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Hey, how's everyone? :D Nothing much has been happening here at :iconacceptallart:,

SO, LET'S HAVE A HUGE LLAMA TRADING GAME!



What do you have to do?


:bulletblue: Give the last person who commented on this journal a llama,
Scroll down and give more people llamas = receive more llamas!

:bulletgreen: Then feel free to advertise yourself (llamas only)!


:iconllama3dplz::iconllama3dplz::iconllama3dplz::iconllama3dplz::iconllama3dplz:

ps. give a llama here, get a llama from me! share the love! :heart:
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CSS: Want a scroll box?

Sun Nov 28, 2010, 9:55 PM
Want a simple scroll box like this one in your journal? Here's how! Just append the following CSS code into the journal CSS:

.scrollbox {
width: 100%;
height: 300px;
padding: 4px 6px;
border: 1px solid #fff;
margin: 0 auto;
overflow: auto;
box-sizing: border-box;
}



And to use it, insert this HTML code into the journal text:

<div class="scrollbox">Insert your text here.</div>


You can use the HTML code multiple times to create multiple boxes. For example, you can have one for your print features and one for your friends list. You can change the values of the width, height, padding, and border to your liking. If the width is less than 100%, it will automatically be centered. If you don't want it centered, delete the margin line from the CSS code.

I hope you find this useful. And thanks for using my journal skin. :)


  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: Hitomi Shimatani &quot;Heart&amp;Symphony&quot;
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How to: Scroll Boxes

Wed May 16, 2012, 10:28 AM by ginkgografix:iconginkgografix:
Transferred from eCSSercise.

This is the first part of a tutorial series that I will be working on in the future and will be released whenever I find the time for it.
In order to know how I can make them better and to make it easier for you to understand the things I am talking about it would be appreciated if you would leave some feedback!


---

For this tutorial series I am explaining different elements you can create or modify with the help of CSS. The level of experience that is needed to be able to understand the tutorials can differ and will be in no order.  I will try to explain the things as simple as possible though.




The Basics


To create a scrollbox you don’t need much, just a box with a limited height or width in order to enforce the scrollbar. If you don’t limit the dimensions of the box it will adjust itself to the space given by the browser resolution and settings.

The limited dimension itself doesn’t create the scrollbar, it just limits the area the content will be displayed. Therefore it is needed that you tell the box what it should do with the content that doesn’t fit into the box. That’s when overflow will be used. It defines how such ‘overflowing’ content will be handled.

We are using the auto value as it does only create the scrollbar when needed. If you use the scroll value the scrollbar will be visible all the time, even if the content does fit to the created box.


Our code for a simple version would look like this:

HTML
<div class="scrollbox">Your content goes here</div>

CSS
.scrollbox{
height: 100px;
overflow: auto;}

The result (added more text so that you can see the scrollbar):

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua.










At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.


And that is all, that’s where you start with when creating scroll boxes. You now can style the box itself to make the appearance a bit more fancy by adding colors, images, changing the size, adding extra feature to the box itself or giving it borders, placing it within other elements etc.

Below I will give you a few examples of what you can do.



Modify your Scrollbox


The code variations all use the base explained above.

:pointr: Adding a background and border
With the help of the border and background property we are able to visually separate our scroll box from the regular content a bit more.
I am just using solid colors here, but of course you can vary that as well.

.scrollbox{
height: 100px;
overflow: auto;
border: 1px solid #000;
background: #536a5d;}


The result

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua.










At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.




:pointr: Adding margin and padding
Those properties can help you to arrange your scroll box within your journal(margin) as well as avoid that the content is too squeezed(padding).
The border was added so that it is easier for you to see the changes.

.scrollbox{
height: 100px;
overflow: auto;
border: 1px solid #000;
padding: 20px;
margin: 0 50px 0 130px;}


The result

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua.








At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.





:pointr: Horizontal scroll
Even less used sometimes you can see scroll boxes with a horizontal scrollbar as well. For this version you need to limit the width instead of the height.
Additionally we need to tell the browser that it shouldn’t enforce new lines until we make use of <br/>.

.scrollbox{
width:400px;
white-space: nowrap;
overflow: auto;
border: 1px solid #000;}


The result

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua.








At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.





Example Usage


Pattern Journal by thatfire-stock Heart Note Journal Skin by AlecWolfe Start Menu - Blue by LifesDestiny Journal CSS - flowers fixed by kuschelirmel-stock .:Grey Flowers II by ginkgografix





Have any questions or don't understand something?
Questions should be left in a comment directly to this blog so that people with similar problems can look them up later as well.

If there are certain things you want me adress the next time, either leave a comment here as well or note me directly.

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Welcome to "Ask the Art Professor"! Essentially an advice column for visual artists, this is your chance to ask me your questions about being an artist, the creative process, career advice, a technical question about a material, etc.  Anything from the smallest technical question to the large and philosophical is welcome. I'll do my best to provide a thorough, comprehensive answer to your question. Submit your question by emailing me at clara(at)claralieu.com, or by posting here on this blog. All questions will be posted anonymously.  

Here's today's question:

"What is the best way to simplify the human figure? As cubes or as spheres?"

The answer is neither.  I see people all the time trying to reduce the human figure into a series of geometric shapes when they're drawing from a live model.  They draw spheres where there are joints (wrists, shoulders, elbows, etc.) and it always ends up looking like an awful mannequin. The problem with this approach is that cubes and spheres used in this manner have nothing to do with the actual anatomical structure and forms of the human figure.

When I teach figure drawing, I simplify the human figure into the three structural concepts listed below.  If you draw the human figure with these structural concepts in mind, you'll be pleasantly surprised that you'll have a likeness of a figure in no time. The order of these structural concepts is important to maintain as well, as the largest forms are addressed first and then eventually working down into the smaller details.

1)Major Masses: Major masses are essentially the largest forms on the human figure.  I recommend beginning a figure drawing by first addressing the torso, by far the largest form. The torso is where all of the limbs and the head intersect, so it's critical to knock in the torso immediately when starting a figure drawing. The torso can then be subdivided into a ribcage and pelvis, which provides a sense of structure within the torso itself. From there, the head and thighs can be quickly added to provide more mass to the form. The limbs and the hands and feet should come in last.

2)Centerline: There is an imaginary centerline down the front of the torso and down the back of the torso.  On the back of the torso, the centerline is easy to spot because it is basically the spine.  On the front of the torso, the centerline starts at the pit of the neck, (the point in between the collarbones, aka clavicles) moves down the center of the rib cage, through the belly button down to the pubic bone on the pelvis. A centerline is highly descriptive of the type of pose that is being struck by a figure.  Look at the centerline when a model is posing and ask yourself what the centerline is doing:  is the centerline perfectly straight?  Is it twisted, is it leaning to the right or left?  If you quickly establish how the centerline is behaving in your figure drawing, you've won half the battle.

3)Boney Landmarks: Boney landmarks are areas on the human figure where the bone is directly under the surface of the skin. These landmarks are significant because they are consistent with every single person, regardless of how large or thin they may be. When you're looking at a model, search for these boney landmarks and indicate them in your drawing. Some boney landmarks include:  collar bones, elbows, kneecaps, ankle bones, shoulder blades, etc. Boney landmarks are considered to be details, so they should not be drawn in until the major masses and centerline are well established.
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Welcome to "Ask the Art Professor"! Essentially an advice column for visual artists, this is your chance to ask me your questions about being an artist, the creative process, career advice, a technical question about a material, etc.  Anything from the smallest technical question to the large and philosophical is welcome. I'll do my best to provide a thorough, comprehensive answer to your question. Submit your question by emailing me at clara(at)claralieu.com, or by posting here on this blog. All questions will be posted anonymously.

Here's today's question:

"What is the best way to practice my drawing skills in traditional media? I draw with colored pencils and I also paint with acrylics and I am sort of okay at it , but I really want to become better."

Drawing is a highly complex beast which involves so many different elements at the various skill levels. Rather than get into all of those details, I'm going to boil it down to four fundamental directives that will help improve your drawing skills across all skill levels and media.

1) Draw from direct observation. This sounds so simple, and yet I'm appalled at how many artists don't work from direct observation when they are looking to improve their drawing skills. Photographs may be convenient and easier to work from, but they're a cheap shortcut that will lead to the development of all sorts of bad habits.The amount of information that a photograph has pales in comparison to seeing a subject in real life.  This is not to say that one should never ever in their lifetime work from a photograph; I work from photographs all the time now. However, I'm able to do this because I've developed skills based on many, many years of working from direct observation.

When you work from life, you experience your subject matter in way that a photograph could never allow you to:  you can touch your subject, smell it, walk around it, and see the subject within the context of its environment. This overall sensory experience is vital towards your understanding of your subject matter and will always translate into your drawing. Drawing is as much about learning how to see as it is about the marks that you put on the page.  Experiencing your subject in real life will teach you how to hone your skills in observation. The skills that you will gain from working from direct observation will tremendously inform and support your ability to work from all sorts of other references.

2) Practice daily.  Drawing is very similar to athletics.  If you were an athlete, you would have a rigid schedule of training set up that you would adhere to. Drawing is the same way: it requires serious focus, rigorous training, and intense physical stamina. Every time you sit down to draw, it's an opportunity to sharpen your eye, and become more proficient in coordinating your mind and eye with the physical movements of your arm and hand.   Many people get impatient with drawing and expect results right away.    You have to be committed, and be able to recognize that improvement is a slow and gradual process. One would never expect to be an Olympic level skier after one week of training, the same way you can't expect to be a master of drawing after working for a few days.

3) Practice gesture drawing.  If you can do strong gesture drawings, you've already won half the battle. Gesture drawings are the core of any drawing, they capture the essence of what a drawing is trying to say in just a few strokes, in just a few minutes. The first 2 minutes of a drawing are critical in that they lay the foundation for the rest of the drawing. It doesn't matter how polished your drawing is if the initial gesture isn't there to begin with.

Ideally, one should practice gesture drawing from a nude model, but if you don't have access to a model, there are plenty of other options.  You can go to a local cafe and sketch people sitting in the cafe, or draw a bunch of friends who are sitting around.   One of my friends always liked going to the beach to draw  because people sit still and they're practically naked anyway.  I had a peer in art school who used to go to college parties and draw all of the drunk people sitting around. Get creative and find as many contexts as possible where you can practice your gesture drawing.

To create a strong gesture gesture, it's important to keep your arm moving and circulating throughout the page, moving from top to bottom, side to side, very quickly. Start very, very light with marks that barely show on the page.  This allows you to make lots of mistakes that will not show later because they'll be so light. Develop all of the parts of the drawing together so that you don't neglect any area.   Try to aim for continuous movements and fluid lines rather than fragmenting your lines into choppy marks. Look at your subject more than you look at your drawing; your subject is where the information is. Keep your gesture drawings about 2-5 minutes in length, any longer than that it's too easy to get lazy and fall back into bad habits.

4) Look at historical drawings. Go to the library and check out books that feature drawings by historical artists. (avoid the internet, you won't get nearly the range or selection of drawings) The drawings that you'll learn the most from are gesture drawings and quick sketches done in sketchbooks.  In these quick sketches you'll get to see all of the visual evidence: you get to see all of the mistakes, all of the troubleshooting that happens in an artist's drawing process. This is what is so unique about drawing that you won't see in other media like painting and sculpture- the opportunity to see traces of an artist's process in a drawing.   Investigate and analyze what kinds of strategies these artists take in their drawing process and try to use them in your own.
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Callibrate your Wacom tutorial

Wed May 22, 2013, 9:07 PM
Had you  finally  made  the transition from intuos 3 to intuos 4?, or Are you rich to change into an intuos 5? Had you made the transition from a first generation cintiq  to the new ones?. More levels of pressure will mean  more quality to the paintings, am i right?. 


Did you thought that by default the pen will it be like using butter on bread?, you try it for the first time and you love all of it, you said i have sooooooo much control on my strokes im having a blast. Then only  to realize you only have total control of the brush but when you are moving it really slow?. But when you do quick strokes the pressure drops a lot of paint making you redraw tons of stuff?

Did you ever thought that painter its hard to handle with new tablet? Too much pressure? If it has more pressure why i cant control more easier the beggining of the stroke which is more crucial?.



Have you ever open the customize option in wacom settings,  only to feel dumb and not knowing what the hell are your doing? Went to forums, and nobody gets what you are talking about? Miss your old tablet already, but you cant use it back because you sold it? Want to have a retro feeling of old intuos 3 in the beggining of the stroke, with more control using the advantage of new 2048 levels of pressure?.



FEARRRRR NOOOTTT, A Digital Berserk brand has that settings just  for you, especially customized to get that retro feel that  your hipster pen needs. To have a pen just like Elsevilla( the pen only has same pressure, you wont get the same Awesomnessss as him, either his anatomical errors and bad taste of colors, viewer discretion is advised)  


You dont need to pay anything, only takes a little of your time and... coufghhh(your soul) cooouufghhh.



Click now and you will receive a small tutorial, and as a special offer we will include images of the steps, and a recorded musical video vhs cassette with the performance of elsevillas in the  shower with his mayor hit, por que sera? cover( vhs cassette gift wont apply in countries outside of Elsevilla living room, viewer discretion is advised, (love typing that,(a parenthesis inside a parenthesis ...parenthisception)))

This commercial was sponsored by A digital Berserk.



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Basic CSS Style Guide

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:16 AM

Introduction



CSS is a style language used to define the style and formatting of web pages. It is used in conjunction with HTML.


If we think of HTML as the building blocks of the web then, essentially, CSS is the painter and decorator. Very simply, HTML defines the structure of the page and CSS defines the style.

What I'll be helping you with here is getting to grips with the basics of CSS. I'll be explaining how use CSS as well as providing a number of examples that you can use to style your own web pages and journals. All you need to do is copy/paste the code and replace the sample text with your own content. Along with the quick reference I've also written a brief glossary of terms and provided a list of useful links in case you wish to do some further reading.

A point of note is that while the information and examples I've given here apply to CSS use anywhere on the web, this guide itself is geared towards the use of CSS on deviantART. As such, and given that this has been created as a basic guide and quick reference, you may require further reading to make the most of CSS's capabilities.

As always, if you have any questions or problems just let me know.




How To



CSS is written in the following format.

selector {property:value;}

The selector selects the element to be styled, the property defines the aspect of that element to be styled and the value defines the way the element will be styled. Let's look at a complete example to see how it works.



h1 {color:#4f4f4f;}

In this example we're saying that we want the colour (property) of all h1 (selector) elements to be dark grey (value).

You can specify a number of properties and values for the same element.



h1 {color:#4f4f4f;text-transform:uppercase;}

In the above example we're saying that we want the colour of all h1 elements to be dark grey and written in uppercase letters.

Now, CSS contains the information for styling elements but it can't act on it's own. HTML elements are needed to create content for those styles to then be applied to. Let's look at an example of how this works.



CSS
h1 {color:#4f4f4f;}
HTML
<h1>sample text</h1>


In the CSS we're saying that the h1 header elements should be dark grey. In the HTML we're declaring the sample text as a h1 element. The CSS will read the HTML <h1> tags and colour the text in-between them dark grey.

CSS on deviantART can be used in journal and gallery skins. For journals, the HTML will be written along with your normal journal text in the Sta.sh editor and the CSS will be written in the journal's Edit Skin area. For galleries, the HTML will be written in the description box and the CSS will be written in the Add CSS area.




Selectors



Selectors determine the element to be styled. There are a number of different selector types you can use depending on the desired outcome.

Element Selectors target the content of HTML tags based on the element name. The example below says that all paragraph text should be dark grey.



CSS
p {color:#4f4f4f;}
HTML
<p>sample text</p>


id Selectors target the content of HTML tags based on a specified id. The id should be unique and used for a single element on the page.  Id selectors are signified in CSS by a hash tag preceding the id name. The HTML element should include the text id="..." within the opening tag.

The example below says that paragraph text with the 'intro' id should be dark grey.


CSS
#intro {color:#4f4f4f;}
HTML
<p id="intro">sample text</p>


Class Selectors target the content of HTML tags based on a specified class name. Elements using the same class can be used multiple times on the page. Class selectors are signified in CSS by a full stop preceding the class name. The HTML element should include the text class="..." within the opening tag.

The example below says that any element with the 'info' class should be dark grey. In this case any <a> tag, <p> tag or any other tag including the 'info class' will be styled.


CSS
.info {color:#4f4f4f;}
HTML
<p class="info">sample text</p>


The example below says that any paragraph text with the 'info' class should be dark grey. In this case only <p> tags including the 'info' class will be affected. <a> tags, for example, containing the 'info' class will not be styled.


CSS
p.info {color:#4f4f4f;}
HTML
<p class="info">sample text</p>


You can use your own id and class names. Just remember to make sure that the class or id name you use in the HTML matches what you've written in the CSS.


References



The reference list below gives examples of a number of common properties that you can use to style your pages and journals. Simply replace the green text in each example with your own values. If there are limited acceptable values for a property then the options are given underneath the example. Where a numerical or hex value are required you can enter any valid value.



Text



font-family
specifies the font to be used
font-family: arial;
times new roman, georgia, arial, etc

font-size
specifies the size of the text
font-size: 12px;
insert a value

font-style
styles text as italic or normal
font-style: italic;
normal, italic

font-weight
styles text as bold or normal
font-weight: bold;
normal, bold

color
sets the text colour
color: #000000;
insert a hex value

letter-spacing
inserts space between letters
letter-spacing: 2px;
insert a value

text-align
aligns text
text-align: right;
left, right, center, justify

text-decoration
strikes out or underlines text
text-decoration: none;
none, underline, line-through

text-transform
sets text to uppercase or lowercase letters
text-transform: uppercase;
uppercase, lowercase


Design



background-color
sets the background colour
background-color: #ffffff;
hex value, transparent

background-image
sets a background image
background-image: url(http://website.com/bg.png);
insert your image URL.

background-repeat
repeats background image / used with background-image property
background-repeat: repeat-x;
repeat, repeat-x, repeat-y, no-repeat

border
creates a border around an element
border: 1px solid #4f4f4f;
solid, dotted, dashed

border-radius
creates rounded border corners / used with border property
border-radius: 5px;
insert a value


Layout



margin
creates space around the outside of an element
margin: 10px auto 10px auto;
insert a value for each side (top-right-bottom-left)

padding
creates space inside an element
padding: 10px auto 10px auto;
insert a value for each side (top-right-bottom-left)

float
floats an element left or right
float: left;
left, right

position
specifies the type of positioning used for an element
position: absolute;
absolute, relative

width
sets the width of an element
width: 50px;
insert a value

height
sets the height of an element
height: 50px;
insert a value

display
specifies what type of box to use for an element
display: none;
none, inline, block


Glossary



CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) is a style language used to define the style and formatting of web pages.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a markup language used to create web pages.

Selectors specify the element to be styled. Below we are selecting all h1 header elements to be styled.


h1 {color:#4f4f4f;}


Properties are the different aspects of style that can be defined. Below we are defining the colour of all h1 header elements.


h1 {color:#4f4f4f;}


Values define the way elements are styled. Below were are saying we want all h1 header element to be dark grey.


h1 {color:#4f4f4f;}


Tags are used to define layout and styles. Tag names are enclosed in angle brackets and usually come in pairs consisting of an opening tag and closing tag. The closing tag includes a forward slash before the tag name.
<tag> </tag>


URL (uniform resource locator) refers to the specific location of an item on the internet. It is also refered to as a web address and is used to identify and link to specific pages and content.


http://www.website.com


Hex codes are a string of six digits and letters preceeded by a hash tag used to define a certain colour.


#ffffff


Helpful Links



deviantART Customisation FAQ
A list of the most frequently asked questions regarding customising your deviantART account. Answers include information and instructions.

Basic HTML Formatting Guide
A quick guide to formatting content with HTML.

w3schools
A comprehensive information resource covering all aspects of HTML.

Hex and RGB values
Get hex and rgb numbers for any colour

Google Fonts
A collection of Open Source fonts you can use on your pages for free.


A little while ago I wrote the Basic HTML Formatting Guide for those of you wishing to customise your deviantART accounts. This CSS guide works alongside that to introduce the basics of CSS. You can apply this knowledge to deviantART journal and gallery skins as well as using the information and examples to help with building and styling your own web pages.

I've gone over this with a fine-tooth comb but if you notice any errors please just let me know. Same goes if there's anything you think I should add or clarify. Cheers, guys.

More Resources
Basic HTML Formatting Guide
Basic CSS Style Guide
Custom Box Troublehsooting
Custom Folder Icon Tuorial
Free backgrounds, graphics and skins
Show
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ATTiTuDE Free Skin - Pink + Black

Sun Nov 24, 2013, 4:29 AM

Skin designed & coded by CypherVisor


Main body title


Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Highlights



Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.


List items


  • List item name here
  • List item name here
  • List item name here


News


Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Thumbnails


dont Kid with me by MrFarts Acrylic Air Balloons - Exclusive Mixed Media by somadjinn


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A General Guide to Freelancing

Fri Mar 2, 2007, 6:29 PM
  • Mood: Artistic
Hello all!  Recently I've been getting a lot of notes and e-mails asking for suggestions and advice on how to get started with a career in freelance art, so I decided to go ahead and write up a general guide for it.  Please note that this guide is based on my own personal experience and is not necessarily the right or the best way to do it.  I also cannot guarantee success.

First off, let me say that freelance is not exactly the best choice for a career.  It is very hard to make it as a freelance artist and a steady paycheck is never guaranteed.  If you have no self dicipline, are prone to procrastination or cannot take direction well, it is not a good idea to try it.

My monthly income figure is decided by how much each commission costs and that I can get them all done within a month.  If I do not finish them in time, I have to stretch out the money until I can take more.  If I am dedicated with working on them, I usually have enough time to finish them as well as do some of my own art and even take a few nights off of art completely.

Note: At the time of writing this, I still live at home, so it is possible for me to live off of this limited income.  If I was out on my own, I would not be able to support myself without a roommate or something.

I also get "spending money" from various other endeavors my artwork is a part of - print sales, CafePress, shuushuu, etc. Both my dA prints and Cafepress shop generate extra revenue for me to enjoy.

There is also money from random freelance jobs I take if they suit me, but for the most part I've discovered that taking commissions is a lot easier and more fruitful.  With commissions I can do them at my leisure and I can get more money for them.  Freelance is hard work for usually very little pay, and it always needs to be finished yesterday.  It's just more stressful and usually not worth it if I can make the same money by taking X number of commissions instead.

So, now that you've got a general idea of what you're looking at, let's move on to the guide!  I have broken it down into sections, and each section has been broken down into parts.  Each one contains a general step, followed by further explanation, so if you don't want to read everything you can skim the titles.



1. GETTING NOTICED

I know, I know.  We're only on the first step and already it's the hardest part of the whole ordeal.  But let's face it, if nobody knows your art you're not going to get work, are you?  So, let's review ways to get yourself recognized as an artist.

a. Post Your Work to Art Communities Like DeviantART

Posting your artwork to places like deviantART, SheezyArt, Side7, Yerf, VCL, etc. is the best way to showcase your art.  These gallery communities generally have good exposure and it's a great way to show off your stuff, not to mention make friends and contacts.  Having your own personal site for your work is a good idea as well, but people looking to hire freelancers will often peruse these places rather than do a fruitless Google search.  I can't count the number of times I've received an e-mail with a freelance job offer that started with, "We saw your work on deviantART and..."

b. Generate Interest In Your Work

If you're really ambitious, you could actively try to get people to visit your gallery.  Do NOT do this by sending notes/e-mails to people asking them to look at your work or by commenting on someone's art with something akin to, "Nice work, please check out my gallery!"  That is rude.  If you want to get people to look at your stuff, visit the forums.  Most art communities have a special forum where you can post thumbnails of your art and request that people look at it.  Do this there only.

c. Draw Fan Art

I know some of you are going to think this is really cheap, and I would agree with you, but it's really one of the best ways to get people to look at your stuff.  Let's face it, people are more likely to know about Inu-Yasha or Naruto than your original characters Jim-Bob or Suzy-Q, and if they happen to come across one of your fan arts and like the drawing, they will probably check out the rest of your gallery.  This leads them to your original stuff.  But be wary of falling into the trap of doing mainly fan art just to get attention.  It may be nice to get a lot of faves and comments, but never forget your main focus should be on your own creations, even if it won't garner quite as much attention.  Only use it as a stepping stone.


2. SELLING YOUR WORK

Okay, so now you're fairly well-known in the art community and you're ready to start getting paid for your artwork.  There are many ways to go about this, but let's start with selling your own stuff.

a. Selling Originals

If you work prominantly with digital media, this step may be a bit harder for you.  However, if you do a lot of traditional media images, you may want to consider selling some of them.  Most people prefer to have originals over prints.  If you have some that you are willing to part with, try selling them via auctions, or you can simply state in the description of an image you upload that it is for sale and people may contact you about buying it.  You can also make journal posts or a "for sale" page on your site and list any images you have for sale and how much you would like for them.

b.  Prints

Prints are by far the best way to sell your artwork.  You can sell the same image multiple times and generate a continuous income versus a one-time sale of a single piece.  It doesn't even have to be digital media - you can scan a traditional media image and make a print of it.  There are many ways to do this, but do not feel that you have to limit yourself to only one method.  Offer them in any way you can to maximize your market and increase sales.

I. Home-made prints.  If you have a nice home printer, you can get glossy photo paper from print supply stores and make your own prints, then sell them yourself via a website or journal post in an art community.

II. Printing services.  You could also enlist a service like deviantART's print program, which will handle everything from taking orders to creating the product to shipping it out, and even take care of complaints or returns with no cost to you. They will take a percentage of the profit, but you do not have to do anything except upload the image to be printed.  It's a fair trade-off.  There is also the advantage that people are more likely to order through a secure website than they are to go through the bother of personally e-mailing you to make an order.

III.  Another method is to get cheap bulk orders from printing services like Paper Forest.  This is good for getting prints to sell at conventions but probably not best for casual sale, since you would have to put out the money to purchase the prints with no guarantee that you will sell them all and get the money back.

c. Products

Ahh, products.  Having a t-shirt of your artwork used to be an impossible dream, but nowadays it's fairly easy to have this done.  Like prints, there are a few ways to do this, and again, do not feel that you must limit yourself to only one option.

I. Cafepress.  I know many people believe this service to be a complete rip off, but I have yet to find another website that allows you to fully design, customize, and create many different products for individual sale.  They have lots of products ranging from shirts to hats to bags...even black t-shirts!  It's free to join and you earn profit based on how much you raise the price of your products over base cost.  It's very easy to use and they help you every step of the way.

II. DeviantART.  DeviantART's print program also allows you to create a few select products at the same time that you create your prints.  Their products include mousepads, mugs, calendars, magnets, coasters, postcards and puzzles.  I am not sure of the level of customization you can use for each project based on how different it is from the print image, but it is a good way to make products of a strictly artistic image.  I would suggest using deviantART for products of the straight image, and CafePress for designs made specifically for the products. (For example, place a drawing of an elf with a forest background as a mousepad on deviantART and a chibi cartoon elf drawn specifically to be a mousepad on CafePress.)

III. Bulk printing services.  This is an option I wouldn't really recommend outside of preparing for a convention.  You can often get good deals by buying in bulk, but like bulk prints, you have to put out the money with no guarantee you'll sell all of the products and get it back.  Still, if you would like to look into this option, there are online services like Paper Forest, or you can visit a local printing store, which is likely to have bulk product printing services available.  I'm sure there are also companies to contact about bulk orders for other products like shirts, but I don't know any.

IV. Homemade products.  This is another option I wouldn't recommend.  Really, the only product you can make at home (that isn't a paper product like prints or stickers) is clothing, and you can do it with iron-on transfer sheets you can buy from a local store and print on with your home printer.  The quality really isn't going to be that great, and the iron-on will probably wear out after only a few washings.  Not good for business.

There are also many other marketing options you can consider.  Button pins, stationary sets, stickers, keychains/charms or little sculptures made of Sculpey.  The possibilities are endless.  Always be open to new opportunities to sell your stuff.  The more you market, the more money you make, and the more you can support yourself on your art alone.


3. COMMISSIONS

Now that you're set up to sell your own stuff, it's time to look into doing creations for others.  More often than not, people are more willing to pay you more for an image of their own original character drawn in your style than they are to buy a print of your character of who they have little or no attachment to.  Moreover, this is the foundation for freelance work and the best way to start the process.  This is a good indicator of whether or not you're cut out for freelance work.  You must be able to take orders on what to draw, draw something you probably wouldn't have drawn on your own, draw an image to someone else's specifications, and be able to do it in a timely manner.  If you find you cannot do this or that you do not enjoy it, then you should quit immediately.  Working for actual freelance jobs is going to be much more demanding than personal commissions.

a. Taking Commissions and Setting Rates

There is no special way to set up for taking commissions.  You can do it through your webpage, or make a journal post on your art gallery of choice stating that you are open for commissions.  It is a good idea to give a rough idea of your rates so people know what they're getting into.  If you don't know what prices would be fair, try looking around at other artists that take commissions that are about at your artistic level and see what they're getting.  If you do not get any commissions at your listed rates after a while, try lowering your prices.  If you start getting too many commissions, feel free to raise them a little.  You can also increase your prices as your skill level improves.

b. Avoid Being Cheated and Give Commissioners Security

Be careful of scammers.  Lots of times people will commission an image and never pay for it.  The best way to avoid this problem is to require that half of the total cost of the commission be paid up front.  You also want to give your commissioner security, since it often happens that an artist will take their money for a commission and never deliver the image, so setting it up to do the process in steps is a good idea.  Here is a list of steps of the best way to handle commissions:

I. Get half of the total payment up front.
II. Complete the sketch of the image and present it to the commissioner for approval as well as proof you are working on it.
III. Get the second half of the payment.  If the commissioner does not send the second half at this point, quit.  You have at least been compensated for the time and effort spent on the sketch via the first half.
IV. Complete the image and deliver it to the commissioner.

Note:  Sometimes the commissioner will want you to finish the image completely before they give you the second half.  If this happens and they are adament about it, finish the image, but do not give it to them.  Make a copy of it and make it very small, and put a "SAMPLE" watermark across it, then give it to them as proof the image is finished.  If they want the full, large, unwatermarked version, they must pay for it before you hand it over.

c. Build a Good Reputation

Your reputation as a commissioner is one of the most important things you have.  Word spreads fast in the art community and if you have cheated someone or treated them poorly, it will have grave reprocussions.  You will not get work with a bad reputation.  However, a great reputation will actually draw people to you.  Here is a general list of things to keep in mind in order to build a good reputation in the art community.

I.  BE POLITE.  I know some of you may think it's really cool to be a sarcastic, condescending jerk, but people looking to pay you for something are not going to be nearly as impressed with that sort of attitude as your friends are.  If you are nice, friendly, helpful and accomodating, you are more likely to have repeat customers, as well as draw new ones by word of mouth.  It doesn't even have to be sincere, just BE NICE.

II.  Good communication.  People who commission you are often very eager to get their image, plus they may be worried about their investment, so it's a good idea to communicate with them often.  The best way to do this is to create a work schedule for your commissioners to view so they know where you are with their commission.  This is an easy way for them to check the status of their image without having to bother you at all.  If they contact you anyway, be nice and give them an update.  A happy customer is a loyal customer.  Also, if an unexpected event comes up that forces you to delay any commissions you have, be sure to let them know so they do not think you have run off with their money.

III.  Be TIMELY and make commissions TOP PRIORITY.  I cannot stress this one enough.  I'm often surprised and disgusted by how long it takes some artists to complete commissions.  I'm also surprised by how often I get comments like, "Wow, that was fast!" when I deliver a finished commission within a few weeks at most.  If someone is paying you to draw them something, it should be your top priority.  I'm not saying you shouldn't work on your own artwork at the same time, but any commissions you have should come first.  Work on a commission for a while, then flip to your own stuff.  It does not look good if you have several outstanding commissions and you keep posting up large, detailed, finished works of your own art.  A commissioner will see this and think, "Hey, if they have time to do all these pictures for themselves, why can't they get MY picture that I PAID FOR done?"  It should not take you 4 months or more to do a commission.

IV. "Artist's Block" is not an excuse.  I really hate it when I see people use this as an excuse for why they haven't touched your commission in six months.  If you often find yourself stricken with "artist's block" and cannot produce images while in it, DO NOT TAKE COMMISSIONS.  And for that matter, steer clear of freelance work.  People who hire you to do images for a project are not going to accept that as a valid reason for why you haven't done the work.  If you can't draw something unless you're "inspired" then you have no business trying to draw something to someone else's specifications, let alone take money from them and then tell them they have to wait around until some nonexistant muse grants you the vision to create their picture.

c. Do Not Take More Than You Can Handle

It is always a good idea to take a set number of commissions at a time, usually between 5-15.  Whatever you think you can handle within a month or two.  Sure, it may seem like a good idea to take thirty or forty commissions at one time.  Look at all that money you'd get!  But look beyond that.  You will also have to stretch that money out until you are finished with the commissions and can take more.  If people see you with a list of thirty oustanding commissions and you are pleading for people to take more because you need money, they're not going to do it.  After all, you haven't finished your current obligations, have you?  You wouldn't get to theirs for a long time, and they're not going to give you money for that pleasure.  It also helps your own self-esteem and work ethic if you feel you are making progress.  If you have 10 out of 15 commissions finished, you feel proud and accomplished.  If you have 10 out of 40 done, you feel worn down and unmotivated for perceived lack of progress.  Tackle commissions the same way you would tackle eating an elephant - one bite at a time.


4. FREELANCING

Okay, so you're well-known in the art community, you're selling your own stuff, and you're taking commissions and don't hate it.  Great!  Now it's time to get into official freelance work.  As with previous steps, there are several ways to do this.

a. Wait for them to come to you.  If you're well known enough in the art communities you've joined, chances are people looking to hire artists will find you and contact you on their own behalf.  When they do, be sure to respond immediately, whether you are interested in the job or not.  If you aren't, don't just ignore them, respond and say thanks but no thanks.  If you are interested, ask for further details, like what exactly they would need done, how fast they would need it, and what the payscale is.  Often times they will ask you for a quote on what you would charge for the images they need, so be prepared for that as well.  You should have a good idea on what a fair price would be thanks to all the experience you got through commissions, but don't be afraid to haggle if they do not agree to your rates or if you do not agree to theirs.

b. Actively search for jobs.  I've never really done this, so I'm not entirely sure what the best method would be, but I do know there are places where you can post up your profile and examples of your art for people to view.  It's usually in the form of a well-known website that beckons to people looking to hire freelancers, and they go there to review artist profiles and find someone they think will fit their needs.

c. Hire an artist representative.  Another option I've never done myself, but I've heard about it.  Basically, you hire someone to represent you and find you freelance jobs, and they also get a percentage of your payment.  They pretty much act as a middle-man between you and the employer.  They seem rather unnecessary to me, but perhaps they're good for people who do big-time freelance work.

There are also several things you should keep in mind when taking on freelance work:

a. Be productive. Work hard and fast.

b. Be disciplined.  Keep yourself on a schedule and constantly working.  With freelance art you often work at home and do not have a boss constantly prodding you to stay on schedule.  It's up to you to stay on top of the job and see that it's done right and finished on time.

c. Do NOT procrastinate. Get the work done right away, and I mean RIGHT AWAY.  You cannot put it off for a week or two 'til you "get around" to it.  Employers want it NOW and they expect it NOW.

d. Freelance is a JOB.  Treat it as such.  Put freelance work above everything else, even your own art.  You do not have the luxury of doing your own stuff at the same time like with personal commissions.  If you get ahead of schedule and finish your work before the deadline, then you can relax and do your own art.  Better to finish early than finish late.

e. ALWAYS GET A CONTRACT.  You certainly do not want to be cheated and not get paid for your hard work.  Always make sure you have a valid, legal contract that states you will be paid for whatever work you are hired to do.  That way if the employer does not pay you, you have legal recourse.

Please keep these in mind.  Failure to follow these guidelines may result in a bad freelance reputation or prevent you from getting further work.  If you work hard, do it right and get the job done on time, you're likely to get more work from the same employer in the future.


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Well, that's about all I can think of that you would need to know.  If you're thinking about getting into freelancing, this guide should give you a general idea of what you should expect and things you should keep in mind.  Again, please remember that this guide is based on my own personal experience and should not be viewed as iron clad or the right or best way to do this.  It is merely meant to help you along.  Blaze your own trail, discover new methods, and pick the options that work best for you!

As I said before, being a freelance artist is an uncertain, difficult career, but if you're dedicated, determined and work hard, you can pull it off.  Good luck!


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Welcome to "Ask the Art Professor"! Essentially an advice column for visual artists, this is your chance to ask me your questions about being an artist, the creative process, career advice, a technical question about a material, etc.  Anything from the smallest technical question to the large and philosophical is welcome. I'll do my best to provide a thorough, comprehensive answer to your question. Submit your question by emailing me at clara(at)claralieu.com, or by posting here on this blog. All questions will be posted anonymously. Read an archive of past articles here.

Here's today's question:

"What is a gesture drawing?"

A gesture drawing is basically a quick drawing that captures the essential gesture of a subject in its most distilled form. Gesture is everywhere, embodied in every object, person, and place. It is action, emotion, movement, and expression all rolled together into one cohesive motion. Through gesture, your drawing can transform into anything from ferocious to quiet.

In drawing, gesture represents the primal instinct, the essential character of the subject.  As a form of expression, an initial gesture drawing is critical to every drawing. Without a sense of gesture, drawings become sterile and static.  Drawings lacking gesture become dull and mechanical.  Instilled with gesture, a drawing is able to communicate emotion and expression in a concentrated manner that is visually compelling. Through gesture, the essential character and emotion of any given subject can be effectively communicated.

A sense of fluidity is one of the key components of a successful gestural drawing. This is achieved when a drawing conveys a focused, single motion that allows the object to be perceived as a whole, rather than as a series of unrelated pieces.  Essentially, this brings together all of the parts and assembles them into a harmonious, cohesive statement.  Fluidity can be achieved in a number of different ways. The manner in which marks are created on the surface of the page can play a major role in attaining fluidity. Marks that continually flow and move into each other will tend to behave as a whole. An emphasis on the relationships of the big shapes, examining how they transition into each other can also be highly effective.

4 steps on how to make a gesture drawing:

1) Start with very light, loose, and sketchy marks.
Keep a sensitive touch with your drawing tool, initially drawing so lightly that you are barely making physical contact with the paper as you draw. Staying light will allow for more flexibility as you continue working on the drawing. Working without an eraser will also allow you to work more fluidly, continually move forward, and accept and deal with your mistakes, rather than backtracking all the time with an eraser.

2) Draw with one very light, continuous line that never leaves the surface of the paper.
Concentrate on seeing the whole shape all at once. This will allow you to work with more fluidity, as opposed to chopping up your marks into disconnected parts. Remember that your first lines will not be "right", this initial stage is only about getting something on the paper at first. You have to draw it wrong before you can draw it right.

3) Focus the drawing on first blocking in the largest shapes.  
Eventually move consecutively towards medium and small shapes. Leave out the details in these early stages of the drawing and concentrate solely on the big shapes. Look for how one large shape transition into each other, and stay focused on the relationships between these shapes.

4) Engage with the entire image all at once.
All areas of the drawing need to be given equal treatment and attention. Don't allow for one area to be ignored or for another to be finished before the others. All of the parts of the drawing should be developed at the same level of completion at all times. Keep your eye alert and active while physically moving your hand around the page.

What are your tips for gesture drawing? What is a gesture drawing to you?
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