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Photoshop tutorial- PS basics for newbies 2

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 20, 2013, 11:02 AM

Photoshop tutorials
And here is next part of my journal Photoshop tutorials. :squee: Previous tutorial you can see here. I added even document settings, cuz I forgot to add this in previous tutorial ^^; I'll describe some Photoshop basics for all newbies who try to learn to use Photoshop. So in this article you'll find tutorials: Document settings, Changing view, Changing thumb size on layers, Using Smart Object and Blur, Using Pen Tool, Outer Glow and Transform. In this tutorial I used my painting VERSUS, just to show you few things (I just had to open something...again ;P).

If you wish to see images in full resolution then simply click on the images below (they are big as my screen 1920 x 1080 px... OK I cropped bar below ;P). I used Photoshop CS6 here, so some things may be different in lower PS versions. But most of things may be the same in all PS versions. I'll make even more tutorials like this, so stay tuned. And if you like it, then you can :+fav: fav this article. Thank you and enjoy. I hope it's helpful :hug:

Document settings
Basics-part2 by tincek-marincek
Here I'll show you which document settings I use when I start to draw a new painting. I usually draw paintings which are bigger than 7000 px (this is smallest size I use... 7000 px means the longer side). For portraits and such (just the face, with no special background) I use canvas size from 4000-5000 px (the longest side again). But for many characters and detailed scene I use 8000-11.000 px. But you can choose any size you prefer. I like to draw detailed drawings, so I use big canvasses. And I also have a good computer, so I can use many layers also... so, try to choose proper size for yourself and that computer can handle the file normally. Resolution I always have on 300 DPI (print resolution). If you want to use your drawing for website then 72 DPI, 150 DPI will be alright. And the last is Color Mode. I use RGB mode all the time, but if you want to make prints, then you can use CMYK color mode also. And I use 8 bit color... the bigger number is (16, 32...), then better image will look... but remember... PSD file size will increase also.

Changing view
Basics-part2-1 by tincek-marincek
Basics-part2-2 by tincek-marincek
If you want to draw and to have bigger view (without bar and tools which are in PS all around the screen), then simply click F key on your keyboard (click it few times). It'll change your view. There are many options, so when you want to change it to "Normal" view, simply click F more times (till you get the normal view). You'll be able to access to all tools and layers, even when you have full view. When you move with your mouse to the edge of the screen (top, left, right) then the tool bars will appear. (Second image shows full view setting).

Changing thumb size on layers
Basics-part2-4 by tincek-marincek
You can also change Thumb sizes on layer menu. On the image above you can see 4 different Thumb sizes. If you want to change Thumb size then click with right mouse button ON THUMB (not layer title), and you'll get options for changing thumbs.

Using Smart Object and Blur
Basics-part2-blur smart object by tincek-marincek
Here I'll show you how to use Smart Objects and placing effects on it (blur)... (this Smart Object option may be only in newer PS versions).  When you want to make one layer as a Smart Object, then click on layer (where is text) with right mouse button and select option "Convert to Smart Object" (Print screen didn't work for me here, so I couldn't show it ^^;). On layer will appear icon for Smart Objects. Smart Objects are really useful, because when you want to change size of your image, then it won't change your image resolution, or when you place your effect then they won't be placed on image itself. You'll be able to change effects and image will be normal.

Second image shows how I added blur on Smart object layer (for the blur option simply go to: Filter/ Blur/ Gaussian Blur... I used Gaussian blur here). On your layer will appear Smart Filter option. There you can edit your effect and use mask tool to erase spots where you don't want the effect.

Third image shows how I erased filter from the character's face... so only the background have Blur effect. When you want to erase Filter, then click on Smart Filter Mask Layer (white layer) and choose Eraser tool... and simply erase parts where you don't want the effect (black spot on Mask layer shows erased parts...which doesn't have effect).

Using Pen Tool, Outer Glow and Transform
Basics-part2-pen-steps by tincek-marincek
Basics-part2-pen5 by tincek-marincek
And Pen Tool. I used Pen tool to add effects on this image (which are visible in background), so now you'll see how I did them. First image (top left) shows how to make a line. Click on Pen tool (P key on your keyboard) and with left mouse button (or just press with tablet pen) select beginning of the line. Then you'll need the end of the line... for that CLICK AND HOLD the button (and move it at the same time, to make the curve). If you won't hold and move it at the same time, then you'll get straight line. If you want to edit the curve, or length of the line, then click CTRL button and click on ENDS of the line (where is square icon...or circle).

Second image (top right)... when you selected your line, then it's time to actually make it. Select BRUSH tool (B) and select the color which will your line have. And select brush size, Hardness, Opacity and Flow. I selected Opacity and Flow on 100% (so the line will have full color). And Brush size will tell how big your line will be (and if you select Hardness on 0%, then line will be soft).

Third image (left below)... select Pen tool again and click with left mouse button... select Stroke Path... When you enable Simulate Pressure, then your line will have nice size changes. If you don't enable that, then line will be big the same (from beginning till the end). And at tool option select BRUSH. Because you edited the brush for the line.

Fourth image (below right)... When you added color to your line, then click ENTER key to finish it. And here I used Transform tool (CTRL+T) and I changed line size. To edit each corner separately hold CTRL and move each corner like you want.

Big image... here I placed effects on the line. Click on FX button (at the bottom right) and choose Outer Glow. On the image you can see few settings which I selected. Click OK to apply changes. And on the right side, where are layers, you'll have Effect options.

The end
That's everything for now :dummy:... I hope you learned something new and if you liked this tutorial, then you can also :+fav: fav this article. Thank you :heart: More tutorials by us you can see under THIS folder :la:

If you have any questions, then feel free to comment under this article. We'll be glad to help you. :D

Official website

Yeah... another free journal skin for you (note: only premium members can use journal skins). I did another collaboration with awesome weida34 (I did design and she did coding... again). Well, new skin is this which I use right now... MetalliC_V2 (you can click here to install it). Our other collaborations were Sketchbook and Nature

And this is first article with Photoshop tutorials. I decided to make more articles like this, for Photoshop newbies, who would like to learn more how to use the program. In this article you can learn: Document settings, Changing view, Changing thumb size on layers, Using Smart Object and Blur, Using Pen Tool, Outer Glow and Transform. If you like this article, then feel free to :+fav: fav it. Thanks :heart:

Other similar tutorials:
Photoshop tutorial- PS basics 4
+ Photoshop tutorial- PS basics 3
+ Photoshop tutorial- PS basics for newbies

If you have any questions then feel free to ask them :hug:
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Writing Opportunities (Publishing)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 2:17 PM

:new:Last updated 29th June 2013

:new: We would love to hear feedback from people if they are using this! Have you entered something listed here? Have you won something? Are you actively using this? We want to ensure we are giving the community something worthwhile here- and please don't forget to add opportunities you find to the list too- the more people adding things, the better! 

Hello all!

As writers, we always talk about “getting that piece published sometime” or “maybe submitting to a few places”, but how many of us actually eat our words and get on with it?

It was suggested that perhaps we could help nudge you guys by sharing with you the opportunities we know of. Personally, I'm not well explored, but what I do know is that the community is! Therefore this journal is a chance to share the opportunities you find.

How this is going to work?

:star: If you find an opportunity, add a comment into this journal containing the following information:

- Opportunity brief (i.e. 50 word fiction contest)
- Direct link
- Location (i.e. UK only)
- Deadline

REMINDER TO EVERYONE: Make sure you're including all of the information requested above! And please make sure the link is offsite, ideally to a custom domain. It's a legitimacy thing.

:star:  People can scan through the comments and find opportunities that they can submit to.

:star: When the deadline has passed, we will hide the comment.

:star: More permanent/regular places to submit will be linked below and we will try update this on a regular basis (see below)

:bulletgreen: TIP: Make use of social networking in the professional sense. Follow writing groups, ezines and writers you admire on twitter for a start- you will be amazed how many opportunities appear on a twitter feed.  


:bulletred: This is just a sharing of opportunities; you are responsible for your own taking up of them.

:bulletred: Remember that most contests, zines and such have strict guidelines and you need to take their rules into account (READ AND RESPECT THEM- if you don’t they won’t even consider you!).  

:bulletred: Some may also contain entry or subscriber fees, be prepared that sometimes you will need to pay.

:bulletred: This is NOT a place for advertising contests and groups on deviantART, this is about external opportunities for publication only. If you wish to advertise your contest/group, contact IrrevocableFate and ask for promotion via her love lit series. Any posts relating to dA stuff will be hidden away

:bulletred: If you suspect something is a scam- please reply to the comment posted with the opportunity in.

Places to start:

Feel free to suggest!

Useful sites to frequently visit

:bulletblack: Duotrope ($5 monthly subscribers fee)
:bulletblack: Newpages
:bulletblack: Ralan
:bulletblack: Ideastap 
:bulletblack: Writers Digest
:bulletblack: Querytracker
:bulletblack: Agentquery

Thank you to BloodshotInk for sending in the suggestion that we needed this and a huge thanks to PinkyMcCoversong for kick starting the resource list!

A community initiative to share opportunities for literature publication.
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Photoshop tutorial- PS basics for newbies

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 8, 2013, 11:57 AM

Photoshop tutorials
And I decided to make more useful journals ;P You have to wait for my next tutorial A LOT, so I decided to make short tutorials journals. I'll describe some Photoshop basics for all newbies who try to learn to use Photoshop. So in this article you'll find tutorials: How to make layers, How to change color to a layer, How to make groups/folders, How to change background color, How to rotate canvas and all basics in tool menu on the right side. :la: In this tutorial I used my newest image Mermaid's Wisps, just to show you few things (I just had to open something :giggle:)

If you wish to see images in full resolution then simply click on the images below (they are big as my screen 1920 x 1080px... OK I cropped bar below ;P). I used Photoshop CS6 here, so some things may be different in lower PS versions. I'll make even more tutorials like this, so stay tuned. And if you like it, then you can :+fav: fav this article. Thank you and enjoy. I hope it's helpful :hug:

How to make layers and change colors
Photoshop basics by tincek-marincek
Alright... first step is how to make LAYERS. It's really simple. Just click on the Layer button, on the right bottom side of your screen (see image above) and new layer will be added (or Ctrl+Shift+N on your keyboard). When you click with RIGHT MOUSE button ON that layer, then you'll see many options...below you can see colors (I added colors on the image). Just simply click on color which you like and layer will color (with color which you chosen). In older PS versions you may click with right mouse button on IMAGE which layer have (NOT THE TEXT)...when you click on the text, then you have other options, like Delete, Merge... when I used older PS versions it was like that :D
Photoshop basics2 by tincek-marincek
RENAMING a layer... if you don't want to get lost, then it's good if you rename your layers. Simply click TWICE with LEFT MOUSE BUTTON on a layer text... but not too fast...because FX tool will open. 

Making groups/folders
Photoshop basics2-groups by tincek-marincek
1.) OK... on first image on left you can see how color changed when I selected yellow color for a layer.
2.) When you want to make a Group/Folder then click on Folder button on the right bottom side of your screen (see image above)... and Folder will be added. You can also rename it as layers (you can also add layer color on them). 
3.) If you have more similar layers (like more layers for Face, Hair, Clothes...) then you can add them into Folders. Select layers which you want to add into a Group... for selecting MORE LAYERS then hold SHIFT on your keyboard. 
4.) Then simply DRAG/DROP them into a Folder...and all layers will be under that folder. When layers are in a Folder then you can see that layers are a bit moved from left edge of Layer menu. 

Changing background color
Photoshop basics4 by tincek-marincek
Next step is how to change Background color. You can see that on First image above I had light background... and on this one is darker. If you want to change a color, then click with RIGHT MOUSE button ON the background (gray area). You'll see more options: Black, Dark Gray, Medium Gray, Light Gray, Custom and Select Custom color... (if you have older PS versions, then you probably have Black, Gray and Custom color options in that menu). I had Dark Gray here and when you want to choose new color then simply click on Select Custom Color menu...and choose new color.

Rotating the canvas
Photoshop basics5 by tincek-marincek
You can also rotate canvases (I think that in older PS CS5 this works... there Rotate option doesn't exist). Simply choose Rotate View Tool on the left tool bar (see image above)...or click R button on your keyboard. To rotate the canvas use your Mouse or you can select Angle in the tool bar above (see the image). If you want more "sharp" angles then hold SHIFT on your keyboard (and you'll get correct angles). 

More basics
Photoshop basics2-basic by tincek-marincek
1.) More PS basics... on the first image you can see how to select Layer visibility. If you want that layer is visible, then simply leave EYE icon VISIBLE. If you want to hide layer then click on the EYE icon and it'll turn invisible (if you want to turn it visible again, then click on the icon again). 
2.) Below Layer menu you can see FX/effect icon. When you want to Drop Shadow, add Stroke, Glow, Emboss...and other things, then you can choose effects from this selection.
3.) And layer mask... let me tell how this thing works. When you draw on one layer, then if you don't want to delete some parts with eraser permanently,  they you can click on this button. New IMAGE will appear next to your layer (white image), and there you can erase things with Eraser. If you want that some parts of this layer get visible again, then you can draw with BRUSH over that layer again (or you can disable/delete Layer mask layer). Remember that when you erase/draw over, then you have to choose LAYER MASK LAYER...not regular one. 
4.) And this button is to delete layers...nothing special. When you want to delete more layers, then hold SHIFT and delete them more. 
Photoshop basics2-basic2 by tincek-marincek
5.) This is for choosing LAYER OPACITY. When you want that one layer isn't visible too much, then simply select lower Opacity.
6.) And this is Layer Fill... When you have Normal layer, then you really can't see difference between Layer Opacity and Fill. Well, when you have some effects, like Shadow, Glow, Stroke...(from FX menu), then when you set 0% and Fill opacity, object which you drew on that layer will become invisible, but effects will remain (when you would select 0% at Opacity, then effects would be invisible also).
7.) Here are LAYER MODES... each layer mode will do different effects to a layer. For coloring black and white image I mostly use Soft Light and Overlay layer mode... for adding other effects I use others also (I use many layers with different modes, so I can achieve more effects and colors).
8.) And when you have GROUPS you can also hide/expand it (I mostly hide it when I have more layers and when I don't use layers from that group). Simply click on TRIANGLE button, between eye icon and folder icon... there you expand/hide group and its layers.

That's everything for now :dummy:... I hope you learned something new and if you liked this tutorial, then you can also :+fav: fav this article. Thank you :heart: More tutorials by us you can see under THIS folder :la:

If you have any questions, then feel free to comment under this article. We'll be glad to help you. :D

Official website

Yeah... another free journal skin for you (note: only premium members can use journal skins). I did another collaboration with awesome weida34 (I did design and she did coding... again). Well, new skin is this which I use right now... MetalliC_V2 (you can click here to install it). Our other collaborations were Sketchbook and Nature

And this is first article with Photoshop tutorials. I decided to make more articles like this, for Photoshop newbies, who would like to learn more how to use the program. In this article you can learn how to make layer, groups/folders, changing color to a layer, changing color to a background, using rotate tool and other Photoshop basics. If you like this article, then feel free to :+fav: fav it. Thanks :heart: Hahaha...I totally messed up with journal sorry if you got this in your deviation inbox ^^; This new is so confusing for me.

Other similar tutorials:
Photoshop tutorial- PS basics 4
+ Photoshop tutorial- PS basics 3
Photoshop tutorial- PS basics for newbies 2

If you have any questions then feel free to ask them :hug:
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Contest Time!!! (Win a 1 year Sub)

Journal Entry: Fri Nov 11, 2011, 7:38 PM
Shazura by Tho-Be!

COM: Coolshaun4's Icon by Kiss-the-IconistPhotobucket♥SHAUNA's JOURNAL ♥PhotobucketCOM: Coolshaun4's Icon by Kiss-the-Iconist

So as I mentioned in the previous journal, I really want to hold a contest. This contest is extremely broad, so anyone can enter!! :D

:bulletred::bulletpink::bulletgreen: Rules :bulletgreen::bulletpink::bulletred:
:iconastrawberryplz:Draw any of my OCs, either as best friends, couples, or even siblings! you can create your own outfits or use mine :D For couples maybe a simple day out, a dramatic scene, or even a fairytale! If its friends maybe theyre hanging out, or trying on clothes, whatever you come up with! It doesnt have to be in color, and comic pages and charms are accepted!!!!! I'd love to see what you come up with.
:iconastrawberryplz:Nothing perverted or creepy lol.
:iconastrawberryplz: Be sure to properly address each character's specific personality. Strangely, with the female characters- Pay close attention to each of the socks and shoes they wear :D

:bulletred::bulletpink::bulletgreen: The Characters :bulletgreen::bulletpink::bulletred:
:bulletpink: Shazura Usagi :bulletpink:

Shazura Chibi 2.0 by Queen-CaffeineShazura Loves Cupcakes  by Queen-CaffeineShazura Usagi- Reference Page by Queen-Caffeine
The main character in my Pokemon Doujin. She loves Jigglypuff, strawberries, pink and green, bunnies, cake, cupcakes, hearts, and watermelon. She is sweet and caring, but not the smartest. She is very oblivious to what goes on around her. Her brother is Yoshi, who points out a lot of her oblivious moments, however if he is not around Miaka usually does this. Shazura has tremendous feelings for Sitoshi Koyama. She gets really quiet and nervous around him, but sometimes that nervousness turns into talky and loud lol. This causes him to act grumpy to hide his feelings for her.
**She wears a pink hair ribbon! This is important because Sitoshi gave it to her when they were children**

:bulletorange: Sitoshi Koyama :bulletorange:
Sitoshi by Queen-CaffeineShazura and Sitoshi School by Queen-Caffeine
Sitoshi is the heart throb at Uchiwa High School. In my story three main characters are shown to have feelings for him- Shazura, Ane, and Chii. Keep in mind his family is short on money, and he choses to go to the dance with Ane, but he has and always has had feelings for Shazura. They have been friends since childhood, and although they drifted apart, they have always kept feelings for one another. He is aware of her feelings and she is unaware of his. He gets really nervous around her, and hides his feelings by acting grumpy or making fun of her. buutt... he loves her :heart: His favorite color is orange, but he also likes green. He kinda spies on Shazu sometimes.. he likes to draw and play guitar.
*His Pants are REALLY dark red, not black* :D

:bulletblue:Miaka Tsukino :bulletblue:
Miaka Tsukino Reference Page by Queen-CaffeineMiaka Tsukino Chibi by Queen-CaffeinePoolside Drinkage by Queen-Caffeine
The shortest of the girls, has a short fuse too ^^ She is generally composed and very fashionable. She is afraid of the dark and is a major gossip. Miaka loves to talk and can also be a very good friend. Her favorite shirt is this one Poke-Friends-Club.deviantart.c… worn with denim shorts and the same shoes and socks as those worn with her uniform. She is very pretty and boy crazy she loves the color blue, blue raspberries, crescent moons and puppies . She is accidentally struck with Jigglypuff's attract attack, and falls for Shazura's brother Yoshi.  Her hair is Ino (from naruto) blonde and it is always in pigtails, with two blue ribbons

:bulletgreen: Yoshi Usagi :bulletgreen:
Chapter 3 Cover by Poke-Friends-ClubVolume 1, Page 11 by Poke-Friends-ClubYoshi by Queen-Caffeine
(sorry for the awful references its been a while since I drew him)
If drawn with Shazura or Miaka in their school uniforms- Keep in mind he wears the same uniform as Sitoshi, sometimes without the tie ALWAYS with the hat, unless you draw Miaka playfully taking it =P Yoshi is very funny and a chick magnet. He is 14 2 years younger than the rest of the cast. Hes probably Shazuras height, but taller than Miaka. Hes a risk taker, he climbed on the roof the first day of school. Hes always had a crush on Miaka, and always points out Shazura's faults. He has a pikachu and later becomes the 8th Gym leader. When Miaka falls after being attacked, he catches her, He is the first one she sees.  He likes green, playing bass and video games.

:bulletyellow: Hoshiko Mora & Tai Daifuko :bulletyellow:
Hoshiko WIP by Queen-CaffeineEquinox by Queen-CaffeineHoshiko and Tai- Page 1 by Queen-Caffeine
Hoshiko is the tallest and shyest of the group. She loves stars, yellow, red pandas and pineapples. she is a witch and can fly/teleport. She wears a light yellow ribbon. She falls for the funny and sweet Tai daifuko.   if you draw Hoshi in her uniform please draw Tai in the uniform Sitoshi wears above Hoshiko likes practicing her magic and baking. she wears white socks with red stripes at the top as shown above. Tai likes making jokes and playing drums.  His best friends are Sitoshi and Chii

:bulletpurple: Other Important Characters :bulletpurple:
Hasegawa-san by Poke-Friends-Club<-- Chii Nasegawa, a sweet caring girl who masks her personality by acting tough. She likes purple and is kind of a tomboy. She wears the PINK uniform Shazura wears She has feelings for Sitoshi. She dances with him once and Shazura gets jealous. Chii realizes how he feels about Shazura and when Shazu asks her to see how he feels, Chii decides to confess her feelings. Shazura sees her confession and gets very upset. Chii realizes the love between the two and tells him to run after Shazura. Shazura and Chii then become friends
Eeveelution Love by Queen-Caffeine <-- Hotaru Nishada- a Nightmare Before Christmas lover, and a very sweet person. She was once popular in HS, but realized she did not have true friends, she then cuts her long hair and dyes red streaks in her hair. She likes black and red, she caught a Pichu with a masterball ^^, She finds true friends with Shazura Mimi and Hoshi. She likes gothic dress and gothic loli :D She wears the RED uniform that Miaka and Hoshi wear with black and white striped socks
Volume 1, Page 17 by Poke-Friends-Club <--Ane Kaede her hair is Bright orange (Like Orihime) She is rich and snotty, and she is Shazura's main rival. She goes to the dance with Sitoshi and tortures Shazura about it. She likes emerald green and her socks have 2 emerald green sprials on the sides. Her overalls are generally worn outside of school and they are blue with a white shirt. Her hair tie is green, and she wears the Pink uniform Shazura and Chii wear

I hope you will enter!!! I cant wait to see everyones wonderful entries :love:
:icontransparentplz::icontransparentplz:Contest Prizes Found Here!

Shazura and Sitoshi by Gorenute!PhotobucketPhotobucket

Special Thanks to tho-be for the journal header, and Hannun for the journal footer, I love you guys and your talent <3
  • Mood: Anguish
  • Listening to: my phone &lt;not&gt; vibrate
  • Reading: Comments &lt;3
  • Watching: The lights flicker on and off.....
  • Eating: the greatest icecream EVER
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NaNo is Around the Corner

Fri Oct 11, 2013, 9:43 AM
Once again, we find ourselves getting ready for the insanity that is NaNoWriMo.  If you've never heard of it, NaNoWriMo is short  for National Novel Writing Month. That means in the span of thirty days, participants will write 50,000 words.

:bulletblack: 1,667 words per day if they're writing every day.
:bulletblack: 2,273 words per day if they're only writing on weekdays.  
:bulletblack: 6,250 words per day if they're only writing on weekends.

Either way it's a pretty hefty feat, and not something to walk into unprepared.  Even if you're a "by the seat of your pants" type of writer.

Which is where planning and plotting come in.  Sure, if you're a pantser, you can sit down and bang out a couple chapters, maybe a whole book, but can you do it in a month?  Probably not.  At least not without a little bit of preparation.  For all the pantsers and everyone else, compiled here is a short list of things to keep in mind, ways to prepare, what not to dos.

Let's start with the most important: PLANNING

Instead of giving you the long and winded version, let us cheat and just link to some really awesome deviations that can explain it so much better:
Planning the Evil Plot
A half-guide, half-narrative on writing a story
brought to you by Super Editor

Before I start writing, I like to have some idea of where I'm starting, where I'm going, and how I'm going to end up there. Let's say that I want to write a comedy about an author who suddenly changes places with her Mary Sue. I usually jot down some basic ideas:
Sarah, the author: ~13 years old, average-looking, glasses, rather tall and gangly
Ellemere, the Mary Sue: ~16 years old, long flowing hair, violet eyes, etc.
Forrest (Ellemere's love interest) : ~18, stereotypical pretty boy who is too dark and broody to make a good love interest
Leon: ~17, Ellemere's somewhat dorky friend who falls in love with her but is cast off to side in favor of Forrest
Tangent: For those of you who are confused, the ~ symbol means "about." I think it comes from math.
I like to draw, so I'd probably make doodles of these characters too. Drawing characters is a great way to develop th
How to Write a NovelOr at least how I plan to write my novels. Right now I'm tweaking a novel for release (aka Fine Drafting it). No matter how essential this step is, fine drafting a book doesn't feel like real writing, so I thought I would flex my writing muscles by trying to recapture what it took to bring this book into existence. What burbled up from the morass seemed about as wiry as Jeffy's run through gangland in the Family Circus cartoon that never made it to print (ask your parents kids). So. I decided to iron the process out and streamline the steps into what you might call "Ikea Instructions for Writing a Novel" a short simple guide to the mechanical side of bringing a book together.
One word of warning though, some of this is untested advice. It is a combination of the way I did it as well as the way I now see that I should have done it. Whether or not it actually works I won't know until after I write the next book. So take what you read here with a grain of salt.
How to Plot Like a GrimIn ten simple steps, you too can plot like a Grim.  ;P
1. Get an idea
This can be a brief snippet of dialogue. Or an ending that just seems perfect.  Sometimes it's just the concept of what I'd like to see a character go through.  I write that down.  Usually it doesn't see the cold light of day for at least a couple months, but when I've thought about it long enough and can't seem to get the idea out of my head, that's when I sit down and start plotting things out a bit.
2. Work out the basic plot
Now that I've got the idea, I need to work out the basic details.  But how do I do that?  Well, I write it down.  Then I think about the different angles to get to that idea.  I write those down.  If it's dialogue, who's talking? What do they feel? Who are they talking to?  If it's a snippet of a scene, who's in the scene? Why are they there? What are they doing? What's going on outside of that scene?
From the
How to Stop Planning and Use What You've GotArticle cowritten by ShadowedAcolyte and neurotype.
We've chosen to present this in bullets. The first few are ways to tell when your planning has gone too far; the rest are how to get past that.
Featured literature was chosen for its ability to present exposition: good pacing, tantalizing hints, etc.
How do I know I've planned too much?
When you can't hold it all in your head.When you can't explain it without a long-winded summary."So you've planned X. How will you reveal X to the reader?" If you can't immediately think of a good idea, it's probably overplanned.
Volume: how much of your story is world-building/backstory?
Properly spaced, you could get up to 10% world into a story without ruining the book (e.g. for an epic fantasy or something else not set in a place readers will immediately recognize). The rest should be happening now.If the setting is much more familiar—like, Everytown, USA, it could easily be 1% backstory.
Please Pants Responsibly (Paper Notebooks FTW)

There are two ways to write a novel.  Plotting (you make an outline, a plan, a roadmap if you will, and then you sit down and write it) and pantsing (you write "by the seat of your pants, throwing caution to the wind).  So when I get asked if I'm a plotter or a pantser, I'm all like er, uh, hold on, let me?  Pantser?  I think?  But I kind of, um, do planny things?
And it gets kind of awkward because in these inarticulate moments I have managed to confuse everyone including myself. And probably spilled a drink.
In recent discussions, however, I've had a bit of a revelation, silly as it is. I've realized that I -- like many writers -- am a plotter/pantser hybrid.  And perhaps what I'm doing is something we could call Pantsing Responsibly.  And, maybe, just maybe, I could share some of my responsible pantsing tips with other writers. Starting with paper notebooks.
Anyone can find a notebook.  If there isn't alread

What should you be doing before and during NaNo?

Here are some tips to help you focus on your writing and keep you motivated to continue on even when you're having a brain fart.

:bulletpurple: Have a story you want to work on.  Something you're excited about.  You're stuck with these characters for the month.  Make sure you like them. Or at the very least, like torturing them. :giggle:

:bulletpurple: Know your characters.  Make them friends.  Even your villain.  You wanna know everything there is to know about your characters BEFORE NaNo starts.  Otherwise, you may find yourself a little lost after the first few chapters.

:bulletpurple: Be consistent.  It's a marathon, not a sprint! Don't try to bang out 10,000 words in the first day.  You'll burn yourself out!

:bulletpurple: Figure on not working Thanksgiving (for the Americans), and figure some off days for the rest of the world.  You're not gonna end up writing every day for the entire month.  Plan your time wisely.  Know what days you have doctor appointments or previous engagements and work around them.

:bulletpurple: Treat Yourself.  Write for half an hour and then nom a small yummy treat.  Repeat.

:bulletpurple: Write on schedule.  Writing at the same time will train your brain to want to write and be most creative at that time.  This is effective even when not trying to do NaNo.

:bulletpurple: Spend a little bit of time before NaNo starts figuring out how, when and where you're going to write.  Don't try and figure out your perfect setup on November 1st because it'll be too late.  Know where you're gonna sit, how you're gonna have your prep material setup, what will help get the words flowing out of your head and into your finger tips.

:bulletpurple: A blog or side diary to track progress and keep your mind sane.

:bulletpurple: @ is your best friend.  When you're stuck on a description, dialogue passage, character reaction or pretty much anything just type @ and then what you want to include there.  Examples: @description @name @dialogue.  Then once you figure out how you're going to handle that part just search for the @ sign in your word processor.  This works for both NaNo and regular writing.

:bulletpurple: Make sure your research is done before November hits.  Otherwise it'll be your excuse to stave off writing.  And that's bad.

:bulletpurple: Word Wars and Write Ins.  They're a grand place to get lots of words down.  I'll be running a few chat events in the CRLiterature chatroom.  So keep an eye out for the chat schedule which should be coming out soon.

:bulletpurple: Make sure the people you live with know you're doing NaNo.  This way they won't be offended when you're completely ignoring them.  If you have small kids, make sure you have a spouse to take care of them [if you don't, quick, you still have a couple weeks to snag one] or family/friends that are willing to help out.

:bulletpurple: And above all else, have fun.  There is no reason to stress over NaNo.  It's supposed to be fun and challenging.  Not heart attack inducing.

What Not to Do

:bulletpurple: Don't get sucked in Wikipedia, TVtropes or any other sites like that.  In fact turn off your WiFi so the internet isn't a distraction.  All your research should be done before NaNo, so this shouldn't be an issue.  If you REALLY need to use the internet, have one specific task in mind and as soon as you're done with that, close the browser window.

:bulletpurple: Don't stress if you miss a day.  Just tack a little extra onto the next four days' goals and you'll be back on track.  If you miss a week, you may be in trouble.  This is where having a schedule comes in handy.  No not a schedule of what time you're going to write, but knowing days you will definitely be writing and what days you'll be unable to due to prior engagements.

:bulletpurple: Don't edit as you go.  Write what you write and leave it at that.  There'll be plenty of time later to edit.  But during November, DO NOT edit anything that you write.  You'll get stuck editing and not writing.

:bulletpurple: Don't worry about the quality of the writing.  The goal is to get 50k words down.  Editing word choice and grammar will come later.

:bulletpurple: Don't be discouraged after the first week when the words aren't flowing as smoothly as they were at the start.  It's called a plateau, and you have to force yourself through it.  Consider jumping a couple scenes ahead if need be.

:bulletpurple: Don't do NaNo instead of homework.  That's just asking for trouble.

:bulletpurple: Avoid becoming sick or getting in car accidents.  They will kill your word count quickly.

I'm Stuck! What do I do?!

Your brain has been attacked by the evilness that is writers' block or brain freeze.  Obviously, this isn't a good thing during NaNo, so you're just gonna have to work yourself through it.  I'm a firm believer in just sitting there and writing whatever comes to mind until you get back into the groove, but here are a couple ideas that come from other deviants on how to get out of that rut your brain just fell into.

:bulletpurple: Death by Shovel.  Take a character (any one will do) and kill them with a shovel.  That should get things moving along.
:bulletpurple: Natural disaster.  Mother Nature is a bitch.  Let her wreak havoc on your characters.  Storm of the century style!
:bulletpurple: Step back and write a quickie flash fiction scene of something that's been floating around in your head.  Get that out and then get back to work.  Even if these scenes aren't used in your final product or even toward your NaNo word count.  They're great ways to get your creative juices flowing and those words flowing on to the screen.
:bulletpurple: Change your location.  Not your story location.  Your ACTUAL location.  Go somewhere else.  If you usually write indoors, try going outside.  If staying at home isn't an option, go to a local park, your public library, a coffee house.  A different place will spark fresh ideas simply because you're in new surroundings.

You Mentioned Chat Events?

That's right!  I'm still finalizing the details on the chat events schedule.  But I do know I'll be hosting a PreNano Chat on the 30th!  So, if you're not already watching, add CRLiterature to your devWATCH now to keep up to date!

AND...don't forget to add your name to our poll so you can receive motivating notes and be kept in the loop for all the NaNo fun!

It's time to start preparing for NaNo.  Here's some tips and tricks.
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Make sure you :+fav: the news article!

So you've written something freaking awesome. You've edited a million times (and if you haven't, turn around and go do that. Right now). You think you maybe want to take the leap and try publishing something. But you have no idea where to start.

Well, this is a good place to be.

This the journal where I'll be keeping a running list of all the publishing resources I find, both on and off dA. Most of it will probably be related to literary journals, since that's the stage where I'm at in my literary career, but I'll add things about book publishing as I find them.

If you ever find a great resource, or if you'd like to request something specific, please leave me a note in the comments.

Also this journal is probably going to be super-messy and slightly badly-categorized for the first few weeks, so if anything looks out of place and/or you can think of a better way for me to organize this, please do yell at me.

Getting Your Work Ready for Publication
:bulletblue: SadisticIceCream's An Idiot's Guide to Lit Mag Publishing and An Idiot's Guide to Book Publishing My very own guides on the submission process, meant to be companion pieces to this journal.

:bulletblue: Research, Track and Conquer: How to Research Short Fiction Markets, Track Submissions, and Ultimately Get Published

:bulletblue: Choosing Your Path: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing by Magic-fan

:bulletblue: Five Key Book Publishing Paths From traditional to completely self-published, this infographic lays out your publishing options.

:bulletblue: What should a manuscript look like?

:bulletblue: How to format a short story manuscript

:bulletblue: How to format a poem manuscript

How to Avoid Getting Scammed
:bulletblue: If you want to publish professionally...

:bulletblue: How to Avoid Book Publishing Scams

:bulletblue: Preditors & Editors A list of legit and not-so-legit editors and publishers.

:bulletblue: Thumbs Down Agency List What to watch out for when looking for an agent -- any of the items on this list might tip you off to a scam.

How to Submit to Literary Journals
:bulletblue: Small Press Magazines: Should You Bother? Short answer: Yes.

:bulletblue: What Editors Want A pretty much A to Z guide on the submission process, and what editors expect every step of the way. Speaking as an editor who formerly handled submissions, all of this advice is absolutely spot-on.

:bulletblue: Submitting Your Work for Publication

:bulletblue: Resources for Young Writers (Part 2) Chock-full of good advice, plus links to yet more resources on how to submit to literary journals -- and how to deal with rejection.

:bulletred: Find literary journals:
:bulletblue: Duotrope If you ask me, this is the golden standard for a searchable lit journal database. If you sign up, you can even keep track of your submissions using their system.  Duotrope will be a subscription-based service beginning in January 2013.

:bulletblue: The Lit List A database of literary journals, book publishers, online literary journals, and a community of writers.

:bulletblue: NewPages Another excellent database of publications.

:bulletblue: Poets & Writers magazine's database of literary journals The magazine is also full of great advice for writers.

:bulletblue: Every Writers Resource's Database of Lit Mags Thanks for the tip, neurotype!

:bulletblue: The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses's lit mag directory

:bulletblue: Creative Writers Opportunities List A Yahoo Group that lists not only places where you can submit, but jobs and general publishing news as well.

:bulletred: Sending your submissions out:
:bulletblue: Cover Letter Advice

:bulletblue: Submitting to Lit Journals (by email)

How to Find an Agent
:bulletblue: When is your book ready for an agent? Advice from just one agent, but it's very good, universal advice at that.

:bulletblue: So You Wanna Publish a Book? Lots of information about how to find, approach, and submit queries and proposals to literary agents.

:bulletblue: How to Get a Literary Agent

:bulletblue: Five Ways to Find an Agent for Your Book

:bulletblue: List of Agents

:bulletblue: AgentQuery A free, searchable database with tons of literary agents.

:bulletblue: Association of Authors' Representatives A database of literary agents who are members of this reputable organization. They also have a great list of FAQs for writers. (Discovered in an interview with Jon-Law.)

:bulletblue: 23 Samples of Successful Query Letters for Literary Agents Lots of different genres on this list, so check it out!

:bulletblue: Agent Query Letters that Worked for Nonfiction

How to Submit to Publishers
:bulletblue: On Writing – Getting Published A short list of things you should have accomplished before getting to this step.

:bulletblue: Getting Published: Step One Lots of helpful advice from LateNightLady.

:bulletblue: What is the Process of Getting Published? A short overview, from writing to marketing.

:bulletblue: How Does a Book Get Published? Another short overview of the process.

:bulletblue: Getting Published the Hard Way

:bulletblue: The Best and Worst Times to Submit to Publishers While you should always follow the guidelines that editors have on their websites about when their reading periods might be, this short article also has some pretty interesting data on what might be good weeks to submit your manuscript.

:bulletblue: Sullivan Maxx Submission Guidelines Comes with preferred ways of formatting cover letters, synopses, and manuscript samples.

:bulletblue: Pitch Perfect Some helpful pointers on how to submit a pitch to a publisher.

:bulletblue: Writing a Query

:bulletblue: Writing a Synopsis

:bulletblue: Sample Synopses

:bulletblue: More Sample Synopses Warning: these are for romance novels!

:bulletblue: Writing a Book Proposal

:bulletblue: Publishers' Catalogues A database with loads of different book publishers, large and small.

How to Self-Publish
:bulletblue: Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012 Seems a bit weird putting it here, but the author of the essay outlines some important things to think about when considering which publishing route you might want to take.

:bulletblue: Seven Signs That You're Not Ready to Self-Publish Thanks, raspil!

:bulletblue: Self-Published Author A website created by Bowker, the company that generates all book ISBNs worldwide, Self-Published Author has lots of articles and resources.

:bulletblue: The Self-Publishing Review A magazine dedicated to self-publishing news and reviews.

:bulletblue: So You Want to Self-Publish merrak has begun an ongoing article series to outline all your self-publishing options. Check out this master article list to orient yourself, click on the completed articles listed, or see when something that interests you is coming up.

:bulletblue: Tips on Self-Publishing

:bulletblue: CJ Lyons's Indie Publishing Resources Includes guides on self-publishing as a whole, cover art, and e-book publishing, as well as additional helpful resources.

:bulletblue: How to Budget for your Self-Published Book Tips from Guy Kawasaki.

:bulletblue: Free E-book Formatting and Marketing Guides All the major e-book self-publishing outlets' guides, in one centralized place.

:bulletblue: Why Your Self-Published Book Might Suck a Bag of Dicks -- and if you're done crying over that, here's Part Two.

:bulletblue: Who controls your Amazon e-book price?

:bulletblue: How to Sell Ebooks at the Apple iBookstore

:bulletblue: How to Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project Kickstarter is one of the largest crowd-sourced fundraising platforms currently in existence, and this article contains tips on how to best utilize it.

:bulletblue: Fairstreet Another crowd-sourced fundraising platform, Fairstreet is a bit more selective than both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, because users get the added perk of having a company representative help them shape their pitch and fundraising page.

:bulletblue: Book Editing from Kirkus Editorial Have you thought about self-publishing your book, but need help with general editing, copyediting, or proofreading? Kirkus Editorial, part of the company that publishes the very prestigious Kirkus Review, is offering editing services for indie and self-published authors who want their work to have a little extra polish. Keep in mind that these are first-rate editors who have somewhat hefty rates (although you do get what you pay for!), and that using their services does not guarantee an awesome review from their parent company.

:bulletblue: PressBooks This free service will convert your Word files into e-reader friendly formats, including EPUB, MOBI (Kindle), and PDF. Might be helpful if you're looking to self-publish on dA through the new Premium Content program -- just convert your files, zip them, upload them here, and go.

:bulletblue: Formatting an E-book in 10 Easy Steps, Part 1 and Part 2

:bulletblue: How to Self-Publish Your Audiobook Through Audible

:bulletblue: How to Put Your Audiobook on Spotify

How to Publicize Your Book
:bulletblue: Publicity Tips when Publishing Your Book

:bulletblue: Should I Hire a Book Publicist?

:bulletblue: Promote yourself!

:bulletblue: Publicize yourself! This article is geared toward visual artists, but there's a lot that writers can mine from it, too.

:bulletblue: Book Marketing Strategies This might just look like a simple FAQ page for Simon & Schuster's new self-publishing arm, but it really does have some great tips for marketing your book.

:bulletblue: A Brief Note on Social Media for Writers

:bulletblue: A list of free sites where you can promote your ebook

:bulletblue: Solicit Amazon's top reviewers Sounds shady, but apparently it works -- find some of Amazon's top reviewers and see if they'll throw up a book review for you on the site. These are people who are trusted by the community to provide good, honest reviews, so it might lend your work some credibility among Amazon customers.

:bulletblue: How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets Especially if you write a nonfiction book, pitching some of your book's ideas as guest blog posts or articles online can be a great way to gain more publicity.

:bulletblue: Authors Who Visit Book Clubs Are you interested in talking to book clubs about your book, either in person or via Skype? Add yourself to this list and get some publicity while connecting to your readers!

:bulletblue: Booktalk Nation Don't have money to go on a book tour? Although Booktalk Nation says they aren't a replacement for a traditional book tour, for those who don't have the funds to travel, their services connect you with audiences around the country through telephone or video chat interviews. You select an interviewer, partner with an independent bookstore, and then speak live about your work on the website.

:bulletblue:Authorgraph If you ever think your readers might be sad because they have your books in digital editions and can't get them signed, consider signing up for this service -- it allows you to create a personalized, digital signature and inscription whenever a reader requests one through the site.

:bulletblue: How Authors Can Use Goodreads A collection of helpful blog posts from author Michael J. Sullivan.

:bulletblue: How Publishers and Authors Can Use SoundCloud Record yourself (or someone else) reading an except of your book and gain extra publicity!

:bulletblue: Use Odyl Odyl is a Facebook tool that you can use to publicize your book on any author fan pages you might have. The company has a partnership with major publishers, but self-published authors can get in on the action, too.

:bulletblue: Use Togather to fansource author events This online tool allows you to see whether or not people in different cities and towns would be interested in you making an author appearance -- you don't have to read to an empty room, and fans get what they want, too.

:bulletblue: Top 4 Tips on How to Run a Pinterest Promotion Some ideas to consider for events like book giveaways.

:bulletblue: Want some free dA publicity? Send your e-book to CRITIKI! The rules are here.

How to Handle Rejection
:bulletblue: How to deal with rejection

:bulletblue: Write Now: Rejection Found by BeccaJS.

:bulletblue: Survival Guide for the Thin-Skinned Writer

Literary Journals and Publishers On and Off deviantART Click on the icons for the deviantART pages of these publications!

:bulletblue: BeccaJS's Publishing Opportunities Journal

:bulletblue: the G.W. Review This is the lit journal where I was the editor-in-chief. For more information, look here. -- We've also got a new website, so please update your bookmarks!

:bulletblue: :iconsoundzine: Soundzine

:bulletblue: :iconspark-bright: Sparkbright

:bulletblue: :iconthemissingslate: The Missing Slate

:bulletblue: Fuselit

:bulletblue: WalkingBlind Magazine

:bulletblue: Side B Magazine

:bulletblue: :icondivertirpublishing: Divertir Publishing

:bulletblue: Asymptote Only accepts translations.

:bulletblue: Alliterati Magazine Thanks for the tip, LiliWrites!

:bulletblue: Quantum Fairy Tales Looking for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction with speculative elements. Thanks for the tip, aldessa!

:bulletblue: Loveswept, Alibi, Hydra, and Flirt Random House has a few new digital-only imprints for genre fiction that are accepting unsolicited submissions. Categories include romance, horror, sci-fi, mystery, and new adult (that is, work geared toward 20- and 30-somethings). Click through for submission details!

Blogs marked with :bulletgreen: can also be found on julietcaesar's awesome and extensive list of writing blogs!

:bulletgreen: The Creative Penn One author's experience with self-publishing.

:bulletgreen: A. Victoria Mixon, Editor I love blogs like this. You get to see how editors tick. Also check out the news article on this!

:bulletgreen: Adventures in Children's Publishing Don't be fooled by the title -- there's also great advice for writers of other genres.

:bulletgreen: Miss Snark, the literary agent No longer publishing new posts, but still full of useful things.

:bulletblue: The Writing Workshop: Get Published! An amalgamation of publishing-related posts from the founder of Pritchett, Farlow, & Smith Publishing.

:bulletblue: Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents One editor's guide to -- you guessed it -- literary agents and what they look for in your work.

:bulletblue: CJ Lyons's No Rules Just Write Filled with general writing advice and tons of tips on self-publishing.

:bulletblue: Nathan Bransford answers your publishing FAQs! Some answers from a real-life author. Plus some bonus writing tips. ;)

:bulletblue: Dean Wesley Smith's "Think Like a Publisher Series" Great tips on self-publishing, lifted from the LITplease transcript of a chat with Amriah, here.

:bulletblue: Writer Beware Blog! Featuring information about scams, industry news, and random publishing information tidbits.

Traditional and Self-Publishing Ventures and Venues

:bulletblue: Authonomy Run by HarperCollins, one of many major book publishing houses, Authonomy allows you to upload parts of your novel. If it goes viral, HarperCollins might pick it up for publication.

:bulletblue: Book Country A community for genre writers, Book Country now offers e-book self-publishing packages, as well as a completely free option. Royalty rates differ by package.

:bulletblue: Pubslush A mixture of Authonomy and Kickstarter, Pubslush lets you upload the first ten pages of your novel, along with a synopsis, for judgement by the website's community. If 2000 supporters agree to "back" your book through money donations, your book will be published, free of charge, by the website's creators, who have thrown in additional perks like royalties, marketing, editing, and more.

:bulletblue: reKiosk A new self-publishing venture that allows you to post your work and earn 95% of the profit at your own digital storefront. Even better, other users who like your ebook can also sell it from their shops, giving you and them a 70% and 25% cut, respectively. Check out their FAQ for more information.

:bulletblue: Chirpify Sell your content through Twitter statuses; users need only reply with "buy" to purchase. Chirpify gets 5% of every sale, and you keep the rest.

:bulletblue: FastPencil This service offers some pretty typical self-publishing packages, but what really intrigues me is that they're teaming up with libraries to encourage patrons to self-publish, and their home libraries to carry their books. They might be coming to a local branch near you.

:bulletblue: Moglue For a fee, this company lets you design and sell ebook apps, even if you have no coding knowledge.

:bulletblue: Assignmint This isn't really a publishing site, but for those of you who are interested in journalism, this website lets you keep your articles, pitches, and related contacts all in one place. You can also pitch through the website's interface.


:bulletblue: Story Tracker iPhone App Have an iPhone? Need to keep track of your submissions, the markets you want to submit to, and your responses? There's an app for that! Thanks to zebrazebrazebra for the tip.

:bulletblue: 50 Simple Rules for Making It as a Writer Lots of things you probably knew already if you've gotten to this stage, but also some bits about publishing.

:bulletblue: Resource Central

:bulletblue: Resources on the Side!

:bulletblue: Lit-Resources With lots of resources on pretty much everything you can imagine.

:bulletblue: Publishers & Editors Answer Questions! A super-informative interview.

:bulletblue: Memnalar's Deviants in Print series:
Maija Haavisto, diamondie
E. Kristin Anderson, PinkyMcCoversong
D. L. Meyer, denlm
Todd Keisling, alienhead

:bulletblue: Union and Guild Resources for Writers Even if you're a freelance or self-published writer, look here for writers' union groups that can help you navigate and negotiate your rights.

:bulletblue: How Publishing Works Your questions answered by published deviant PinkyMcCoversong. See also her new thread on the same topic, now with more answers from vglory, zebrazebrazebra, futilitarian, and neurotype.

:bulletblue: PinkyMcCoversong's Writing Resources for Noobs (...and not-so-noobs)

:bulletblue: 6 Lessons (and Tips) I Learned from Self-Publishing Published deviant Amriah drops some knowledge on her blog.
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January Art Classes Begin Today

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 1, 2013, 9:33 AM

Every TUESDAY and THURSDAY at 4:00 pm Eastern-Time we will have FREE online live-stream painting lessons for approximately 2 hours.

We'll cover everything from lighting, shading, saturation, contours--faces, shapes, colours, how-to's as well for eyes, noses and other facial styles, as well as many other subjects. We will have lessons on other days depending on time and demand, but you can count on the Tuesday and Thursday meets. For those who want their work critiqued, email me today so I can prepare them! Email is Thanks!

It'll be interactive and we'll have lots of fun. I offer paint-overs and critiques for your paintings and provide you with as much knowledge as I can. Questions are always welcomed and encouraged, we're here to learn and have fun! So far its been a blast and I've seen MASSIVE improvement from my students!

Let me know if you're gonna join so I know the volume of people who will be joining.

The live-stream link is the icon below the journal, be sure to bookmark it!

If you miss the live-streams, they are recorded on my live-stream page--I will try to get them on youtube. To get into the chat group add my skype name so I can add you in: chocolate.lemons


Current Challenges:

The 14 day face painting challenge requires you to paint a new face everyday from scratch for 14 days straight. You can chose to paint the same kind of face everyday to perfect it.


1. The portrait painting must be in black and white: this is to ensure you are understanding how form develops through value.

2. A good range of brush use. Keep your brush strokes large and controlled-preferably using a textured brush-no soft-brush.

3. A head, ears and neck, along with a thoroughly painted face. No hair or extra accessories--this is going to be portfolio ready material.

4. Grey background.

5. I want a reasonably symmetrical face--within the standards of realism -- no wonky measurements. I want to see that you have applied measurements and premeditation/planning to the features, without winging it or cutting-and-pasting.

6. Each feature that you draw I want to see my lesson plan in it, I want to see a structured nose, a structured pair of lips, and eyes that can function as I have taught you in the past months.

7. I want those 6 darkest spots on the face that I have taught you to be visible.

8. NO OUTLINING or pencils. I want you to sculpt it.

As for day-by-day class homework: it will be posted here on my journal weekly, also with a summary on the subject matter of the weeks unit of study:

This week's Lesson Plan and Homework:

How to paint skin realistically: What colors to remember and how to introduce them into the canvas. Homework will be announced.



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This blog is directed to all those that write six word stories. Even if the content does not apply to everyone, it would be much appreciated by the admins of this group if you could read this blog.

It has come to our attention that a sizeable majority of you are having your six word stories declined by us pending approval during submission. If they are not declined, then they barely scrape through. Writing on behalf of the admins here in this group, we have discussions on what is acceptable and what is not, and the amount of pieces that are not acceptable has increased in the past few months.

The concept of a six word story can be difficult to understand, though writing a six word story can be even more difficult for some. As a result, we strongly suggest that everyone revisit what a story is and is not, specifically this blog in which we have underlined some features on what makes a six word story. Even if you believe yourself to be an amazing writer, please read through the blog and refresh yourselves.

Many submissions fall into the trap of being:

:bulletblue: Statements ~ These pieces usually consist of one sentence that conveys something, but involves no progression within the piece itself. There is a hint of a plot, but usually it does not go further so that we, as readers, cannot imagine anything more than what is presented to us. Often, there is no action depicted as the piece merely expresses something and that is all.

:bulletblue: Descriptions ~ These pieces just contain an account of the main concept or subject matter and that is all. A person, object or event may be alluded to, but, like statements, there is no progression, or anything within the story to encourage the reader to launch off a platform and imagine something more than what the piece proposes.

:bulletblue: Fragments ~ These pieces are not complete, and thus cannot possibly be stories. The sentence cannot stand by itself, perhaps because the sentence is not complete or the piece does not contain one independent clause. Often, an element is lacking, such as a subject or verb, there is no subject-verb relationship, etc.

:bulletblue: Poetic lines ~ These pieces often focus on the expression of emotions, thoughts and ideas. However, they often do not contain a sense of action like a story would or a concept beyond the lines themselves.

:bulletblue: Scenes ~ These pieces usually describe the background or setting in which a story could take place but it is not a story in itself.

The descriptions of these five points are not meant to explain every type of statement, description, fragment, etc. out there, but we hope it provides a bit of insight to how we see things. We have done workshops in writing a six word story, as listed here, so you are encouraged to read through these sessions to get a clearer idea on what constitutes a six word story.

Some tips and tricks that may help:

:bulletblue: Pieces that start with "I" immediately raise flags as statements. It would be in your best interest to include the "I" somewhere else in the piece if you really must have it in the piece at all.

:bulletblue: Although one sentence can work well as a six word story, you could consider breaking the piece up into two or three clauses.

:bulletblue: Try and not think of this as an exercise in poetry and develop your piece. Try and include a majority of what is listed here.

:bulletblue: Really think about your choice of words, phrasing, and other bits that make a six word story. Make sure every single word counts, and think about whether you can rephrase something to make it sound even better.

:bulletblue: Some may disagree with the use of a title, but if you are using a title, give a title that will give context to the piece itself. This does not mean that the piece should depend on the title for one to understand the piece, just that it provides a bit of background and context to the concept depicted.

Overall, there is a thin line between what is a story and what is not. A lot of it relies on giving impressions, which is especially evident in the Versicolor Project in which you should not use objects of the colour prompt, but rather convey the emotions, thoughts and impressions of the colour itself. In this sense, try and think less tangibly and more metaphorically and abstractly.

As a writer, one must rely on the reader to form their own perceptions about a piece. It is not simply a one-way relationship in which you, as the writer, dictate what the piece is about. You should allow the reader to form their own thoughts because the reader is just as important as the writer, if not more so.

Consider Hemingway's story, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn.". What makes this a story? Think about it, and incorporate it into your own stories.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in a reply to this blog or note us.

Thank you for reading. :heart:
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How to draw fireball

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 24, 2014, 8:04 AM

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