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I'll lend you my eyes

Fri Nov 30, 2018, 3:08 AM
If you're hankering for feedback on something, drop a thumbnail in a comment here. Only ONE thumb per commenter at this time, please, since there's only one of me! If you want, you can even specify what kind of feedback you're looking for.

In the meantime, please enjoy these beautiful, inspiring works. :heart:

Unearthed Secrets by Savedra
Not An Embrace by bubugMilky way night sky by Sarosna85
Love Song by barefootliam
Chosen. by STIAB
Autumn Park by Pajunen
Seconds Before the Light Went Out by thrumyeye
Halbarad by EKukanova... by DeliriumVeritas
moment of happiness by MartinAmm
Badger by gunnmgally
Winter memories. by KariLiimatainen
under the glow by Thunderi

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: night snores
  • Reading: articles and posts on Facebook
  • Watching: art videos on YouTube
  • Playing: at trying to stay afloat
  • Drinking: wine + cranberry juice

Making 3-D models

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 8:21 PM
I want to share some resources that may be invaluable to those of you who have a hard time visualizing specific spaces from different angles, especially for comics. I am ankle-deep in my webcomic, "An Unorthodox Rule," and as I move forward, I have found it difficult, not just in terms of visualizing specific interiors, but also maintaining consistency in multiple panels that take place in the same spaces. I belong to a lot of comics groups on Facebook, and one thing they recommended to me was to create maps and/or models of my settings. That is a common sense thing, right? But I want to share what I've learned since taking that very good advice.

AUR - Franza's house-shop by TheBrassGlass

If you want to go low-tech, one can always make maps with pencil and paper. This, however, did not help me that much, and there's a ton of technological tools out there. So I requested recommendations for apps and programs that have proven useful to my fellow comics creators, and here are some of the ones they have suggested:

- SketchUp:
- SIMs:
- Blender: (open source, and therefore free)

SIMs are very popular, but I've never had them. While SketchUp is very powerful, it seemed a bit out of my budget. And Blender, while free, was a bit beyond my skill level. So, I did some digging around and, lo and behold, I found Planner 5D.

AUR - Franza's house (kitchen) by TheBrassGlass

This is a very powerful app that does not require any knowledge of coding, and minimal knowledge of 3-D rendering. The demo version is free; to get unlimited access to the full catalogue of furniture and other items costs about $30 USD. They charge small fees for creating renderings from your models, or for $11.99, you can create unlimited renderings on your device. Upon sign-up, you also can use your PC to log on to their website,, which allows access not only to your projects but you can also use it to fine-tune things if you are having trouble on your mobile device. For as powerful as it is, it does not eat up battery as much as one would expect. Though panning and zooming in the 3-D mode is tricky at times, once you figure out how it works, it's pretty intuitive. And you can use it to look at the rooms you design from almost any angle, taking screenshots (which are free!) that you can then use as references for your comic.

AUR - Franza's house (bedroom) by TheBrassGlass

I highly recommend this program. For me, the ease of use and accessibility proved well worth the investment.

Check it out: here are some other useful resources.

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: computer fan humming
  • Reading: articles and posts on Facebook
  • Watching: time fly
  • Playing: at trying to stay afloat
  • Drinking: wine

Useful resources

Sat Oct 13, 2018, 12:28 PM

Hard rain

Sun Sep 30, 2018, 12:14 AM
Between my fiance's father almost dying thanks to his hospital's negligence, and a catastrophic situation at work (there were layoffs, though my job is safe ... for now), it's been a terrible two months. I'm about to lose a big chunk of income due to forced furloughs, so I'm temporarily reopening commissions. Because, hey, I'll have plenty of time to work on things on those unpaid days off. (Yes, I'll also be able to work on outstanding trades.)

Prices can be found on my new portfolio site:… 
 Prices are negotiable to an extent. Comment, email or note me if interested.

Commissions open

:bulletred: Slot 1: TheMushroomancer :star-empty:
:bulletgreen: Slot 2: (open)

I don't know what this will mean for "An Unorthodox Rule" in the long run but right now I've got a pretty big buffer built up, so at least for the next few months, you can expect on-time updates on the first of each month.

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: AC humming
  • Playing: at trying to stay afloat
  • Eating: crackers
  • Drinking: water

Fright + Sketchatember

Wed Sep 5, 2018, 1:33 AM
EDIT: Apparently I got the months mixed up and Sketchavember is November, not September. Brilliant. So now I'm declaring #Sketchatember / #Sketchtember a thing and am just going to roll with it, because #YOLO. It seems like a good way to segue into Inktober anyway. You're welcome to join me if you want. XD

----- ----- -----

A lot has happened in the past three weeks, so I apologize for being scarce. My fiance's father was in the hospital and it was not good; he'd had surgery and there were complications. I'll spare a lot of details but suffice it to say he spent two weeks in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit being pumped full of fluids and antibiotics and on a breathing tube, and for a couple days there the doctors were afraid he could be brain dead. He is improving now, and finally has been moved out of intensive care and into a normal room, but he's got a long road ahead. I appreciate any well wishes (or prayers, if you're into that sort of thing) that you can send us.

I'm once again making an effort to do #Sketchavember / #Sketchvember this year. If you're doing it, too, and you'd like me to consider sketching your character, leave a link or thumbnail in the comments below. I can't promise I will get to everyone, but if it catches my fancy, I'll sketch a bunch of your characters. Also, if you want me to check out your sketches, feel free to leave a link or thumbnail in a comment below. I'll have a look! :heart:

Otherwise, I will be sifting through the last Core giveaway entries to choose ones to feature in the near future (I am behind due to aforementioned family health concerns, so I hope you will understand and be patient with the delay).

Very best wishes to all of you. :blowkiss:

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: AC humming
  • Reading: all sorts of stuff
  • Watching: fall inch in
  • Playing: at committing to sketchavember
  • Eating: double chocolate chip cookies
  • Drinking: wine and water

Forum raffle winners 2

Mon Aug 20, 2018, 1:53 AM
We had 189 entrants in my second Thumbshare forum giveaway!!! WOW! OMG! I can't contain my excitement! Thank you so much for participating, everyone!! :D (Big Grin)

Here are the winners:

Winners by TheBrassGlass 

Number 40: GodsDemonsMen!

Number 7: mochitila!

Number 148: AdrienMTZ!


No luck this time? Don't worry, I will probably do another one of these, so keep an eye out. Here's a kiss for you, my love!

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: AC humming
  • Reading: all sorts of stuff
  • Watching: summer fly by
  • Playing: at accomplishing things
  • Eating: Wheat-Thins
  • Drinking: water

Creature feature

Thu Aug 2, 2018, 10:10 AM
I've also posted on my profile page a new set of inspiring pictures by other dA artists for the month of August. Check 'em out! :)

And have some feel-good music, too:…

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: my "Feel good" playlist
  • Reading: all sorts of stuff
  • Watching: summer fly by
  • Playing: at accomplishing things
  • Eating: banana
  • Drinking: coffee

Useful resources

Thu Jul 19, 2018, 7:19 PM

Publishing Week

Rejections happen to everyone. Chances are, if you submit pieces to two places, at least one of them will be rejected, if not both. Even some of history’s greatest written works were rejected numerous times. You shouldn’t let a rejection get you down.

However, there are some things you can do, and other things that you should avoid, to improve your chances of being accepted for publication.


carefully read the submission guidelines.


just send your manuscript everywhere without regard to the guidelines.
There are tons of resources to help you find potential publishers: magazines for writers and poets, the publications that you yourself read, websites, heck, you can even Google “where to publish short stories,” for example, and get a ton of helpful resources. Each one lists its submission guidelines (even self-publishing venues have them), and that should be your first stop whenever you are considering trying to get something published.

Manuscript2 Essaywriter by TheBrassGlass

There is nothing that can make an editing department groan more readily than submissions that don’t meet the guidelines. Yet, when I was working at a small, independent publishing house in western N.Y., there was never a shortage of such manuscripts.

Being a specialty independent publisher, we really only accepted scientific and historical nonfiction, philosophy and secular humanist books, and we had a small science fiction/fantasy imprint. These things were clearly stated in our submission guidelines. You also could readily see what sorts of things we typically published by just looking at the publishing house website or the catalogue of the books it recently released. We also generally didn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. Our contracts stipulated that we could reject any manuscript if we deemed it too riddled with mistakes or if it was incomplete, until the writer could furnish an improved version.

These guidelines did not prevent us from being inundated with unsolicited manuscripts, everything from poetry (we had never published a single volume of poetry) to memoirs and literary fiction. And despite the contracts, writers frequently sent in unfinished pieces riddled with errors and didn’t understand when we kicked the manuscripts back.

manuscript1 DodgertonSkillhause by TheBrassGlass
Later in the week, akrasiel will be writing up an article on how to submit novels for publication, so be sure to check that out.

What about other publications? Working on the editorial board of a magazine or journal is quite different from working in a publishing house in several ways. But the two have at least one thing in common: tons of submissions that don’t meet the guidelines. Can you guess which pieces end up getting rejected right away?

So if the submission guidelines say you must have your name and the piece title on each page, make sure you do that. If they say you need to number the stanzas of your poem, do it. If they say you need a cover letter, you better have one. With journals and magazines, you also must be mindful of submissions windows, which are specified in the guidelines. Most small publications can only keep their window open for a few months out of the year because they get crushed with submissions that a small handful of human beings then have to sort through. They employ what is called the “slush pile,” the mass of submissions that must be evaluated for possible publication.

The sheer size of these slush piles is enough to intimidate even a seasoned editor, so they must resort to discarding as many pieces as quickly as possible. They do this first by asking whether a piece meets the submission guidelines; if it does not, or it was sent in outside of the submissions window, that piece automatically goes in the rejection bin. This is the first step in a long, arduous process, and it can get rid of half a slush pile or more alone!


know your genre.


refuse to categorize your work.
Put aside any objection you may have to labels. In the literary world, there’s no room for stubbornness. The objective is to sell writing, and the most effective way to sell writing is to be able to tap as quickly as possible into the audience that is most likely to read it. You would not go to your auto mechanic shop looking to get a root canal fixed; no, you’d go to your dentist’s office. You would not go to your supermarket to buy a car, you would not go to an elementary school teacher and ask her to perform surgery on your foot.

Likewise, you would not go looking for a biography on your favorite musician in the sci-fi/fantasy section of a book store, and you would not try to find a manga in the historical nonfiction section.

So, why would you mislabel your own work? Just think of how annoying miscats are on deviantArt. Be accurate; the more accurate, the better.

Manuscript4 Lauramusikanski by TheBrassGlass

If the submission guidelines of a women’s magazine specify that submissions should explore female experiences, the fastest way to get rejected is to send in your story about boy adventurers. Don’t do it. If the guidelines say the publication takes only speculative fiction, don’t send in your memoir. If they want poetry or novellas, don’t send them your 800,000+ word epic werewolf trilogy. Know who your audience is. If you want to publish that fantasy novel, go look at fantasy novels out there that are similar to yours and see who published them. There’s a good chance you can submit your work to that publisher, too.

Again, read the submission guidelines carefully. Be realistic about the genre of your work. If you’re just chucking your manuscript at any old publisher, you’re definitely going to end up on the reject pile. Ain’t nobody got time for that tomfoolery.


self-edit and get a fellow writer or two to proofread for you.


send in first drafts or pieces with tons of errors.
Back to the slush pile. After the editors have determined whether a piece meets the submission guidelines, the next step is to read the first few lines or sentences of the pieces that remain in the slush, to assess the quality. If there are a ton of obvious spelling and grammatical errors, the editors likely will dump that piece in the reject pile without another thought. This is because their resources are very limited and deadlines have to be met; if editing a piece will take too much time from work on other elements of the publication, the editors will not expend their precious time and resources on it.

To increase your chances of making it past this stage, be sure to edit your work at least a few times. Run it through a spell check. Put it away for a few days or a few weeks, then come back to it with fresh eyes and work on it some more. Have a writer friend or two read it for you and offer feedback. It’s important that these friends be able to offer you critical feedback; you don’t want the kind of proofreader who will just say “I like it” without being able to explain why. You need someone who is able to question your use of certain words, your approach to character development, the clarity of your ideas.


politely request feedback.


be nasty to editors.
Editing is a lot of work. Editors must sift through hundreds of pages of submissions, often for little to no pay. Many are writers, themselves, and they are graciously giving up their time and energy, taking away from their own work, to focus on the work of others. They want hardworking writers to succeed and they want to delight readers with good discoveries. There are very few things that are more satisfying than pulling a gem out of the slush pile and forgetting, as you read it, that you’ve just spent so much time and effort rejecting dozens of other pieces to get to this one.

You must understand that editors do not always have the time and resources to thoroughly evaluate each piece. If you did not take the time to carefully read the submission guidelines, edit your own work and make sure it fits in with the publication, you really should not expect an editor to take the time to give you feedback.  Editors were not born yesterday; they know immediately when someone hasn’t made much of an effort!

However, if you have done all those things, you should definitely feel good asking for feedback. Make sure your request is politely written, because editors are more likely to respond when you treat them well. Even still, you may never get a reply. And that’s OK, don’t take it personally. Editing is just a lot of work.

Manuscript3 Louise971 by TheBrassGlass

If you do get a detailed reply, congratulations! That means your submission likely made it through most of the steps and left an impression on the editor so that she or he could give feedback. It also means she or he thinks you’re a good enough writer that such feedback would be helpful to your improvement.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT reply by bickering with any part of the critique that the editor offered you. If you do, the editor is likely to think you really don’t care about improving and don’t value her or his input, so your future submissions are more likely to go right in the reject pile. DO kindly thank the editor for her or his time, even if you secretly don’t intend to take any of the suggestions to heart (though, for the record, editors know what they’re talking about and taking an editor’s recommendations likely will help you become a better writer). If the editor is rude or you find yourself getting upset as you read the feedback, put it aside for a few days and come back to it with a clearer, more objective mind. Editors are sometimes rude, and maybe it is best to take what good you can from her or his advice and simply find a different publication to try. It’s the rude editor’s loss in cases like that.

Let’s recap

  • DO carefully read the submission guidelines.
    DON’T just send your manuscript everywhere without regard to the guidelines.
  • DO know your genre.
    DON’T refuse to categorize your work.
  • DO self-edit and get a fellow writer or two to proofread for you.
    DON’T send in first drafts or pieces with tons of errors.
  • DO politely request feedback.
    DON’T be nasty to editors.

Check out the glossary of useful terms below!

Raffle feature 3

Mon Jul 9, 2018, 3:12 AM
On June 24, I did a raffle in a Thumbshare forum post for two 3-month Core memberships. :) (Smile) The winners were  Kornderia and Sereida-Arts, but I wanted to showcase art from all the participants. You guys were great, thanks for taking part! Heart

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: AC humming
  • Watching: the days grow shorter
  • Playing: at working on things
  • Drinking: water

Raffle feature 2

Mon Jul 2, 2018, 10:17 PM
On June 24, I did a raffle in a Thumbshare forum post for two 3-month Core memberships. :) The winners were  Kornderia and Sereida-Arts, but I wanted to showcase art from all the participants. You guys were great, thanks for taking part! :heart:

Divider II by RBSRdesigns
Divine Beast (SPEEDPAINT) by dratinigirl
Water Portrait by HukslyTrickster Pirate by SlytherclawPadawan
Warhammer Fantasy OC: Franka Paasche by TheMushroomancer
Maria Amanda by Virus-Tormentor Peridot by AquaticJM Sighhh by BrokenDoll777
Relaxing by LilyKokoSnow
Leave me Alone by Comycatdarkangelfriendship by komarukoune Vault Boy by Chikinugget
Art Trade [Mysterika18] by day-tunes
[Art Trade] Aurora by SaineemGuildmaster Striker by BlackCapBanditFatal Scent by Saineem
To you by yks-yin
Crazy by k-i-k-i-aCommission - RosieMarie15 by kamilushya
Study of Woman by ReKinFeR
Rainbow Zentangle - full page by ZinaZooSolid Snake and Meryl - Metal Gear Solid by AgentLemaClint Eastwood ink by neraksel
My lover said it is okay to break (OC) SPEEDPAINT by TwoFacedWolf
Fight for the night II by Sereida-Arts<da:thumb id="676705189"/> [sm]tayla by Idleye
[C] Rufus + Goal (cirikashii) by KawaiiLunacchi
The Hunting Grounds by SavageFrogToshio Redraw by dratinigirl
SOMA: Winter Hunt by TheRebornAce
Iodine by Uvodd-AFMarket Tower by humloch

See Raffle feature 1!

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: AC humming
  • Watching: the days grow shorter
  • Playing: at working on things
  • Drinking: water

Raffle feature 1

Sat Jun 23, 2018, 10:49 PM
It's Sunday, June 24, so my raffle in the ThumbShare forum has closed and the winners have been announced! :D Congrats to Kornderia and Sereida-Arts!!! :D

But I would like to feature the participants, so here is part I. Enjoy the beautiful art!

Skagit Beauty by anniecoleptic
Comm: Thor - Between butterflies and dandelions by andropov97perspective exercise by mopdtkPortrait of Elena Temnikova #1 by lazy-brush
Inner Dream (2007) by Meekochan
Alfalfa Waterfall by ArtofaWhiteDragon
The Card Players by paul-rosenkavalier

My Little Bird by Jun-Himekawa
Masters of deception [collab] by LualaDy
Fairy Witch by kiranoxTraveling Band part 4 by Allodoxa85<da:thumb id="747346887"/>
'As The World Falls Down...' by Starfire-Productions
Master Yoda by cagdasdemiralp

Egg by mairle Sitting by OMIT-Story

See Raffle feature 2!

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: AC humming
  • Reading: about astrophotography
  • Watching: the days grow shorter
  • Playing: at working on flatasabird's commission
  • Drinking: cranberry juice + wodka

Useful resources

Sat Apr 21, 2018, 1:16 PM
  • Listening to: AC humming
  • Reading: news articles
  • Watching: summer fly by
  • Playing: at completing things
  • Drinking: screwdriver

Can't afford Photoshop?

Thu Mar 15, 2018, 12:06 PM
Don't pirate it; instead, check out these amazing open-source software options for everything from image editing to word processing to website building and home publishing. Because they are open-source, these programs are free to download and use. There also are a ton of free resources online to use with them, such as brushes (and remember, Photoshop brushes work in the most recent versions of GIMP!), fonts and other options. Online forums offer help on everything from how to add custom brushes to troubleshooting program performance. And, who knows, if you want a new feature, you might find some enterprising software developers who are interested in making it happen.

Divider II by RBSRdesigns

Graphic design and image editing


GIMP - a Photoshop alternative; very powerful program, can do almost anything: 

Inkscape - an Adobe Illustrator alternative for vector graphic design:

Krita - digital painting software similar to Corel Paint: 

MediBang - digital painting software similar to PaintToolSAI and Krita: (recommended by vt2000)

Paint.NET - a very simple but powerful image-editing program: 

MyPaint - digital painting software similar to PaintToolSAI: 

Verve - a powerful digital painting program:… (recommended by Maxiator)

Darktable - a RAW photo editor similar to Lightroom:

Divider II by RBSRdesigns

Word processing and home publishing

LibreOffice Suite - includes spreadsheet and PowerPoint-like presentation software:

Scribus - an open-source alternative to InDesign:

ApacheOffice: word processor similar to Microsoft Word: (recommended by hannahelizabethh)

Writer, the Internet Typewriter - "barebones, distraction free, typewriter style, open source words processing": (recommended by AkiraSatsujinki)

Divider II by RBSRdesigns

Website building & design

Try some of these:… 

Divider II by RBSRdesigns

Do you have a favorite open-source program that you use but is not listed here? Comment below!

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: the sound of forks on plates
  • Reading: about vector art
  • Playing: the game of life
  • Eating: Chinese stir-fry noodles
  • Drinking: water

March updates

Sun Mar 4, 2018, 5:45 PM
Woo, what a whirlwind. First, visitors to my page may notice a VASTLY IMPROVED load time; I got wise, reduced file size and compressed all the images on my page so it not only should take a fraction of a second to load, now, but it looks better because I finally took care of those gray bits that opened up when viewing my page on mobile devices with smaller screens. Huzzah.

Things to look forward to: I'm trying to get together a comics weekend or week, or perhaps mini-week, at projecteducate; I'll have more on that in the near-future, but if you're interested in writing an article, have a question or an idea, comment below! I'm looking for YOU!

Commissions and trades: I have finished a book cover and map commission for an author I worked for in 2016, and am moving on to FlatAsABird's long-awaited commission. After that, commissions will be closed for a while so I can catch up on all the trade work I owe folks. I hate to do that, but I'm very far behind.

Other news: Last month I received an a regional award for an editorial cartoon, so that's exciting. I also have taken up tiny freelance jobs, because my student loans and car aren't paying themselves off. :<

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: sounds of Diablo II wafting from the next room
  • Reading: about vector art
  • Playing: the game of life
  • Eating: Chinese takeout
  • Drinking: wine + cranberry juice

Another year

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 12:18 PM
Last week, I turned 34; that's pretty old by deviantArt standards. I've been a member of this site since I was 19. My posts began with old high school projects and fanart of Lord of the Rings done in pencil:

Japanese Haldir by jamberry
My oldest deviation still up.

While I had read Catwoman comics for years, I did not know much about comics or how they are made; today, I have my own webcomic: 

An Unorthodox Rule by TheBrassGlass

I have learned a great deal about drawing, but a lot about my style has stayed the same. I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing. There's always room for improvement, and I will continue to work on improving. 

One is never too old to learn.

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: silence
  • Reading: webcomics
  • Playing: the game of life
  • Drinking: coffee

The wonderful world of markers

Fri Feb 16, 2018, 3:00 AM by TheBrassGlass:iconthebrassglass:

Traditional Art Basics

Hello, my name is TheBrassGlass, and I have a problem...

I’m addicted to markers.

Garden of delights by TheBrassGlass

If you are new to this medium, or maybe you think it’s outdated or too limited, please give me a few minutes to open your eyes to a beautiful, colorful world! This is a relatively cheap medium to get into (even the most expensive markers will be easier on your wallet than investing in oil paints, brushes, palettes, canvas, frames, gesso, smock, mineral spirits, an easel, for example, and for the price of even a refurbished Wacom Intuos medium tablet, you can buy dozens of the most expensive markers), they are pretty portable as far as art supplies go, and they look good – what more can an artist want?

So, as an introduction, I’ll go over two main types of markers – water-based and alcohol-based – and a couple of quick techniques for both. I’ll also talk a little bit about paper, using markers with other media, as well as what you need to share your marker artworks with the world via the internet. I also will talk about alternative brands for those of you who want to try alcohol-based markers but find the two big names, Copic and Prismacolor, too expensive for your budget.
:star: NOTE: I use GIMP as my image-editing program. It is a powerful free program that you can get here.

Making marks

The shape and size of each marker determines the best way for you to use it. Below are examples of the most common shapes and sizes of both water-based and alcohol-based markers.

Marker Types3 by TheBrassGlass

I've lumped round and wedge-shaped (also often called chisel-tip) markers together because they have the same kind of hardness. The wedge/round and felt-tip markers tend to be the most consistent, so they are good for coloring large areas. Fine-tip markers are best for coloring in small details and outlining things. But it is the brush tip that has become the most popular in recent years. Its length and softness have made it excellent for creating the look of a watercolor wash and it is ideal for blended, seamless shading.

For most of the types, if you work quickly and use tiny circular motions, the marks are not as noticeable if you’re using the softer flat side of the marker tip; this seems to be the technique preferred by most for coloring large areas. If you use the hard, pointy end of the tip, those marks will be more distinct. You also can change the look of the mark by controlling the pressure of your hand; brushing the paper lightly with the marker will produce a slightly lighter tone. Since markers are their own distinct medium, play up their unique qualities – play around with different kinds of marks. I like to use big, slow curlicues for curly hair, for example, or long, straight lines to suggest folds of stiff fabric.

Wb Tutorial1 by TheBrassGlass
When shading, avoid using black and grays unless absolutely necessary; instead use dark blues, dark greens, dark violets, dark browns or dark reds for the darkest areas in your drawing! The viewer will automatically "read" the darkest color as black. And try to add the tones of the shading color and mid-tones into the shadows on other parts of the picture (for example, if you are drawing a woman in a bright red dress, add a hint of red in the shading on her hair and skin). This will give your drawing more depth.

Helena by TheBrassGlassThe business of looking for a wife by TheBrassGlass Commission - Yves de Reveille by TheBrassGlassOld Friends by TheBrassGlass

Water-based markers

Just as it sounds, these are markers in which water is the solvent for the pigments. My friends, forget what you know about the lowly water-based markers. These sometimes fat, sometimes scented tubes of colorful water are not just the purvey of kindergarten classrooms; they are a cheap, compact, portable, legitimate medium that can be manipulated and rarely bleed through the paper, making them ideal for sketchbooks. They are available in many colors, have a lot of depth, and play beautifully with other media.

Tut by TheBrassGlass
The double-ended (fine-tip/brush-tip) water-based markers I used to color this cost me $5 USD.

Markers work best in layers, kind of like watercolor painting. One major advantage that water-based markers enjoy over their alcohol cousins – besides the cost, the lack of a bad odor, and not bleeding through paper, that is – is that you can build them up just by going over the same area with the same marker over and over. If you go over the same color twice with a water-based marker, the color on the drawing gets darker because the paper becomes literally more saturated with the pigment. In contrast, alcohol markers get slightly darker if you go back over the same area with the same marker, but not by much.

However, with water-based markers, you have to remember that since the pigments are water-soluble (that just means they dissolve in water), this means that lighter-colored markers will pick up darker colors that are already present on the paper if they touch. So you must always work from light to dark, putting down your highlight colors first, then working in progressively darker colors for your shading.

Wb Tutorial2 by TheBrassGlass

Another tip: by curving your marks around the implied contour of the shape or object you’re coloring, you can create an almost 3-D effect because it implies form.

Wb Tutorial3 by TheBrassGlass

Remember to keep in mind the size and shape of your marker as you work.

Wb Tutorial4 by TheBrassGlass

Alcohol-based markers

In contrast to their water-based cousins, these markers often have a bad odor and will bleed through paper. You should use them in a well-ventilated space and/or for limited periods at a time, as these odors can cause dizziness and headaches or even irritate your eyes. As for ink bleeding, as long as you have a buffer under the paper – I tend to use the cardboard back of a sketchbook, which is perfect for this purpose, or you can use a much thicker paper underneath the sheet you’re coloring on – you should be fine. You can also try specialized marker paper, which is treated with chemicals on one side to prevent, or at least minimize, the markers bleeding through.

However, with the marker paper, you can only use the untreated side for drawing (you’ll know immediately if you’ve mistaken one for the other; the marker ink beads up on the treated side). However, even the treated paper will not stop markers from bleeding outside your line art. Some pigments are worse than others, with dark reds and blues seeming to be the worst culprits.

Art trade - Amatus by TheBrassGlass
It is a good idea whenever you get new markers to try out all the colors by drawing simple squares on a test piece of paper and coloring them in to see how the marker ink will behave; this way, you will know to look out for certain colors and avoid coloring right up to the lines with those ones to minimize bleed-over. You also will know exactly what the colors look like on paper, since they very rarely match the color of their packaging.

Marker Samples Cropped by TheBrassGlass
With alcohol-based markers, you can use many of the same techniques as with the water-based markers. I tend to put down the mid-tone colors first and then add the shading and highlights:

Markers Midtones by TheBrassGlass
(Here's what the above piece looks like finished: Art trade - The broken bottle)

There is one major advantage with alcohol-based markers: you can use lighter colors on top of darker ones! In fact, while most alcohol-based marker sets come with a colorless blender (it’s full of the alcohol solvent used in the other markers but contains no pigment), it’s far better to use lighter colors to blend instead because this will give your drawings more depth and impact. For example, a yellow alcohol-based marker was used to blend the hair in this drawing.
But don’t throw away those colorless blender markers  they are BRILLIANT for blending colored pencils!
If you go outside the lines, don’t sweat it too much. It comes with the medium. But if you want a perfectly clean look, you can always clean up spill-over on the computer later, and/or use white gel pen, or thicken the line art with ink pen to cover the slips.
Light-colored gel pens are a great way to add highlights to marker drawings, especially on colored paper! Try putting a lot of ink in one spot and smudging it with your finger to create a fade-out look to the highlights. For a different effect, try drawing geometrical shapes or patterns with the gel pen over the top of the markers, or even try outlining your drawing on colored paper.

Blue lady by TheBrassGlass Faun Sample by TheBrassGlass Arachne by TheBrassGlass

Tips and other stuff to know

Inktober art trade - Arielle by TheBrassGlass


You don’t have to get fancy paper. I almost always use computer paper, myself. What you want is smooth, bright white paper of a good weight. So I tend to get computer paper heavier than the standard 20 lb weight and as close to 100% bright as possible (at least 90% or better). You can certainly try others; Bristol paper and card stock are good, and marker paper has a very fine tooth and, as we discussed before, is treated to minimize bleed-through. Don’t be afraid to try colored papers, too!
If you are worried about ruining your drawing, use a scanner or copier machine to make a copy of the drawing and color the copy; this way, if you mess up, you can just make another copy of the original!


Life during the French and Indian War by TheBrassGlass

Scanning is by far the best way to digitize your marker drawings to share them on the internet. However, I know that not everyone has a scanner. Check your local thrift stores for scanners; I’ve found a few in the past year that were selling for as low as $5. If you can’t get a scanner, don’t fret, you can use a digital camera or even your phone to take a picture of the drawing. But it will take a few more steps to get the drawing presentation-ready:

  • First, try to hang up the drawing  use matte or artist’s mounting tape to attach the drawing to the wall; taking a photo of the vertically oriented drawing will minimize skewing caused by perspective (you can correct it further with an image-editing program, for example the perspective tool in GIMP).
  • Use a tripod but make sure the areas is well-lit, preferably with natural sunlight.
  • Use the highest resolution that you can; this will help ensure good quality when you resize the image.
  • CROP IT. The No. 1 mistake rookies make is not cropping the edges of the paper out. Cropping it makes it look better and far more professional, trust me
  • Resize the image for social media; you don’t want it too large for viewers on smaller screens.
  • Use the levels and/or curves tools to even out the color of the paper and make invisible any warping of the paper. Here’s a tutorial on how to do this in GIMP
  • Upload and share your masterpiece!

Below is the picture I colored with the water-based markers earlier; on the left is exactly how it was when I took the picture (note the skewing because I took the picture looking down on a horizontal surface rather than straight-on at a vertical surface), and on the right I have rotated it, fixed the skew with the perspective tool in GIMP and cleaned up the drawing, then cropped out the edge of the paper:

Wb Tutorial Camerapresentation2 Better by TheBrassGlass

Which looks better?

Now here is the cleaned up camera shot of the picture above (left) vs. using a scanner (right):

Wb Tutorial Camera Vs Scanner by TheBrassGlass

They’re pretty close, right? I ended up going back and using a gel pen to add some more highlights and some embroidery details on her dress (stomacher, to be exact; and if you’re wondering, her hairstyle is called a hedgehog XD) and used a slightly tighter crop, but otherwise they look almost the same!
If you want to use a colored paper but can’t put it through the printer or copier machine, just use white paper and this tutorial to use an image-editing program to superimpose the drawing on the colored paper! Here's what the above picture looks like superimposed on "old" looking paper.

What’s in a name?

As for marker brands, for water-based markers I really do love Crayola SuperTips, which is what I used for the water-based portion of this article; I paid about $6 USD for a set of 50, so for that price you really can’t go wrong. I still prefer the leafy green of that set and some of the darker reds over even the alcohol-based markers I’ve used. They really are lovely.

Art trade - Vera and Alex by TheBrassGlass

For alcohol-based markers, I don’t think I’ve met a kind I didn’t like! However, if we’re going by sheer numbers, I actually own more Prismacolors and Spectrum Noir markers than any other brands. I own five Copics (actually, physically I own eight Copics, but four of those are the same color: Putty!); what’s nice about the Copics is that you can refill them. Of the Prismacolors and Copics, though, I find the ones with the brush tips are by far the best to use for most applications. If you want a relatively cheap set of very good, very vibrant alcohol-based markers, I highly recommend Bic Marking (sometimes labeled as Mark-It) markers; you can find a set of 36 in most department stores for about $15 USD. Unfortunately, one of my absolute favorite brands, Utrecht, is no longer in production. :cries:

My go-to colors? For mid-tones for shading, I use Copic’s Putty and Prismacolor’s Pewter and Warm Gray 40% – in fact, I use these three colors more than any other markers I own. I use Prismacolor’s Sand and Brick Beige for white skin tones.
Try coloring only the shadows and any colored highlights if you want, then leave the heavy lifting to the paper. The viewer will be able to infer the color of the item or subject's skin ... or fur!
If you have tried these or any other brands of markers and have a review or recommendations for us, share them in a comment below and I will do my best to highlight those comments for other readers! Also, if you have any questions, I will try to answer them.

The last thing I want to stress is that markers are such a versatile medium and they really play well with others! I’ve used them with acrylic paint, I’ve used some water-based markers with water and a paintbrush to create a watercolor effect, they look wonderful with pencil and ballpoint pen, and can even be used to make comics:

Violet by TheBrassGlass An Unorthodox Rule - Prologue, p. 2 by TheBrassGlass Cold Fire by TheBrassGlass

If you are bored or are looking to expand your traditional media skills, I hope you will give markers a try!!

But be careful... they are addictive, after all. ;)

The dA comics list

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 7:19 PM
Heads-up Aug. 2, 2018: dA randomly deleted a bunch of the thumbnails, so I have had to add thumbs back in. They may not be the ones you initially chose; sorry about that!

A (what I hope to be master) list of comics creators on deviantArt! If you are one, note me or comment on this journal with the following information, and I will add you:

- Name: (your dA name)
- Name of comic/webcomic: "(comic name)" 
- Link to webcomic:
- Other social media:
- Offers commissions? (say yes or no)
(three thumbs of your work on dA)


- Name: akitku
- Name of comic/webcomic: "The Change"
- Link to webcomic:…
- Other social media:
- Does commissions? yes

  The Change - Cover by akitku  The Change - Page 01 by akitku  The Change - Page 02 by akitku 

- Name: ArtOfRivana
- Comic name: "Eon," First chapter/book title: "Eon: The Curse of Forgotten Past"
-Link to webcomic page:  Webcomic page will be up in Feb 2018. Previews can be seen here:…
- Other social media: Facebook Graphic novel Instagram Patreon Twitter 
- Does commissions? no

Eon Prologue Page 4 Preview by ArtOfRivana  The Hunter by ArtOfRivana  Eon 2017 Promo Picture - Website launched! by ArtOfRivana



- Name: chateaugrief
- Name of comic: "Chateau Grief"
- Link to comic:…
- Other social media: Patreon Website  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Gab @ chateaugrief
- Does commissions? yes

Chateau Grief 1 by chateaugrief  Chateau Grief 90 by chateaugrief  Chateau Grief 162 by chateaugrief 

- Name: Chikara-Redwing

- Name of comic: "AnK"
- Link to webcomic:…
- Does commissions? Yes

Jack 2017 by Chikara-Redwing  Designated Girl Fight by Chikara-Redwing  Source Entities by Chikara-Redwing

- Name: Cranash64
- Comic name: "Made of flesh/Made of iron"
- Link to webcomic:…
- Does commissions? yes

P0019eng by Cranash64  P0041eng by Cranash64  P0071eng by Cranash64 

- Name: curiousdoodler
- Comic name: "Mountain Divide"
- Link to webcomic page: mountaindivide.thecomicseries.…
- Other social media: Facebook Instagram Twitter 
- Does commissions? yes

Lily in the Snow by curiousdoodler  Dancing in the Spring - Redraw by curiousdoodler  Lily at the Pub by curiousdoodler


- Name: Dedasaur
- Name of comics and links:
"The Pirate Balthasar":
"The Mark of Cain":
"The Flower and the Nose":
- Other social media: Instagram Facebook
- Does commissions? no 

The Mark of Cain - Rock beats Scissors by Dedasaur  Circe and Ulysses by Dedasaur  Colapesce/Nicoli - Sacred by Dedasaur


- Name: ElliPuukangas
- Name of comic: "Tistow"
- Link to webcomic page:
- Other social media: Twitter
- Does commissions? yes



- Name: FanOFluffStuff

- Name of comic: "Alchemy Brothers"
- Link to webcomic page: Alchemy Brothers Chapter 01 Cover
- Does commissions? yes

  Ahti by FanOFluffStuff  Alchemy Brothers Page01 by FanOFluffStuff  Moya by FanOFluffStuff

- Name: fireytika
- Name of comic: "Frozen Heart"
- Link to webcomic page:…
-Other social media: Facebook Instagram
- Does commissions? yes

Foosha - Arachne by fireytika  Freezing Night (PRIDE) by fireytika  Autumn Breeze by fireytika

- Name: Foggylights
- Name of comic: "The Tale of Caladyse"
- Link to comic page: The Tale of Calaydse
- Does commissions? no

  The Tale of Calaydse by Foggylights  The Tale of Calaydse Ch. 1 Page 2 by Foggylights  The Tale of Calaydse Ch. 1 Page 13 by Foggylights 


- Name: GoblinGrimm1
- Name of comic: "Incorporeal," as well as a few smaller one-shots. 
- Other social media: Facebook Instagram Patreon
- Does commissions? yes

Patreon Slayer by GoblinGrimm1   Vintage by GoblinGrimm1  Preview by GoblinGrimm1



- Name: Iduna-Haya
- Name of comic: "The Last Empire"
- Link to webcomic page:
- Other social media: Facebook Instagram 
- Does commissions?: yes

Fury by Iduna-Haya  The Goddess by Iduna-Haya  The House of Fire by Iduna-Haya


- Name: JH-Kael
- Comic name: (TBA; still workshoping a couple name ideas)
- Link to webcomic page: (TBA)
- Other social media:
- Does commissions? yes

   Valmira the Pyromancer by JH-Kael  

- Name: Vargvast-Creations
- Name of comics: "Kleo of the Streets" / "Deidre of the Twilight Forest"
- Links to comics:……
- Does commissions? no
<da:thumb id="697279687"/><da:thumb id="754798602"/> Kleo of the Streets: Ch. 1 Script by Vargvast-Creations

- Name: justsomedude86
- Name of comic:  "The American Immigrant" (unreleased)
Various comics journalism (…)
- Link to website:
- Other social media: Twitter
- Does commissions? no

The American Immigrant: South Korea Cover by justsomedude86 Response to Gun Violence in the US by justsomedude86 Butterflies by justsomedude86




- Name: Mr-Sage
- Comic Name: "Wendy and Phone"
- Link to webcomic page:
- Other social media: Twitter
- Does commissions? yes

Wendy and Phone #1 by Mr-Sage Wendy and Phone #47 by Mr-Sage Wendy and Phone #83 by Mr-Sage




- Name: PixelHistory

- Link to webcomic page:…

- Other social media: 

Patreon, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+

-  Does commissions? no

Such a Normal Day in Caesar's Life by PixelHistory  Never Trust Strangers by PixelHistory  Nobody Expects the Spanish In... by PixelHistory 




- Name: Si-Efil
- Name of comic: "Life is Not That Bad"
- Link:…
-  Other social media: and
- Does commissions? No

NTB: Runt's Dead by Si-Efil NTB: Bouncy Glass by Si-Efil Not That Bad of A Story - Asylum #1 by Si-Efil 

- Name: Stefdiamel
- Comic name: "Serphciel"
- Link :…
- Does commissions? yes

Serphiciel - Couverture by Stefdiamel Serphciel - Page 1 by Stefdiamel Serphciel - Page 2 by Stefdiamel


- Name: tracyjb
- Comic name: "Lackadaisy"  
- Link to webcomic page:
- Other social media: Patreon Tumblr Twitter
- Does commissions? no (custom art only available for Patreon supporters)

   Lackadaisy Noir by tracyjb Lackadaisy Scathefire by tracyjb Lackadaisy Look-see by tracyjb





- Name: woohooligan 
- Name of comic: "Woohooligan!"
- Link to webcomic page:
- Other social media: Facebook Tumblr Twitter
- Does commissions? no 

   Secret Lives of Kliingons Cover by woohooligan Star Wars Fan Theories by woohooligan BatMan Go! by woohooligan




- Name: Zumiex
- Comic name: "Dei Ex Machina"
- Links to webcomic pages: Fragility and Zenith
- Other social media: Twitter  Facebook
- Does commissions? yes

Dei Ex Machina: Fragility Cover by Zumiex Dei Ex Machina: Zenith Page 15 by Zumiex Shopping 1 by Zumiex

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: Feel-good music
  • Reading: comics
  • Eating: banana
  • Drinking: coffee

Commissions + trades

Fri Sep 1, 2017, 12:06 AM
I'm true to my word, I'm just slow as a freaking glacier. 

I apologize to those of you still waiting for stuff.

Current commissions:

FlatAsABird :star-half: (sketch stage - ink)

Pelycosaur24 :star-empty: (pending)

Divider II by RBSRdesigns

Current art trades:

(these are in no particular order)

Sereida-Arts :star:

AT: Andar between the stars by Sereida-Arts Trade - Sereida-Arts by TheBrassGlass

Quinnsanity-Q :star:

Age and Artblock doodle

Art Trade: TheBrassGlass by Quinnsanity-Q Art trade - The broken bottle by TheBrassGlass

XxCute-KittyxX :star:
Xanthias - Reference Sheet

Art Trade - TheBrassGlass by XxCute-KittyxX Art trade - Xanthias by TheBrassGlass

BlueSoulber: Vera and Alex

Art trade - Vera and Alex by TheBrassGlass  Andar and Edmun by BlueSoulber

PrimaGem :star-half: (sketch stage)…

Lychnobia :star-half: (sketch stage)

NEWLL :star-half: (inked back to sketch stage)
GoA: Garvey Formal Attire and Formal Jia

akitku :star-empty:

Eisschweif :star-empty:… and

PonuryGrajek :star:
Henry and Apollo
Trade - Henry and Apollo by TheBrassGlass

Kaiane :star:
Trade - Ice queen by TheBrassGlass

SerketXXI :star:
Lavoisier - chemistry and dead
+ AT: Prince Andar + by SerketXXI Art trade - Tragedy of Lavoisier by TheBrassGlass

theterriblezodin :star-empty:

Neiot :star-empty:
Maruki Konkuro (pirate):

Voiii :star-empty:

SpearHawk :star-empty:

skipwr3ck :star:
Scarlet and Vin: Sneaky Sneks

Meteor Shower [ART TRADE] by skipwr3ck  Art trade - Sneak-n-snatch by TheBrassGlass

ToxicKrieg (Instagram) :star-empty:

PosyPrince :star-half:
Posy Prince and Addison Ringer
Unorthodox by PosyPrince Trade - Posy Prince by TheBrassGlass

AnnaKellsveden :star-empty:

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Reading: the news
  • Watching: time fly by
  • Playing: at keeping up

Art trades

Fri Jun 16, 2017, 11:30 PM
I apologize for slow progress lately. I've got two trades in sketch stage and one inked and ready to color. More soon!

The art trade that skipwr3ck made for me:

Meteor Shower [ART TRADE] by skipwr3ck

Current art trades:

(these are in no particular order)

Sereida-Arts :star:

Quinnsanity-Q :star:

Age and Artblock doodle

XxCute-KittyxX :star:
Xanthias - Reference Sheet

PrimaGem :star-half: (sketch stage)…

Lychnobia :star-half: (sketch stage)

NEWLL :star-half: (inked)
GoA: Garvey Formal Attire and Formal Jia

akitku :star-empty:

Eisschweif :star-empty:… and

PonuryGrajek :star-empty:
Henry and Apollo

Kaiane :star-empty:

SerketXXI :star-empty:
Lavoisier - chemistry and dead

theterriblezodin :star-empty:

Neiot :star-empty:
Maruki Konkuro (pirate):

Voiii :star-empty:

SpearHawk :star-empty:

skipwr3ck :star-empty:
Scarlet and Vin: Sneaky Sneks

ToxicKrieg (Instagram) :star-empty:

Skin base by Sleepy-Stardust
  • Listening to: AC hum
  • Reading: the news
  • Watching: time fly by
  • Playing: at keeping up
  • Drinking: water