Tag Archives: Tutorials

Digital Comics

Mstf on the Ipad

A Call to Comic Creators!

My iPad is way too empty. :(

I love my iPad, and I’ve got to say, it is the PERFECT device for reading digital comics. However, I’m having trouble finding the kind of content that I want to read, and that’s frustrating.

I’ve been experimenting with selling digital comics in my store. I want to see more comic creators jumping on board to do the same thing because 1) most of favorite comics are independently made webcomics, and I want more stuff for my iPad and 2) there are some serious problems with how digital comics are created and sold, and I think this is the first step toward fixing them.

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How to Make Your Portfolio iPhone-Compatible

Iphone 01

When speaking about artists’ websites, an art director recently made a comment that caught my attention – he is annoyed when he can’t view them on his iPhone.

The comment was half-joke, half-serious, but it brought up an important point. You never know what potential clients are out there, and what they are using to view your work.

And so I went home and made an iPhone version of my web portfolio.

Why make an iPhone website? Is it necessary?

No, I don’t think every artist should go and make an iPhone portfolio right this minute. Quite frankly, I don’t expect a lot of visitors to my mobile site. However, I DO think artists should keep these ideas in mind. The use of iPhones and other mobile phones is on the rise, and artists should always be thinking of ways to make it easier for clients to access their work. At the very least, avoid flash and multi-media rich websites that don’t work on mobile platforms.

It was a fun experiment and it didn’t take long to create at all. I know it will make at least one art director happy, so that alone is worth it.

So if you have the know-how and a little bit of time, I say it’s worth the extra bit of effort. It might not matter to most of your clients – but it might mean the world to the few who happen to be on an iPhone.

Here is an in-depth review of how I put the site together.

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Painting a Spot Illustration, Part 2: Using Clipping Masks


This is the second part in a series of tutorials. You can read part one here.

When creating a spot illustration, I often create the overall vignette shape first, before I add any other colors or details. To do this, I make a clipping mask layer.

Also check out one of my older posts, Using Masks to Create a Spot Illustration, which reviews some similar methods and ideas I will use here.

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How to Make a Textured T-Shirt Graphic


In my latest experiment, I recently opened up an account on a site called Zazzle, which allows you to order custom products featuring your own artwork. So far, I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with creating some simple, graphic characters for some t-shirts. Here is a little behind-the-scenes look into the making of this cute bat character.

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How to Draw Children


At first, drawing children doesn’t seem like that much of a challenge. I mean, you take so many figure drawing courses in art school and you start to think you can draw pretty good. And if you’re good at drawing adults, drawing kids should be pretty easy, right? Well, after you’ve tried dozens and dozens of times, and all you come up with are a bunch of freaky midget creatures, you start to realize how wrong you were.

I realized this shortly after I graduated from school and decided to go into children’s publishing. My first assignments were, I admit, less than stellar. But I’ve learned a few things along the way, so I thought I would share some tips with you all.

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Make Your Own Sketchbook


Have you ever had trouble finding just the right sketchbook? Maybe you can’t find the right kind of paper, or they are just too darn expensive. Well, it’s probably easier than you think to make one of your own, and everything you need might already be lying around your house.

Why Make Your Own Sketchbooks?

  • Use your favorite paper. Why settle for the same old white paper when you can use toned, textured, heavy weight, watercolor, or lined paper instead? Or, this is a great way to get rid of all those half-used sketchpads you know you’ve got tucked away somewhere.

  • It’s cheap. Since most of your materials consist mostly of scraps, paper, and glue, this project is pretty easy on the wallet.

  • Style points. No more boring black sketchbooks! Choosing the colors and patterns to use for your sketchbook is half the fun. I once made a sketchbook that was entirely pink, just for the heck of it.

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The Complete Digital Comic, Part 2: Inking in Illustrator


This is part two in my series of tutorials about how to make comic book art on the computer. If you have not read the first part, Sketching and Pencilling in Photoshop, you might want to give it a look. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Ready? Okay, now that we have a nice and refined pencil sketch, it’s time to give it some ink.

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The Complete Digital Comic, Part 1: Sketching and Pencilling in Photoshop


I recently received a request to write a tutorial about creating comic book art on the computer. Although I don’t work as a comic artist, I’ve always been fascinated by the process. So, this will be part one in a series of tutorials that will outline how I would make a comic digitally.

This was a very fun experiment, and I hope all of you, even you non-comic artists, can learn something new by this series. And by all means, if there are any “real” comic artists out there with any input, please leave a comment on this post.

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Record Your Art

Record Your Art

Have you ever wondered how I create my videos for this website? This tutorial is for every artist who has ever wanted to record their digital painting process in order to share with others, or simply watch for fun later. Here, I will cover the screen recording software I use and how I go about shooting, editing, and distributing my digital illustration demos.

This post is quite a doozie, and it answers one of the most commonly asked questions that I get from you readers. Enjoy!

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Not Your Typical Round Brush

Brush Settings

Reader Dan recently emailed me with this:

[I] think it would be a great idea to share some of your discoveries in the realm of brushes. I have been experimenting since I got my Wacom but still would love to hear what you have to say about things like opacity, flow, jitter…

So, in this tutorial, I’m going to give you a tour of the brush palette and some other simple brush settings. Working with just the standard round brush, I’ll show you how a few little tweaks can help get a more natural feel in your digital artwork.

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Scanners, Part 3: Putting the Pieces Together

Scanners, Part 3: Putting the Pieces Together

If you are going through the process of digitizing your traditional paintings, you have undoubtedly noticed that not all of your artwork fits onto the standard 8.5″x11.7″ glass of your flatbed scanner. Have no fear! With a few minor Photoshop tips, stitching together your large paintings doesn’t have to be such a hassle.

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Make Your Own Photoshop Brushes

Create a Custom Brush

Creating your own custom brush is really quite easy:

  1. Open an image, any image.
  2. Select all or part of the image.
  3. Go to Edit –> Define Brush Preset.
  4. Voila! New brush…

You can use anything from scanned textures, photographs, or drawings to make new brushes. The real key to creating a brush is understanding how they work and finding the right settings. In this tutorial, I’ll give you a few tips and show you how to create some specific brushes to get you started.

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Bonus Tutorial on Amateur Illustrator

Layers Tutorial

In my daily browsing, I occasionally stumble across other websites that share the same enthusiasm for art, illustration, and learning that I try to encompass here on DaniDraws.com

One of these great sites is AmateurIllustrator.com. It is packed with resources for illustrators and students of illustration, including tutorials, interviews with professional artists, and forums.

If you register on the site, you can also post your own gallery of artwork for other users to rate and comment on. And the best part is that you can do all of this for free!

I was honored to get the opportunity to collaborate with Amateur Illustrator recently. In an effort to bring great content to both of our audiences, I have written a tutorial that will be shown exclusively on their site. You can find it here:

Layer Tricks for Digital Paintinghttp://www.amateurillustrator.com/articles/?p=367

This tutorial explains some of the various parts of the Layers palette in Photoshop. Some ideas include:

  • How to use layer effects, such as drop shadows, bevel/emboss, and glows, to add some additional interest to your painting.
  • How to use layer masks to edit and erase objects, without actually deleting them.
  • An explanation of all those blending modes (Multiply, Overlay, etc.). I’ll cover what exactly they are doing and some good ideas for using them in your painting.

So while you are checking it out, be sure to take a look around. I guarantee it will be worth your while.

Go there now –>

Creating Line Drawings in Adobe Illustrator

One Grumpy Dude

This is one grumpy dude. He was created in Adobe Illustrator with the brush tool. I don’t use the program a lot, but when it comes to “inking” my drawings, I find it very useful. Here’s an in-depth look into the making of this cute little grandpa guy including:

  • How to place a sketch into a new document
  • Some digital drawing tips
  • How to fix little mistakes after you’ve drawn your stroke
  • Ways to finish and color your drawing

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Create a Watercolor Painting in Photoshop

Create a Watercolor Painting in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to recreate the look and feel of a watercolor painting on the computer. Some topics include:

  • How to create a textured “paper”
  • Which textures work best
  • What settings to use for your brushes
  • Specific brushes to use

Every tool I use is included within Photoshop CS itself. With these few simple tips, you can start creating your own natural looking watercolor paintings with all the advantages that the digital world has to offer.

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Using Masks to Create a Spot Illustration

Spot illustrations, or vignettes, are usually not contained in the familiar rectangle. Unfortunately, that’s the only shape of canvas you can get in Photoshop. However, if you define the shape of your work area before you begin by using a layer mask, you won’t have to worry about “coloring outside the lines” while you are creating your painting.

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