What tools do you use?
On the subject of tablets:
I use three different tablets depending on where I am. At work I use a Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD, in the studio I'm on a Wacom Cintiq 24 HD, and if I'm traveling I'm using my Wacom Intuos Medium Pro. People ask me which of them I prefer but I find that all of the Cintiq models are essentially the same with slight differences in additional features (touch, express keys, etc).
In regard to the Cintiq vs the Intuos: I used Intuos tablets exclusively until 2014 and I think they are excellent tablets with good prices. The Cintiq tablets are more expensive but I find that my workflow is faster on them especially for things like lineart and drafting. If you're just starting out and are beginning to shop for a tablet, go with the Intuos. You're getting all the benefit from using a tablet without the expense of the Cintiq's price points. While I think that the Cintiq is an excellent tablet with great features, the price is so significantly higher that it may take a lot of justification to jump up to it. It's nice to have if you're really serious about your work and if you can justify the price but the Intuos is just fine in my opinion.
On the subject of programs:
Most of digital paintings are made with Adobe Photoshop CC. Occasionally I'll paint in Autodesk SketchBook Pro or ProCreate (on my iPad). Every so often, I'll start my drafts on paper but it's far more common for me to build my drawings up completely in a digital environment.
How long does it take you to make a drawing?
How long I spend on a drawing really depends on the complexity. For my larger more complicated drawings, it takes anywhere between 6-20 hours. Smaller and more sketchy drawings take around 1-4 hours. I also tend to rotate several works at once so I'm keeping fresh eyes on each of them. I find that if I'm focusing too long on a single piece, I begin to fatigue on it. When I cycle work, it keeps my interest up and I see my mistakes better if I come back to a drawing after I give it some time.
When did you start drawing? How did you learn to draw?
I've been doodling since I was a kid but I didn't get serious about drawing until I was in college. I majored in Studio Art as a traditional painter but quickly jumped into digital painting platforms shortly after graduation. I try to carry over my traditional painting background into how I compose my digital paintings. This is why you'll see a lot of exposed brush strokes in my work.
Are you a professional artist? Where do you work?
I'm a conceptual illustrator for a research laboratory. The nature of our work is sensitive so I can't speak publicly about it. The drawings you see in my gallery are the illustrations that I do at home and for fun.
What influences your art?
On deviantArt: sandara, TamberElla, alohalilo, The-SixthLeafClover, Silverfox5213, griffsnuff, Ry-Spirit and BenHickling but this is a super short list of the people I admire. Check out my favorites for pieces that inspire me: tsaoshin.deviantart.com/favour…
What is your digital painting process?
Whenever I make a new drawing, I always start with drafts. I may go through as many as 20 drafts before I get something I like.
I'll clean up the draft and graduate it to a loose sketch that I work directly on top of. I tend to throw rough colors into the sketch to establish a color palette and where my lighting will be.
When I'm satisfied with the lighting and palette, I begin refining the sketch by blending the colors and adding detail. The way I blend colors is to use the "alt" shortcut in Photoshop which makes the eyedropper tool active while you're holding down the alt button. This way you can select colors that are present in the drawing instead of making a new color with the swatches. I blend by using the eyedropper to select color areas in the overlapping area between two different colors to get a "blend" of the two together. I use this mixed color to blend the two areas into each other.
I save my chiseling and detailing brushes for the last part of the process and use them in areas where I want to draw the viewer's focus. Over detailing a drawing can sometimes cause them to look flat.
The majority of my brushes in Photoshop have shape dynamics and opacity linked to pen pressure. If you want to know more about Photoshop brush customization, ceruleanvii has made a really great tutorial available here: fav.me/d303tv9
Here's where you can download my basic brush set:
Here's where you can download my full brush set:
I generally work on less than 4-5 layers. One for the background, one of the subjects, and a few others for floating details like glows, lighting, etc.
Do you have any tutorials or resources?
I've done a few tutorials and step-by-step posts here on deviantART. Check out my resources gallery to see them.
I very frequently create a timelapse of my process. These are available on my youtube account.
I conducted a Digital Painting Crash Course Workshop at Anime Boston 2016 which is available on youtube.
Download the PSD asset for Anime Boston 2016 Workshop here:
The most comprehensive tutorial I have currently is the one I created for Autodesk Sketchbook: Tutorial - Digital Painting a Cute Lion
I have a few tutorials in Digital Artist on How to Design Cute Fantasy Monsters, How to Draw Dragon Wings, and Drawing a Dragon in Flight. Issues: 33, 34, and 35.
If you would like to know more about me, check out my interview on YouTheDesigner.
Do you livestream? What is Backseat Drawing?
Yes! I'm a twitch partner and I stream my artwork here!
I also run an art show called Backseat Drawing on YouTube which is a fun and casual show with a focus on digital painting, pop culture, and current events with a dash of humor. We aim to foster artistic growth by being informative, encouraging, and community focused. You can check it out on YouTube!
You can also join my community and hang out with me on Discord!
Do you do commissions?
Yes I do commissions but my availability is off and on. My commissions are usually closed from late spring through the summer due to my convention schedule. Please check my commission info for more details: fav.me/d5b7csr
Do you do requests or trades?
No sorry, but I have a huge time constraint and can't take requests or do trades.
Where else can I find you?
Pretty much anywhere, you can find me as "TsaoShin"
Can I share your drawing on my tumblr, facebook, etc?
You sure can. I usually put the drawings up on my own tumblr and facebook pages so it'd be awesome if you reblog or share from my accounts!
I also really appreciate people who drop me a credit line whenever they see my drawings somewhere without a link back to my gallery. That means a lot to me!
On a whole, I don't mind if my drawings make there way across the Internet so long as they aren't being claimed by someone else or being used to make money without my permission.
Can I use your drawing as a reference, wallpaper, tattoo?
Go ahead. You don't need to let me know if it's for a personal project but I appreciate the notice nonetheless. If you get a tattoo I'd love to see a finished photo!
Are you a guy or a girl?
I am a werewooooooooooooolf!
No seriously. Sometimes you look like a girl and sometimes you look like a boy.
I tend to dress somewhat androgynous but I am male, male in presentation, and my preferred pronouns are he, him, his.
Are you gay?
Sure! But to be more accurate, I enjoy experiencing love with people regardless of their sex, gender, or presentation so I'd say I'm pansexual.
What do you look like? Will you ever do a face reveal?
Where can I meet you?
Best place to see me is at a convention! I'm frequently at the mid-atlantic US cons. Check out my main profile page here on DeviantArt to see the convention list to see where I'll be in the year.
Do you have any Original Characters (OCs). Can I draw them?I do!
Wereric is the mascot for my twitch streams and he's a representation of my artistic struggles. You'll often see him in comics or just being a big blue doofus on my social media accounts.
Grendel and Rivers are mascots for my artwork. They are both characters in a fantasy world I've been creating where they journey together and frequently get into trouble.
You are more than welcome to draw them! If you do, let me know because I would love to share your work on my page
Who is Grendel? What kind of cat is he?
Grendel is my original character and my mascot who is based on my real life cat. He is a Highland Lynx and has 26 toes, a naturally short tail, and round curled ears. He acts like a dog and looks like a mini black bear. His appearance and behavior influences a lot of my artwork. See photos of him on my flickr and videos on youtube.
Are you going to do every Disney movie in your Grumpy Cat Disney series?
Probably not since there is an incredibly huge library of Disney films and I don't have the time to address all of them. As long as people are enjoying the series, I will continue to do the more popular titles.
Are you going to draw every Pokémon in the Pokédex?
YES! Check out the progress so far!
Where can I buy your stuff?
I have several online shops where you can purchase my work.
- For prints, rugs, mugs, shower curtains, phone cases, pillows, bags, and more please visit my society6 or redbubble
- For shirts, please visit my teepublic and neatoshop
- For playmats visit Inked Gaming
Do you answer all of your comments and notes?
I try to get to every one of them especially if it is a question. Please don't hesitate to send me a note even if it's just to say hello. The most rewarding part of creating artwork is getting to share it with people and the interaction that it fosters. Thank you for your support and for all of your favs and comments!
last updated: November, 2018
By the way, do you have a backlog of DD Suggestions? I sent three almost two weeks ago (and one of them was featured a couple days after I sent it) but I saw that the notes were unopened. It seems to be taking you longer and seems unlike you so I'm just hoping you're okay. Sorry for prying. I'm a worrier.
They are great and so cute
Thank you so much for your consideration.
I have been wanting to use photoshop for a while,
but I cant find much on how to find it or how to use it.
i'm a big fan from Sweden
I just wanted to say hi and thank you. Your video process and tutorials inspired me so much to try again in Photoshop and now I can create finished pieces! Thank you for inspiring me.
I'll strive to become as great as you, one day.
P.S: I love your Grumpy Disney drawings, those made me laugh so hard!