Wacom eStore - official Onlinestore Wacom InfoChannel http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel 2018-01-21T07:40:18Z 8 Steps To Create A Realistic Pokémon by Joshua Dunlop http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/8-steps-to-create-a-realistic-pokemon-by-joshua-dunlop/1119?c=2213303 Joshua Dunlop is a Concept Artist well known for his personal series ‘Pokemon Zoology’ which went viral in the past couple of years. We've teamed up with him to bring you a tutorial where he shows step-by-step how he creates his incredibly realistic Pokémon using ZBrush, Keysh...

8 Steps to create a realistic Pokémon

Joshua Dunlop is a concept artist well known for his ‘Pokémon Zoology’ series which went viral last year across various blogs and websites.

We've teamed up with him to bring you a tutorial in which he shows step-by-step how he creates his incredibly realistic Pokémon using ZBrush, Keyshot, and Photoshop. 

You can watch Joshua´s tutorial in this video and he will be personally talking you through his process of creating his iconic work below.

 

Step 1, Reference 

I start my process by creating mood boards full of reference material I can use as inspiration. This is an essential part and is incredibly important to making believable creatures.


One of the moodboards to come up with Onix concepts

Step 2, Sketching

Next I rough out my ideas, trying different looks, shapes and textures. I always try to figure out how the creature moves and functions as a living animal, as it really helps sell it in the final image.


Rouch concept sketches for Onix using the Wacom Cintiq 24HD

Step 3, Composition

Once I have a basic rough design that Im happy with, I start to think about how it may fit into a scene, what environment it might live in and how to show off its best features.


Sketching rough scenes with Onix using the Wacom Cintiq 24HD

Step 4, Zbrush

I then move into ZBrush, a 3D modeling program used by many in the industry, and begin to sculpt. I like to start with simple shapes to try and get a loose idea of proportions. I tend to use ZSpheres to build up the main shape of the body, this way I can figure out the right pose, before moving into any detail.


Sculpting Onix in ZBrush

Step 5, Detail

I use a combination of Alphas and Brushes to create details on my model. I generally build up a variety of different textures to get what I’m after, starting with large loose ones and finishing with tight detailed ones, layering them up like a painting. I’ll also sculpt textures by hand as alphas can sometimes be repetitive. 


Giving detail to Onix in ZBrush

Step, 6, Colour

I Polypaint my models in ZBrush, starting with a simple base coat. This gives you a nice canvas to paint onto and gives an illusion of highlights and shadows.

I then move on to using Photo textures on a low opacity to get some realistic colors in there. This mainly works for things like stone, fur and skin, but not so much for uniform things like scales or feathers.

Finally, I use cavity masks to get some colors into the cracks and crevices to really make those textures stand out.


Coloring Onix in ZBrush

Step 7, Keyshot

Using Keyshot Bridge, I transfer the model into Keyshot. This is a wonderful rendering software that allows you to create believable lighting and material effects in real time.


Onix in Keyshot

I start with playing with the materials, making sure that the stone reacts to light properly and doesn’t look like a plastic model. 
Once the materials are done, I begin to light it using a combination of HDRi’s and Sphere lights. 

I finally pose it, saving out a few camera angles until I find one I like. I then render out a variety of passes.


In order: AO pass, Chrome pass, and Shadow pass

In order: Clown pass, Gloss pass, Rim Light pass

Step 8, Photoshop

I start by bringing all the render passes into Photoshop, adding them to a group, setting them to a variety of setting so it all blends together nicely and finally move it into a position that’s close to my composition sketches. 

I then build up the background, making sure that its close to the light direction in the renders. 

I’ll then begin to build up the foreground, using colour Balance to make sure it matches the scene.


Onix in Photoshop

Here I add in some of the detail. I wanted it too look like it had just lifted its head from beneath the sand, so I wanted sand falling from its back. A big rule for me is, don’t be precious. Don’t be afraid to cover up detail if it aids the overall scene. The great thing about models is you can reuse them over and over in other scenes in the future.

I then review the overall scene and figure out what needs to be added to balance and sell the image. So I add directional light and shadow to set it in the scene, a colour contrast in the background with the hills, some clouds to break up the sky, some elements in the foreground to show off its size and then use levels to balance the contrast.


Onix Final ArtWork


Thank you for reading

We hope you liked this short tutorial. Do follow Joshua on social media for more exciting artwork:
Artrage - Youtube - Twitter - Instagram - Tumblr - Facebook

And follow Wacom for more tutorials:
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Joshua in his studio with his Cintiq 24HD

https://youtu.be/O3bDuNMbDwQ
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Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:07:17 +100
10 Advanced Rigging Tips (Adobe Character Animator Tutorial) http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/10-advanced-rigging-tips-adobe-character-animator-tutorial/1118?c=2213303 Want to add some extra life & emotion to your creations in Adobe Character Animator CC? Check out these 10 advanced rigging tips, from using invisible eyeballs for more constrained eye movement to hooking up multiple parts to a MIDI-controlled dial. Hopefully there are at leas...

10 Advanced Rigging Tips (Adobe Character Animator Tutorial)

In the theme of "3 months of daring", Wacom is offering an Adobe Creative Cloud membership until 31 March 2018 for customers in Europe.To celebrate this great collaboration, we´ll also offer free tutorials of Adobe CC´s most popular apps, for the next three months.

If you want to add some extra life & emotion to your creations in Adobe Character Animator CC, check out these 10 advanced rigging tips from Dave Werner who is a Senior Experience Designer Lead for the Character Animator team at Adobe. 
From using invisible eyeballs for more constrained eye movement to hooking up multiple parts to a MIDI-controlled dial. Hopefully there are at least a couple of ideas here to help take your puppets to the next level.

Adobe Character Animator Tutorial

When you first import your Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator creations into Character Animator, you’ll get some default behaviors and auto-tagged groups and layers. But it’s often the little extra details that really help a character come to life with additional depth and expressiveness.

In this video we’re going to look at 10 advanced rigging tips that will hopefully help raise the bar with your own characters. If you’re new to Character Animator and have never heard of stuff like cycle layers, fixed handles or independent groups, you might want to watch some beginner tutorials before digging in here because I’m going to get pretty deep and complex.

Watch the video or read the tips individually below.

 

 

Good luck, have fun, and thanks for watching!

 

Almost everything I talk about here is visible in a free downloadable puppet called Almasol, so you can see the source files and walk through exactly how I did everything. You’re free to take him apart and use him or his parts however you want in your own creations.

1. Alternative Mouths

If I’m saying something sad but my character’s mouth set makes it look like he’s still smiling, I’m losing some emotional impact. So if I have a way to trigger a different mouth set tied to a different emotion, it can really help broaden the character’s range.

Here I created an alternative mouths group outside of the normal mouth group with several different triggerable mouths, so I have options if I want him to yell - or grit his teeth - or get confused. But I also included a secondary set of sad mouths - essentially modified upside down versions of the original - and tagged it as its own mouth so it’s recognized as something the lip sync behavior can work with for talking.

For the swap set, I just made the primary mouth group the default option, and then all the others as separate triggers.

And speaking of mouths, I added several small 2 or 3 frame cycle layers animations to several of the visemes to give them a more dynamic and fluid quality while popping into place.

2. Eyelids

Just like mouths, eyelids can be used to great effect in conveying emotion. So I have a Lids group for each eye with short cycle layers animations with the lids going halfway or squinting.

A blinking cycle is hidden inside a group called default, which is also the default trigger in the swap set. The reason it’s set up like this is that by default, blinking will hide whatever is at the same level as it. By moving blinks one level down, hidden inside a default folder, the blinks will only happen when another eyelid state isn’t triggered, meaning you won’t run into a situation where blinking overrides or fights with other lid positions.

3. Shadows

For a live shadow, duplicate your entire character and move it below your current one, and rename it to +Shadow. Select the group and move everything slightly off center - I went down and to the right.

Then inside keep the Head and Body group structure but flatten everything you can - you don’t need working eyes or mouths here. But you may want to keep moving parts separated, like this guy’s dangling fur.

When everything is flat, go through each layer using command L on Mac or control L on Windows to bring down the levels to pitch black.

Then in Character Animator select the Shadow group, add the Transform behavior, make sure Group Opacity is checked and drag over the opacity value to lower the entire shadow’s opacity to whatever value you want.

Then select the head group, and add a Frontal tag so it will move along in sync with your head movements.

Finally, add any additional rigging as close to the same spots in the main character as you can, like moving origin handles into position, placing down fixed sticks or handles, and adding dangle to physics elements.  Now you’ve got a live realtime shadow following your movements.

4. Master vs. optimized artwork

When I’m drawing in Photoshop, I’m usually pretty messy and unorganized, often building hundreds of layers with various textures and effects. But when I’m ready to go into Character Animator, I’ll save a separate PSD and start optimizing, mainly by flattening layers that don’t need to be separated.

Like the background of this face has layers for the outline, coloring, shadows, highlights, textures and more. By realizing I don’t need those parts to move independently, I can flatten them into one layer, meaning less parts for Character Animator to worry about and a smaller file size for better performance.

5. Add Background & Foreground Elements

Normally for background and foreground elements we recommend importing PSDs as separate puppets and then dragging them into your scene. But you can also keep them inside a single PSD or AI file.

For this guy, his background was just another group under everything, and was given an independent crown so it wouldn’t move with the rest of the character. The desk was worked into the Body group, but a stick was drawn across the top and given a fixed tag to restrict movement to everything above it.

6. Nutcracker Jaw

A subtle nutcracker jaw behavior can add some extra chin movement to your puppet while talking. In Photoshop, I took my flattened background face layer, selected the bottom half, copied it, pasted it over top of itself, and added a + in front of the name to turn it into an independent group.

In Character Animator I selected the top level puppet, added the nutcracker jaw behavior, and reduced the flappiness parameters significantly. Then I drew two sticks on my bottom half group, below the mouth, tagging the top one as fixed and the bottom one as jaw. That means the nutcracker behavior is going to try to move the jaw stick and everything below while keeping the fixed stick and everything above in place, resulting in a nice, subtle chin effect.

Note I added a second nutcracker jaw behavior with tagged sticks in the shadow group to mimic the primary character’s movements.

7. Invisible Eyeballs

The way Character Animator calculates pupil movements, it’s usually a best practice to put the pupils directly in the middle of your eyeballs. But not every character looks this way - Almasol has slightly off-centered eyes that favor the middle more, and huge white eyeballs that I don’t necessarily want pupils always darting around to each extreme edge.

So it’s a simple but hidden fix - in each eye group I made a smaller green circle layer centered behind the pupil, called that left or right eyeball to auto-tag it, and hid it behind the real eyeball layer, which I called white instead. This way Character Animator only recognizes the hidden green circle as the eyeball and will keep all pupil movement inside of it.

Note I did create a swap set for an additional 2-frame cycle layers movement, where the pupils go up and to the right, so you can still work in more extreme on demand eye darts if you want.

8. Puppet Warp cycle layers arms

The cycle layers behavior is a great way to get traditional frame-by-frame animations into Character Animator, but it can be difficult for beginners to draw every transitional frame perfectly. But the puppet warp tool makes this a lot easier.

To find it in Photoshop, go to Edit > Puppet Warp, or in Illustrator use the puppet warp tool. So for Almasol’s right arm, he’s got a default resting position, but then two groups with several frames leading to an extended arm or a point. I made these by just drawing the final frame, duplicating it, adding several pin points with the puppet warp tool, and then dragging the dots to bend and warp the arm into a slightly lowered position.

You may have to do a little manual fixing to get things to connect just right, but it’s way easier than redrawing the entire arm each time. I repeated this pattern several times until I had enough in between frames for a nice transition.

9. Cycle layers timers

Cycle layers can also serve as a timer system. So if I wanted to put my eyelid positions on autopilot, I could simply add a cycle layers behavior on each Lids group, set it to start immediately and cycle continuously, and advance at a longer rate, like 144 frames. That means in a 24 fps piece, the eyelids will change every 6 seconds.

Setting timers can help add variety to a character without needing to remember to manually trigger everything. In fact, you could use this to create a simple camera system, where a timer would switch between two instances of your puppet & background elements. Or you could have little promotional messages slide in and out. All this stuff is incredibly helpful in a live setting, where it can be difficult to remember to trigger everything manually.

If you’ve rigged a bunch of stuff to happen automatically, that really helps keep the visuals fresh and engaging, so you can focus more on other aspects of your performance.

10. MIDI

Finally, adding MIDI hardware to your setup opens up some interesting performance options. In the controls panel layout mode, many behavior parameters can be dragged in as individual slider or dial controls.

If you have a MIDI device plugged in and turn a dial while one of these controls is selected, it will bind to that control, and you can do this with the same dial for as many controls as you want. For example, by dragging in the Transform behavior’s opacity and scale parameters, adjusting the min and max values, and binding it to a MIDI dial, you’ve got a simple camera fade and zoom.

Getting more complex, you could add additional transform behaviors to different character parts, and have them simultaneously rotate, move, scale, or whatever you want - all with one dial control.

 

So there you have it, 10 advanced rigging tips that should hopefully give your puppets a little extra life and expressiveness.

One last tip from Dave

If I can leave you with one tip, it’s to start simple and slowly build things up. Instead of jumping right away into a full body walk cycle or head turn positions, just start with the face. The eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, mouths - the basics, figure these out first, and make sure you can hit all the emotions you want to.

Happy, sad, impressed, surprised, angry, confused, and so on. The blank face template in the Start panel of Character Animator - which is available as both a Photoshop or Illustrator file - is a great starting point!

Follow Dave on social:

Website - YoutubeInstagram - Twitter - Tumblr

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Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:26:11 +100
Let´s Talk Art | How Working Hard Will Lead to Great Opportunities - Mark Rei... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-how-working-hard-will-lead-to-great-opportunities-mark-reihill/1117?c=2213303 In this next episode of the Let’s Talk Art series we discuss Mark Reihill´s illustration career, freelance work, set-up, advice for aspiring artists, and what it means to work hard.

How Working Hard Will Lead to Great Opportunities

In this next episode of the Let’s Talk Art series we discuss Mark Reihill´s illustration career, work set-up, advice for aspiring artists, and more.

Mark has a freelance career spanning over a decade and before that worked at an agency. His instantly recognizable illustration style is fun, bold and dynamic.

So, Let’s Talk Art.

"Work hard and opportunities will come" - Mark Reihill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your work spans across different mediums, genres and clientele, from magazine covers to McVitie’s biscuit boxes. What is most beneficial about this?

Free stuff. Haha!

I think working on a wide range of projects across a variety of different media keeps my job interesting. No two projects are ever the same and that’s important as it keeps your work fresh and prevents it becoming too repetitive.

It’s always rewarding to see your artwork in the real world whether it’s on a magazine cover, billboard or on a tin of biscuits. It’s also nice to spend one day drawing killer rabbits running amok in New York and the next designing characters to teach kids about road safety. 

Like I say, no two days the same. The diversity of my projects allows me to draw-in (pun intended) the experiences and techniques from each job and apply them to others - even though the briefs / clients could be worlds apart. For example, I’ve used influences from cocktail menus I’ve illustrated and applied them to books on cycling. 

You took part in the Star Trek 50th anniversary art show “Star Trek 50”. How did that come about and what did you want to convey in your piece?

I got an email from CBS saying I had been selected to take part in an exhibition to celebrate 50 years of Star Trek. Well, I almost fell out of my chair!

It wasn’t until later that I realized the final ’50’ had been hand-picked out of hundreds of artists from round the word - it was an absolute honour!


Star Trek 50 artists 50 years book to celebrating Star Trek's 50th anniversary

The show “Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years” celebrates Star Trek’s 50th anniversary with a year-long, global art exhibition. It was so humbling sharing an exhibition with so many artists that I admire, like Paul Shipper, Stanley Chow, Derek Charm - and of course Leonard Nimoy who had a photographic piece in the show.

As a huge, life-long Star Trek fan (I don’t want to use the term Trekkie) this was the perfect opportunity to dust off the DVDs and binge-watch some Star Trek for work.. for actual research! The brief was totally open, artists were allowed to illustrate anything from the TV shows, films, animated series etc.

As much as I love The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and some of the movies, it’s The Original Series that really captivates me - the cast, stories, and special effects that are equal parts awesome and cheesy but very much ahead of their time. My favourite episode is ‘What Are Little Girls Made Of’ so of course I went straight for that.

The process was pretty straightforward and CBS were amazing to deal with. I had to submit a rough sketch for approval (composition, license of characters etc.) once passed I went straight to artwork, which I later submitted for final approval. 

It’s surreal seeing my artwork on official Star Trek merchandise - books, mugs, posters and art prints.

I was lucky enough to be in New York a few months ahead of the show and was invited into CBS HQ to sign the giclée prints. Later that year I attended the exhibition in the Paley Centre, New York and ‘Destination Star Trek’ in the NEC, Birmingham, for signing and of course geeking out!


Mark Reihill signing prints of his Star Trek poster

You are the illustrator for The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog. How does it feel working for the “World’s Best Bar”? Their cocktail menus are unique too, can you tell us about that?

I really love working with The Dead Rabbit. Based in New York, it’s one of the most famous cocktail bars in the world and voted World’s Best Bar. 

I illustrate pretty much everything for the bar - posters, prints, cocktail menus etc. It’s an incredible place and the owners are always pushing the boundaries creatively - which is great news for me as I get to draw some pretty amazing, intense, graphic and violent stuff!!

The Dead Rabbit’s cocktail menus became world famous. Their menus weren’t just folded pages with a list of drinks down one side and some clipart on the other, oh no! These stunning leather-bound, foil embossed, stitched and bound, hardback ‘Mixed Drinks Menus’ completely changed the game. 

After unleashing these juggernauts into the world (annually) and racking up a shelf full of accolades, where do you go? How can you possibly top that? Enter, the ‘Mixed Drinks Menu, 4th Edition’. A comic book menu…Let that sink in…The Dead Rabbit’s cocktail menu is a fully-illustrated comic book!


Dead Rabbit's comic style cocktail menu with art by Mark Reihill

As you can imagine, the comics are so much fun to work on. Almost every character in the menu is a real person within the drinks industry - from brand ambassadors to cutting edge bartenders. 

That’s the joy and challenge of the project, to capture so many likenesses (each menu as around 20 cast members). The process is the same as before, once I read the script I send through a rough draft, and once approved the characters are cast and I go into the artwork stage. 

The menus come out every six months I’m usually working on this project all year round, which is pretty awesome!


Mark's illustrations inside the Dead Rabbit book

A lot of people know your work from the Starburst Magazine covers; you often get to draw some of the coolest pop culture characters. How did you get that opportunity? 

I’m a huge film, game and sci-fi fan and had read Starburst Magazine in my youth. 

A few years ago while at a newsagent, a magazine caught my eye. It was Starburst - with an illustrated cover! I thought it was very innovative of them to take an illustrated approach, rather than the traditional, photographic route. 

I sent the editor an email basically saying how much I love the genres covered in the magazine along with examples of my artwork. His response was, “you are now the new Starburst cover artist”. Since then, I’ve illustrated 50+ covers. 

Starburst is a great client. They usually send me a list of covers x6 months in advance and I produce one a month. In the beginning I would send x3 rough concepts to the editor, he would choose one and I’d work it up. 

Over time, I began to send x1 concept for approval. Now, I go straight to ‘artwork’. This is the result of having a good, long-term working relationship, where we both trust each other.


Various covers for Starburst magazine created by Mark Reihill

You used to work at an agency but you’ve now been freelance for about 12 years. What would you say is the scariest thing about dropping a 9-5 job? 

Without doubt my biggest fear was lack of income. It’s a huge risk to go out on your own, but I think you need that fear. It drives you and ultimately makes it damn near impossible to procrastinate. You have to work hard, or you wont eat! 

I was working in an advertising agency in Belfast, they were forced to downsize. I was the last employee in, so was one of the first out. Rather than apply to another agency, I used this opportunity to go freelance. I’ve always wanted to go out on my own, but never had the guts. This ‘redundancy’ was exactly the push I needed. 

I thought to myself, I’ll try it, and if it doesn’t work I can always get a job with another studio. I spent a few weeks showing my portfolio to advertising agencies, one job lead to another and here I am 12 years later.

It’s certainly a lot easier to get your work out there now than it was when I started, with the internet and social media, but if you can, I still think it’s great to go into studios and meet creative directors face to face.


Starburst magazine cover inspired by The Walking Dead

Your work has circulated the internet countless times. Notably this piece you created for fun based on the Original Source Shower Gel. How does it feel seeing your work affect so many people? 

The inspiration for this piece was spawned after using the shower gel and thinking to myself “OMFG my balls are on fire” - it’s as simple as that! 

I made a mental note of the statement and a few weeks later when I finished a job and had a bit of spare time (doesn’t happen too often) I worked up the illustration - even in my free time I illustrate. 

I put it up on social media just for the critic. I had no idea it would get the response it did. It’s pretty cool when an illustration goes viral. I think a lot of people can relate to the Original Source piece (for better or worse).


Left - Mark Reihill's parody illustration. Right - Original Source's response

Original Source actually saw your image and responded, did you expect that at all? 

Not at all. I was blown away! I’m glad they had a sense of humour and took the joke well. The response is hilarious too! It was pretty cool of them to take the time to work one up! There was a bit of back and forth with them, they’re a great company.

You studied illustration at University. Would you recommend other artists to study illustration in a more formal environment? 

Absolutely. University helped mold me into the artist I am today. Pre-uni I was stuck in my artistic ways, but the formal training forced me to explore new techniques and areas of illustration/ design I wasn’t familiar with. It was also a great opportunity to learn software like Photoshop and Illustrator.

I was 100% traditional before university - pencil, ink and colour washes. But Photoshop opened up a world of possibilities. In later years I focused solely on Illustrator - which I now use for all my artwork. 

I went into university unsure of what career path I wanted to take, I was leaning more towards animation/ character design - but left with my sights set on advertising. 

During my final year of university I started doing some freelance with my newly acquired skills. This was extremely beneficial as not only a great source of income but I was so able to incorporate some of the projects and techniques into my actual university work.


The Cocktail Lovers, cover art by Mark Reihill

For those artists who may not be able to go to University, what would you recommend for them?

If you are unable to attend University, and have a passion for illustration, there are many fantastic tutorials online - for traditional drawing techniques and digital illustration. 

1) If you want to be a digital artist, you first need to be a good draftsman. Practice. It doesn’t happen over night. Practice! 

2) For the software side, go online and study the basics of Photoshop and Illustrator, then develop your own style. 

3) Use other artists as a reference; copy them, deconstruct their work, learn their techniques - but all as a means to developing your own unique style - don’t just copy an artists’ style and stick it in your portfolio. 

4) Keep on trend too. It’s important to see what’s happening in the world around you to keep your work fresh and relevant. 

You are the illustrator of Off Girl a comic book series written by Tina Fine. How did you get involved in that? 

Tina found me via social media. I did a Hunger Games illustration for Starburst in the lead up to the release of Mockingjay Part 2. The official Hunger Games Twitter account retweeted it and Tina picked that up. She then emailed me asking if I’d be interested in a collaboration. 

Once I read the script I was hooked! It’s a great story, so unique - no bites from radioactive spiders or sons of Krypton in this origin story!


3 Covers of "Off Girl" illustrated by Mark Reihill

The original idea was a six-part miniseries but Tina rewrote the script and now it’s a sixteen-part series - broken into story arcs spanning across sets of four issues. The plan is to work on four issues, then release them as a trade-paper back while working on the next four, and so on.. 

Off Girl is an ongoing project and Tina is based in New York so we Skype every few weeks to check-in and when I’m in New York we meet up to discuss the current issue and future plans. 

She is incredibly talented, driven and sound - all very important characteristics if you’re going to be creative partners and spend a lot of time working together. The project is going from strength to strength and we’ve got some exciting plans for the future. How long does it usually take to complete a whole set of illustrations for a comic book? 

It’s hard to gauge as I’m normally working on several projects at once, but roughly 3 months from script to print - I am the penciller, inker, colourist and letterer! 

Each issue has around x120 individual illustrations, so as you can imagine, it’s quite time consuming. Like most comic book artists once I read the script, I draw it out in thumbnails to get the flow of the story. I then work up the entire comic in ’roughs’ which I send to the client for approval. Once I get the green-light I move on to the artwork stage. 


Off Girl poster by Mark Reihill

Did you research any other comic book artists or particular comics before creating your own illustrations for Off Girl?

I’ve been a comic book fan all my life so I jumped straight in. No research necessary! I have worked on many comic-themed projects and storyboards in my career but this was my first actual comic book. 

Like most creatives, I draw inspiration from the world around me - comics, movies, music, people and art inspire me. I’m constantly absorbing and being influenced. 

I love painters like Jackson Pollock, Robert McGinnis and Sebastian Kruger - old school comic book artists like Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and John Romita along with modern trailblazers Tim Sale, Greg Capullo and Jock.

It seems the comic is doing really well, with issue #3 having just debuted at New York Comic Con. Do you think you’d do your own comic some day?

I’m not just saying this; it was an actual dream come true. I had to pinch myself on numerous occasions. It was hard to fathom that first of all, I was attending New York Comic Con and secondly, I was there to promote a comic book I illustrated!! 

Off Girl was extremely well received - the response exceeded both our expectations. It was incredible to meet fans who came by to pick up the eagerly awaited issue #3, along with newcomers who are now fans! 

A lot of people seem to enjoy the artwork - which is the idea. My style is graphic and different from traditional comic book art - so it seems to be doing a good job standing out from the crowd.


Death Rabbit comic book

Something I’ve heard a lot is people buy comics based on the cover but when they get home they’re disappointed by the interior artwork, but Off Girl has the same artwork from cover to cover.

There was also an Off Girl cosplayer! It was such an awesome and bizarre feeling to see a character / costume I designed come to fruition. Needless to say she attracted a lot of attention.

Having created many projects for some of the world’s top brands and clients, what advice would you give to artists looking to follow a similar path?

1) Practice. Practice. Practice! 
2) Focus on the area you want to work in.
3) Be flexible with your work flexible and willing to adapt.

For example, if you want to be a movie poster artist, create some movie posters in your style (don’t just rip off Olly Moss) and contact studios, agents etc. directly. 

I believe I’ve been very lucky with my projects/ clients, but it’s because I’m constantly working and adapting. You can’t just sit at home twiddling your thumbs hoping Steven Spielberg will call you. 

You’ll also need to become flexible with your work, willing to adapt and change (within reason) and learn to take criticism - something I’ve had to do over the years. At the end of the day, the client is king. Sometimes you have to put your ego aside. 


Off Girl comic pages

Everyone has an idea of what it must be like to be a freelance illustrator. Was there anything that surprised you when you first became a freelancer?

I was surprised how easily I made the transition from Mac Monkey to freelance illustrator. People often say to me “If I worked from home I’d do nothing but lie about all day and watch Netflix” - but the reality is, print deadlines are real. 

Yes, I work from home (I prefer to think of it as I live at work), but I’m dealing with real clients in the real world so you can’t afford to be unprofessional or lazy. If a client phones you at 9am, they expect an answer.

I tend to work one day a week in a design agency based in Belfast and the rest of the time from the home-studio. There are certainly pros and cons of being freelance; pros I can work as early or as late as required, I have my all my home comforts and I can play Led Zeppelin as loud as I like! 

The cons however, would be lack the social interaction and not being able to bounce ideas off other creatives. That’s why the Belfast studio is so beneficial - otherwise I’d be cooped up in my own studio 24/7 going crazy. “All work and no play makes…".


The Cocktail Lovers, cover art by Mark Reihill

You work primarily digitally with a Wacom pen tablet and a computer. What benefit does digital art have for your workflow?

When I started using the Intros Pro it was like the ‘Stargate’ sequence from A Space Odyssey: 2001 - warp speed! 

I was working faster, more efficiently, getting more organic brushstrokes and my work evolved. Looking back, I don’t know how I ever illustrated with a mouse - it’s like drawing with a bar of soap.

Do you still experiment with traditional art and if not, would you like to?

I do miss the old days of penciling and inking, but it was so time-consuming compared to how I work now. For years I was a ‘traditional’ illustrator using the pen, ink and washes, right up until my placement year (at Uni) which I spent with an advertising agency. During this time I really fine-tuned my software techniques. I was then able to use my newly acquired skills and apply them to illustration. 

For years I used a combination of scanned, hand-drawn illustrations and digital software. However, thanks to hardware like Wacom’s Cintiq and Intuos Pro, allowing the artist to draw directly onto the computer/ screen, I now work 100% digitally. 

For me, this is a much more efficient way of working as it speeds up the process but retains that organic brush-stroke you would get from pen and paper.


Death Rabbit comic pages

As an artist who has accomplished so much during their career, is there anything you really want to try, or are you fairly content?

I’m never content. Always hungry. I would love to be a cover artist for DC, Marvel or 2000AD. Working in comics is fantastic, and as a collector, I’m all about the cover - it’s what pulls you in, makes you lift the book from the shelf and ultimately purchase. I love the challenge of telling a story in one image, without giving too much away, but leaving the viewer wanting more.

Another thing on the bucket list is to illustrate an album cover for an artist I really admire like Nick Cave, The National - or a movie soundtrack.

I absolutely love the revival of vinyl - album cover artwork on 12” x 12”, as it should be! I remember flicking through my dad’s record collection as a kid and being in total awe at the artwork. Over the years I’ve picked up some incredible secondhand vinyl (the condition of the actual record was irrelevant, it’s all about the cover and gatefold) Drew Struzan’s work on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath belongs in a gallery - it blew me away - luckily the album is stunning too!

Finally, for any digital artists out there hoping to follow a similar path as you, what’s the one most important thing you’ve learned over the years?

To paraphrase Pablo Picasso, “opportunity exists, but it has to find you working”. 

You can’t expect work to fall on your lap. In down-time or when in-between projects, explore new techniques and experiment. Lots of my lucrative advertising work has come from clients seeing my ‘personal projects’. Work leads to work. Keep busy.

 

Thanks for reading!


Mark behind his desk concentrating on one of his Star Wars pieces

That brings us to the end of this Let’s Talk Art interview with Mark Reihill. We hope you enjoyed reading Mark’s experiences, and hopefully his advice will encourage you to keep drawing and exploring your skills. 

Follow Mark on social media:
Website - Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Behance

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share #LetsTalkArt with your friends! And follow Wacom across the social platforms so you don’t miss the next episode!
Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Youtube - Website

This interview series is produced by Jack Woodhams, the founder of PosterSpy which is an online showcase platform for poster artists. We would like to thank everyone who has responded positively to this series so far and hope you enjoy what´s to come.

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Thu, 23 Nov 2017 11:05:21 +100
Artistic Tips: How To Draw Solid Characters With Mike Morris http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/artistic-tips-how-to-draw-solid-characters-with-mike-morris/1115?c=2213303 Mike Morris, storyboard artist on The Simpsons, demonstrates how to draw more dimensional. The focus lies on making the characters look solid and he uses a process called "drawing through".

Artistic Tips: How To Draw Solid Characters With Mike Morris

When it comes to cartooning, so-called two-dimensional animation and illustration can sometimes feel like a bit of a misnomer. After all, with the power of perspective, figures still appear to live and breathe in three-dimensional space.

With this aspect in mind, Mike Morris, storyboard artist on The Simpsons, demonstrates how illustrators of all kind can work to achieve the layer of depth they need to bring their characters to life by "drawing through."

The act of "drawing through" means giving consideration to not just how the character looks from the front, but also the back. By working to balance line placement and actively avoid tangents, artists of all skill levels can amp up a given character with a form that's anything but flat.

You can follow along with Morris as he uses SketchBook Pro to demonstrate his technique in the video below:

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Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:34:55 +100
How to Draw and Animate With Weight with Storyboard Artist Mike Morris http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/how-to-draw-and-animate-with-weight-with-storyboard-artist-mike-morris/1114?c=2213303 The Simpsons storyboard artist Mike Morris shows how you can add gravity to your work by applying implied weight to characters and items large and small.

How to Draw and Animate With Weight

We've seen Mike Morris demonstrate how to draw solid characters by "drawing through," but illustrating with mass in mind is just one component of fleshing out a 2-D drawing to give it a 3-D feel.
This time the Simpsons storyboard artist shows us how you can add gravity to your work by applying implied weight to characters and items large and small.

Using Photoshop, Mike demonstrates how considerations in draftsmanship and posing make all the difference in how light or heavy characters appear on a page. There are a number of things to think about in order to not only add weight, but also distribute it through a drawing properly to achieve a convincing relationship between a character and their environment.

Is a character wet or dry? How dense is the character's physical makeup? What kind of materials do they consist of? Answering these questions with your art makes a massive difference in portraying implied weight.

See Morris explain how to illustrate with implied weight below:

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Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:32:20 +100
Coming home to LICAF http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/coming-home-to-licaf/1113?c=2213303 From the 13th to 15th October 2017, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival celebrated its fifth year by taking over Kendal, Cumbria in England. The small market town celebrated comic art from across the world, with over 70 special guest artists, writers and creatives from ...

Coming home to LICAF

From the 13th to 15th October 2017, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival celebrated its fifth year by taking over Kendal, Cumbria in England. The small market town celebrated comic art from across the world, with over 70 special guest artists, writers and creatives from North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and Finland.

Manga and comic artist Mikiko was one of the lucky ones to be able to experience the festival for herself and she quickly felt at home in this little town by the Lake District.

Watch Mikiko´s adventure or read about it below.

(Don’t forget to check out the end of this article for a little surprise ;) )

 


The event was spread out over several venues, which seemed like a long walking distance on a map. I worried that it might be a bit tedious to get to them. Luckily, once you arrive, you realise that the town is actually very compact and it’s easy to get everywhere within minutes. After one day, I knew exactly where everything was, who to meet in which corner of town, and what to see in which building.

Although the main events were in specific venues, the entire town was involved in the festival - shop windows were decorated all over town with handmade artwork and there were plenty of activities for families and children. 


Comic books in various shops

LICAF was a little bit like "coming home to see old friends" to me, even though I had never met anyone and everything was new.

The locals were really friendly - I particularly loved spending time relaxing at Joey’s Café, where Joey and Ania kept me well entertained. The familiar atmosphere really is the charm of this event, and I came home with many news friends indeed!


Joey’s cafe (c)

On Friday, I worked with five other artists on Cintiqs to produce a six-comic anthology on the theme ‘starting’, which was printed to be sold the next day.
We shared a little room above a café to work on it together, and we had just 4 hours to produce each of our 4-page comics.

The proceeds were later donated to OCD Action, LICAF’s partner charity. I was really looking forward to it, and it didn’t disappoint!


Mikiko giving a live demo and Q&A

In terms of the program, there was so much to see, I didn't even get around to visiting half of the talks or shows. Granted, most of it starts Friday night, so there's some prepping still happening before the grand opening in the evening.

The focus was on the Moomins this year, so there were lots of artworks, models and videos about and inspired by the world of Tove Jansson.

I visited the Archipelagogo Exhibition in the Wildman Gallery to see some adorable creations by the talented Jonathan Edwards and Louise Evans, commissioned for this event. It took everything in me not to take one of them home with me!


Archipleagogo (c) exhibition

By far my favourite part was how friendly and open everyone was. The ease with which people talked, helped and connected with each other left a big impression on me.

Finally, it was amazing to see the big stars such as Sergio Aragones and Stan Sakai just casually walking around Kendal, enjoying themselves and open for casual chats. I loved my time at LICAF, and I hope to go back next year, to see my 'old' friends again.

Special Giveaway!

As I mentioned earlier, on Friday six artists collaborated to make the comic ‘Starting’ which was sold at LICAF a day later, with the money from its sale going to charity.

If you were disappointed that you couldn’t get your hands on it, I’m happy to say that 6 lucky winners will be able to receive one completely free!

Keep an eye on the Wacom Facebook page to find out how!

 


Part of the comic-book cover of Starting

 

Follow Mikiko on social media:

Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Website

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Fri, 03 Nov 2017 12:25:04 +100
Let´s Talk Art | How a Digital Workflow has Aided Robert Bruno´s Career as an... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-why-digital-painting-should-be-your-preferred-method/1112?c=2213303 Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to Robert Bruno, a commercial illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Robert mainly works on projects in the sports and entertainment industries. He shares with us important reasons for work...

How a digital workflow has aided Robert Bruno´s career as an illustrator

Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to Robert Bruno, a commercial illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Robert mainly works on projects in the sports and entertainment industries. He shares with us important reasons for working digitally and networking.

This interview series is produced by Jack Woodhams, the founder of PosterSpy which is an online showcase platform for poster artists. We would like to thank everyone who has responded positively to this series so far and hope you enjoy what´s to come.

So, Lets talk art...

(Robert Bruno with actor Michael Rooker who plays Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy)

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself, when did you first know you wanted to be an illustrator?

I guess I knew I wanted to do some kind of art as a career from a young age. I was always drawing as a kid and i became more and more interested as I grew older. High School was significant as I was fortunate to have a teacher/mentor that helped me plan for college (Pratt Institute) and then the possibility of a career in art.

I shifted my focus to illustration primarily when I reached my sophomore year at Pratt. I really enjoyed drawing and painting, this combined with the possibility to freelance and work for myself doing commercial illustration was incredible appealing.

Colour and brush strokes are a big part of your work, which give it a nice, traditional look. Are there any other styles you’d like to experiment with?

The style you’re referring to was actually several years in the making. I took several years of the History of Illustration and other art movements in college. The style I've tried to establish is a mix of many different artists and schools that came before me.

While, I work mostly digitally on my commercial work now a days, I try to keep it as organic and painterly as possible. The new products and software make this very possible for illustrators and designers.


Robert Bruno´s artwork for the Star Wars franchise

You’ve worked for a lot of huge clients including Disney, ESPN and Olympic Boxing. Is there any client you’d love to work with and haven’t already, and why?

I'd love the opportunity to work with just about any studio, sports team, or brand. Off the top of my head, a collaboration with Nike would be a main goal.

One of my favorite projects is coincidentally also my first 'big break' project. A collaboration with the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2014. I'll preface by saying that at the time, I had really been struggling to gain any kind of momentum or traction with the art. I was coming up on 2 years out of Pratt and beginning to have doubt and also pressured into possibly pursuing a different career. It was when I closest to diverting careers when the Eagles contacted me. The creative department tasked me with creating the key artwork for the season ticket holder packages. This included a montaged cover illustration with several of the key players, in additional to several single player illustrations. The work was used on the program covers, interior pages, as well as the actual tickets.

Another was job I did for 'Pytchblack' an agency based out of Texas for ESPN and Lockheed Martin for the Armed Forces Bowl Game. This was quite an honor as I was tasked with creating illustrations depicting both football players and uniformed service men and woman to go on billboards, bus stop ads, and various advertising material!
A lot of artists stick to one kind of genre, whether it’s sport, film, TV, music or general pop culture. You tend to work in all of these.


Robert Bruno’s artwork for the Philadelphia Eagles Season tickets

Do you feel that expanding your range has helped you grow as an artist?

I think expanding ones range and style is important and necessary for any artist. It forces you to keep learning, keep developing and expanding your overall skillset. For me, working in both the entertainment and sports worlds constantly keeps me on my toes.

I’ve often times taken a motif or specific style/palette/composition I’ve used in one industry and incorporated in a future project in the other. Aside from that, I always try to read up on and stay up to date with current design trends and work that companies are using and producing!

Currently you are an entirely independent artist, no agency, no agent. Do you find this beneficial?

Yes, at the moment. I personally love the daily hustle. In my own words it’s a 'good constant stress.' As a freelancer, there is no limit to opportunities, as long as you put the work in. I also really enjoy talking to and communicating with clients directly. In my experience, information gets lost or miscommunicated when it goes through a middleman or third party.

Do you have any recommendations for artists wanting to go solo, or for artists who don’t have an agent and want to find work?

It really comes down to how bad you’re willing to work for it. As a freelancer without an agent, its entirely up to you. No one is going to hand you anything. That being said, we live in the best possible time for any freelancer. So many opportunities can be found on the Internet. Use every single social media platform that’s available, get your work up on behance, submit to blogs, create a mailing list, open an online store etc. Attending trade shows and conventions is another great way to network and promote your work.


Robert Bruno’s artwork of the Philadelphia Eagles

How long does a portrait usually take to complete and talk us a through your process.

A typical portrait takes around 25-30 hours, broken up into several sittings.

I work just as if I were painting on a canvas. Once I have a concept or idea in mind I start by blocking in the background, then paint in broad shapes to begin defining the form. I then gradually develop the lighting and overall mood with shadows and highlights, then finally build of the detail.

How many hours per day do you spend illustrating?

Monday through Friday I’m typically working for 8-10 hours, usually late into the night/morning. Not included in that 8 hours is time spent printing/packing/shipping prints, answering emails, and managing/updating social media platforms.

Your work is mostly done on a Wacom MobileStudio Pro; do you often take it with you to work away from home?

Since getting the MobileStudio Pro, I take it with me EVERYWHERE. Whether it be a weeklong trip, weekend convention, or a quick day trip. You never know when you might have to get a quick sketch or proposal into a client. Point in case, this past June I was attending a convention in Charlotte. While I was there I was approached by FOX to do a 6-part campaign for the then upcoming show 'The Gifted.' As this was a very tight timeline, the only reason I was able to take on the job was the Mobile Studio.

Having the freedom and mobility of the MobileStudio Pro allows me to be on call 24/7.


Robert Bruno’s set up with the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro

Disney commissioned you to produce some artwork for the latest Pirates of the Carribean film Dead Men Tell No Tales/ Salazars Revenge. How was that experience?

This was easily one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve been fortunate to work on.

I was commissioned to create six character illustrations of the main character from the new Pirates film. After several conference calls with the project managed we wanted to achieve a slightly darker palette to add a grittiness and drama to the characters.

The project took roughly 6-8 weeks from beginnings discussions to the actual creation of the artwork to the approval process and then printing. I created a hand embellished one off of each of the six and sent them off to Disney. They were then framed and displayed in the Dolby Theater on the night of the premiere, which I was fortunate enough to attend.
 

Robert Bruno’s six illustrations for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 

When you sell your artwork, you often add something extra like hand embellishment, why do people like this?

Great Segway! Yes, for the last year or so I’ve been offering hand finishes or embellishments on select prints. This allows for a more personal touch, and for a 1/1 print at a more affordable price then say a full graphite or ink original. It has also offered me a creative outlet to bring back and incorporate many techniques and methods I’ve learned over the years with paint, leafing, ink, and fire.

As you often work digitally, what would you say are the top 3 reasons digital is your preferred method of working?

Time

Time is easily the biggest reason. In today’s fast moving advertising and commercial world we (artists) are constantly under tight timelines for projects. The ability to 'paint' digitally helps compensate for some of this. I dont have to worry about paint drying and meticulous time spend scanning, packaging, and shipping original artwork.

Revisions

Revisions would be the second reason digital is my preferred method. If I were to create a traditionally painted illustration for a client, I might finish the artwork and submit for final only to have a client request a revision/s on an area or specific color. With traditional paint on a canvas, i would have to first gesso over the area first and then redo each brush stroke with the desired revisions.

Reproductive capability

Lastly, the reproductive capability is another huge asset. In so many projects, clients hire me to do work for use in digital advertising and on their respective social media platforms. When I complete the illustration I save and send to them via email in any file type they need. Its also efficient for myself making prints of my work. I have to adjust some of the levels, and values through 1-2 rounds of test prints and then I'm good to go.


Robert´s work desk

How do you best manage your time between work your social life?

I'm very fortunate to do something I absolutely love. Often times I don’t even feel like I’m 'working.' That being said, the beauty of being a freelancer and being your own boss is the flexibility that comes with it. I don’t mind taking a night or even several hours off any day/night because I know I can make up for it the days before or after! 

You currently live in New York and often travel to comic conventions to sell your art and meet fans. Would you say that’s an integral part of your illustration career and would you recommend other artists attend comic conventions?

I don’t know if I would say its integral for everybody, but it is certainly a valuable component for me. I love interacting with fans, meeting new people, and exploring different cities. Now that there is essentially a comic or horror convention in every major city, I’m able to do just that!

Robert Bruno’s illustration for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

For any artists not sure what to prepare for a convention booth, what would you recommend?

There are a couple essential items that I'd recommend:

1. Photographty stand / black backdrop - great for displaying prints and signage
2. Industrial strength magnets - great, compact option for hanging prints
3. Poly bags and cases (Various sizes) - this is what I use to pack up each print/order at cons
4. Stand / Stackable cubes - Nice option to display smaller items and for storage
5. Card Reader - I use paypal, super simple.

You’ve often had your artwork seen by the people you painted. Recently, you were able to show Michael Rooker your Yondu painting. How does that feel knowing your art has been seen by the subjects?

It’s a really great feeling, especially as the majority has been incredibly positive in their response. In Michael Rooker’s case, his agent literally found me in artist alley explaining that Michael had been signing my Yondu prints all weekend and relayed how much he liked them. He then asked if it might be possible to get one for Michael, to which I replied 'Heck Yes.' I ended up gifting one to

Michael the following day and he then insisted on signing one and taking a picture with me!


Robert Bruno´s painting of Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy

After years of work you’ve built quite an online fan base, what advice would you give to artists looking to build their own fan bases?

Create groups in addition to pages. Facebook and instagram have ever changing algorithms for small businesses but having a group seems to be a loophole and opportunity to reach my audience and fans more directly. Mailing lists are also an effective tool.

Finally, where do you see yourself being in the next few years, do you plan to stay a freelance artist or is there something else you’d love to pursue? 

I'd like to stay exactly where I’m at for the next 2-3 years. I love talking to all my clients directly and traveling frequently. Beyond that, I will most likely look into getting and agent to help bring in work.

Thank you for reading

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share #LetsTalkArt with your friends! And follow Wacom across the social platforms so you don’t miss the next Let’s Talk Art!
Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - 
Youtube - Website 

Be sure to follow Robert to stay up to date with his projects:
Instagram - Facebook - Twitter - 
Linkedin - Tumblr

Let's Talk Art series is written by Jack Woodhams, founder of PosterSpy.
Twitter - Website

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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:24:38 +100
3 Months of Daring | How to use HSL in Adobe Lightroom http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/3-months-of-daring-how-to-use-hsl-in-adobe-lightroom/1111?c=2213303 Nature photographers Donal Boyd and Benjamin Hardman cover a few Adobe Lightroom tips and tricks on how to make adjustments using the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance (HSL) panel within the development module in order to fine-tune the color balance of your images.

Tips and tricks on how to use HSL in Adobe Lightroom

In the theme of "3 months of daring", Wacom is offering an Adobe Creative Cloud membership until 31 March 2018 for customers in Europe.

To celebrate this great collaboration, we´ll also offer free tutorials of Adobe CC´s most popular apps, for the next three months. Starting with: Lightroom.

This article is written by Donal Boyd and Benjamin Hardman, two nature photographers living in Iceland. For a combined 4+years, they´ve been exploring their local sub-arctic and arctic regions whilst documenting adventures along the way. Over the past few years they´ve utilized Adobe Lightroom on a daily basis and it’s been a quintessential program in their jobs as full-time wilderness explorers and visual creators. 

 

Adobe Lightroom and HSL

Hi there, Donal and Benjamin here. In this article, we cover a few Adobe Lightroom pointers on how to make adjustments using the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance (HSL) panel within the development module in order to fine-tune the color balance of your images. 

The HSL panel is so powerful because it conveniently divides color into eight groups giving you the ability to select certain colors or groups of colors specifically and alter their visual appearance individually. 

So, what exactly does each of the terms mean in HSL?

Hue

Hue is defined as the color shade or specifically the dominance of one color related to others on the color wheel. If you think of all colors directly associated to only two other colors in a gradient it becomes simpler to explain. For example, yellow is related to orange on one side and green on the other. Likewise, purple is related to blue and magenta.

Now let’s take a real-life example such as the grass on the sides of Fjaðrárgljúfur, an ancient canyon formed by many millennia of erosion in the Southeast region of Iceland. 

Notice how the grass in this image, captured in the early summer is green. Though, if you inspect the color further you’d notice it’s “hue” is actually more of a yellow-ish green with subtle tones of orange. 

Take the same canyon several months later (image below) during the height of the Icelandic summer after ample rain & sunlight has led to fertile growth and you’ll notice a shift in the hue. The orange tones have mostly disappeared and the subtle yellow tones have transitioned to a more true green.

Now, it may come as a surprise, but the two photos of the canyon are actually the exact same. In first second yellow-ish example, the HSL panel has been used to adjust the hue of yellow-ish green to a more true green, thus altering the appearance of season. 

In order to make this kind of adjustment using the HSL panel, you can use the hot-key Shift-Alt-Command-H on a Mac (Shift-Alt-Control-H on PC) to bring up the color picker tool. By hovering the color picker over a certain color, clicking + holding, and dragging the cursor up and down you can adjust the specific hue selected. The color picker can also be selected by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of the adjustment panel.

 

For example, by using the hot key to select the yellow-ish green in the original photo of the canyon and clicking+ dragging up, the yellow tones are shifted into more greenish tones. 
 
You’ll notice as you drag further and the color begins to shift more rapidly, the sliders in the panel adjust accordingly. Similarly, you can also simply select any one of the sliders individually and fine-tune them to your liking without using the color picker. 

 

Likewise, the yellow-ish green hue can also be shifted closer to orange by pushing the sliders to the left or again using the color picker and dragging the cursor downwards. Notice how drastic the results can be below.

The modification of hue can drastically alter the perception of a scene.

Saturation 

Saturation is simply the overall intensity of any color and the same methods of adjusting the hue can be applied to eight basic colors of saturation. Altering the saturation will impact the overall mood of an image whereas a saturated image with bright and intense colors can elicit a sense of excitement or happiness while a desaturated scene could depict a more mellow and moody environment. The hot key for the color picker tool is Shift-Alt-Command-S (Shift-Alt-Control-S on PC).

 

In the two examples above only the green and yellow saturation were adjusted.

 

Luminance 

Luminance is essentially the brightness of a color. To adjust color brightness, you can follow the same methodology as Hue and Saturation in using the color picker via the Hot Key Shift-Alt-Command-L (Shift-Alt-Control-L on PC) or simply make the adjustment using the sliders.

 

 

Considering all these adjustments you can create completely different images with the same starting point. See some other examples below of images with the same starting point that have resulted up vastly different.

 

Additional Tips

Hot Keys

A quick way to switch between Hue, Saturation, and Luminance for rapid color adjustments, involves holding down the keys Shift-Alt-Command (Shift-Alt-Control on PC) and toggling between H-S-L using the color dropper (Press H for Hue, S for Saturation, and L for Luminance while holding down the other hot-keys).

Furthermore, the main advantage of using the color picker is that you’ll be able to adjust more than one related color at the same time based on the specific area that is selected. In some cases, you’ll be able to adjust both yellow and orange at the same time with the color picker because both colors exist in a selected area, versus only adjusting one or the other if you just use the sliders individually.

Copy Color Settings

To apply the same color settings from one image to the next you can copy the HSL settings by holding down the hot key Command-C (Control-C on PC) on the image that you’ve made color adjustments and then selecting the following check boxes in the panel.

When you’ve finished, click on “Copy” or press the Enter/Return Key. Scroll to the image in which you hope to apply the same color settings and use the hot key Command-V (Control-V on PC), which will implement the same HSL adjustments that you’ve just copied.

Thanks for reading

Hopefully this article helps you get started using Adobe Lightroom and you’ll be able to take your editing to a whole new level with color specific adjustments!

Good luck at transforming your skills,
Benjamin and Donal

 

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Mon, 09 Oct 2017 10:27:47 +100
Redesigning a brand with Intuos Pro | Coffee roaster tells company story on b... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/redesigning-a-brand-with-intuos-pro-coffee-roaster-tells-company-story-on-brand-new-coffee-bag/1110?c=2213303 The Portland-based roaster Nossa Familia Coffee has just launched a new bag design, with illustrations created by graphic designer Phoebe Low on a Wacom Intuos Pro. A brand redesign story.

Coffee roaster tells its story on brand-new coffee bag - with Intuos Pro

The Portland-based roaster Nossa Familia Coffee has just launched a new bag design, with illustrations created by graphic designer Phoebe Low on a Wacom Intuos Pro. A brand redesign story.

Ready, set, go:

The Portland-based coffee roaster Nossa Familia Coffee has recently launched a new bag design for their full line of coffee products. The new illustrations on the bag were created by graphic designer Phoebe Low, using Wacom Intuos Pro.


Nossa Familia new, sustainable bag design

But what does it take to redesign a coffee bag?

The story behind the process is special in its own right: Established in 2004, Nossa Familia has put much effort into truly being a sustainable, family-oriented and democratic company, ordering coffee beans mostly from small family businesses and letting their staff have a say in most company decisions. In that vein, Nossa recently received a “B Corporation” certification by the nonprofit “B Lab” – the organization certifies for-profit companies that meet certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Its sustainable philosophy led the staff to also decide on a new, more environmentally friendly material for their bags: a biodegradable material called Biotre, which is made from wood pulp, with polyethylene lining. All of the material is compostable.


Old vs the new Nossa Familia bags 

Show your sustainability

The new bags now also needed an updated design...however, Nossa had just recently already rebranded their product with Portland agency Caffelli – they had given it a sleek and modern new logo and a color palette, switching from dark black and browns.

The logo was changed from a rustic brown lettering to a bright white and red, with clean lines and icons of bean, leaf, and flame - signifying the steps of the coffee process.

The marketing team hoped to update the bag in the redesign process to communicate even more about the family story behind the coffee, a brewing recipe, and information about their new sustainability efforts and B Corp Certification.

Adding character to the bag

Phoebe has been with Nossa Familia for several years and knows the company inside out. The former Studio Art & Art History student from Vermont first started working at Nossa Familia in Portland, Oregon, as a barista. At one point she was asked to hand-paint signage for the espresso bar.

Next thing she knew, Phoebe was designing sandwich boards, working on some digital design and photography for Nossa. “And then – boom – I somehow managed to be a full time in-house designer! It’s been a fun and exciting journey.”


Phoebe Low at work in her studio on the Intuos Pro

Phoebe often creates or works on her drawings with Intuos Pro. “When I first got my tablet, I created simple illustrations of brewing devices”, she says. “From there, the illustrations just started to bleed into many different types of projects.” Today, the graphic designer runs social media outlets for the company, creates signs, menus, email campaigns, printed ads – and then, of course, she makes the new packaging design come to life.

A new brand identity in images

The first things for Phoebe to focus on were the coffee bag sticker labels. She kept them simple and clean: “The package has several fonts and seven colors. I didn’t want to overcomplicate things by adding even more design elements.”

<Add pic of the new labels or Phoebe working at the computer>

Her next task was necessary due to a change of the bag itself: The old retail bags were folded, not sealed, whereas the new bags can be heat-sealed, in response to new food safety regulations. The challenge was to let the customers know – in a playful way – that they now had to cut open the bag instead of simply unfolding it.

Simple, yet unique design elements

Phoebe incorporated further, personal drawings to give the bag its new unique character: “We wanted to keep additional design elements fairly simple, so they would work seamlessly with our branding”, she explains. “I added color to the drawings very sparingly, and I’m in love with the off-registered look, as it feels humble, gives a human presence and a little personality.”


Phoebe´s cute sketch on the Nossa Familia coffee bags

Finally, a modern coffee bag came to life that everyone on the team is proud of and that communicates the company story, using mostly color, fonts, and imagery.

The Nossa team put a lot of work into the new design, Phoebe feels, especially when considering it is “such a small and unassuming bag”. But it was well worth the effort, the graphic designer says: “There’s a lot of pressure to get the brand’s identity across without saying it in too many words. But who wants a bag totally covered in text?”

Some trivia about Nossa Familia Coffee

The company is a Portland, Oregon-based coffee roaster whose goal is to deliver exceptional specialty coffee through deeply-rooted relationships. It was founded on the notion of family (‘Nossa Familia’ means ‘our family’ in Portuguese) by Augusto Carneiro, who began the company importing beans from his family’s Brazilian coffee farms.

In 2004, Augusto first started having coffee FedEx-ed from his grandfather. Since then, the company has started sourcing coffee also from countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kenya or Rwanda. However, they still source mainly from family farmers and smallholder cooperatives.

Want to know more about Phoebe Low’s work and life philosophy? Check out this video:


Social media following:

Follow Nossa Familia on social media:
Website - Twitter - Facebook - Instagram

Follow Phoebe Low on social media:
Website - Tumblr - Pinterest

At one point she was asked to hand-paint signage for the espresso bar.
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Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:09:47 +100
Behind the Scenes with Oil Painter Krisztián Tejfel http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/behind-the-scenes-with-oil-painter-krisztian-tejfel/1109?c=2213303 Wacom goes behind the scenes with Hungarian painter Krisztián Tejfel, who openes up to us about his creative process and his artistic origins in oil painting. You might recognize his work from the relaxing but mysterious process videos on social media. (Special gift inside)

Behind the Scenes with Oil Painter Krisztián Tejfel

Wacom goes behind the scenes with Hungarian painter Krisztián Tejfel, who openes up to us about his creative process and his artistic origins in oil painting. You might recognize his work from the relaxing but mysterious process videos on social media. 

Get his personal brush set - coming soon:

Many of you asked us about the brushes Krisztián uses. So he´s made a couple of his personal brushes available for you.

Coming soon we will have a tutorial about creating oil-painting brushes, but for a few lucky winners we release these brushes early through a competition.

 

 

So we sat down with Kristián and asked him some questions about what life as a self-taught painter is like...

What is a normal work day like for you?

I usually start the day around 7 o'clock. I think it's important to have an early morning, because in the morning it is easier to think about what to do that day, or how to plan it according to my mood, I believe.

If I can, I go for a run. After that, I set out to paint or make reference photography or just make sketches, put down ideas. In the meantime, I answer emails, look through social media and carry out marketing tasks. Then, if I am still in the mood, I get back to creating.

As painting is affected by my mood, there is no rule when I take the "brush" in my hand. But my day looks like this, more or less, until 5 pm. Then I ride my bike, skateboard, meet buddies, play or watch movies ... You know, just the usual stuff.

What is the most important thing to remember when painting portraits?

Each face is different, each face has a different impact on the viewer. This is important to keep in mind, even to reinforce it, as this may be very important to the project.

There are no two identical faces, no two identical stories, that’s how we are wonderful. It is very important for me to feel some kindof emotion with the person I work with ... maybe this is the most important thing.

What hardware and software or other tools do you prefer to use?

I'm currently using a Wacom Cinitq 22HD Touch. The paintings are made in Photoshop.

I also paint with oil paint and I often use these traditional paintings as backgrounds or textures for my digital works.

Do you still practice (analog) drawing (alongside your digital work), and why?

Of course! If I can, I paint or doodle every day. Sometimes this is how a new idea or color harmony comes to life. An artist must always develop and there’s always where to develop. It is important to innovate, to try and strive for new techniques, to cross our own borders.

Making a lot of studies has another advantage over technical advancement: it helps you find yourselves. It’s because you are much more open to experimenting when doing a study.

What do you enjoy most from being a freelance painter?

The freedom! That nobody tells me what to do and how to do it. Today I paint a realistic portrait, tomorrow I come up with an abstract expressionist picture. Of course, freedom is always comes with sacrifice!

What is the difference between working freelance and working in an office studio?

This is very difficult to answer because I have only worked very little for a studio, as I'm not an illustrator. I'm a painter! Of course, I like to paint for a good magazine or brand if there’s a mutual  liking and they don’t interfere too much with my work.

But coming back to the question, if you work for a good studio, you have a solid background, a secure monthly salary, inspirational environment and colleagues if you are lucky, this is definitely an advantage! If you are a freelancer, then there’s the freedom I mentioned, that you can set your own schedule, you can choose what job to accept, what tools you use and how you work.

Of course, there is the shady side of this, too, because with a company all you need to do is work, while as a freelancer you have to find new customers, deal with marketing and lots of other things that are not related to art. This is important for everyone to think about carefully.

How did you become a self-taught artist?

Creation has always been part of my life, I've been drawing and scribbling since my childhood, but I did not plan to be a self-taught artist. This cannot be decided, it just happens that way. I did not study painting or drawing at school.

When did you decide to pursue on your passion?

I can not say exactly when, as you are constantly working on it, even in your subconscious. I don’t think this is a planned thing. You don’t just become an artist or a creator overnight, but you become one with due endurance, humility and talent as time passes. When you realize this, that’s the time to start working hard on your dream consciously.

Do you have any advice on how anyone can start learning to draw?

I learned a lot from reading books, there was no Internet or Youtube when I started painting.

At the age of 10-11, I copied and "analyzed" the works of Picasso and Rembrandt from albums. I found Cubism, the blown up forms interesting, but I also liked realistic portraits. I practiced a lot, scribbled everywhere.

I also did graffiti, so I was interested in anything that had to do with creation. Of course this was not yet conscious ... I just enjoyed it, it came natural to me.

What was the coolest experience you had as an artist?

My work reached a lot of people. My art has been shared and published by magazines and websites that I could never have imagined. I have been able to participate in many great and exciting projects, and I am expected to be involved in many in the future, too, and that is because of my art exclusively.

Did you struggle finding your first job?

No, because I did not think of it as a job, and I still don’t. The opportunities always found me, - but of course, I did a lot and worked hard for them. I believe that hard and enduring work will have its fruit.

What was the most difficult experience you had in your career?

Perhaps this is not exactly the answer to the question, but perhaps the most difficult thing is to believe that you are good at what you are doing, to grasp the small and big successes and to handle them as thy are, that dreams are fulfilled ... And how art has its ups and downs like everythig else.

Despite these statements, I’d say that I am a very optimistic and ambitious person and I believe in myself - in a healthy way, of course.

Where do you see your career future heading?

I feel like my art is transforming, where this stops, I cannot tell. One thing I'm sure about, I would like my paintings to get in high-quality places and I want to reach more and more people through my art. I would like to paint in huge dimensions, mix digital and traditional techniques.

What is the best advice you ever got for your career?

1. Follow your dreams and always do what you want, do not let external influences decide what to paint!
2. Do not be an artist, be a famous artist!

 

About Krisztián

Krisztián Tejfel is a self-taught Hungarian painter, focussing on classical portraits.

His works reveals the darker side of life, exploring emotions such as melancholy, depression, sorrow, and loneliness. He skilfully portrays these feelings behind the facades of strong, beautiful women. Often their faces apper incomplete.

Tejfel’s works carry hints of surrealism, usually particularly visible in the details around the models’ eyes.

All of Tejfel’s portraits balance between realism and its deconstruction. Whilst firmly rooted in classical art, creatingtraditional-digital hybrids.

Follow Krisztian on social media:
Website - Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Youtube

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Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:06:55 +100
Let´s Talk Art | Balancing a Full Time Job with Freelance Work - Maria Suarez... http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/lets-talk-art-balancing-a-full-time-job-with-freelance-work/1108?c=2213303 Welcome to the eighth episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to freelance illustrator and graphic designer Maria Suarez Inclan who currently works for top global agency Saatchi&Saatchi. In this interview we explore her illustration style, techniques and Maria giv...

Balancing a Full Time Job with Freelance Work

Welcome to the next episode of Let’s Talk Art. In this interview we talk to Spanish illustrator Maria Suarez Inclan about her experience working in Madrid and London, her illustration style and her techniques. Maria currently works as a designer and illustrator for global agency Saatchi&Saatchi. In her spare time she applies her skills and knowledge to her own personal projects, which has led to official work with some of the worlds biggest brands.

This interview series is produced by Jack Woodhams, the founder of PosterSpy which is an online showcase platform for poster artists. We would like to thank everyone who has responded positively to this series so far and hope you enjoy what´s to come.

So, let´s talk art...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You used to work in Madrid for Saatchi&Saatchi as a junior Art Director and you now work for Saatchi & Saatchi in London. As a young, aspirational artist how was this experience working for one of the world’s biggest agencies?

Yes, It’s been fine so far. As an illustrator working in a big agency it has been really helpful to find out what Art Directors look for in illustrators’ work. Also as a designer I’ve had the chance to work and learn from other professional designers.


Sea Hero Quest VR © Saatchi&Saatchi / Maria Suarez Inclan

You juggle your illustration work with your full time job, social life and everything in between. Would you like to be a full time illustrator one day? Or do you prefer to keep it as a hobby?

I don’t know if I would like to be a full time illustrator, I don’t think I’m keeping it as a hobby either though as I’m getting professional commissions and I take it really seriously. I think that having a job in an agency has lots of perks and I really enjoy the type of work we do.

I guess the main issue is the stability that an agency gives you and that’s something freelancers lack. Also the opportunity to work for different major clients is great. I think it’s nice to come into an office full of different people from other parts of the world that have their unique creative perspectives, I think it’s way more inspiring than working on your own.

I have to admit that organizing your own work and working with flexible hours and not having to cancel plans to stay late working in an agency sounds great though.


Havana Club © Maria Suarez Inclan

Do you have any tips for good time management?

Back in the day I studied two universities degrees (Design and Psychology) at the same time, I remember one semester when I had more than 10 subjects, so I had to learn to manage my time in the most effective way.

When I have a tight deadline, I forget everything else and I focus on finishing what needs to be done sooner. In these situations, good music, lots of coffee and having a clear idea of what you want to do is essential for me. 

When I have lots of projects to work on I think it’s better to focus on the biggest one or more difficult one and finish it before starting the others. Multitasking is a myth, of course everyone has his or her own tricks but I think it works for almost everyone. Also I make lots of calendars, sometimes it’s just for a busy month. I include social and work stuff in different colours to get a bigger picture of the month’s schedule and prepare stuff ahead.

You grew up in Spain and now live and work in London. Have you noticed much of a cultural difference and if so, has this affected your art?

I do notice lots of cultural differences; this is completely fine though. I like that it’s different and new. I miss lots of things from Spain but it’s amazing to experience new things, meet new people and explore different parts of the world. 

Work wise, one of the things that I think that has affected my art, is that in England people take politeness to the next level, they just cannot say in a direct way that something is bad or needs to be re-done while in Spain art directors are way more harsh and perfectionist, they give you creative freedom but they are involved in the process and want to get the best out of it.

In Spain I was doing design and art direction simultaneously so I didn’t have as many steps above me, as I do here. To have something approved it needs to be reviewed by lots of people that have different opinions (people who sometimes doesn’t even have a background in design or creativity) that affect the final artwork.


Crash Bandicoot © Maria Suarez Inclan

For many people, the idea of leaving behind family and friends is a scary concept. What would you say you enjoy most about living and working in a different country?

I enjoy being completely independent and to be able to do whatever I want. I love London, it’s been more than a year and it still feels new. You can do literally everything here, there are new places every week and the amount of creative people you meet here is insane. So I would say meeting new people is what I’ve enjoyed the most about living in London.

Your illustrations have a beautiful, gritty type of style, whilst remaining fun and charming. What tips would you give for adding texture and depth to digital illustrations?

I think that exploring different texture brushes is always good, I tend to use lots of splatter brushes to add texture. To add depth I often use color, to add this depth I explore different tones of the same color and use more desaturated ones for the backgrounds to make the first elements of the scene stand out more. 


Léon The Professional © Maria Suarez Inclan

Hollywood Kits” is a series you created exploring the films of famous directors and showcasing famous props and iconography. Tell us a little bit about this series.

This series was commissioned by Curioos. It’s a NY based company that makes prints and merch. They saw the Wes Anderson illustration I did for “Bad Dads”, the art show inspired by WA movies that Spoke Art does every year. They asked me to do 8 more film directors and I ended up doing Tarantino, Coen brothers, Scorsese, Spielberg, George Lucas, Fincher, JJAbrams and Sofia Coppola.

I think I learned a lot doing this project. As the main idea of the Wes Anderson print was to focus on the stuff he choses for his famous iconic film sets, I had to rewatch the movies and take special attention to details.

The project took several months as even if I had watched one movie I had to rewatch some scenes to remember the most important items. It was a long journey but I’m happy with the final poster and I think it was worth it.


Hollywood Kits © Maria Suarez Inclan

This series eventually led to your official “Kit” poster for Michael Mann’s Heat which was commissioned by Fox. How did that feel?

This was totally unexpected, someone posted the Hollywood kits on twitter and this guy who worked for Fox Home Ent saw it and loved it. He put me in contact with another person who was organizing Heat’s anniversary DVD launch and asked me to do an official poster for the fans of the movie.

The experience was great! They were really helpful providing the movie and making suggestions about what should be on it. I’d love to do something like this again soon!


Hollywood Kits “HEAT” © Maria Suarez Inclan

What other directors would you love to work with and why?

I’d love to work with Spielberg, he is a legend; He’s done some of my favourite movies like E.T. and Jurassic park, a master, mixing the ordinary with the extraordinary. He is probably one of the top ten directors of all time.

There is something special about Spielberg movies, after you watch them you feel like you’ve watched something important and epic, a feeling of completeness. I simply love the way his films made me feel when I watched them. How they have been made, from the sets, soundtracks (amazing John Williams), the camera angles to the casting.

Your current studio set-up includes a Macbook Pro and a Wacom Intuos Pro. How long has this been your go to set-up and is there a reason you chosen tools?

This has been my studio set up for almost 6 years now. When I started studying design I realized I had to save some money to buy a nice computer that allowed me to do all the work they would ask us to do. After the first year at University I had enough money to buy a MacBook or an iMac. It was a tough decision; I ended up buying a laptop, as I knew I was going to be most of my time in University and moving from building to building.

I’m actually dying to get a cintiq, I think it has to be really nice to feel like you’re drawing on paper but with all the perks of digital art (control and speed). 


Maria´s den

Before starting an illustration, do you go start digitally or do you begin with sketches on paper?

I always start sketching on paper; at least I do a couple of little thumbnails or schemes, just to start setting up different layouts and compositions. There have been some occasions when I was in a rush and the deadline was incredibly tight so I would start digitally, but it’s really rare for me. I like the natural feeling of doodling on a paper, it way more fluid.

Your career as an illustrator has been very successful, even more remarkable given your age. Do you feel there’s anything special you did that helped you to get where you are now?

I think one of the things that has helped me the most to get where I am was to join a collective of illustrators in uni (Guts). This was a huge step for all of us, because each of us had different experiences with illustration and we only knew that we all were really motivated and wanted to get better and to do exciting things.

When you find people that are passionate about the same thing you are, is when exciting projects are born. The main objective of Guts was to develop our styles, have fun and grow as illustrators as they didn’t teach us anything valuable in University, so we learned from each other. We published 5 issues of an illustration zine and we got our first professional clients like Heineken. We learned how to deal with clients, promote our work in an efficient way, how to read briefs and how to commit to projects.


Bridge of Spies – Oscar Series © Maria Suarez Inclan

Besides illustration, you’ve also done some commercial design, book layout design and logo work. What would you say is your favourite type of work other than illustration?

I love editorial design, I know everything is digital now. But I have this thing for materials, typography, nicely designed covers… There is something special in paper, a real-life interaction, when you take a book and you notice that the material of the cover feels nice or when the light reflects in a different way on the typography.

Also there is some historic aspect on print, when you’re designing a magazine or a book you know it’s going to be produced, it’s going to be an object and it may be out there for a while. You’re not going to keep a website or an app for years, while you may keep your favourite designed covers of a magazine. So the impact in an individual level is bigger in the long term.

Would you say your extensive skills and design ability have helped your career and why?

I think that it has indeed helped me. Someone that is multidisciplinary is always going to have it easier that someone that is focused just on one thing. Design and Art … they interact with each other, some elements of Design can help improve Illustration and vice versa, some elements of illustration can help make a better design.

Also both require similar skills and abilities. On the other side, Psychology might seem like it’s not related to these fields at all but It’s how crazy how Psychology has helped me develop in my career as a designer and illustrator.

Would you recommend that other designers experiment with different forms of design they’re less comfortable with?

I think that when you’re not comfortable with something it’s because it may be a challenge for you. And challenges make us move forward and actually learn and get better. We learn through experience, and only experimenting and taking new challenges we can get better.

So yes, I would say that exploring other forms of design will be helpful to have a wider perspective for future projects, and you can always apply what you’ve learned to other projects.


Spirited Away © Maria Suarez Inclan

I’m a big fan of your work, especially your use of colour. How do you usually decide on what colours to use for a project?

I usually set up some main colors first, let’s say I start exploring three colors or four colors. Depending on the briefing, I would go for a set of colors of a different one, for example I would start directly with pink, light blue, purple and red for Wes Anderson’s Hotel Budapest poster. But after setting up those colors together, I would try to find some others that work nicely with them, even if they’re not directly reflected in the movie.  

I would play with tone and saturation to get those three to work together nicely. After I have the main ones I usually play with different shades.

Sometimes I also like to think before what colors would be nice to use as shadows and lights, instead of having the same color with a darker shade maybe using a complete different one for the shadows. This usually gives the illustration a nicer contrast and a richer environment. 


Pulp Fiction © Maria Suarez Inclan

What tips would you give to aspiring illustrations that struggle to find the right colours for their artwork?

Also I would say they have to be curious about everything and specially about what other creatives are doing, keep exploring websites, going to art shows, watching old and new films and discovering new ways of doing things. You may have always drawn plants with different shades of green but then after going to a museum and see Matisse’s work, you realize that plant leaves can be blue, red, yellow, pink or black.

When watching movies, you realize color is a powerful storyteller tool, you get the subjective atmosphere the director wants to express with different lightings, and you can apply this to your illustrations as well. 

Where do you see yourself (career wise) in the future? And do you have any personal goals?

I would love to be developing my own projects and I want to be passionate about them. One of my personal goals is to have my own studio, but that is something I want to do in the future, after learning from other creatives and having more experience in the field. 


The Grand Budapest Hotel © Maria Suarez Inclan

Lastly, do you plan to live and work in another city at some point? Or has The Big Smoke become home?

London has become some sort of home for now, but you never know. I used to think I wanted to go to New York, and I think it’s still a dream I want to try.

I would love to come back to Madrid at some point as that’s where my family and where lots of my beloved friends live but creativity wise there is less opportunity for growing in a city like Madrid compared to London or New York and for now I want to focus on doing what I enjoy doing, which is illustration and design and become a better professional.

 

Thank you for reading!

It was a pleasure talking to Maria, who’s illustration work has a very unique and beautiful style. Hopefully Maria’s experience and advice will help your own work.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share #LetsTalkArt with your friends! And follow Wacom across the social platforms so you don’t miss the next Let’s Talk Art!
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Be sure to follow Maria Suarez Inclan to stay up to date with her projects:
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Let's Talk Art series is written by Jack Woodhams, founder of PosterSpy.
Twitter - Website 

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Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:27:16 +100
Illustration Tips & Tricks | The Blank Page: 7 Ways to Overcome Artist’s Block http://eu.shop.wacom.eu/wacom-infochannel/illustration-tips-und-tricks-the-blank-page-7-ways-to-overcome-artists-block/1107?c=2213303 Looking for inspiration? So is Andrew Rae. The renowned illustrator and cartoonist has worked for international clients such as NY Times and Google – yet, just like everyone else, Andrew knows artist’s block and procrastination first-hand. But he has a few tips up his sleeve t...

The Blank Page: 7 Ways to Overcome Artist’s Block

Looking for inspiration? So is Andrew Rae. The renowned illustrator and cartoonist has worked for international clients such as NY Times and Google – yet, just like everyone else, Andrew knows artist’s block and procrastination first-hand. But he has a few tips up his sleeve that he’s not too shy to share.

Here’s part one of his online tutorial series Luck of the Draw: The Blank Page.

How do you regularly fill the much-feared blank page with inspired art (and make a living with it)? Here are Andrew’s 7 invaluable tips:

Tip 1: Be your own boss

One of the big advantages of being an illustrator is that you can be your own boss. This also applies to what you wear and how you look. And, more importantly, you can choose your hours and (hopefully) your projects as well. This freedom will keep you going. It is the only possible way to keep looking at every image as a new discovery and a journey.

There are plenty of job types for freelance illustrators out there. They include editorial work that complements a text, illustrations for books (watch out, this requires lots of time and work), or advertising – which is often a quick way to make money, but it can be a hassle, too. You might also want to look for jobs in animation or live drawing in front of an audience.


llustration for an advertising job © Andrew Rae

Tip 2: Keep it simple – with pen and paper

Obviously, there are many tools for artists to create and render images. Paper, canvas, screen, felt pen, watercolor, ipad, Wacom graphic tablet, and more. All of these are regularly used by artists in an editorial and publishing as well as advertising, animation or mural context. However, amidst the abundant choice of equipment, it’s sometimes best to turn to the most basic of tools: a black pen on a piece of paper. It’s a quick and clear matter-of-fact way to communicate.


Illustrating with pen on Paper with the Wacom Intuos Pro Paper Edition © Andrew Rae

Tip 3: Get out, get inspired

Everybody suffers from self-doubt and a tendency to procrastinate once in a while. But don’t let artist’s block get a hold of you. Just get out and get inspired, as inspiration can hide anywhere – in books, catalogues, films, exhibitions, on the road or in the bathroom. Sometimes you might find that you get inspired by the things you specifically don’t like – this goes for politics and character traits as well as landscapes – rather than the nice and pretty things in the world.


Donald Trump caricature on magazine cover © Andrew Rae

Tip 4: Stop waiting, start drawing

Once you’re out and about, you might want to keep track of your ideas, i.e. in your phone or on a notepad. But be careful and don’t overwork a new idea. You want to keep it fresh and exciting for the actual drawing, with treasures to be found along the road while working it out. Otherwise the newly found inspiration might dissolve just as quickly as it has emerged.

This means: Stop waiting for inspiration and start drawing. You can always throw an image away if it’s no good. Often you will be surprised, however, as odd little thoughts often resonate for unknown reasons. If you experience difficulties bringing to paper what’s in your head (you might see or feel an idea in your mind, but it won’t translate onto paper the right way) – then still put in the effort and work it out step by step on paper. Don’t let difficulties be an excuse. You can make it work, and the result will be your reward.


“you’re nothing without a tapir” © Andrew Rae

Tip 5: Make it personal and interesting

How do we create truly interesting art? Combining images is one option. Draw a selection of symbols or simple, but emotionally loaded figures – such as a heart and a bomb and a brain and a gun. Now start mixing and combing them in interesting ways, then add character to your symbols to make them more personal. See how that works?


Playing around with symbols © Andrew Rae

Now draw something cliché like a still life, then add figures, tentacles or something unexpected to make it interesting, odd or funny. Draw what grabs your own attention. Have the image ask a question or allude to a story behind the image: Why is this character angry, what is that character thinking?

Remember: If you don’t find your image interesting, why should anyone else?

Tip 6: Find your own style and stick to it

Don’t worry too much about your style. Just let things flow, draw the way that comes to you naturally. Let your way of drawing become your “handwriting” – and just as natural and distinctive. Don’t try to copy other illustrators’ work, it will make your work less individual and characteristic. Avoid comparing yourself to other people and don’t let them tell you what you should do. Everyone is entitled to their own approach to drawing, sketching and doodling. You are your own creative machine!


"Why is he angry?" © Andrew Rae

Tip 7: Don’t overwork your art

Last but not least, one of the most vital tips for perfectionists: Stop before you overwork your art. At some point, just call it finished, and it will be.

 

Did you like this tutorial? Then look out for part two of Andrew Rae’s Luck of the Draw tutorial series: Don’t Polish a Turd. Coming up soon.

Rather watch Andrew´s spew his wisdom? Here you go:

Some Andrew Rae trivia

Andrew Rae is best known for his line drawing, expressive characters, playful and busy images filled with detail, as well as his sardonic, irreverent look at the world. He is a member of the multi-disciplinary Peepshow Collective, art directed the award-winning BBC animation Monkey Dust and created the graphic novel Moonhead and the Music Machine. Andrew gained special recognition in 1998 when he produced a series of flyers for the legendary club night Perverted Science in London, the vibrant city where he currently lives and works.

Follow Andrew on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Tumblr

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