Thursday, 24 November 2016

Handy art help dump

Hi everyone,

A while ago on Twitter I mentioned using this blog as a means to post tutorials of my own (derived from what knowledge I've gained over the years) - this is still something I'm working on, so in the meantime I thought I'd throw together a post full of bits and pieces that have helped me; from motivational videos to Photoshop brushes.

Motivational / Inspirational YouTubers

  • Stephen Silver

Stephen Silver is a professional character designer and teacher who runs a weekly Monday morning 'Art Talk', discussing everything from preparing your portfolio to overcoming the fear of failure.

  • Draw with Jazza

Character designer/Animator who posts art tutorials and advice (anatomy, finding your own style, etc.) and reviews for both traditional and digital art supplies.

  • Gweakles
Illustrator who posts sketchbook shares, art advice and speedinks. I love watching her videos because she's so energetic and passionate about her work.

  • Audra Auclair
Wonderful artist who posts sketchbook shares, speedpaints and advice.

Sometimes just typing in 'Sketchbook share' will bring up a range of artists with different styles who will show you their working process. It's good to see how other people approach keeping a sketchbook, and a nice reminder that not every drawing has to or will be perfect as long as you stick to it and persevere. 


  • Any 'Art Of' book you can find, especially if it's a subject or style that you're fond of. 
  • 'Conquering the Artists Struggle' by Stephen Silver (good for morale!).
  • 'Drawing on the right side of the brain' - Betty Edwards. A method of teaching basic drawing skills.

Online Tutorials / Resources and handy websites

  • 'Drawing a female face' by Loish:
  • The Art of Aaron Blaise: NOTE: Some tutorials arent free, but there are some brilliant bitesize animation videos and art tips.
  • Tumblr: - this account is especially good for references.
  • Pinterest: - handy for ideas and developing your own moodboards.
  • - discussions about art, approach to learning and sketchbook pages/WIPs are often uploaded by members. 

Art Supplies and Programs

The following are based on personal preference, and tend to be the supplies I use most:


What I usually carry around with me:
  • Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (refillable)
  • Kuretake Brush Pen (non-refillable)
  • Copic Markers (or Pro Markers if you're on a budget - they're good too)
  • Col-Erase animators pencils
  • A6 Moleskine sketchbook
  • Uniball Signo Gel Pen


  • Wacom Cintiq 13 HD. 
  • Wacom Intuos CTL-480S
  • Photoshop CC
  • Manga Studio (also known as Clip Studio Paint) really nice program which has a range of brushes/digital pens that mimic traditional media (such as watercolour and oils) - this is a good alternative to Photoshop for painting if you're on a budget and can be bought here:
  • Adobe Illustrator CS6

Photoshop Brushes

Again these are personal preference:
  • Aaron Blaise: 
  • Loish brushset: - FREE
  • Dan LuVisi Brushpack 2.0: - FREE
  • Zedig Brushes: - FREE

And one final Quick Tip if you are painting digitally in Photoshop and want to mimic colours from a Photograph, helpful for skintones etc when painting portraits:

  1. Load the image you want to pick colours from (Edit - Open)
  2. Click on the photograph
  3. Go to Filter - Pixelate - Crystalize
  4. Choose a Cell Size (the higher you go, the less options you have)
  5. Click 'OK'
  6. You now have a colour palette. :)

Hope this helps!


Sunday, 10 July 2016


Good morning everyone!

It's been a good week or so since my last update here and I'm feeling particularly inspired today. Perhaps a combination of listening to Stephen Silver's Art Talk (which I heavily recommend if you are an artist of any kind - check him out on YouTube! I'll post a link at the bottom of this page), and being an art powerhouse this weekend has really lifted my mood and motivation.

Today I want to talk about regrets, because we all have them. They're not helpful to hold onto and don't serve you whatsoever, but mine started in University;

I spent a lot of time gaming and not enough pursuing what mattered to me. I also had my first proper relationship in year 2, into which I poured most of my time and energy as opposed to my work. Neither of these were a great combination when you have deadlines and really want to show people what you can do. I regret putting my work second, because ultimately it led to me asking for an extension to finish my final major project.

Now of course, gaming and relationships are wonderful things. I love videogames and I am in a very happy relationship with a supportive and kind person. But the important thing is not to lose yourself or your drive to produce great quality art, or music, or whatever it is you love to do. Gaming is great in moderation as long as it does not interfere with other things and relationships are great if you can still be yourself and pursue what matters to you.

If you really have drive, and really LOVE what you do, you will just do it. No excuses, no ifs or buts. Just get on with it because it's the most natural thing for you to do and nothing brings you the same amount of happiness. This has always been true for me with art, but during that time years ago I lost my way and focused too heavily on external sources to make me happy. You have to be confident that these things will still be there even when you put your efforts into your work. A good boyfriend/girlfriend will support you, and games don't go anywhere.

So if you love to do something and want to work at it, just do it...because, you love it, right? It's what you WANT to do. You want to start a painting? Go ahead and do it - don't let the fear of failure stop you and even if you do fail you learn something. Want to get your dream job? The only way to do it is to work hard...there are others out there working very hard and passionately to get what you want. Having said that, don't be put off by competition. Be inspired by people whose work you admire, and use it to push yourself forward.

Regrets happen no matter what you do in life. If you really love to do something hold onto it, work at it, and do your best. Not working to my best ability during Uni is my biggest regret but following the disappointment I made damn sure to change things around and I got back into my passion anyway, and it worked. Took some time, but I got there in the end and now I'm in a job I enjoy and have the time to work on commissions and my own personal projects because I just did it anyway. Not to prove anything, not because of pressure - just because I wanted to and I loved it.

Stephen Silver's YouTube channel:

Laura x

Thursday, 30 June 2016

A new art diary!

Hi everyone!

Yep, I'm back. After many months of inactivity here I've finally found a use for this blog which remains art related.

A couple of weeks ago I made a poll on Twitter which received over 100 votes, the majority split between me posting regular art tips, sharing things that motivate me and...bacon. Don't ask.

Anyway since my art posts have now moved to busier social media platforms I thought this would be a nice place to put my thoughts and hopefully inspire others. It's also possible for me to receive comments from non-Blogspot members which could be handy for sharing ideas.

In a nutshell this will now be treated as an art diary; complete with infographics, scribbles detailing my thoughts and hints & tips which have helped my art and personal development tremendously that you guys might also take something from. I'll try and make it all as aesthetically pleasing as possible - it is an art blog after all!

One last thing - this blog is quite old, dating back to 2009. If you want to snoop back that far do so at your own risk. Some very cringey art back there but hey ho we learn through experience, practice, patience and perseverance.

But anyway, see you soon!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Tribute to David Bowie

A sketch tribute to a wonderfully talented and amazingly unique man. RIP David Bowie.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my friends and followers!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Things are in full swing again here - work's as busy as ever, I've bought a cool new desk for my traditional painting and am a few pages into a new sketchbook.

Currently I am working on a CG collaboration with a friend from University. Watch this space!

Drawings above are a few from the past week. :)

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Fennec sketch

A quick lunch break doodle.