Just got back after attending another weekend convention! The 7th event on my circuit for the year. Liverpool's MCM Comic Con is the furthest north I've travelled and possibly last time I'll be heading up that far out for a long while. As always, great to meet lots of cool con goers, catch up with old friends and fellow artists alike 🙂
It had been a while since I drew any fanart. I did the pencil line art for this Death Note pic a few years ago, but only recently got around to inking and colouring it. Time permitting I'd love to draw up artwork for dozens more of my favourite anime 🙂
I have created a book!
It primarily covers Photoshop CS6 and CC, although most if it can be applied to earlier versions such as CS5 and CS4. I'd imagine a large chink of it could technically be applied and translated to other software such as Paint Tool Sai or Clip Studio Paint.
It details every little trick I've learned and implemented over the last dozen years of producing digital artwork by demonstrating a practical use on character art.
It's something I'm proud of and hope it can be as useful to aspiring digital artists and my other how-to-draw books have been for manga enthusiasts.
"Why Photoshop? It's such expensive software compared to alternatives"
Beginners might opt for cheaper software as their digital tool to start, and I wouldn't blame them. Something like Sai is great! I like it for inking and I've seen incredible results achieved with it.
Although alternative software tends to have limits, and it's hard to argue a case against Photoshop's power and versatility.
It's a tool students will eventually need to get to grips with once they go to Uni and Adobe programs are set up on their university or college computers. Then after graduating, you'll find most in-house film, animation and game studios are still favouring PS for 2D art creation.
If you want to be a professional and aren't taking advantage of PS's blending modes, Plug-ins and brushes, you could be doing your artwork a disservice or making things harder on yourself in the long run.
Also, once you get to grips with PS, learning other software in the Adobe family becomes a little easier. Illustrator, InDesign or even Dreamweaver share a similar interface and are designed to be cross-compatible. Learning PS for my manga art later allowed me to get employed as a full time web and graphic designer for several years. Other art or comic design software wont easily allow that kind of transition.
Why should I buy your book and not a different digital art guide or just find online tutorials?
1. I have a lot of faith in my book, Photoshop skills and breadth of knowledge. I'm experienced and confident with what I'm talking about. I've been using Photoshop since Version 4 back in the late 90s and experienced close to a dozen versions of the software. Don't take my word for it- check out my portfolio. The colour work is smooth, clean, detailed and expertly rendered. I'm teaching readers how to achieve a similar deep, vibrant and professional look to their artwork.
2. The book covers the latest version of Photoshop- books published several years ago may cover out of date software. I've tried to make Digital Manga backwards and forwards (as much as is possible) compatible.
3. Digital Manga's tutorials covers a lot, and in-depth. The aim is to bring a novice up to a similar level to myself as quickly as possible. Art still takes a ton of time and practice to get better, but if I can bring a reader's colouring and rendering skills up a notch or two for a reasonable price, I'd like to think that's worth it.
4. Online tutorials can be a bit hit and miss. Before writing Digital Manga, I spent a long time researching what's already online. While there is some excellent stuff out there, it can be hard to find everything a beginner might need. There's also a lot of confusing, poorly written instruction to contend with. Where as I'm able to draw upon my years of teaching experience from tthe previous how-to book's I've had published in order to deliver detailed, yet concise information.
5. Online tutorials are scattered across the web in various locations while Digital Manga houses 160 pages of info in one place. - That info has consistency. It's written by the same author, so you know you wont be getting confused by trying to follow different terminology or a different way of doing things from a variety of different teachers. With digital art, there are multiple ways to achieve the same result so I'd say be consistent and get the basics down before exploring other methods.
6. Even if you read a lot of tutorials and have other art books, there's always room for another. One should never stop learning. And I'd be very surprised if a reader didn't learn at least one new, useful technique from the book.
7. Line art and assets contained in the book can be downloaded for readers to practice on and follow the rendering tutorials Step-by-Step.
8. I want you to become better! I'm happy to offer assistance with any aspect covered in the book, so feel free to email me if you're having difficulty with something and I'll do my best to assist.
And if you've read it, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Another weekend, another convention! This time at the Film and Comic Con at Olympia in London. Now that the weekend has come to an end, I'm starting to run low on some of my stock. Only 2 or 3 prints left for certain designs and I'm down to my last 8 Digital Manga books which I hope will last for Liverpool's MCM con in a few weeks time. I'll be back at the LF&CC at Olympia in July this year.
The 5th comic convention on my circuit at London's Excel centre has come to an end. I'm still enjoying the cons, and will be attending Olympia in a few days for another- The London Comic and Film Festival. The London Super Comic Con was definitely more artist orientated, with a preference for the western scene over anime, manga or film. I got to check out some work by some other amazing foreign artists who don't attend many/any other UK cons and now I'm totally eager to commission some original pieces by one or two of them as soon as I can budget for it. So much good art. If anyone has a spare million lying around anywhere, feel free to send it my way!
The 4th comic convention on my circuit in Telford, West Midlands has come to an end. I enjoyed it- met some great people and received some awesome comments about my work. Means a lot. Dealing with insomnia during a busy weekend event doesn't help matters, but I'm glad everything went smoothly.
Right now I'm in the middle of checking and amending proofs for my latest book, 'The Artist's Guide to Drawing Manga'. It's looking nice, and hopefully will be available for sale in the coming month or two once it goes to print.
Back from attending the London Anime and Gaming Con. Managed to finally get my Deathnote fan art inked, coloured and printed for the event which got a lot of interest. I'll add it to my portfolio gallery in due course and make prints available for sale through my store soon.
I'm booked up for several UK comic conventions this year. I'll be selling my artwork prints and books. Feel free to stop by at my table and say hi if attending any of these:
- London anime and gaming Con : 6th / 7th February
- MCM Midlands Comic Con : 13th February
- London Super Comic Con : 20th / 21st February
- London Film and Comic Con : 27th / 28th February
- MCM Liverpool Comic Con : 12th / 13th March
- Medway Comic and Screen Fest : 19th March
- MCM London Comic Con : 27th / 28th / 29th May
- London Film and Comic Con : 29th /30th / 31st July
I'll be updating this list later in the year as and when I'm able to make bookings for other events, so watch this space.
New How-To Manga book in the works!
For those that don't know, I'm currently working on a new How-to-Draw Tutorial book relating to manga and character art. 113 pages down with another 15 to get done by the end of the year!
My first book 'The Art of Drawing Manga' came out 12 years ago. I still have people come up to me or message to say how much it helped them when they were starting along their artistic journey. Even though back in 2003 I didn't feel I was at an artistic level to be teaching how to draw, I always hoped that it might at least inspire a few beginners to give it a go and I could provide a few words of wisdom and tips and I'd picked up along the way. I'm glad it could help so many 🙂
For 2016 I'd like 'The Artist's Guide to Drawing Manga' (TAGTDM) to help a new generation of fans learn some useful techniques to create their own manga inspired artwork. Unlike with Youtube tutorials or tutorial web pages in general, my latest book provides the opportunity to detach from the internet and take some time to read through a dedicated resource housing several key learning guides or chapters all in a single package. TAGTDM allows users to either flick through, dip into, or follow from start to finish.
It's better to read a book than browse online
While researching parts of the book via the internet I found a lot of free manga art content online, some of it totally awesome! Although there's also a far more poor quality information which isn't very concise, well written or explained, and so much is scattered throughout the web at different locations. I might find a great tutorial on how to draw a manga eye, but then might need to spend a fair while looking for a tutorial which shows how create a full manga page, then more time finding tips on how to ink or colour my work digitally, or answers certain questions I might have.
Web tutorials are often given by different artists who have different approaches to their work, making things confusing for newbies. And they may not have the time to be particularly concise, or have their words copy-edited by someone else.
Along with my near 30 years of love for games, comics and animation, I'd expect that if any beginner were to follow TAGTDM from start to finish they'd definitely level up and increase their skills and knowledge. I'd imaging even artists with some experience would be able to gain a few insights also.
Even if people already own a how-to-draw book, or 10, a fresh reminder of how it can be done or reading a different professional artist's take on it can always help 🙂
Recently finished a 2 day comic con stint at the NEC. People stopping by at my table and taking an interest in my work is always very much appreciated. It was interesting to see what artworks fans were interested in- with 20+ different prints, there weren't many that didn't get either a positive comment or purchased, so not sure how I might better cater for shoppers in the future. For now I'll just continue offering as much variety as I can 🙂 A good experience sampling both this and the London Con last month, and expect to attend some more shows in 2016.
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