Monday, October 27, 2014

ArtrRage. Who Else Wants Low Cost Software?

2 - ArtRage 4 Workbench Tutorial

ArtRage is drawing and painting program built from the ground up for artists. It very closely, simulates natural drawing and painting tools. It also has a very short learning curve. And costs less than $50.

The Workbench is a compressed UI from which you can access tools, colors, layers, all pods and a pin board of items from the Toolbox. You can pin items needed for that specific file.

An Updated Workbench.

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Remember… Just Create!

Friday, October 24, 2014

ArtRage Drawing and Painting Software - A Close Look

ArtRage Drawing and Painting Software - Part 1

There is quite a bit of drawing and painting software out there. Some very expensive and some not so good. There are also some which are very inexpensive and are great to use.

I will take some time to focus on them. First, we will start with ArtRage. A drawing and painting program built from the ground up for artists. It very closely, simulates natural drawing and painting tools. It also has a very short learning curve.

You may get ArtRage here.

ArtRage 4 Tool Box

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Remember… Just Create!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Should I be Afraid of Drawing Glyphs?

What the glyph?

A glyph is a visual shortcut to communicate story information. Similar to hieroglyphics that have images for men, pharaohs, water  and more to help tell the story.

Glyphs take the form of stereotypes, caricatures, audience expectations and lazy drawing.

Stereotype examples



There are some characteristics we associate with how an evil person can look, so we rely on glyphs to communicate that quickly to an audience.

The hero has the square firm jawline. The audience expects that, so when they see it, they think heroic character.

Lazy Drawing

This is an Asian man. 

This a lazy drawing of an Asian man, with exaggerated slanted eyes.

Drawing Crutch
An artist may also draw the same eyes and mouth all the time.The characters may be different, but the eyes, mouth and nose shapes will always be the same or similar. It’s a learned drawing crutch from mental or muscle memory.

This completes our look at the visual vocabulary used in comics, graphic novels and comic strips.

Remember… Just Create!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How Much Should I Charge for My Art Services?

How much is my time really worth?

The comic book industry is a different animal from the rest of the world concerning payment. Even at the major level, it sometimes compensates you for the time you spend creating and is still far below real world rates. Once you become a name creator, you can make much more than the rates listed below.

When you do work in the advertising, editorial, film, television or game industry, you will be asked what your rate is to do the work?

Here’s how you figure out what your time is worth.

1. Add up all your monthly bills. 
For example*:

  • Food - $200
  • Rent (with utilities) - $1000
  • Phone - $80
  • Internet - $80
  • Cable - $80
  • Car Insurance - $100
  • Gas - $250
  • Supplies - $50
  • Misc (laundry, haircuts, etc) - $200

Total = $2040

2. 40 hours x 4 = 160 hours per month 

3. 2040 divided by 160 = $12.75 per hour is your absolute minimum, Accept nothing below this!

$12.75 per hour is the minimum you can make in order to pay your monthly bills. The client is not just paying for time. If you only wanted got get paid for time, then you could work at a fast food joint.

Now let’s multiply $12.75 by 3. Why 3 do you ask? I’m glad you asked, because they are also paying for your talent, education and experience.

4. $12.75 x 3 = $38.25 per hour is your starting rate.

You may of course charge more ( and most of the time you should), but now you know the absolute minimum you need to make to pay your bills. You should try to avoid jobs that don’t meet your minimum. So if you need to negotiate, start  high and work your down to, but not past your starting rate.

*This is only an example. Your monthly bills will be different. Include what you have; health insurance, credit cards, debts, school loans, any quarterly payments (divided by 3), your child's dance lessons, diapers, your always broke relative, etc.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Color Troubles? Calibrate Your Monitor

Get Your Color Printing Correct

I recently answered a question about how to keep color consistent on computers and making prints that aren’t dark.

My answer was to calibrate your monitor. A quick, but ultimately unhelpful answer. I’ve been doing it so long, that I think everyone knows how to calibrate their monitor.

Below are links to PDFs that walk you through the process from Stephen Johnson, Will Holland and Mark Gundlach and for your Mac and PC in general.

Short Digital Printing Screen Workflow Primer Photoshop CS5Stephen_Johnson

Color Managed Workflow

Digital Printing Workflow

Photoshop Workflow Setups

Check them all out and choose the best one the works for you.

Remember… Just Create!