Tips thread


Hey guys, without revealing too much of what I’m currently doing, I wanted to get some feedback on this shading part.

I’ve circled the shaded portion that’s illustrated by hatching. Do you think the size of the hatching is too big? Lines too thick?


I noticed on a friends laptop when I tilt the screen I can see past mistakes in the background of the artwork(digital) that can’t be seen to the naked eye. Is there a way to remove it or is this something else?


I just found a full-3D version of Posemaniacs

You still can’t pose the figures yourself, but you can move the camera in any angle instead of just 360 degrees. Much more useful imo, combined with the 3D head/torso/hand/foot viewer on the regular Posemaniacs site.


Here’s some digital painting tutorial stuff:

I finished off a series about painting facial skin tones.

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For linework – there’s simply no replacement for being confident about what you’re drawing and then committing to it. But if you still struggle with it (like I do), I read a good tip recently: Use the Adjust Levels function in PS to lighten your lineart layer. Then, use the Burn tool and the tablet to go over the lines you want.

As for patience in coloring – I think it helps to just do it more often. For myself, I try to keep going around the pic and focusing on getting the shapes and value relationships right… reworking as I go along (through a combination of painting over / using layers and blending options to fix color saturation issues that I tend to have). I let myself work on some detail after I’ve gone around a bit, but I have to tell myself to go back to the general laying in of colors so as to keep the pic moving.

Hope this helps. I’m still learning too.


My friend wants to become an artist. He chooses the typical anime style (and I mean the most generic kind) and he hates the studies and exercises they give him at school. He’s hating on “all the sketch marks” and realistic figures he has to draw. I can understand not wanting to do it, since you wanna ultimately become a manga and anime artist. But not realizing that it’s ‘needed’ to have a good foundation, I can’t agree with.

Do you come across people like that sometimes? I personally find the typical generic anime style, well typical by now. One should add their own flare or add something more. I don’t think you can go to art school with the dream that " I don’t immerse myself in the world of art, and I’ll be completely successful as an artist." Am I wrong in that thinking? It just seems too competitive to try to get an easy break.

If you’ve met anyone like this, is there a good way to put it into perspective for them?


He needs to realize that almost all anime/manga artists have taken art lessons or at least practiced proportions and realistic figures on their own. There are some artists out there that try and skip all that, and they’re selling shitty doujins that don’t make money. You have to actually learn how to draw first, then you can apply it to your own style and it’ll look way more polished and consistent.

I mean I guess it’s ultimately up to your friend to decide if he wants to skip the basics. It’s not really foreign, and there have been plenty of people who have practiced to the point where they can completely skip the sketch process and whip up some boss linework. As mentioned though, he had better practice. A lot. Most likely for a good while. Otherwise if he’s gonna try to go pro then he’d better just quit.


How do I go about getting a graphite looking texture? something like this
I have been experimenting with the brushes but it never comes out the way I want, it doesn’t help that I am new to photoshop either.


I Totally think your hatch is just a little to thick, mabe try think lines but cross hatch.


I went to art school, mos the artist that were illustration majors perfered anime, It got old to me though, it seemed every one was doing the same stuff.


Has anyone tried Alchemy? It’s a 2D random shape creator. It’s a great tool for filling a canvas with information or ‘density’ to build on top of, or for beating artists’ block by sparking your imagination-- kind of like looking in the sky and finding shapes in the clouds.


I’m gonna check this out, thanks man.


Anybody have any tips to having cleaner line art?

I usually rough things, but am too lazy to retrace so i skip the step and color on top of it erasing little things here and there. i’m hoping to gain more patience with it, but just curious to know what everyone’s process is.


I’d say do your rough sketches, get your poses and details sorted out, then do line work on a layer above it. I’ll usually create a layer of all white set to about 70-80 percent opacity, then a transparency layer and do the lines on that. As for the lines themselves, try to work in fast strokes so your hand doesnt shake and make it jittery. Alternatively you could try to learn how to use the line/curves tool in whatever program you’re using, and you can usually set it up to mimic the style of your brush depending on the pressure of your stylus (size, opacity, etc)


I struggle with clean lines too. I’ve tried rough scribbles on one layer and then lowering opacity and drawing cleaner lines on another layer, but that doesn’t always work out well – it feels like I lose some energy when I’m redrawing the stuff on the scribbles.

I’ve also tried cleaning up the rough linework on the same layer itself – I do feel that this preserves the energy of the piece better, but it is also a few times more tedious.

I think the key is to just get used to drawing refined line. Which is a challenge for those of us who are used to scribbling a drawing into existence :stuck_out_tongue: And somehow I think it’s easier to learn this with pencil on paper, not digitally. I can’t explain it, but that seems to be the case for me.


And dont forget, sometimes lines aren’t meant to be clean. Some of my favorite street fighter art is the scribbly shit done for concepts. Heres an example:

Also consider not using linework at all, and showing form using only color/contrast/shadows.

I also think it’s extremely important to consider line weight when doing a piece, unless you’re doing something really cartoony take into consideration which lines taper off or get thicker. Lines “closer” to the viewer should typically be thicker and vice versa.


Nice find! I’ve seen the colored version of that but have never seen the original sketch taken straight from the notebook like that.

I agree with you on those shadows and colors, but the lines really hold it together. I feel like even when I try to cover up things, if the structure isn’t clean then the rest follows. But that’s only with my own personal work. I love LOVE sketching, but that coloring has always got to me too. I love putting in shadows and tones but when its all said and done I can’t decide between cel shades or painting for some reason so it starts out cel shaded and then getting smudged out beyond cohesion. So yeah on top of the scribbled out linework, it seems I got alot more to work on haha

Often I find myself rushing just to get it done, so maybe thats another problem of mine. I get bored and want to draw something else by the time I think its almost finished but never really taking the time to actually finish it.

How long would you guys say your process is starting from linework, to flats, shadows, etc?


Digital, use Illustrator, practice some and you will get the hang of it, or you can scan in dark line sketches, live trace them into vector, then manipulate them.


Or Inkscape, which is free.

Again for digital, I’ve used SAI’s ink layer, which is a vector tool but operates like freehand. Vector corrections can be made automatically or manually.

Also, LazyNezumi helps stabilize your lines when using a tablet or mouse.

And drawing large images (>2000 pixels, ideally >4000 px) make the lines appear smoother when you shrink it down.


When I first learned about masks I was like OMGwtf amazors…but now I find I use them a lot less for paintings. There is a more organic feel about raw application of color on fewer layers. They are definitely useful though in the right places and can increase the efficiency of your work flow, especially when you need to provide multiple versions of one painting.