Introduction to Tutorials at deviantART
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By FantasyStock   |   
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It is the final day of projecteducate's Resources Week. I am a gallery moderator for deviantART's gallery of Resources & Stock Images, and this article is intended to be a guide to finding and learning from tutorials offered at deviantART.

During my time as a gallery moderator, this community has made one thing abundantly clear to me...


The large majority of the suggestions I get for resources Daily Deviation features are for tutorials. I've come to understand that most artists are infected with some kind of savage hunger for knowledge. (And I like it!)

deviantART community by Branchewski:thumb199477694: Tutorial User by ClefairyKid
(Artists + Love = Tutorials!) x (Tutorials + Love = Artists!)

The curious desire to know more, to improve, to push the limit of one's skills are parts of what it means to be creative.

It's worth noting that before the Internet, visual artists often had to send letters and examples of their work to humbly ask their favorite artists for critiques, for which they'd wait periods of weeks or months to see if they'd ever get answers.

Wanna know the first time I heard that? StevenSanchez mentioned it in one of his video tutorials.

Having the ability to search for information, ask questions in real time, share files, and manage messages in a community of other artistic people is a huge benefit to the modern artists of our time.

One of the best things about being part of an art community like deviantART is the chance to learn from other artists. Not just from other artists' books and anatomy studies, but through deviantART's message system. Not only do we get the opportunity to share our knowledge; we get the added benefit of asking questions, receiving critiques and getting the kind of feedback artist's need to grow.

I want you to succeed by HarmonicSonic Learn to Reply by MyStamps:thumb67937872:

It's good, too, to write tutorials. You learn a lot about any activity when you force yourself to slow down and identify/study each step and describe it in a way that isn't just your own gibberish. It starts to make more sense. You get to know your own style better by doing this.

Tortall Comics Stamp Entry by Maseiya CJ Tutorials Stamp by ClaireJones MasterPhotoshop Stamp by electricjonny

Tutorial Galleries

Tutorials - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials are step by step guides that teach you different skills and techniques." These guides, walkthroughs, and tutorials can be found in deviantART's Resources gallery. Here are all the main categories of tutorials with some examples of the kinds of things you will find in each:

  • Application Reference - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials which explain different application functions i.e. Adobe Photoshop brush tutorials, also included are 'How To' guides."

  • Artisan Crafts - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials explaining different craft techniques. A few examples include textiles, origami, jewelery making and woodworking."

  • Digital Art - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials explaining different techniques in creating digital art."
:thumb147867215: Begginers Pixel Tutorial by fruzzgle Creating Scalable Textures by ChewedKandi

  • Flash - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials explaining different Flash techniques."

  • Miscellaneous - dA's gallery description states, "Miscellaneous Tutorials."

  • Non-Art - dA's gallery description states, "Non-art related tutorials. A few examples are cooking tutorials, beauty tutorials, etc."
Understand text smileys by monkeyzav:thumb174155053: Pokemon GlobalLink Translation by Sumwheat

  • Photography - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials explaining different photography techniques, both film and digital."
Tutorial: Panning Photography by lightronin:thumb148650536: Lightbox Tutorial by GarnetKate

  • Traditional Art - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials explaining different techniques and mediums used in traditional art like pencil sketches, watercolour painting, etc."
TUTORIAL: coffee painting by ManuelaSoriani :thumb65687586: Watercolor and Pencil Tutorial by Tsuchan

  • Typography - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials explaining different typography techniques. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti, calligraphy, typeface design, etc."
Typeface Anatomy: A Brief by fiveless Picture Text Tutorial by Moev:thumb67848544:

  • Web Design - dA's gallery description states, "The Web design tutorials cover design advice, to advanced scripting techniques, and start to finish guides on designing websites."
TUT: Slicing web templates by Talei Create your own Twitter BGs by gaile :thumb56281240:

  • Writing - dA's gallery description states, "Tutorials explaining different writing techniques and skills including tutorials on how to publish your writing."
Beta Reading Tutorial
What is a Beta Reader?
Apart from being a writer's best friend, beta readers provide a cross between edits and a critique. A beta reader does not edit a manuscript, but will note the errors for the author to fix. Advice and critiques are other services a beta may perform.
Establishing a Relationship
You've just partnered with an author; what do you do first? Establish with your author what each of you expects from the relationship. A solid understanding of expectations starts the partnership on a productive path and avoids misunderstandings.Time Expectations
Is the author expecting a 24 hour turn around, while you're thinking a week? If not discussed prior to an exchange, turn around time can cause tension. Be honest with your availability and then add some padding, in case of emergency. Do not agree to time constraints you cannot meet.
Length of Partnership
Is the manuscript a novel or a short story? Ask what the author is seeking a beta
Character Motivation
Everyone's heard that characters should have goals, something they want and must strive for, overcoming obstacles and antagonists in order to obtain. Because, well, a story is the record of your character's journey toward achieving a goal.
While all of this is true, I think a lot of writers lose sight of an even more important aspect of character. That is, motivation. Sure, you know what your character wants.
That's the gist of motivation. What is the psychology and reasoning behind your character's goal? If your character is driven to make money, is his motivation greed? To pay off a debt? To support his family?
Motivation is your character's emotional connection with the reader. When the reader comes to understand why your character has set out to achieve his goal, they will understand your character in human terms, relate to him, and become invested in what happens to your character throughout the story.
Without a clear motivation, your character's goals don't mean much. So wha
Crossing Genres
Every genre has core elements that make that genre that genre. In order to Cross Genres properly, you need to know each of your genre's distinctive elements and make them Equally Important in the story.
Simple, no? However...
One of the most common mistakes I've seen in every genre of fiction: IGNORANCE.
"Most of the common mistakes come with any writing that isn't so good—bad characters, bad plots, bad writing. The ones which are peculiar to alternate histories (fantasy and sci-fi) are bad research and bad extrapolation."
-- An Interview with Harry Turtledove --
How do you expect to cross genres properly if you don't even know the genres you're working with? Contrary to popular belief, even if you're writing pure Heroic Fantasy, just making it up as you go is NOT good enough!
On writing Heroic Fantasy
"The consequence of making that assumption is, inevita

Video Tutorials & Resources

I'm not going to delve into dA's Video Resources & Tutorials Gallery at length here because it is its own unique area of deviantART, and it gets just a little complicated. You can learn more about it in this article. However, I felt it would be stupid to write an article about tutorials and leave this part of dA completely unmentioned. Here are a few examples of the kinds of video tuts you can find at deviantART:


deviantART Tutorials

deviantART Tutorials are defined as, "Tutorials on how to use the deviantART website, and other deviantART related tutorials." They aren't found in the Resources & Stock Images gallery; instead, they are located in deviantART Related gallery. Examples:

Galleries Descriptions by karemelancholia How to Give a Group a Llama by AlainaBrown :thumb184891927:

Tutorial Interest Groups

deviantART's Groups is one of the best ways to socialize in this community especially when hunting for tutorials. These are also great places for tutorial producers to be aware of because they often allow you to submit your tutorials, which will in turn end up in the message centers of everyone that watches the group's gallery, thus increasing your potential audience.

Groups also allow other tutorial producers to give you feedback about your lessons, which can help inspire all sorts of ideas and new ways to teach.

Before I get to the list of groups that are specialized in tutorials, I want to put the word out about the Global Tutorials Project...


GlobalTutorials is a group that works with interpreters to translate tutorials into multiple languages. It's one of those projects that unquestionably exemplifies all that stuff I said earlier about artists using the Internet to learn. GT is currently owned by SaTaNiA, a fabulous deviant that no longer has time to put the attention into this group project that it needs. Please contact SaTaNiA if you would like to help keep this project going. This is an outstanding group with a good reputation in the community. It would be really nice to see it active again.

The Tutorial Groups that follow appear to have reasonabe amounts of activity within the past 2 months at the time this article was published. If you know of any tutorial groups that aren't listed here, please feel free to add them to the comment section of this article.

:icon3d-step-by-step-help: 3D-Step-by-Step-Help: helping 3D artists from beginners to experts.

:icon3ds-max-tutorials: 3ds-max-tutorials: 3ds tutorials, also needs more tutorial contributors.

:iconai-resources: AI-Resources: nice selection of good Adobe Illustrator tuts.

:iconanimal-anatomy: Animal-Anatomy: collection of anatomy tutorials, humans and beasts.

:iconartistshospital: ArtistsHospital: tutorials, reference materials, and one-on-one help.

:iconcosplaytutorial: CosplayTutorial: find/share Otaku cosplay tutorials.

:icondacipher: DACipher: great big selection of great tutorials.

:icondigitalarttutorial: DigitalArtTutorial: tutorials for all kinds of digital art.

:icondivine-tutorials: Divine-Tutorials: tutorial group with a twist: they take requests!

:iconecssited: eCSSited: walkthroughs and other deviant CSS & HTML resources.

:iconemotication: Emotication: tutorials & info about emotes & smilies.

:icongakkou-houjin: Gakkou-Houjin: "incorporated school" for digital coloring.

:iconhowtodrawmanga: HowToDrawManga: created by moderators of Manga University forums.

:iconimprovement-center: Improvement-Center: to find the tutorials you need.

:iconmangaacademy: MangaAcademy: interactive lessons, linarts and tutorials.

:iconmasterphotoshop: MasterPhotoshop: all of your Photoshop resource needs.

:iconphotoshop-tutorials: photoshop-tutorials: tutorials with quality techniques & presentation.

:iconphotoshoptutorials: PhotoshopTutorials: learn Photoshop on dA.

:iconpublish-write: Publish-Write: offers advice to writers about getting published.

:icontipsandtricks: TipsAndTricks: tutorials, resources and information on art topics.

:icontutorial-central: Tutorial-Central: a one place stop for learning.

:icontutorial-city: Tutorial-City: focused on finding the best tutorials.

:icontutorial-heaven: Tutorial-Heaven: a place to learn and post tutorials.

:icontutorial-island: Tutorial-Island: tutorials for either Mac or PC.

:icontutorialcafe: TutorialCafe: one-to-one help, advice, tutorials, and masterclasses.

:icontutorialhouse: TutorialHouse: all sorts of tutorials in Portuguese.

:icontutorialised: Tutorialised: tutorials of all kinds!

:icontutorials-etc: Tutorials-Etc: collecting tutorials, how-to's and other misc help.

:icontutorialsclub: TutorialsClub: find all the tutorials you need.

:icontutorialsforyou: TutorialsForYou: a group for all tutorial lovers.

:iconwalkthrough-rookie: Walkthrough-Rookie: share tutorials, hints & tips with fellow artists.

:film: Video Tutorial Contest! :film:
Deadline: Monday, June 13, 2011

anonymous's avatar
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Divine-Angel-Heroine's avatar
Divine-Angel-HeroineHobbyist General Artist
:icontips4you: Another active group!
yarjor's avatar
yarjorHobbyist Artist
Thanks again for featuring #Emotication :love:
Awesome features too :tighthug:
Gwathiell's avatar
GwathiellHobbyist Photographer
Awesome article :love:
PixLs-Ink's avatar
PixLs-InkStudent Traditional Artist
Though, there are only a handful of good and useful drawing tutorials.
FantasyStock's avatar
I... I don't know how to respond to this other than to say that you need to LOOK! :eyes: These tutorials came from a 3 second search for "drawing" in the tutorials gallery:

Face Drawing by *hel999
Drawing the Body by `Cedarseed
Drawing Eyes by =Clap-san
Drawing Hands by `Cedarseed
Basic figure drawing by ~Rynnay
realistic wolves II by ~Yellow-eyes
Head n Face Perspectives by =kai-isolated
-Eye Tutorial- by ~ChiyoNemuri
M vs F muscle structure tut by *WingedGenesis5
Face Tutorial by `alexds1
Understanding Your Style Part 1 by *whitetrashpalace
How to draw hair by `Cataclysm-X
Lineart tutorial for GIMP by ~pheona
Folding Physics by ~jinglestan
Shading and Blending by `Cataclysm-X
Horse Tutorial by *Droemar
Basic Proportions by ~Makime
Bird Wings Tutorial by ~cactusart
Bodies by ~Scythe-Sugar-Static
Cleaning linearts by =Red-Priest-Usada

And those are just the tip of the iceberg! There are sooo.... many.... more! Within each of these deviants' galleries are often even more tutorials, so if you find an artist that makes sense to you, request more! Some artists are happy to make more tuts if they know it's helping people. You just need to search for what you need in the tutorials gallery. FAQ #577: How do I use the Search?
PixLs-Ink's avatar
PixLs-InkStudent Traditional Artist
I look through the tutorials gallery nearly every time I come onto the site.
But I look from the bottom up.
(as in, Newest to oldest)

But still, only a good handful of good, useful ones.

Sure, you may find, "How to draw wolves," good and useful. I dont.
You may also find "how to line art in ___," good and useful. I dont.

All the tutorials Ive found are Favorited.
Cedar's and Alexd's "tutorials" are a part of the handful.

But there is a thin line when "helping" becomes "blinding."
Hence why I look from the bottom up.
Dark-Scratcher's avatar
I would never respect my art if I had used any tutorials in process of creating :iconkanyeshrugsplz:

My skills in art are very low, but they are mine :iconfuckyeaplz:
Bewinxed's avatar
BewinxedHobbyist Digital Artist
moonnightsilver's avatar
Great article :clap:
Trauermei's avatar
Thanks for the feature, and great article!
fiveless's avatar
Ah awesome, thanks for the feature, great article too :)
ShiStock's avatar
ShiStockHobbyist Artist
Thank You from :icondigitalarttutorial: :huggle:
TehAngelsCry's avatar
TehAngelsCryProfessional Interface Designer
Ouh thank you ever so much for featuring my group! :D
ziba's avatar
zibaHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the feature :) And this is a nice article :)
ClefairyKid's avatar
ClefairyKidProfessional Digital Artist
Thanks for the feature, lovely article :heart:
Tsuchan's avatar
TsuchanProfessional General Artist
Thanks for featuring mine! I've started a new one on the same subject that's more in-depth but it's still in the works unfortunately.
There are so many different tutorials out there, it's interesting to see that there are so many in such a wide range of areas. There are so many different processes out there, it's always interesting to see other artists techniques and tips. :)
namenotrequired's avatar
namenotrequiredProfessional Interface Designer
:nod: Really helpful :thumbsup:

As I'm more into dA related, myself, the confusion between the two tutorial galleries seems large... probably 80-90% of what is in dA related > tuts should be in your gallery :hmm:
FantasyStock's avatar
dA-related tuts are in the Video Resources gallery, so I'm uncertain as to why it's different for traditional dA tuts...

:thinking: <-- needs an emote.
WDWParksGal's avatar
:iconthinkplz: There is a "think" PLZ account!
namenotrequired's avatar
namenotrequiredProfessional Interface Designer
True! Probably because dA related > tuts doesn't accept video files :slow: It should :plotting:
bjs001's avatar
Thank you for that! As a hobbyist looking to learn more, tutorials are invaluable to me. Especially as I most enjoy photomanip and digital art and the techniques can often be impossible to discover by trial and error (though I realise that someone did just that at some earlier timepoint!). This introduction to tutorials is very useful as I now have an idea of what is available and where to look! Thank you!
anonymous's avatar
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