2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (PDT) | Thursday 23 July 2020 (4:00pm – 5:00pm):
Panel Description: Get your art in shape! DeviantArt presents Artist Alley all-stars Jeffery “the CHAMBA” Cruz (artist), Edwin “ironpinky” Huang (illustrator), and John “Overlord_JC” Crayton (artist) as they share their secrets to warming up, getting in the mindset to create, and pulling yourself out of a rut.
Jeffrey “the CHAMBA” Cruz:
Warm-up by drawing characters that you are familiar with rather than drawing what you will be working on for the project or day. Nothing serious, just a warm up and make sure your software is set correctly before you start working seriously. Starting with the head and continuing with shapes to build up a figure is a technique you can take for warming up. Keeping it loose and moving quickly. There is no point in making it a high-resolution image or making it look nice. Play around with a character you don’t need a reference to get your muscle memory back. If you end up liking your warm-up sketch, you can always do something more with it later!
Edwin “ironpinky” Huang:
Warm-up sketches can have a purpose, and unlike the last panelist, Huang keeps all of his sketches. Had been using Procreate for about a year and still feels like it isn’t in his muscle memory yet. Like any art medium, digital art can take time to master the application, mainly depending on what programs or mediums you are comfortable with. However, your skill can still translate into digital art. He turns his sketches into posters or stickers so that they all serve a purpose even though it is primarily for warming up. Treats a warm-up sketching like eating breakfast or doing a morning workout routine, you don’t want to spend too much time on it.
John “Overlord_JC” Crayton:
Many artists use their own programs, using whatever is comfortable. Especially when it comes to sticking to what they know and are familiar with. Crayton uses Paint Tool SAI, a more simple and easy-to-use application. Recommends using default brushes, you don’t necessarily need more than what they initially give you! As a part of his warm-up, he likes to swiftly draw lines to get good “draftsmanship,” and help your lines be less shaky as you get your muscle memory going again. Draws little boxes (no need to be perfect!) in order to prepare thumbnails. Crayton advises keeping the resolution smaller in order to keep to a smaller space for the warm-up. For those thumbnails, he will draw little sketches, any ideas of what he wants to draw. The thumbnails end up becoming portraits for something larger in the end. Will take the one he is satisfied with, size it up, and draw cleaner lines over it. But usually, his warm-ups pertain to what he is going to work on for that day as it feels more organic. Not only to shake off the rust, but it creates a momentum of going from the sketch into the finished work. Getting a feel for the energy of the character.
Closing Tips for those who are in a rut and what can help them warm-up:
- When feeling unmotivated to draw, look at the art that inspires you. Look at art books to light that spark.
- A blank canvas can be intimidating but look at it as a clean slate to experiment. Play around with different brushes, different textures, have fun!
- The warm-up process should be relaxing and freeing. There is no such thing as making a mistake when it comes to warm-up sketches. You shouldn’t feel pressure to make it look perfect when making art is a process with many different steps. This sketch is the very first one. Have fun, and draw, draw, draw!