• Visual Graphic Arts

    Get the Right Supplies for Cartoon Drawing

    Getting the Right Paper

    Your paper should be on the top of your list. You will want a type of paper that is not too smooth because smooth paper can lead to smears and faint lines. You will also want to avoid very rough paper because the lines could get thick, fuzzy, and hard to control.

    Bristol paper and Vellum paper are some of the most popular types used by professional cartoonists. Comic book artists tend to use Vellum because of the texture – it is just smooth enough to avoid unnecessary thick, fuzzy pencil lines but not too smooth to cause severe smears or smudges. Bristol has several variants so take some time to find which one works best for you. Sometimes simple Oslo or Office Printing Paper can do well and a lot of cartoonists use these papers for sketches.

    Getting the Right Pencil

    The pencil is going to be your bread and butter. Cartoon drawings tend to rely on two kinds of lines – one faint line and one thick line for borders and emphasis lines. However, you need three, not two, types of pencils.

    Go to any office supply store and look at the pencils. You will notice they go from 6B to 6H. The H pencils use hard lead, with 6H being the hardest. This means they do not wear off easily but it also means you can only get very faint, soft lines. An HB or 2H is a good choice for doing sketches and outlines.

    The B pencils are the exact opposite. They are soft lead and are much thicker. They are used for fuzzy, dark, and thick lines. 6B is the thickest. You’ll want to use 2B for finalizing your drawing and then a 3B or 4B for dark emphasis lines.

    If you want to use a mechanical pencil you will notice they come in three widths. 0.7 is the narrowest lead point, 0.5 is the normal pencil width, and 0.3 is the widest. In the long run it can be cheaper to use mechanical pencils than regular pencils that wear down and get shorter.

    Getting the Right Eraser

    A lot of novice cartoonists forget the importance of a good eraser. You will make mistakes – that is inevitable. Even expert cartoonists who work for comic books and animation studios make mistakes. And even if you rarely do, you still need a good eraser to remove your faint outlines and sketches as you do the final work on your cartoon drawing.

    Avoid the usual type of eraser. Rubbing on your pencil work is not going to do you any good. It damages the surface of the sheet. Instead, use gum erasers or kneaded erasers. The problem with gum erasers is that they crumble easily. Kneaded erasers can be pretty fun to play with. You just have to make sure you practice putting pressure when you erase so you know how much pressure will remove a faint line and how much pressure will remove a darker, thick pencil line.

  • Art

    William Morris

    His prolific talent was awe-inspiring and staggeringly prodigious, covering all aspects of Art and Craft from Stained Glass, Embroidery, Painting, Writing, Poetry, Tapestries and Textiles, Ecclesiastical Decoration, through to Printing and was probably the greatest and most influential of the artists and designers of the 20th Century.

    Reviving many ancient crafts, tapestry weaving amongst them, was an opportunity to do this. Such was his enthusiasm he built a high-warp loom in his bedroom and taught himself to weave from an 18th century French craft manual, visiting French weavers and the ailing Aubusson factory.

    With friends such as Edward Burne-Jones, John Henry Dearle, Ford Maddox Brown and Dante Gabriel Rossetti they formed Morris & Co. An important part of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement and Arts & Crafts movements in which he played an influential part. Their influence was spread far and wide from architecture to gardens.

    They designed tapestries based on medieval styles and techniques and became a commercial success reviving the ancient craft. He is perhaps best known for his magnificent ‘Tree of Life’ tapestry.

    Marianne Stokes, the distinguished artist and a member of the Royal Academy was part of the Morris & Co elite coterie designing the magnificent ‘Ehret die Frauen’ tapestry meaning Honour the Women representing the five virtues of womanhood and inspired from a line in the poem ‘Wurde der Frauen’ by the poet Frederick Schiller. She married Adrian Stokes RA making her a distant relation from my mothers side.

    Much of Morris & Co.’s design work and manufacturing was produced at Merton Abbey, a village on the River Wandle in Surrey. Despite his ambition to be a painter and his later reputation as a writer, poet, publisher, political thinker and activist, it is as a designer of patterns, particularly botanical images, for which he is most well known.

    There was a profound social philosophy behind Morris’ designing. He was a committed socialist and medievalist who was horrified by increasing mechanization and mass-production in the arts, and he dreamed of reestablishing the values of traditional craftsmanship and simplicity of design. His slogan was that art should be “by the people, for the people”.

    Unfortunately, the cost of producing these quality items by hand meant that they were too pricey for ordinary people. Only the rich could afford the products of Morris and Company, a bitter irony which caused him great distress.

    The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was founded by William Morris and other members of the Pre Raphaelite brotherhood, in 1877, to oppose what they saw as the insensitive renovation of ancient buildings then occurring in Victorian England.

    Architectural heritage lives on thankfully, through this society, passing on the much needed craftsmen skills to new generations and appreciation of preservation rather than restoration.

    Possibly his greatest and last love was the Kelmscott printing press he set up in Hammersmith, London producing limited edition books, it’s finest achievement being the laborately detailed ‘Works of Geoffrey Chaucer’ designed by Morris with exquisite wood-cut illustratrations by Burne-Jones using traditional methods and fifteenth century typography employing the values of the Arts & Crafts Movement and eschewing soulless mass-production

    His political views on the environment, preservation of artistic and social values, bloated de-centralised government, were far more in keeping with today’s ethos but at the time were considered too fanciful and ‘romantic’. With the benefit of hindsight it would appear he was way ahead of his time and prescient of what is happening now in our society.

    Sadly, after his death the company went into decline and in 1940 Sanderson bought the entire company including the magnificent original printing blocks and stock for the paltry sum of £400.

    Some of these designs have been resurrected by Sanderson in a range of Le Castille cushion covers featuring William Morris classics such as the 1929 Eton Rural ‘Early Tulips’ and ‘Tree Poppy’ designs from the Sanderson William Morris archives to celebrate their 150th anniversary of design. And ‘Dandelion Clocks’ a classic retro design from the ’50’s. These were amongst many showcased for the Fashion & Textiles Museums exhibition: ‘Very Sanderson – a 150 years of English Decoration’.

    During the 60’s William Morris designs enjoyed something of a renaissance with Sanderson wallpapers and fabrics, the most famous being ‘Golden Lily’ and continued until well into the ‘seventies. With the advent of ‘eighties minimalism these designs were considered fussy and old-fashioned. Certainly there was a similarity in Laura Ashleys concept of simplicity, natural fibres and dyes. Along with Liberty of London: synonymous with Art Nouveau and aesthetically pleasing eclectic design in both contemporary and classic, who continued to sell Morris & Co fabrics and wallpapers.

    With the fashions coming full circle and designers such as Kath Kidston bringing these designs back as ‘vintage’ it is as popular as ever.

    I have William Morris Sanderson ‘Bird and Peony’ wallpaper in my dining room – which I have never tired of in the thirty years it’s been on the wall – so can attest to his success in achieving this aim of good design standing the test of time.

  • Visual Graphic Arts

    Create Black and White Effect in Photoshop

    1. First, find a channel that has the tonal range. We are going to use the black & white version. Now, switch to the Channels palette. You will see three channels option naming “Red”, “Green” and “Blue”.
    2. Click on each Red, Green and Blue channels to select them individually. Now press Control + A to select and Control +C to copy it. At this point, click on the color composite channel and your photo will appear in full color.
    3. In the next step, paste the channel as a new layer. Add a new blank layer and past the copied layer. Go to the filter menu and select Smart Sharpen. Enter 75 percent value and click OK.
    4. Add a new layer above the latest layer and select the gradient tool from the Photoshop palate. You can also click G on your keyboard for quick access. Go up to the Photoshop palate and click on the gradient preview area. Set your gradient colors to black and white. Click OK to exit.
    5. We are going to create an illusion, from the top right corner of the image. Therefore, we will drag the Gradient Towards at the top right corner of the Image. Start dragging it to the right corner. Now change the effect-blending mode to create an abstract effect.
    6. Go to the blend mode option and select normal. Set the opacity level to 60 percent. At this point, you will get the last image. Apply the Gaussian blur filter to smooth out the gradient level. Select Blur and Gaussian blur together and set the value to eight pixels.
    7. Now go to the fill option from the palate and lower the value to 0%. This will hide the gradient visibility. Click on layer styles and choose outer glow from the palate. Select white from the color swatch. Click OK to exit out of the Color Picker dialog box. Set the opacity value to 40% and increase the glow level to 90 pixels.
    8. Click OK to exit and here is your final output.

    This is the basic and a very simple process to create a dramatic black & white effect in Photoshop. It is obvious that, one may not get the desired output at once. So, keep practicing and within a few days, you will get your preferred result. Thanks for reading!

  • Art

    Artwork Of Joan Miro

    Joan Miro was born on the 20th of April 1893 in Palma, Majorca, Spain. He was born to a family of Goldsmiths and cabinet makers. He began to have interest in drawing at the age of 7 when he enrolled at the Carrer del Regomir 13. In 1907 he then enrolled at the La Llotja fine arts academy. His father was greatly dismayed at his decision because he wanted his son to pursue the family’s business. When Joan had his art exhibit in 1918, his works were greatly ridiculed by the public. Even so, he went on doing his work and moved to Paris in 1920. He was greatly inspired by the Cubist and Surrealist from abroad that he wanted to share his works in the art community in France.

    During the early periods of his career, his works can be compared to that of Van Gogh and Cezanne. His artworks during this time depict different trends such as the brilliant colors used in Fauvism, usage of shapes found in the Cubism artistic style, influence from Catalan art, and the Roman Frescos from churches. Experts often dubbed this period as the Catalan Fauvust Periond, in reference to his works. He had even developed a surrealist background when he took this trip to Paris that in 1928, he joined the exhibit along with other surrealist painters at the Gallery La Licorne. Though he had a strong inspiration in surrealism, Joan still managed to keep a distinct quality on most of his art works.

    In the early 1930’s, Miro was able to gain interest in doing collages and sculpture, some of which show his surrealist influence. It was also in this decade that he began to experiment on different artistic forms such as lithography, engraving, painting over copper, watercolors, and pastels.

    In the 1950’s, some of his famous works during this period are the 2 ceramic murals painted on the walls of the UNESCO building entitled the “Wall of the Moon” and the “Wall of the Sun”. Since then, Joan Miro created a series of sculptures and ceramics to be placed in the garden of Maeght Foundation located in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. His works were completed in 1964.

    In 1974, Miro made the World Trade Center Tapestry which he originally refused to do. It was one of the most expensive artworks done by him and was lost during the unfortunate 9/11 attack.

    During his later years, Joan Miro continued to do some artworks. He suffered from heart ailment and died at his homeland on Christmas day of 1983.

    Joan Miro style is more distinct compared to other prolific artist. He known to be a Catalan painter who was able to successfully combine the surrealist style which is evident in his sculptures, lithographs, murals, and etc. made for public spaces.

  • Visual Graphic Arts

    Editable Freeform PowerPoint Maps

    The age old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is more true for maps in a presentation. The data which may take tens of slides to represent or explain can be easily put in just one thematic map. But how to make it without any GIS or geographical analysis tools. You can find a right image by searching the net by Google Image search. Sounds easy, but no. There are so many map images available on the net but can you use them. May be no, why? The image may be copyrighted. So why not use images from ShutterStock or some similar website offering images. Here also you need to purchase license and spend hours searching for the right map or image which matches the theme of your presentation.

    So should I hire a graphics artist to make a custom design for me. If the presentation is so important that you can spend hundreds of dollars for a custom map, then it is okay. But if you want to do the job in minimal budget with maximum output then the answer lies in freeform PPT maps editable in powerpoint software itself. Yes, no need purchase an expensive photo editor, all you need are editable freeform maps and manipulate them with click and select in the PowerPoint program.

    You can download a free Alabama County Freeform Presentation from https://gumroad.com/l/udUA with fully editable content and easy explanation to conform the slides to your selected theme. We have spent a lot of time to painstakingly trace all the counties as freeforms. You can even zoom one county freeform to full slide and it will still retain its shape. An image if so zoomed will definitely break into pixels and not usable at all. All these freeform counties can be selected in one go and filled with single color or singly, it all depends on what you want to present.

  • Visual Graphic Arts

    Draw in Easy Steps

    Start with Shapes and Lines

    Don’t worry about the detail of the person’s clothes or how their eyes will look. First you want a perspective of their shape, how they are posed, and the general outline of their body. To do this, use basic shapes like circles, rectangles, and triangles. A circle or an egg can represent a human face and then their body can be done with a rectangle. Focus on their size, the way the limbs are positioned, and the general shape of your drawing.

    When doing the basic outline, make sure you are using faint lines. A hard pencil like an HB or a 2H will be perfect. The lines drawn by these pencils are faint and easy to erase.

    Pencil in the Details – Adding Volume

    You’ve got the skeleton of your picture done now it’s time to add in volume. Take your HB pencil (nothing lighter) and start going over the outlines to add in the details of your drawings. This is the stage where you add in the eyes, the curve of the lips, and the general outline of their clothes.

    Keep it all simple. Don’t focus yet on the shading, lighting, or any emphasis on the details. Don’t worry about adding complex lines to their clothes or edges to their faces. Just add in the important stuff for now.

    Adding Emphasis

    For many this can be the third and final step. Use a good eraser like a rubber eraser or Blue Tac. Never rub your eraser on the paper to make changes. Doing so only takes off the upper layer of the paper and can ruin the quality of the page. Blue Tac is the best alternative – simply press down on the line you need to remove and it will literally catch the graphite off the paper. This avoids any damage on the paper you use.

    Adding emphasis takes time. As you are erasing the guidelines and other lines you no longer need you will also be adding in extra details. This is the step where you add in shading and lines to give emphasis. All those fancy textures you find in professional drawings are done in this final step. However, if you want to add color or really bring your drawing to life, there is one more step.

    Computer Editing

    You could use ink pens to manually add colors and many prefer to do so. Some use water colors and others use paint or even crayons and colored pencils to achieve different effects. However, the most in-depth editing and coloring is done on a computer.

  • Art

    Rules to Follow at the Theatre

    Arrive Early

    It’s best to arrive at least 30 minutes before the time stamped on the ticket. Most venues start seating patrons half an hour before show time and stop seating once the show starts. If someone is late, ushers may require that they wait in the lobby until a break or intermission. Avoid missing the first part of the performance by getting to the venue early.

    Silence Cell Phones

    Most theatregoers prefer a quiet atmosphere. Ringing cell phones or smart watches sending out notifications can be distracting. Once the lights dim, make sure all technology is either turned off or set to silent mode. At intermission, attendees can check messages and respond to phone calls, but if they’re in their seats, it’s best to stay quiet and pay attention to the show.

    Avoid Distracting Behaviour

    When the actors are onstage, it’s important to be quiet and respectful of their performance. Avoid whispering or talking to friends, and save any snacks for intermission. While the actors may not be able to see everything that’s happening in the crowd, other audience members sitting can become distracted by constant movement or hushed conversations.

    Leave the Camera at Home

    Though some performances allow the audience to take pictures, most don’t. It’s a distraction to both the audience and the actors. The house manager keeps a keen eye out for any cameras and may ask would-be photographers to leave.

    Applause Is Encouraged

    After the end of a scene or song, it’s customary for the audience to applaud the performance. However, new theatregoers may find it difficult to time their applause appropriately. For those that are unsure of when to clap, it’s best to follow the rest of the audience. Clap when the majority of the theatre is clapping, and stop when they stop.

    Be Patient at Curtain Call

    While it’s tempting to rush to the exit as soon as the performance is over, it’s best to be a bit patient. Let the actors leave the stage before moving towards the aisle. While it’s not strictly forbidden, leaving as soon as the performance is over may be considered disrespectful, especially if the actors have not taken their final bow.

    Go Over the Rules with Kids

    If a child is going to the show, make sure to go over rules and the expected behaviour of them before heading to the theatre. If they know what to expect ahead of time, it’s less likely that they’ll act out, forcing a parent to leave in the middle of an act.

  • Painting

    Use the One Stroke Painting Technique

    As its name suggests, the one stroke painting technique simply means you achieve everything in just one stroke. This includes shading, highlighting and blending – you get all this from a single stroke instead of having to use multiple strokes. All you have to do is load different colours on to a flat brush. It can be used on a variety of different surfaces.

    Both! Even though the one stroke painting technique was developed with beginners in mind, it’s fully accessible to everyone. People who have never painted before find it just as enjoyable as people who’ve been painting for years. One of the reasons why it’s become so popular is because it’s so accessible and easy to learn. It’s attracted lots of new people to painting and it’s intrigued and caught the attention of many professional painters.

    The one stroke painting technique was devised by American author and artist Donna Dewburry. She paints flowers and animals in her demonstrations, but the technique can be used to paint practically anything. Why has this painting technique become so popular? Simply because it allows you to very quickly and easily create very beautiful works of art.

    For one stroke painting you should use paintbrushes developed by Donna because they are best suited for this technique. On her website there are loads of different options to choose from. To load your paintbrush, simply make little puddles of paint on your palette. Dip one corner of your brush into one colour then turn it over and dip the corner into the other colour. Keep stroking the brush back and forth across the paint to fully load it. You can add as many different colours as you want, but for beginners, it’s best to start off with two.

    Brushes are usually flat and have a chiselled edge. To do a typical stroke, simply have the brush standing on the chisel edge then press down while moving the brush and ending up on the chiselled edge. The more pressure you apply, the wider the stroke will be. Move the paintbrush in different to create different effects. A good way to practice different techniques is to paint different flower petals.

    To create a teardrop petal shape, have the paintbrush on the chisel edge then press down so the bristles bend. Then pivot the paintbrush around till you’ve created a teardrop shape and lift the paintbrush up to the chisel. Thin, pointed petals are very easy to do; simply lean down on the chisel and slide the paintbrush up to the tip of the petal and release. Twist the paintbrush to have the petals bend. Petals with jagged edges are done by pushing down on the bristles and slowly wiggling the paintbrush up. When you’re near the tip of the petal, smoothly slide the paintbrush the rest of the way and lift it up to the chisel edge. Then reverse the direction of the bristles and lean down on them. Work your way down to the base of the petal by applying pressure to the paintbrush and slide slowly back to the base.

    The examples given are just a few of the many different things you can do with one stroke painting. Though it’s easy to get started, you need to practice to become really proficient at it and flower petals are good practice for beginners. The more you use this painting method, the more you realise how much potential it has. You can use all sorts of different colours and different types of paintbrushes to create different effects. People even decorate household items using this technique. The possibilities are endless!

  • Painting

    Appreciation to Oil Painting

    All the characters in the painting were arranged in a half round and the center was the painter’s image. The unified hot and stuffy atmosphere broke the too bright colors that appeared in Courbet’s scenery painting. The uniform colors were based on different color brown tones. The massive walls, the rose, blue and brown tone of the infinite soft terms was a masterpiece. The naked human body model was one of Courbet’s most successful human bodies, although she was based on the photos. All the volumes were expressed by the light and shadow. And the pink clothes thrown on the floor was a wonderful still life painting. Portraits of friends were taken from Courbet’s past works. So, what we saw here was a memory and a real fantasy, which did not show the intention of the realism of Courbet.

    Compared this painting with A Burial at Ornans, we can clearly see the benefits that Courbet got out from the reality of bondage and invested himself in this warmth. The characters were portrayed clearly and seemed to be independent, only relying on the strong atmosphere of independence to get the painting of unity. Therefore the comparison of self-contained unity and the elegant feelings were made. The giant painting showed the artist’s ability strong grasp of complex composition and the painter’s realistic modeling and color painting techniques. The image was filled with texture and sense. All this showed that Courbet was a great master of realism. In 1855, Paris hosted the world-famous painting exhibition and the review committee rejected this painting, because this painting possessed a socialist nature. Then the artist decided to rent a house next to the world exhibition to show this painting and entitled it “Realism Exhibition” and published “The Realism Manifesto”. Here was the name of Realism art schools from.

  • Art

    Original vs Reproduction

    Trying to figure out whether a map or a print is an original or a reproduction is something that can be done by any purchaser as long as one knows what the determinants are. A trustworthy seller is also a factor in determining whether a print is an original or not. Verifying the printing process, paper and other factors may help in ascertaining the authenticity of a print or a map. Professionals in this line of business would of course be able to determine an original map or original print from reproduced ones. However there are methods on verifying its authenticity. First of all it would be good to know what an original is. An original print or map is one that is made during an artist’s lifetime. It is an impression made out of blocks usually wood but could be stone or metal as well. These are then cut from the designs that the artist made himself. It is possible to have later reprinting’s and still consider the print as an original so long as they are still made from the original blocks. However blocks which are recut completely may still qualify as an authentic if it was made to replace damaged or lost blocks during the artist’s lifetime. A fake map or a fake print simulates the effects of age pigments and papers. This kind of reproduction is meant to deceive. In technical terms there is no vast difference between a fake and a reproduction.

    The real difference however comes from the intentions of producing and selling it. Reproductions are also made from a photomechanical process which as a result would produce an image composed of many small dots. If you use a 10x magnifier this dot-matrix process would be revealed to you and you would immediately gather that you’re looking at a reproduction print or a reproduction map. It is also important to discern the time period where the print or the map is supposed to come from. If, for example the print or the map that you are looking at is supposed to come from the 19th century then you need to understand that back then the most common method for printing newspapers and books was steel engraving. Thus when you recognise the time period of a particular print, the knowledge of the printing method in that century may come in handy in determining an original print from a reproduction print. You would then consider looking at the plate marks of the print, if any are to be found you may be looking at a reproduction print, especially if what you have is supposed to be a lithograph or wood engraving. A print that is wood engraved is made from a block, that of course comes from wood. This is engraved before inked. Back then they used pressure to apply this to the page. As a result, there would appear ridges that are on the page and the pressure makes the ink escape from the parts of the block that were raised. Ink patterns around the page that was printed would then have certain characteristics. You can use a magnifying glass once again to make sure but sometimes this can even be seen using the naked eye.