I’ve been getting a lot of asks lately about the brushes and textures I use in my work, so here’s a BIG FAT REFERENCE POST for those of you who were curious! Bear in mind that I’m really lazy and don’t know what half the settings do, so don’t be afraid to experiment to figure out what works best for you :>
I use the pencil tool with SAI’s native paper texture both for sketching and for applying opaque color with no blending. Lower opacities give it the feel of different pencil hardnesses, while full opacity makes it more like a palette knife, laying down hard-edged, heavy color for detail work or eventual blending with other brushes.
Mostly made this because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to have to keep turning my textures off/opacity up when I wanted to ink something (even though I don’t do it very often), or lay down flat colors. I find the line quality to be much more crisp than Photoshop, and you can manually adjust in-program stabilization to help smooth out hand wobbles.
The plain ol’ brush tool acts as sort of an in-between for me in terms of brush flow. It’s heavier than my usual workhorse brush, for faster color application and rough blending, but not as heavy as the pencil tool, which has no blending at all. I like to use the canvas texture on this brush to help break up the unnatural smoothness that usually accompanies digital brushes, but it works just fine without.
A brush tool set to flat bristle is by far my favorite to paint with. I don’t use any textures with it because I think the shape of the brush provides enough of that by itself. I use it for everything from rough washes to more refined shaping and polish. It’s just GREAT.
Best used for smooth blending, washes, gradients, and smoky atmospheric effects.
Basically a grittier version of the watercolor tool, because too much smoothness weird me out. Good for clouds and fog, as the name suggests, or just less boring gradient fills.
To further stave off the artificially smooth look of digital painting, I almost always overlay some sort of paper texture, and it’s almost always this one, which I scanned and edited myself. You’re all welcome to use it, no permission required!
Using overlays in SAI is just as easy as using them in Photoshop. Just paste the texture into its own layer above everything you want it to apply to, and change the layer mode to Overlay. That’s it!
Want a more prominent texture? Up the contrast. Something more subtle? Lower the contrast or reduce the layer opacity. You can also use a tinted overlay to adjust the overall palette and bring a little more color unity to an otherwise disparate piece! Just be aware that too much texture can hurt the readability of the work beneath it, so I’d err on the side of subtlety.
Hope that helps!
A mouth-watering fuck-ton of hand references.
[From various sources]
Everyone likes to joke about how hard hands are to draw, but at least there’s plenty of great reference out there! And obviously there’s always the reference attached to your wrist.
If only every difficult-to-draw thing was so convenient D;
I did these for my animal drawing final, but I figured they might be useful for someone here. YEY BEARS.
Some awesome leg tutorials done by n3m0s1s.
There’s always space for yet another armor tutorial, right? (ﾉ´ヮ´)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Note that the armor I drew would be worn around 15th century, the more into the future the less and less components knight’s armor had (i. e. in early 14th century instead of greaves a knight would wear long boots only; in 12th century knights didn’t wear plate breastplates and instead a chain mail only). Also the design of armor pattern changed by year and was different in every country (i.e. in eastern Europe armors, while still looking European, were heavily influenced by Turkey). so just make sure you always do research whenever drawing an armor. And one more thing to keep in mind is that armors were expensive, knights wearing a full plate armor weren’t an often sight.
Some links that may be useful:
- Armour Archive (I strongly suggest to browse its forum, there is no country or period of which armor wouldn’t be discussed)
- Therion Arms (armorer’s page; each accessory is photographed in big resolution and several time so it’s a nice page to use as reference for drawing)
- Revival Clothing (another store, but both with medieval clothing and armors; I suggest to read the articles, they’re often supported with pictures)
- Basic Armouring:A Practical Introduction to Armour Making (pdf)
- Educational Charts (pdf, shows how armors and weapons changed over the years)
- Medieval & Renaissance Material Culture (actual medieval resources, mostly paintings. And my favourite subpage - women in armor)
- Dressing in Steel (youtube; a demonstration how to dress in armor)
- How shall a man be armed? (youtube; another demonstration but with 4 different knights from different periods)
Because attempting to animate in the purgatory that is a midway between Sai and Photoshop is akin to sawing off your dick with a nail file, I got around to this last week.
The goal is to allow for viewing of wip animations being made in Sai without having to load the project into Photoshop, Flash, or whatever your external timeline of choice is. Essentially, you export each frame as a .png into a folder and then just overwrite them in the same way when you want to update a frame.
On load it defaults to whatever directory it’s sitting in, but if you want to keep it somewhere else you can select the folder source post-load.
Images are loaded alphabetically, so all of these are valid:
- a.png, b.png, c.png
- 1.png, 2.png, 3.png
- Frame1.png, Frame2.png, Frame3.png.
It runs off .png files because I don’t see why you’d use any other format in 2014. If anyone desperately wants .jpeg support or something I can add a toggle though.
Image locations are loaded fresh upon each iteration and held within the program so you can add, update and remove frames without stopping it if you want to. This means you can leave it open on a second monitor and have a looping preview without leaving Sai.
Shit runs on .net 4.5 since C# is cakewalk for stuff like this.
So I’m not sure what to call this
But I figured I’d at least try to impart my knowledge of (hank hill voice) weapons and weapon accessories.
If you like this, tell me, and I might do another tutorial some time!
A wicked fuck-ton of feline anatomy references.
[From various sources]
So my historical costuming resources list from 2011 was less than a page long- I’m not saying that I’ve learned a lot in the past three years, but this list is now sitting pretty at a solid nine pages. Whew. And people wonder why I want to redo this damn series.
This list is by no means an exhaustive one- it’s a list of (primarily western) historical fashion resources, both online and offline, that is limited to what I know, own, or use! It’s a work in progress, and I’m definitely hoping to expand on it as my knowledge base grows. First things first, how about a little:
ADVICE FOR RESEARCHING HISTORICAL FASHION
- Read, and read about more than just costuming. Allowing yourself to understand the cultural and historical context surrounding the clothing of a particular region/period can be invaluable in sussing out good costume design. Looking at pictures is all well and good, but reading about societal pressures, about construction techniques, daily routines, local symbolism, whatever else will really help you understand the rhyme and reason behind costuming from any given context.
- Expand your costume vocabulary. When you’re delving into a new topic, costuming or otherwise, picking up new terminology is essential to proper understanding and furthering your research. Write down or take note of terms as you come across them- google them, look up synonyms, and use those words as a jumping off point for more research. What’s a wire rebato? How does it differ from a supportasse? Inquiring minds want to know.
- Double-check your sources. Especially on the internet, and double especially on tumblr. I love it, but it’s ground zero for rapidly spreading misinformation. Books are usually your safest bet, but also take into account their date of publication, who’s writing them- an author’s biases can severely mangle their original source material.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Do everything you can to find out information on your own, but feel free to reach out to people with more specialized areas of knowledge for help! Be considerate about it- the people you’re asking are busy as well- but a specific line of questioning that proves you’re passionate and that you respect their subject matter expertise can work wonders.
Okay, onto the links!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of getting off the internet and looking into books! God bless the internet, but books are (generally, this isn’t a rule) better-researched and better-sourced. Bibliographies also mean each individual books can be a jumping off point for further research, which is always a fantastic thing.
Remember- owning books is awesome and you should absolutely assemble your own library of resources, but LIBRARIES. Libraries. You’ll be surprised to find what books are available to you at your local library.
GENERAL / SURVEYS
- British Costume from Earliest Times to 1820
Fine book with lots of first hand sources, but be wary of the photography in the book- reproduction costumes and thus somewhat less reliable. Though hilarious.
- Corsets and Crinolines
Norah Waugh’s invaluable survey of corsetry and corset patterns- used the world ‘round by modern corsetieres.
- Costume in Detail: Women’s Dress 1730-1930
Elaborate line drawings/diagrams of extant period garments! A fantastic survey.
- Cut of Men’s Clothes
PDF available online! Patterns for men’s period garments.
- Cut of Women’s Clothes
Patterns for women’s period garments.
- Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing Through World History
This is a library find, unless you have a pretty three hundred bucks lying around- a great, general resource.
- A History of Costume
A lot of good text and info, to be taken with a grain of salt. Be wary of any reconstructions and or “supposed” patterns that aren’t directly based on extant garments or firsthand accounts.
- Fashion (Taschen 25th Anniversary)
A survey of the Kyoto Costume Institute’s fashion collection- broad but beautiful. On every fashion student’s bookcase.
- Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style
Great overview of fashion history from the Smithsonian and DK publishing.
- The History of Costume: From the Ancient Mesopotamians Through the Twentieth Century
Broad costume survey, second edition.
- What People Wore: 1,800 Illustrations from Ancient Times to the Early Twentieth Century
this is one of those “I am putting this here because I used it a ton when I was younger” but man, mixed bag. Really cool survey to browse through, but also work that is a copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy in most instances and thus not necessarily trustworthy as a resource.
- What People Wore When: A Complete Illustrated History of Costume from Ancient Times to the Nineteenth Century for Every Level of Society
A collection of Racinet and Hottentoth’s costume plates from the 19th century. A beautiful survey but, since these are later illustrations, to be taken with a grain of salt.
Patterns fo Fashion books
Detailed, hand-drawn diagrams of historical fashion, inside and out. Pretty amazing stuff.
- Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women, C.1560-1620
- Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction C. 1660-1860
- Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction C. 1860-1940
- Patterns of Fashion 4: The Cut and Construction of Linen Shirts, Smocks, Neckwear, Headwear and Accessories for Men and Women C. 1540-1660
Fashion in Detail books
Not what you want if you’re looking for photos of entire costumes- note the “in detail” bit up there. Just a beautiful series, and great reference for all the little things you might miss otherwise. The V&A has an amazing fashion collection, and it’s great to see them share it with the world.
- Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail
- Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail
- Underwear: Fashion in Detail
- World Dress: Fashion in Detail
The one non-western entry in the series.
- Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 - 1915
LACMA’s response to the V&A’s series mentioned above, also an invaluable resource for historical fashion detail.