Art References


A friend asked for help on painting edges, so I made this. I figured some other people might find it handy.
The thing to realize is that edges do not exist in 2D art. You can only suggest them through the intersection of light and dark values. The stronger the contrast between two sides of an object, the harder the edge will appear.


A friend asked for help on painting edges, so I made this. I figured some other people might find it handy.

The thing to realize is that edges do not exist in 2D art. You can only suggest them through the intersection of light and dark values. The stronger the contrast between two sides of an object, the harder the edge will appear.

Guide: WQA’s Guide to Internet Research


I get a lot of Asks from people who say they Googled their topic but didn’t find anything. Then I Google it and find a ton of resources. I prefer to think that this is because internet research can be daunting, so I am putting together this little guide in hopes of making internet research a little easier.

Step One - Reduce your topic to the fewest number of words you can and try Googling it. For example, if your protagonist is a fireman, try Googling:

  • Fireman
  • Firemen

Step Two - Put the information you need into question form and Google it. For example, for your fireman character, you will need to know what it’s like to actually be a fireman. Try Googling:

  • What’s it like to be a fireman?
  • What does a fireman do?
  • What is a fireman’s life like?

Step Three - Think of different statements that describe the information you’re looking for. For example, if you want to know what it’s like in a firehouse, try Googling:

  • Life inside a firehouse
  • Fireman daily routines

Step Four - See if there are any alternative words you could use to describe your topic and Google those. For example:

  • Fireman/Firefighter
  • Firehouse/Fire Station/Fire Department
  • Fire Truck/Fire Engine

Step Five - Search for personal points-of-view by searching for blogs, interviews, forum posts, and experience essays. Using a fireman as an example, you could search for:

  • "Fireman Blog"
  • "Interview with a firefighter"
  • "My experience as a firefighter"

You can also search for an IamA (I am a…), which is a form of Ask Me Anything on Reddit. IamAs are posted by people with interesting jobs or careers who open themselves up to questions from other Reddit members. Reading through an IamA on your topic (if there is one) is a great way to learn from the personal point-of-view of an expert.

Step Six - Search for your topic on YouTube. I know it sounds crazy, but just do it. You never know what you might find. Case in point:

Now, Let’s Talk About Results:

When you type a search term into Google, you’re likely to get millions of results. That can be very daunting if you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for. So, how do you wade through all of that information to find what you need?

To start with, you should be able to find enough information to help you within the first three pages of results. As you read down each page of results, just ignore things that obviously don’t pertain to your search, and when you see something that might pertain to your search, right-click on the result and then left-click “open in a new tab” to save it for later. 

Let’s take a look at what comes up for “fireman”:


Clearly, we’re not looking for a Lil Wayne song, so we can ignore that. Definitions might offer helpful information, but you probably already know the definition of your topic. Images can be helpful, but ignore them unless you need a visual. Wikipedia articles, though not always accurate, are always worth opening. The article will give you a helpful overview of the topic—just make sure to double-check any facts you note down. So, one result for the first page isn’t bad. Pages two and three offered a few more worth opening.

Now, let’s look at the results for “interview with a firefighter”:


Any search for a career plus “interview” is likely to bring up tips for people who are interviewing for a job in that career. In this case, most of the results on the first page were interviewing tips for prospective firefighters. However, there was one helpful hit—a video interview with a firefighter. That is exactly what we were looking for, so we’ll open up that tab. Once again, pages two and three had a few more links to actual interviews with firefighters as opposed to interviewing tips. (***Note: I put a NO symbol on the third result, though that actually looks like an interview with a firefighter, so we would probably open that. ;))

Once you have three to five tabs open, you can start looking through each one to gather information on your topic. You can jot the notes down in a notebook, or you can open up a Notepad document (just be sure to save it a lot) and jot down your notes in there. It is also helpful to print out articles or interviews if you can, and then use a highlighter to keep track of important information.

The three most important things you can do when doing internet research are:

1) Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by all the information. Just take one result at a time and keep going until you have enough helpful information.

2) Be patient. While you should be able to find a lot of helpful information within the first few pages of results, sometimes you may need to look at several pages or try several different search terms.

3) Don’t give up! Research is important to your novel, and you’re really the only one who knows exactly what information you need. It may take hours or even days, but stick with it until you find the information you’re looking for. Sometimes a new search term to try will hit you out-of-the-blue, and that’s the one that brings up all the information you could want.

Good luck and happy researching!

ETA: here is also an AMAZING post about finding accurate research by reynoldsrpc. Be sure to check it out!

optimusprlme said: is there a tag on working with reflective surfaces??

Please see [metal].

milenia99 said: Hello! I wanted to know how to do texture... Im painting a chameleon and I don't know how to make it seem like it has rough texture hehe

Please see [scales].


uh ok i recently realized that i only use these brushes to draw in sai. and people still are asking me what ones i use so UGHgdasf here i spill all me secrets!!!1 



Want awesome chest harnesses or body armor? Something perfect for that new cosplay/costume/LARP outfit?  NOW YOU CAN GET YOURS RIGHT HERE. Just follow this link. 


Tuesday Tips - EYES!Eyes are what convey most of someone’s expression. Body language is important, but “eyes don’t lie”. There’s a reason why someone who’s lying will generally try to avoid eye contact. We are biologically set-up to “read” someone’s inner feelings by looking at their eyes.In storyboarding, if I’m in a real hurry to make a sequence “read” better, I will try to hit the eyes and facial expression as best as I can before anything else, especially if it’s an emotional scene.Have a great Tuesday, everyone!Norm


Tuesday Tips - EYES!

Eyes are what convey most of someone’s expression. Body language is important, but “eyes don’t lie”. There’s a reason why someone who’s lying will generally try to avoid eye contact. We are biologically set-up to “read” someone’s inner feelings by looking at their eyes.

In storyboarding, if I’m in a real hurry to make a sequence “read” better, I will try to hit the eyes and facial expression as best as I can before anything else, especially if it’s an emotional scene.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!



Some Ways to Avoid An Art Depression

(reposted because I thought it’s time and needed again)

Ok folks, Maybe this will help one or two of you, who are too much into a depression.

It sounds silly for some, but respect that I write this for people who have some trouble.
When you find grammar mistakes, then sorry, as a german it is not easy writing so much english text.

1. Don’t compare your art with the best out there.

- A problem every artist has is that he compares himself in his development phase with artists who have their style or are big in the buisness. You cannot critisize yourself not being Picasso in the first day, guys.
Do a fair and reasonable comparison. Accept that you are on a special niveau in your development and compare yourself with people on your niveau. That means you have to search and work your way trough art and how your art is compared. And there are hundred differences in the art world, so try to focus on the style you work in.

2. Self-critic is ok, but don’t make it into a selfdestructive one.

- Keeping yourself on the ground with self-critic is a noble thing. You avoid becoming arrogant and to stagnate in your art. But watch out that it does not become an obsession to hate your stuff. Allow yourself to be proud of a work. It is not bad to be a bit proud of something, also when it is could be made better. Nothing is 100% perfect and you can always make it better.
But you can make it better, when you use your ‘experience’ in the next pic.

3. A drawing is just a drawing. You will produce a lot more. Accept that not every piece is a winner.

- No artist on earth did the perfect piece with his first pic ever. All followed a long development phase till they got to a point where they were really satisfied. So stop doing just ONE piece in a month and stop critizising it till you are depressed. Do 100 drawings in a month and there will be at least ONE pic you will like. Be proud of this one. Maybe in the next months you will do more good ones.

4. Ignore fame/popularity/money. The goal of art is not that.

- Sure you need to get money to survive and some ‘fame’ is the key to that. But not one of the three things will make your art better or will make yourself happy about your art. And here we come to the next point:

5. Stop looking at other artist’s succsess in the media world.

- They had ‘luck’ getting it or worked hard to get there. Will you be happy if you know it happened randomly or will you be proud when you worked yourself to succsess? And succsess does not mean being rich. It means making your ‘hobby’ or ‘love’ to a job.

6. Don’t use the Internet as an indicator how good your work is.

- Internet is pretty much a wrong place to get proud or depressed about your art. Deviantart is no place to see how well you can make it in the world. And it will never tell you when you will enjoy doing your art.
When fame and money IS your goal in life, then go with the mainstream. You will get quick to your money.

7. Sticking with your own style means that it will be hard getting it out there. Accept that.

- Mainstream is not bad at all. But it is too easy adapting mainstream styles and getting into a job. So when you stand behind your own style, you must also face the truth, that it will be a harder way. You chose it, so deal with it. The world is unfair, so dont cry.

8. Hating other artists will not solve any probs.

- You found an artist who got what you always wanted? Is it his fault that you are still in your development phase?
I guess no. The ones in the industry faced the same probs like you have/had. Some had it easier and some harder. But both are not guilty for your unlucky position. Hating them, making their art down or anything else, will not bring you out of your misery. You will just fall deeper into your depression pit. Work yourself out. It will may not get you to succsess, but working on it is better than dioing nothing and crying. You can still cry when you did a respectable amount of work in your portfolio.

9. Doing art for others is nice and also good, but remember that art is there to satisfy you in the first place.

- I stick with the idea that when you love/like your work people will automatically love it too.
When you do a work that makes you happy, then you have succsess.
Working direct to a special target group will be the wrong way. You would lie to yourself. You are your own target group.

10. Accept that you cannot satisfy everyone with your style.

- A photograph will never entertain a cartoonist at the same point like a cartoonist can entertain his group.
But try to make your photo as good as possible and be liberal to other styles and try to find the quality of it. Making fun of other styles is  a sign of insecurity or arrogance most the time.

11. Dont be a sell-out. Don’t lose your self-respect.

- Your insercurity or greed to fame/money took over when you switch to a style that gets quick attention or when you draw pornographic themes. When you really care for art then you will get into an art depression really quick, when you realized what you have done.

12. Wating for the perfect drawing has never created the perfect drawing.

- I met too many guys sitting on their couch and wishing one drawing in 2 months will bring them out of their hole and bring them to fame and popularity. All I say is… hope longer. You will get depressed afterwards when you realize that this ‘work ethic’ will bring you nowhere. You don’t get any attention with few pics and you will never become slightly better, when you improve your skills every 2 months one time. You have to work more on getting out of your rust, then developing your stuff.

13. Accept that what’s important to you is not automatically important for the next.

- As an artist with the focus on lineart is my main attention in the linework of every picture I do/see.
I don’t ignore perspective, layout, composition and colors at all. But they don’t impress me at first sight.
But at the end when I discuss the quality of a picture with someone else, is his main goal the colors and he ignores the flaws in the linework, which I take more serious…

What I wanna say is, don’t take your taste too serious and as the only thing that matters.
You cannot control the taste of everyone. There is no reason to get depressed because someone has a different focus or taste.

14. You will not change anything in the art world. Accept that.

- A main prob, nearly every artist has is that he thinks his art will change the scene or the industry or anything.
In reality you will not do anything. And if, then only for a short time. Sure there are some who have a bigger affect than others, but don’t take it as your main goal. It does not happen by plan.

At the end you just confuse popularity with a ‘real change’. It is not the same, dudes.

15. Critic is just critic.

- I am not talking of internet trolls or bullies. I mean normal professional critic.
When you ask for one, expect honest ones and don’t cry, when it does not fit to your wishful thinking. But also don’t take it too unserious or arrogant. Accept or try to find the truth behind the critic, instead of working 100% against it.
Sure some critic does not understand what you try to archieve and critic hurts, but the challenge behind it makes you stronger.

Asking your best friends and family will result in unhonest and nearly only positive comments, which have no core you can use to develop in your art.

16. Having no job in the industry does not mean your art sucks.

- Explains itself.

17. There is always someone better than you.

- Times come and times go. Artists come and go. Some start earlier, some late. You are not your whole life on the same niveau and one day you will vanish with your art. Sounds too buddhistic? Well it is.
There is always someone better than you, no matter what you try. Accept it as a challenge you can use to develop.
Are you pussies who escape a ‘fight’?

18. At the end it is shit nobody should care about…

- Art is not the most important thing on earth. Family, friends and your own health are way more important than being the best artists in the world.

Wrote this journal for my deviantart followers over a year ago.
Hope this journal was helpful for some of you and sounded not too shallow or silly written. I know some of you disagree with some points, but I don’t want endless arguments about holes in my logic or points.
See ya.


Anonymous said: Quick question from an amateur. How do you correct your incorrect proportions when drawing. I just can't seem to figure it out.

In general, you compare the proportions in your drawing to real life proportions. Most figure drawing books include a set of average measurements for the human body. (You can also have a look at the [proportions] tag.)

It really helps if you can get someone to redline your work for you, to point out why things are off and how to fix them.

acuisle said:

very important to use image references for this. you might not find exact pics of what u want but if you can approximate it’s good

Anonymous said: do you have tips to draw disney characters like micky mouse for example?

Please see [Walt Disney studios].

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