Thursday, 19 September 2013

Thursday 19th September 2013 - Army Brush

Something I'm faced with, not exactly regularly, but often enough that it's a constant presence, is the necessity to paint a whole army. Undergoing such a task by painting the people one by one I feel leads to the image feeling awkward and flat, as when looking at a crowd in the distance, you don't see all the detail, just blocks of colour, light and shadow.

So to expedite the whole process, I made a very quick, and very rough, stamp brush, this stamped, while changing the size of the stamp and the transparency can very quickly create a massed horde of warriors - excellent!

Another excellent feature of the brush palette in Photoshop (f5) is that you can flip a brush on its X axis, so to avoid repetition, it's possible to just flip the brush and stamp it some more!

This was a quick 10 minute speedpaint to test it out. I added in some banners and flags to keep the visual interest there, and pulled out some shapes to create into some form of commander chap.

Another important thing to note is that adding speculars and highlights onto parts helps to increase the realism - I used an abstract brush stamp and randomly applied them - I didn't want to waste time zooming in and applying them individually.

So yeah! An army brush. If you want to download it and give it a go, the link is here:


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Wednesday 11th September 2013 - Dropbox!

This is something I downloaded while at uni mostly so I had a backup copy of files which I took in on USB drives in case they were corrupted or I lost my memory stick (both have happened in the past). However, its use is really becoming apparent now the responsibility is on me to get my clients the images they've commissioned me to do.

I don't really have many programmes and things I use which I'd blindly recommend - the other one being Photoshop - but I think Dropbox has enough uses to be something to seriously consider downloading: As some examples of how I use it, and what other options i'd have.

Firstly, in an artistic capacity: I have multiple directories on Dropbox, each for a separate client/job, and in here I can have sub directories for sketches, images, paintings, different images asked for, etc etc.

What could I do instead of Dropbox? Well, there are plenty of companies who provide programmes that allow the sending of large files via e-mail (YouSendIt), which is great if you're just sending one thing, but if there's a back and forth, revisions to be made and things to be compared and changed, clients won't want a .5GB e-mail each day, a simple link to a directory with all the images in (which require no download to view) makes life a hell of a lot easier.

There are other websites which provide an online file storage service - Google use Google Drive, Apple have their Cloud, DeviantArt have Now I can hold my hands up and say I've never used any of these - a client I'm working with at the moment use Google Drive, and you need a G-Mail account, and permission to view files. So while this isn't a problem, if you're trying to be professional and keep personal e-mail addresses and professional e-mail addresses separate, it's impossible with Google drive, as you need a G-Mail account to access the Google Drive, and as my professional e-mail isn't a G-Mail one, I'm kind of buggered.

What use do non arty people have for Dropbox? As well as professionally, I can use Dropbox to share things like wallpapers, mods for games, I used to use it for my Uni work, collaborative assignments, etc.

If you share a folder with multiple parties (The folder with the people on n the image above), who all have Dropbox, they get informed when files are updated and changed, which is helpful, so everyone can be working on the same version of a project. If you have found/downloaded a wallpaper which you think is particularly epic, a lot of image hosting websites resize them to upload them, not good if you have a 1920x1080 monitor. Dropbox doesn't! Which is always nice. If you have a .zip or .rar of game mods and want to share them, the only alternative I know of is things like Mediafire or Rapidshare, who have slow upload times, obtuse, unmemorable links, and often fail the upload at 99.9%.

With dropbox you have the folder on your desktop, so just click and drag the file, it syncs, then you share it. No captchas, no adverts, no potential viruses. It's pretty damn idiot proof, which in this day and age is rather important.

You can also solely use it for yourself, and access your files from any computer (Don't even need to download Dropbox, just go to, and pretty much any smartphone/tablet with the app downloaded - useful if you can't afford or justify memory sticks or portable hard drives.

You can also get 3.9GB of space for free if you trawl the "Get Free Space" option and spam things like Twitter and Facebook.

Really I can't recommend it enough, it makes getting clients files when freelancing super easy, combines the uses of a memory stick, fileshare server and image upload website in one, with no need for downloaders to create accounts, and no adverts.

So yeah, give it a try:

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Wednesday 4th September 2013 - Undead Skellies!

Some print screens of the process of my most recent painting. I'm particularly happy with the skeleton in the background and all his implied detail.