Sunday, November 20, 2011

Helpful Links

November has provide me with a bounty of new art resource links to share with you guys.

First off, let's change how we think about learning in general with this article.  For art, how you feel about yourself and your work can really make a difference in how many risks you take, how you push yourself, and how fast you learn.  When you look back on your efforts after a long day of work or the completion of a particularly difficult project, you should praise your efforts, not necessarily the overall appeal of the piece.  For the most artistic growth, constantly go after the more challenging subjects, not just what you feel comfortable with.
It's always good to hear the thought process of another artist, and encouraging to hear that they struggle with the same things we struggle with.
For some beautiful online master work (to study and obsess over) you should browse through this blog and try to absorb as much as you can.
Klout is a cheap way to keep track of your general Internet social presence.  By cheap, I mean gimmicky, but I've started using it as an incentive to be more active on Twitter.  Drive that Klout score up!  It keeps track of several social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Blogger.
For more accurate results, if you have a website or a blog, you should be using Google Analytics.  Its more in depth than your Blogspot stats, and can help you pinpoint areas to focus on when trying to reach your demographic.  Unfortunately, it's pointed out to me that I've been focusing my attention on some of the wrong people, so I'll be focusing more on reviews and tutorials in the future.  Speaking of blog tools, if you have a forum attached to your blog or site, this may help you keep track of duplicate accounts.  This probably isn't very accurate, but it sure is fun to find out what your site's worth.
On a more artistic front, I know I've touted this site before, but it deserves another mention:  CharacterDesigns.com is full of fantastic photographic reference.  I encourage all of you to practice figure drawing daily.   Posemaniacs is great, but there are other options available as well. Speaking of daily drawing practice, this site provides random images (within your parameters) to draw.  Remember to challenge yourself daily!
Many of us did not have the benefit of art education in highschool, and if we decided to pursue art in college, we may have been cheated out of a decent education there too. If your understanding of color theory is as weak as mine is, this site may be helpful to you.  Adobe Kuler is a fantastic resource to help you with your color choices, but if that sites too intense for your browser, Color Scheme Designer is another option.  And if your sense of composition is as weak as mine naturally is, this may help you compose stronger images.
This has been part of many a self-taught artist's education, and it's too good a resource to ignore.
Though this is aimed at game design, there are a lot of principals and tips applicable to comics and illustration as well.

Do you know of any useful online resources for artists?  Please share them, and I'll be sure to credit you for your find.

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