Space Brush


Just a quick brush / texture I put together to learn how to make Sai brushes.



You can get the space texture here.


Arin Hanson

Draws from class

posted 5 days ago




Checklist for character development.

Created by myself, compiled from questions gleaned from several sources, and some of my own additions.

It should be noted, that not every character will check every one of these things off. It is not REQUIRED to have all this information, but this checklist is, rather, a guideline for helping you think of your character as an entire, three dimentional being with thoughts, feelings, possessions, contradictions and background.

A character is 20% revealed to the reader, 80% writer/author/Mun knowledge. What the Reader sees is just the tip of the iceburg, but without the other 80% the character can’t help but come off feeling shallow. There’s nothing beneath the surface -  KNOWING as much bout your character as possible, instrinsicly, in detail, intimately, can do nothing but help build believability and dimension to your character.

Use only the things on this list that you feel are important, but I would like to remind you that the reader learns a lot about a character NOT through exposition (that’s kind of a cheat, and always feels , to me, like a rather clunky way of conveying knowlege), but through their actions, quirks, thoughts, and even through the things they own and carry with them. What kind of food they eat and how they eat it. What they wear. What they carry in their wallets.  I encourage you, as writers, to consider these things when creating a character, and encourage you MORE to leave the exposition out and tell us about your character through these other means!

If nothing else, this will give you a LOT to work with when writing with your character. Maybe it’ll spur you to write about the character’s parents. Or the relationship between them and their family. Maybe you’ll find yourself inspired to write something about how they lost everything in a fire  - and the importance each remembered lost item held.

There is certainly no rule that says you HAVE to do it this way, but invariably, the most memorable characters are the ones that we as readers can relate with. It’s hard to relate with just words - but people - with beliefs and dreams and fears -  that’s something we can get behind.

I certainly hope you find this useful, and since so many have been inclined to reblog and like this, I shall endeavor to add more character creation and writing tips, lists and excercises up on this blog!

I think this is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

- Pen


Tips on your character’s hopes and dreams


Everyone has goals, don’t they? Everyone has goals, hopes, dreams and things that they wish to achieve. Same goes for your characters. So give some for your characters! Having hopes and dreams for your character give them something to live for, and their life would probably be more meaningful. It would give them a target to achieve, and by having goals, you could probably work out for plot lines for your character.

Below are a few tips for coming up with and writing about your character’s hopes and dreams:

  1. Identify the character’s personality. Think about how your character is like as a person. Is the character violent? Or is the character shy and sweet? How they approach their goals would obviously be based on their personality.
  2. Consider the character’s past. What is the character’s childhood like? Was there any important events? Perhaps a family member passed away. Or maybe they won a competition. Or if there were no important events, think about how their childhood as a whole was like. Things that happen in the character’s past might affect what they want to do in their future, as well as their priorities.
  3. Think about the character’s family, friends and/or enemies. The people around your character make huge impact on your character’s life. For example, is the character’s family supportive? Or don’t they care about what your character wants in life? Also, are there people who are trying to stop your character from reaching their goals?
  4. Brainstorm! List some possible hopes and dreams, and rank them from most important to least important. Although your character’s goals should all be important, you also need to consider the character’s priorities. Which is on top of their list?
  5. Break huge goals into smaller goals. Just like in real life, achieving huge goals is difficult. Make sure to break down the huge goals into smaller ones, so that they would be easier for your character to achieve.
  6. Give them challenges. Not every goal is super easy to achieve, and realistically, there would always be challenges and obstacles. Create obstacles that your character has to overcome. Add in some problems that they’d have to solve before they could reach their goal.
  7. Reward your character. A lot of people respond to rewards. Assuming that your character is a normal person, then the character would probably also love rewards. It doesn’t matter if your character is reckless and wild or reserved and quiet, almost everyone enjoy rewards all the same. Once your character reaches a goal, give them something to motivate them to move on.
  8. Think about what will happen after the character reaches their goal. Would that be the end of the story? Or will there be another goal? Will the character get a huge treat in the end? Anything is possible, and you should discuss about what will happen next.

Anonymous asked: Do you have any tips or tricks for drawing dragon wings in any folded/half foldes pose? I find the wing skin folds to be the most difficult thing when drawing dragons, they usually cover up half the image and just look wonky when I try ;w;



Alright, you’re about to see some diagrams that are not 100% biologically accurate but hopefully they’ll illustrate my points. Also, most of this I am basing on bat wings because that’s the closest real life reference we have to dragon wings. 


First let’s talk about what’s going on with the edges of the wing membrane. The whole membrane is like one giant stretchy piece of spandex. When all the digits are extended the membrane gets stretched taut, but when the wing relaxes the membrane retracts into itself. What does this look like?


The edges pull inward, like this. 

What they don’t do is fold up like a piece of fabric. 


The very edge of the membrane often has a tiny ridge. This is caused by the folding of the skin, as well bundles of elastin fibers that we won’t get into right now! On occasion there will be some wrinkles, but they are generally on the membranes themselves and don’t present themselves much along the edge. 


Check out these wrinkles here. The pink arrow shows a pretty “large” wrinkle, which is present on the plagiopatagium (membrane between the body and the last digit of the wing hand.) This is a very large piece of skin, so if there are going to be any large wrinkles they will be here! But even still, it’s not nearly as extreme as the floppy “fabric” example I drew above. 


Here you can see more wrinkles on the wing surface that don’t really express along the edge nearly as much as you might expect. All things considered, they’re pretty subdued!


This wing is half-folded and it still just looks like big smooth shapes. They have to get pretty darn folded before wrinkles start happening. Until then, the edges of the wings are just gentle curved lines. Nothing to worry about!

As for poses, remember that a dragon wing is just like your arm. It has a shoulder, an elbow, a hand, and fingers. They are just really elongated versions of each. Just like on your hand, the fingers are flexible and can bend at the joints. Here are three quick steps for drawing crazy wing poses:

1. Sketch out the arm and finger parts. 

2. Draw a deeply curved line to represent the edge of the wing membrane (blue.) Also draw curved lines between each pair of knuckles (pink.) This will help you see where that membrane is going. 

3. Erase the parts that are invisible from the viewer’s angle. 


This was kind of just a fast overview. I hope it answered your question, and if it didn’t, shoot me another note and I’ll try to be more thorough! 

Rah explains dragon wings. Patagiums are important!


First off thanks!!! I tried to make a tutorial but it ended up extremely vague and more of a step-by-step of a headshot i drew today for this purpose whoops;;;

This is one layer but If it’s a complicated drawing then i’ll draw it out and line it with a thin brush with no pressure sensitivity, and then bucket fill the shapes on separate layers, usually 1 layer per character and one layer for the bg.

I also might do color adjustment layers and merge them down as I go but I got lucky this time and didn’t have to make any adjustments. 

I work on one layer but every 30 minutes or before I begin a new stage (hair, the eyes) I’ll duplicate that layer and paint on the topmost one. This way I can check to see if I over-rendered by hiding the top layer. If i over-render or mess something up, then I have that back-up layer that I can go back to and start that part again. 

Some additional things:

  • lost edges are where the edge of a shape bleeds into the other without any visible separation between the two. If you don’t need an edge consider getting rid of it for a more painterly look
  • The very very darkest shadows on skin are almost always warm. Even if the light source is cool, the nostril will be a warmer color than the rest of the skin.
  • warm light: cool shadows
  • cool light: warm shadows
  • Vary the hue here and there with little flecks of bright colors that harmonize with the local color of the object to make things pop
  • If the background is dark, draw a very thin orange or dark pinkish line where the skin meets the bg. This is called a corona and will make the skin look like it’s glowing
  • you don’t need to use pure black AND pure white in the same image every single time
  • The eye is drawn to hard edges, so use them where it counts!! 
  • Read Richard Schmidt’s Alla Prima for more of this kind of stuff. I got most of these ideas from that book 
  • and proko’s youtube channel
  • ps that’s makoto 

That’s all I can think of right now!! 

#art #ref

The 5 “Bones” of Characterization


So in my English class we’ve been talking about the different elements of different parts of a story. My professor referred to the elements of characterization as bones. I don’t know why, but that’s just what he did. 

He’s talked about these 5 “bones” a few times already and actually uses them to talk about characters in readings we’re doing along with our usual workshops.  He says if you can get these bones out of a character then it’s a well built character. So don’t take these lightly as figuring these 5 bones out for your character will make writing your story much easier.

  1. Desire: There are two types: Long and short. Essentially it’s what do they want in 5 years and what do they want tomorrow? Think of desire as their goals, both long term and short term.
  2. Strength: This is their ability. How do they handle stress and other emotions? What makes them strong? 
  3. Weakness: What makes them hide in fear? What will they run away from?
  4. Deals: Also referred to as “Alway’s and Never’s”. What will they always do? What will they never do? (I’m sure there is more to this, but my notes are hard to follow.XD)
  5. Action: What are they doing? This is also relevant to your plot.

The last thing in my notes that I have written is this: Characters come to us already formed.

Now that’s a weird thought because there’s tons of character development stuff out there as we always see making a new character as a hard task that takes forever. Except that isn’t how it works and having the above said to me actually made everything easier.

Your characters are already full fledged people. Do you ever have that time where you’re writing and you say “My characters just kinda took over and this happened”. Well your characters are already completely formed and know how they’ll react to certain situations. You’re the one who doesn’t know that. So take some time to get to know your character. Stop working on your book and write other random stories. Find a prompt and just write. Or do as my professor says and “sit on the couch with them for a couple hours”. Think of them as another friend that you’re trying to get to know. Don’t force out their secrets.

Don’t like Manga Studio? Get this instead.





I know I’ve been basically acting as a clown with a sign outside the Manga Studio shop, but I do realize that some people are just too used to other programs to change now. And that’s fine, if you actually work better with it. But part of the reason I went over to Manga Studio, when I’ve tried Photoshop, SAI, Gimp, FireAlpaca, Sketchbook Pro, and Corel Painter… is because of the exceptional stabilizers and penstroke guides that let you make distinctive shapes, draw easily in perspective, and make it all look highly organic and professional.

Well… for those of you who want to stick with your other art programs… There is Lazy Nezumi Pro.

I do not use it. But that’s only because I feel that Manga Studio can already do all this stuff. But I am exceedingly impressed with what LNP has created. They’ve created a program that brings stabilizers, perspective guides, pressure sensitivity editing, and much more to programs that don’t normally have them.

I will just let the images speak for themselves:







This is the exact reason I have strayed from Photoshop. Because of the lack of ARTIST tools, and the profound lack of stability.

Well, here it is. They fixed it. And it works with other programs too.

So… yeah. If you aren’t interested in Manga Studio, but you still want to improve your digital penstrokes, definitely check out the demo.

I’ve been using this nearly constantly since I got it.  It’s amazing~


OK I was super skeptical about this since I’m really comfortable going back and forth between SAI and photoshop, but this really is super simple, and the extra tools like the perspective and straight line and all that stuff is SO FREAKING COOL and intuitive.  I’m still going to use SAI for inking and stuff but for painting an backgrounds and all the precision stuff, this thing is really awesome. Try this out!



Very quick doodles, things for class