with pretty smooth lines), and then I am going to preset the size to smaller since I never seem to make it small enough in the moment. And turn on stabilization since it'll be for outline and not for undersketching. I was using the rough pencil for undersketching, but the texture doesn't matter there--it might be better for the outlines.

I am using a wacom tablet that doesn't have a screen on it--so it works like a mouse where I can only see the curser on the computer monitor. I think I'll get used to it, but I do wonder too if using a tablet that has a screen you draw on (and see the pic and lines on the screen) would be different since it's more like a real sheet of paper, for contour lines. But I'm not too worried about that as I am sure I have a lot to learn with the current set up and I know lots of people use this type of screenless tablet.

Yeah--raster layers are really addictive and so so useful-though I sometimes create so many it's hard to keep track of them. And sometimes it's also confusing when you move one and it changes the whole picture, and you don't even remember where it was...maybe I should name them. I think photoshop does a little better with allowing you easy access to naming the layers and changing their qualities (like adjusting hue, saturation, tone etc.) but I just learned you can also do that with Clip Studio through the edit menu.

Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm going to really try to get the outlines better in the next one and that will save time.

Also...I think I should have pre-colored the whole page on this one. I ended up filling in the grey color background after painting the dragon but then having to fix the outline where the lasso tool left weird edges or white. I wonder when you paint something with a background whether you should do the background first or I guess it doesn't matter that much with layers. But one thing at a time.
 

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Drawing directly on screen is indeed useful. Again this depends on the device you’re using and the software.

For example, if you’re using a touch-enable screen with software made to react to your touch, working directly on a screen can quickly become stressful. There’s an affordable kind of glove that covers your two or three extra fingers but leaves your thumb and index free for touch interaction.

Then there’s using the screen without touch input. You’d have to use your pen or a mouse to switch between tools and colors, but at least it wouldn’t matter where you put your hands.
 

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Yeah--I think I am outlining way too thickly. And I think it will help to have the outline on a rough pencil, rather than like an ink sort of pen. Because I think it will put less pressure on the line since pencil already breaks it up.

The guy in the video seems to use a more grainy pencil to do outlines, and it is much thinner.

I think I'll choose that rough pencil for the next one's outline (these last two have been done with pretty smooth lines), and then I am going to preset the size to smaller since I never seem to make it small enough in the moment. And turn on stabilization since it'll be for outline and not for undersketching. I was using the rough pencil for undersketching, but the texture doesn't matter there--it might be better for the outlines.
That roughness might be caused by him adjusting the opaqueness.

I am using a wacom tablet that doesn't have a screen on it--so it works like a mouse where I can only see the curser on the computer monitor. I think I'll get used to it, but I do wonder too if using a tablet that has a screen you draw on (and see the pic and lines on the screen) would be different since it's more like a real sheet of paper, for contour lines. But I'm not too worried about that as I am sure I have a lot to learn with the current set up and I know lots of people use this type of screenless tablet.
It would be handy to have the tablet with touch screen type but I too use the screenless tablet (XP-Pen) and have gotten used to it. That said, being able to turn the tablet would make a lot of difference, rather than adjusting yourself to accommodate. Oh wait, I just checked and it's possible to orient the tablet by degrees so this will be my next lesson, lol.

Yeah--raster layers are really addictive and so so useful-though I sometimes create so many it's hard to keep track of them. And sometimes it's also confusing when you move one and it changes the whole picture, and you don't even remember where it was...maybe I should name them. I think photoshop does a little better with allowing you easy access to naming the layers and changing their qualities (like adjusting hue, saturation, tone etc.) but I just learned you can also do that with Clip Studio through the edit menu.
Autodesk has renaming functionality too which I didn't know prior to this post! Thanks.

Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm going to really try to get the outlines better in the next one and that will save time.
Just add another layer and trace it with the new color, then delete your original outline layer. 😄

Also...I think I should have pre-colored the whole page on this one. I ended up filling in the grey color background after painting the dragon but then having to fix the outline where the lasso tool left weird edges or white. I wonder when you paint something with a background whether you should do the background first or I guess it doesn't matter that much with layers. But one thing at a time.
It doesn't matter, especially since you can create a different background by adding a layer and not using the background layer or only using parts of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I worked on keeping the pencil small and I used the pencil and not the pen (it seems to change sizes well too--like it can be small and then larger when pushed, so this seems like a good pencil for outlines for now.

Edit: Huh. The image isn't showing up for me. I wonder if it's the wrong size.

871852


I also learned about "overlay" layers (I think that's what they are called), though this screen isn't as colorful as when I made it.

I think this worked out better for the outline
 
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