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Artist Resources Tools of the Trade - An Artist's Resource Thread

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by HanSolo29, Feb 24, 2011.

Moderators: Corellian_Outrider
  1. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I use acrylic paints. I learned in oils, but acrylics are my preferred medium, due to easy clean-up. If I get acrylics on my clothes, it will wash out. If I get oils on my clothes, I have to throw the clothes out. And, they smell pretty bad. :p
  2. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    Monitor calibration: has anybody else had problems with their digital work looking horribly different depending on what computer/monitor it's viewed on? I've found that some of my digital pictures drawn on my PC look rather washed-out and lacking in colour contrast on my Mac Powerbook screen and on print-outs, so I'm guessing I need to calibrate my PC's monitor... but there appear to be so many options, so I'd be interested in hearing in what anyone else has used to deal with this problem.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by soitscometothis, Dec 27, 2012
  3. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I've had issues on occasion, but I never really paid it much mind, as perhaps a shade of red would seem slightly off. As long as it looks fine on my print, then the monitor discrepancy doesn't bother me. I also primarily use one computer and thus view stuff on one monitor.

    If you're concerned about how printed images are handled, set your image's color to CMYK and do a test print. If the print meets your satisfaction, then make sure to set your future prints to CMYK. RBG color, depending on the monitor type, age, manufacture, etc., is going to vary at least slightly. As long as what you print looks like what you see on the screen, then you should be in good shape.
  4. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    Thanks, but I don't have Photoshop, and the programs I'm using don't seem to allow you to convert your image to CYMK (or at least I don't see that option).
  5. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    I've been taught that Macs have a larger, more natural colour range than PC and quite a few places nowadays don't need the CYMK format for printing anymore. Which programs are you using and the colour profile assigned to the system and file?
  6. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    On the Powerbook I use ArtRage 2.5 and a photo-editing program the name of which escapes me at the moment. I don't draw on it much as it is slower and less powerful than my PC.

    On the PC I use ArtRage 2.6, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 6, and Paint Shop Pro XI (which is the program I would use to print out from). Some PSP XI Color Management captures:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/rnart/colormanagement3_zpsa5e28755.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/rnart/colormanagement1_zps38217b8d.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v316/rnart/colormanagement2_zpsb1494184.jpg

    ^I have no real idea about what those settings do.

    In terms of the unimpressive print-outs on my bubble-jet, the fact I had not been printing using high-quality paper or the high-quality setting seems to have been the cause - switching to the the higher-quality setting improved things a lot; stupid I didn't think of this before.[face_blush]

    The difference in what my PC monitor and my Mac Powerbook screen shows me, however, does bug me still.
  7. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    I use the Intel-based Macs, not sure if there are settings differences relating to colour with the Powerbook. I do know the feeling with comparing from PC to Mac and it's one of the reasons I haven't been doing many coloured works but I am learning ways around that.

    I'm not sure how it is with ArtRage but I've been taught/recommended to work with the Adobe1998 colour profile settings within the program (Photoshop for me) for more accurate results.

    See at the top where it says sRGB Color Space profile? Are those colour management screenshots from the actual program? If so... are there other settings?
  8. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    Speaking of Macs and PCs, I'm thinking it's time for me to upgrade my whole system (new computer, update my Adobe suite, etc). I'm still using Photoshop 7 and I'm finding that it's extremely difficult to find specialty brushes to download and little things like that.

    What do you guys recommend in terms of what system to use? I was thinking of going Mac (I rarely game and I only use my computer for internet and my art anyway). Would a laptop be appropriate - I wasn't sure if monitor size would be an issue - or should I stick with a desktop? Any advice would be helpful! Thanks!
  9. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    Personally, the good thing about a laptop is that you are not tethered to a desk while the desktop has a larger screen for you to work off.

    I currently use a 13" MacBook Pro (not the Retina version) and that is doing me quite well. There are also 15" models available if you want a larger screen.

    With artworks and photos, the MacBook Retina series might be more suited for you with the higher resolution however there is no disc drive in those models and the harddrive is a solid state flash storage drive which means that there are no moving parts which makes it durable, faster loading applications but the capacity isn't as large as the standard harddrives just yet.

    I hope this is useful.
  10. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    I use a desktop with a large Oled screen from LG. It has brilliant colours. I use my old scanner to get my drawings and smaller stuff on the PC. Larger oils are put on camera first before going to the PC
  11. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I, too, am in the market for a new system, but since finances hinder my selections, I'm looking at an off-the-shelf Dell. Until I can get the latest CS from my brother, I intend to use Elements. Still going to use the old scanner and tablet, though.

    Basically, when I look for something for graphics, AMD processors are a must-have. They handle graphics better, same with Radeon video cards, from my personal experience. Right now, I'm using an old Dell laptop with an Intel Centrino processor. Basically anything above that would be a vast improvement for me. :p
  12. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    I need a new printer & scanner. My old one broke. And the photos that my 5 year old Olympus camera does are not always the best.
  13. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Anything HP. Decent price and decent quality. My printer and scanner are HP.
  14. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    I need to do the same... preferably a 3-in-1 model.
  15. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Perhaps my in-laws remember me on my birthday. My husband said something about a new HP! [face_thinking]
  16. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    I have a laser printer. It's cheap when you are printing a lot (2 cents a page)
  17. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    So, earlier today, I was digging out my kneaded eraser, as I wanted to see how well it would remove graphite without taking the ink off my page. I knew I had at least two, so I dug out both. One was small, the other was medium-sized. I noticed something about the larger one...

    It was greasy and crusty, and when I kneaded it, it felt crumbly.

    Apparently kneaded erasers can go bad. Though, I don't want to throw this one away. Could it be resurrected? Or should I just toss it?
  18. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    Hmm...how crumbly is 'crumbly'? Describing it like that makes me want to say just throw it out. :p

    I've had one that was pretty "dry" in the past and kneading it for a fair amount of time helped to loosen it up enough to get it to the point where I could use it again. But yeah, it might be a good idea to just invest in a new one.
  19. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    It's soft, but it feels like if I knead it more, it will fall to pieces, and little bits were starting to crumble off. Also, the greasiness. That was just odd. I honestly never knew that they could go bad.
  20. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Natural rubber errasers can get very ugly when old. If your erraser is made of this material it can be greasy.
    Rubber bands are a mayhem in the archives where I work. They get sticky when old and pieces will adhere to the paper.
  21. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    On second thought, that sounds a lot like how mine got. Just keep kneading it, regardless of pieces falling off. Once it gets soft enough and you start getting rid of the 'gunk', it should fuse back together. If not, you always have the option of buying a new one. At least you can't say you didn't try. ;)
  22. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    So, I was just drawing some random illustrations today, playing around with stippling. After a while, I decided to turn one of those illustrations into a stippling lesson. Not necessarily a tutorial, just the basics.

    [IMG]
  23. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Here. I threw this together the other day for some people on Tumblr. People might find it useful, so I'm putting it here, too.

    [IMG]

    Hell if I know where to begin for a tutorial, so you'll have to make do with this.
    Corellian_Outrider likes this.
  24. Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Art Curator | Oceania RSA | CR of NSW

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2002
    star 5
    Nice one.

    I might be able to help with where to start on the tutorial. Something like…

    1. After your gesture lines are done, flesh out with the sculptural form with basic shapes. Does not matter if they overlap.
    2. Go back over and refine the line work.
    3. Clean up the line work
  25. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    That'll work. I'll flesh it out with a step-by-step tutorial, and make special note of using one's own hand for reference, and then after the tutorial's done, I'll throw in a bunch of hand sketches.
    Corellian_Outrider likes this.
Moderators: Corellian_Outrider