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SKETCHEE IDEAS: A Creativity Blog


Monday
May302011

Wide Angle Perspective Techniques in Your Artwork

Ever notice that in one point and two point perspective that a supposedly square tile can look pretty strange in some of the more extreme areas? You can compensate with carefully thought out vanishing points. However, there are limits as painter Rob Adam's explains in his Spherical Perspective tutorial:

"So here we go… We might assume from what we are taught about perspective that this is the way we actually see. But it’s not. In the outside world there are straight lines, so we put them that way into our pictures. We have developed complicated schemes of geometrical rules to guide us. We take photos with cameras that have lenses that carefully distort the world to make it fit with the expectation that straight line should be straight. But visually they are not.

Have you ever tried to draw that really large checker board floor? Somehow at the far right and left it goes all stretched. Do the same thing with circles on the floor and it gets really wild."

My own understanding of spherical perspective, quadilinear perspective and cylindrical perspective definitely needs some expansion. If you're like me and have trouble wraping your head around it, Rob's tutorial can help.

Spherical Perspective (treeshark.com)

 

Wednesday
May252011

DIY Fashion Ideas that can Save You Hundreds

DIY fashion is becoming the reality for many people now who just need to save some cash when it comes to their wardrobes. Even if you aren't normally the crafty type, you can certainly learn to do a little bit to dress up your wardrobe without spending a fortune. If you're getting a little bored or just flat out need new clothes, learning how to do things yourself could save you hundreds.

You don't always need knitting needles or a sewing machine to make DIY fashion work, either. In fact, some projects are pretty simple. It's a good idea to start small and work your way up if you aren't sure how to use some of the more hardcore DIY equipment.

Something to start with might be your accessories. How much do you bet you spend in a year on headbands, necklaces, bracelets, and other accessories? You can save a fortune by making your own or dressing up what you've already got.

For instance, there are about a hundred online tutorials showing you how to take a bit of fabric or lace and make one of those giant headband or hat flowers that are so popular right now. All you need is a glue gun or a safety pin, and you can take a headband or had you already have and transform it into something totally new.

Learning how to do your own beading can be fun, too. With the chunky, layered necklaces that are in right now, you don't even have to worry about lots of intricate design work. Simply lay out your beads in the order you want them, and string them on. Learn how to neatly tie on a clasp, and you're good to go.

Another popular way to save through DIY fashion is to upcycle items. Check out places like Goodwill and Salvation Army for clothes that aren't quite your style. You can find tons of ways to update them, make them fit better, or turn them into something new altogether.

For instance, a tee-shirt that's a bit too large and a scarf can be turned into a super-cute cami with just a bit of sewing. Simply slice of the top of the tee-shirt just below the neckline. Use the sleeves to make a binding around your new neckline, and string the scarf through the neck in front and back. It sounds a little difficult if you've never sewn, but it's really a pretty simple project. (http://diystyle.net/projects/fashion/tee-to-cami/)

A Few Things to Remember

Before you get into DIY fashion, there are a few things you need to remember. Here are just a few tips to help you save even more on your new DIY fashion adventure:

  1. Look online for tutorials. Sure, you can go buy books about how to make your own clothes and accessories, but that sort of defeats the purpose because you're already spending too much money! Instead, look online for free tutorials to get you started. Libraries also have lots of DIY books that could be helpful in learning basic techniques. Once you get the basics down, you can make up your own projects with just a bit of creativity.
  2. Don't try it all at once. Trying too many things at once can be frustrating – and expensive! Start with one thing, like beading or knitting, and get the hang of it before moving on to something new. This gives you the chance to really understand one art before moving on to the next. Plus, you'll save on materials and equipment. Start with just the bare bones basics to find out if you like a new craft so you don't end up with lots of unnecessary stuff cluttering your crafting room and your budget.
  3. Save on your materials and equipment. Saving on materials is simple for most things. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabrics offer great discounts every week. Just sign up for their newsletters or check the store frequently. Once you get really good, you won't buy anything without a coupon! You can also get materials from Goodwill for super cheap, and these will work for many upcycling projects. To save on equipment like your sewing machine and such, buy used off of eBay or Craigslist until you know exactly what you like and need and can splurge on something pricier.

This article was contributed by Abigail Hall.  She is a writer at the consumer credit card website, www.creditdonkey.com.  Visit CreditDonkey to earn cash back on your next fashion purchase.

Monday
May232011

Drawing portraits with more character

When drawing (or painting), the toughest part is capturing a persons personality. A face can be a huge part of creating an emotional connection in your art.  You can make or break the believability of the moment with a glint in the eye or a smirk in the lips.

I was reading the tutorials on the blog of MAD Magazine caricaturist Tom Richmond. Sure, he has a great anatomy tutorial on understanding hands that's a must read. The tutorials on inking and digital coloring are amazing.  It's his bread and butter, however, when he gets into the details of the face. 

 

Making a successful caricatures takes a pretty good understanding of the facial features. You have to capture a likeness. You have to manipulate them into an expressive statement.  From the blog:

"I would say there are three essential elements that transcend style and medium and must be present in a caricature:

Likeness- If you can’t tell who it is supposed to be, then it is not successful. All good caricatures incorporate a good likeness of their subjects.

Exaggeration- Without some form of exaggeration, or a departure from the exact representation of the subject’s features, all you have is a portrait. The level of exaggeration can vary wildly, but there must be some departure. A straight portrait is not a caricature.

Statement- I believe a caricature must editorialize in some way. The artist must be trying to say something about the subject. It might be something to do with the situation the subject is drawn in, it may just be a play on their personality through expression or body language, it might be a simple as making visual fun of some aspect of their persona or image."

While you may not want to be a caricature artist, learning how to play with caricature can bring a lot into your facial drawing. Finding somewhere between photorealism and caricature might be the thing that takes your art to the next level. What do you think?

Tutorials on Tom's MAD Blog (tomrichmond.com)

Thursday
May192011

How To Create a Memorable TV Commercial

3 examples of great TV commercials

Commercials are a huge part of our society. Not only are they trendsetters and good fodder for water cooler talk, but they reflect culture and what is going on at that given time period.  

Not all commercials achieve this kind of impact though. It takes a really creative and memorable commercial to truly achieve success.  Every minute of every day, millions of people are inundated with ads in many different forms: online, radio, print and television. Yet nothing seems to have the same impact as the TV commercial.

Here’s a look at three of the best creative and memorable commercials in recent years and why they are successful.

Dr. T’s Slug and Snail Killer

A great commercial doesn’t have to be extravagant. This awesome spot for slug and snail killer is just a monologue. But it is extremely well written and the acting is brilliant. If this isn’t a perfect human rendition of a slug then I don’t know what is! Viewers aren’t soon to forget about this slug.

Nike



On the other hand, brands with gigantic budgets can still produce breathtaking commercials.  Again, it isn’t so much the special effects or CGI that makes this great --- the concept is simple. What defines this Nike spot is the music and fast-changing images that strike an emotional cord with a variety of audiences. Just putting in a quick shot of famous runner Steve Prefontaine, for example, creates an emotional connection with all runners even if the commercial has a broader target.

Google

Sometimes commercials don’t have to say anything at all. This awesome Super Bowl spot from Google – their first ever – puts the viewer in the drivers seat and tells an entire story through the use of their product. This is a common tactic in TV advertising. Much like the Nike ad, an emotional connection is created through the use of a product.

The real answer, as cliché as it seems, is that there is not one right way to make a great advertisement. People have tried many different strategies. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Strive to tell great stories in your commercials. Create emotional bonds that are hard to forget. Regardless of format or style, if you do these things the ad will be a hit.

It doesn’t take a huge budget or a powerhouse brand to create a great TV spot either. Simplicity rules. Just look at the examples above! Regardless of budget, if the ad is created properly you have nothing to worry about.

Trevin is a freelance writer and TV fanatic.

 

Monday
May162011

40 Guidelines for Composing a Landscape Painting

When creating artwork, finding the flaws in your own work can be difficult.  Furthering your understanding what works and what doesn't can make this process far less frustrating.  The tutorial on art destination site and forum Wetcanvas has demystified the most common problems. From the article, by Johannes Vloothuis:

"I have put together a series of “ rules” (I’d prefer the word, tips) of composition that when used properly should reduce the flaws in your landscape paintings. These are a compilation of what appears in most books on composition plus some of my own ideas. A word of caution; do not allow these to hinder your work. They are to help you out when you are in doubt on where to place diverse elements in your work. Rules are made to be broken, in which case you should at least know what rule you are breaking and why and not err due to insufficient knowledge. There are 23 pages so get a cup of coffee and prepare yourself for a long haul."

Landscape Composition Rules (wetcanvas.com)