Category: Art Tips, Art Life, Art Business

Art Tips, Art Life

My stages from the Idea to the Finished drawing

 

1. Idea – The first stage is to think of the idea about what to draw. I usually get inspired by a film or a computer game or I see something on the internet or social media. Then I usually “marinate” that idea for a few days for it to get into its final form in my mind. After I am completely sure what I am drawing I go to the next stage.

2. Composition and design sketching – Making several thumbnail sketches of the composition and format of the drawing. Also exploring design choices of the characters or elements to see which ones I like the best. At this stage I look at the reference photos, research topics or drawing techniques, if needed. After I choose one thumbnail which works best for me, I go to the next stage.

3. Pencil under-drawing – Now I take a full size A4 paper and start to draw a rough pencil under-drawing for my final artwork. I don’t make a perfect pencil drawing here, it is quite loose and I don’t bother too much with the details or shading usually. That would not make sense to me, it would basically mean making 2 drawings (pencil and ink) when in reality I need to make just one – in ink, so no too much time wasting on pencil stage. After the rough pencil under-drawing is done, I go to the next stage.

4. Inking the drawing – After the pencil under-drawing is done, it’s time to draw on top with ink. I use Sakura Micron pens, Sakura Pen brushes, Indian Black Ink and white Gelly Roll pens to get the desired effect. This stage takes the most of the time usually. The drawing can’t be changed pretty much at all at this point.

5. Scanning and finishing up with computer – after the drawing is done on the paper I scan it and clean up the drawing with the computer software (ArtRage, Photoshop) and graphics tablet and add the finishing touches, if needed, like text, textures, maybe some color sometimes.

Wendigo myth drawing.

3 of the business books that I like

 

In this blog post I would like to share some of the business books that I really like. You ask why would I need to read business books if I am an artist? If you are just an art hobbyist and make art just for fun, to chill and relax I agree that you probably don’t need to read these books (even though they would not hurt you and you would probably learn a thing or two ;)). But if you are seeking to become a professional artist and seeking to make any serious income from your art you must understand that you are a BUSINESS and you must act like one. That means knowing how to write a business plan, how you will market / sell your stuff, what’s your target audience, how to issue invoices and do taxes, how to find partners or hire people and so on… you get the point. This is where these books come in, they help us learn about business in general and then combine this knowledge with our artistic skills for a winning formula!

 

So let’s get to the books:

 

  1. “Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too” by Gary Vaynerchuk – I love all the content of Gary Vee and this book basically gives the insight on how this guy thinks. It also teaches social media marketing, a lot of social media marketing. Also a bit of a motivational word at the start, just like the Gary Vee is himself. If you would watch some of his YouTube videos you could see. He also talks about the importance of the content and providing people value and only then after some time asking for a sale. Now I suggest you to go and read it since I am not writing a book summary here, just giving inspiration :). If you are not into reading very much go watch some of his YouTube videos or listen to his podcast on Spotify while riding a bike (that’s just what I do :), you can do that while on the buss or driving a car) and you will get the same content and more just in a different format. And believe me, it’s worth it!

 

2. “Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” by Robert T. Kiyosaki – in this book Robert basically tells his story and using that method he teaches us about the fundamental money principles by giving “rich dad” and “poor dad” thinking examples. The “rich dad” was his friend’s dad and the “poor dad” was his real dad. Both of them taught Robert, but very differently. The book is very easy to read and quite entertaining even though it’s about money and business. The book tells that the school systems just teach you to be a poor life long employee just like his real very educated dad who works in a job and struggles with money. Talks about working for money (being an employee) and making money work for you (being a business owner). According to this book knowledge is the most important asset that you can have, because with the knowledge, even if you would lose all your money you could build everything back up. So if you want to know something about money grab this book!

 

3. “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller – this book explains how and why to focus just on ONE THING in order to succeed. Great tips to learn how to really focus on work instead of wasting half of our workday as we usually do when we sit down to “work”. The book is very practical with real life methods on how to work on that ONE THING, how to make and manage time and work productively. This excerpt from the book basically explains the main idea of the book – “Chase 2 rabbits at the same time and you will catch none” (Russian proverb).

“Chase 2 rabbits at the same time and you will catch none” – Russian proverb

3 super badass dark artists that inspire me

 

1. The Art of Mark Riddick – Mark Riddick.

Reputable illustrator for the underground death metal music scene, launched his freelance career as a teenager in 1991. Riddick’s artwork has been published by hundreds of metal bands and other brands alike. Mark Riddick also published several books showcasing his and some other contributing artists artworks.

One of the first artists that I’ve discovered when I became interested in dark pen and ink illustrations that I’ve been following for many years. Mark inspired me to experiment with the various drawing ideas and pen and ink rendering techniques. Not gonna lie that I probably tried to copy his style in some of my early artworks :). Also, he showed that art can be just black and white and still be relevant and appreciated by people even to this day.

The thing that Mark has several art books is totally amazing and makes me want to create a book of my own art one day. Will see how that goes :).

Follow him on IG.

Mark Riddick himself

 

 

2. Defame Art – Samuel Ian Mills.

Samuel Ian Mills was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. Started drawing drawing demons and mutants as early as 10 years old. Defame started his career in the fine art realm, winning competitions, showing in galleries and participating in group shows and exhibitions. In 2012 Defame embarked on his journey in design and illustration. He started his business while studying at The Art Institute of Saint Louis. Now residing in Los Angeles with his wife and dog, Defame continues illustrating and designing for bands and brands.

Also one of the first artists that I discovered during the start of my inking journey in 2013. Super badass artworks and skulls. Always a pleasure to look at and get inspired. Love how he occasionally mixes some unusual colors into his brutal black and white artworks.

Follow him on IG.

Samuel Ian Mills himself

Constricted by Defame Art

KILLUMINATION Skull by Dafame Art

Pirate Skull by Defame Art

 

 

3. Blial Cabal – Steven & Maranda.

Blial Cabal is a collaborative art project between Husband and Wife. Steven & Maranda – The Artist & The Printmaker. Equally intrigued by all things Metal & Macabre, they take their inspiration from the Dark Arts and Occult.

Their art gives me such a brutal and gruesome feeling in a very good way that makes me not able to stop looking at every piece that they make. It also feels very mature to me. Love the highly detailed hatching style as well. Tons of inspiration from these guys.

Follow them on IG.

Steven & Maranda themselves

Bruja II by Blial Cabal

Celebrating the Earth’s Dancing Corpse by Blial Cabal

Obliviosus by Blial Cabal

Prodigious Devourer by Blial Cabal

Puketrid by Blial Cabal

 

 

All of these guys, even though they are very well known and established artists, are very humble and always help if you need an advice! They actually respond to your IG messages :). That makes me respect them even more!

 

I hope these artists can inspire you too, to create more amazing art. Please give them a follow on social media and check out their websites.

 

The Art of Mark Riddick – Mark Riddick website. 

Mark Riddick IG.

 

Defame Art – Samuel Ian Mills.

Defame Art IG.

 

Blial Cabal – Steven & Maranda.

Blial Cabal IG.

 

Let me know which artists are your inspiration in the comments down below!

Some history about how I started making art

 

When I was a kid, like 7-8 years old I was drawing iconic anime Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) characters on the cardboard paper and then we would cut them out and play fighting games with them :). I also did some DBZ posters at that time. The poster usually were copied from the posters that I saw somewhere else. The characters were drawn entirely from the memory from watching the anime everyday :D. Back in the day we had no computer or internet so there was no way to look at the references. I remember I’ve had a few “commissions” from my friends to draw them characters and they wanted to watch while I was drawing :). They did not say anything, just watched and really praised me afterwards. So it was “hourly commissions under supervision from the customer” :D, but I did not get paid anything, I think I did not care about the money when I was a kid, it was all just fun and games.

These drawings are probably more than 15 years old:

I also was doing some gift drawings with colored pencils for my family and friends of various subjects non including DBZ.

 

I remember I was drawing most of my life and only at around 11-12 grade and early university years I stopped for a several years. I don’t remember the reasons why I stopped making art, but luckily later I started again.

 

At around 2012-2013 I started drawing again and worked on commissions through freelance websites like on Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com and 99designs.com, mostly digital art with tablet, but some traditional ones too. These commission sites gave me an opportunity to get paid for drawing. I didn’t knew that the artists could get paid drawing pictures or that I, specifically,  could get paid. It was a new idea for me and it really gave me tons of motivation and confidence. I was doing everything that I could get my hands on, let it be logo, painting, banner, character etc… It also gave lots of experience to work with real customer needs, with their projects, how to talk to customers and so on…

These are some of my older artworks:

 

In early 2017 I finally narrowed down my focus and started a Grimsoul Art project where I am now. I am happy with it. I’ve been doing it for almost 4 years now, with no longer breaks. I’ve learned a LOT and am eager to learn a lot more in the future.

Inspiration for skull artists – 25 animal skulls

 

Some inspiration for artists who, like me, like to draw skulls. In this video you can see 21 animal skulls. The crocodile one looks super badass in my opinion. The cobra’s skull looks super scary too.

 

 

Plus 4 super badass skulls, not included in this video that I’ve found on the internet and really liked.

1. Ibex skull. Pure Satan for sure :)!

Authors: Klaus Rassinger and Gerhard Cammerer, Museum Wiesbaden, picture and license here.

2. Vampire bat skull. Hella badass and scary! Look at those upper teeth.

Author: Mokele, picture and license here.

3. Gila monster lizard skull. Looks like a badass mini crocodile to me.

Author: Ryan Somma, picture and license here.

4. Python skull. Look at those teeth, once he bites, I believe there is no escape.

Author: Lizardperson, picture and license here.

5 of my favorite music albums

 

I mostly listen to heavy metal music, sub-genre is not important as long as I like it and it sounds good. I like brutal heavy defined aggressive guitars. I also do listen to lots of AC/DC, some old-school blues, Joy Division and goth bands like She Past Away and Lebanon Hanover. I am not very strict on music genres, if I like it and it gives me pleasure I listen to it. If people say you are a metalhead you can’t listen to other music or you are not a metalhead if you do. I would say that’s complete nonsense kids game. I don’t care if I am considered a metalhead or not, I like what I like and labels do not concern me.

 

So these are 5 of my favorite music albums, not in a particular order:

 

Shvininiai Sharvai – Atshiaurusis. Local band from Lithuania. Super cool vocals and heavy badass guitars in my non-educated listener’s opinion :).

 

SODOM – In the Sign of Evil. Very fast and great if I need an energy boost. Better than energy drink or coffee :). Also a bit animalistic I would say, which I like, especially the song Blasphemer, where the singer kinda growls like a feral animal sometimes.

 

AC/DC – Back in Black. Contains some of my most liked AC/DC songs like “You shook me all night long”. Honestly, I like most of the AC/DC albums and songs.

 

Acid Witch – Midnight Movies. Gives me that classic horror vibe, which I like. The guitars are heavy and brutal, solos are great, the vocals are fuckin’ badass too.

 

 

Archgoat – Eternal Damnation Of Christ. Incredibly heavy and defined guitars, I mean you can hear them clearly. Riffs are badass. Makes me feel badass.

 

Feel free to share your own music that you like or post me a suggestion of a band or a song to listen to. I am always open for ideas and suggestions!

Don’t try to find your art style, instead do this

 

As probably most of the younger artists I’ve also tried to “develop” my own artistic style and in order to do that I’ve watched some YouTube videos and searched for information online. I wanted to be unique artist, to have my own style, to stand out from the crowd, because I’ve read that only then you can be successful. I’ve tried copying another artist’s elements and adding something of my own to make it my own “unique” style, but that didn’t worked.

 

Finally, after several years of practising art I’ve learned that art style comes naturally with a lot of hard work and dedication making art. It might take 1, 2, 5 or even 10 years for it to come out, but eventually it will happen. We really should not focus on trying to develop it in the beginning, because it is not important and instead we should focus on learning to draw fundamentals, improving our art and keep making art consistently and trying to find what we like to draw.

 

The style and skill will come eventually.

How to make your own textures for your artworks

 

In this blog post I will share how I made my own textures to use in my artworks.

 

The techniques, which I’ve used, to make some of my own textures are:

  1. Taking photos of gravel, dirt, ground, trees, sky;
  2. Using a scanner. You could draw some rough lines, ink splatters or crumple the paper and then scan it for some interesting effects. You could also scan something as it is, for example, scanning a cardboard paper from the back of my drawing paper (See my example below).

These are some of my texture examples and how they were made:

 

Black and white scan of cardboard taken from the back cover of my drawing paper.

 

Made various marking on a sheet of paper, then crumpled it, scanned it and made halftone dots. You can create halftones in GIMP. See my previous blog post on how to do that.

 

Obviously a photo of dirt. You could use that with a different blending modes in your drawing software for interesting effects. On the right – same photo with manipulated contrast/brightness and removed colors.

 

 

Made various markings on the paper and scanned it.

 

Let me know what you think in the comments down below and if you found some value in this short blog post!

 

How to prepare black and white artwork with halftone for 1 color screen printing using free GIMP software?

 

In this blog post I will show you how to prepare your black and white artwork which has halftone elements in it for 1 color screen printing. Technically the artwork has 2 colors (white and gray, because of halftone), but we can make it 1 color, but still look like it has 2 when printed. That’s where halftones come in.

 

I want to show how to do it with GIMP (that’s the software I am using), free Photoshop alternative, because as we all know Photoshop is expensive and now with it’s subscription payment model you have to pay for it every month, forever! I don’t want to do that for sure and I advise you to not do that too unless you are making big money from your art already ;). Also, please forget cracked Photoshop software, okay, it’s 2020 :). First having cracked software is illegal, second it might come with malicious software which will be installed on your computer, and you won’t even know it. Finally, if you are running a business of any kind I would not risk it with cracked software.

 

So let’s begin.

 

  1. Open your artwork in GIMP(Download it here for free).
  2. Select Image->Mode->Indexed… and choose black and white (1-bit) palette. Then again Image->Mode->Grayscale. That way we get rid of all the colors just leave black and white. Later we convert the image to grayscale to allow us to draw gray tones.

3. Then color your text gray in the new layer with blend mode multiply. Now we can transform gray elements to halftone, to make it white, but look like a gray.

4. Merge your layers and press Filters->Distort->Newsprint. Leave everything default, just choose Pattern and turn off Anti-aliasing to avoid creating various different shades of grey. You can choose any Pattern that you want. I like PSSquare the best and it seems to be the most similar to Photoshop’s halftones. Then press ok.

5. Then convert your artwork to Indexed colors just like in the step 2 just to be sure that there is only black and white and no different shades of grey in between.

6. Finally, we can delete the white background (because the black t-shirt itself will act as a black background). Choose Select->By color and click on the black background, wait for the GIMP to select it and press delete.

7. As you can see the text still looks grey, but it is white actually and if you zoom in you will see. After that you can export your print ready .PNG file for 1 color screen printing.

 

Let me know if this is helpful and if you have any questions in the comments down below!