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Hey there!

I hope everyone’s been having fun this month. Sorry for the lack of updates! I’ve been going through some things and I appreciate all the patience you guys have granted me. But enough depressing talk, it’s time for action!

You may be wondering about the title of this blog, or you are just rolling your eyes and hoping desperately that I’ll get to the point already. Either way, let me explain… You see, a new year is coming up fast and I believe it’s time I acted upon the question I always get asked: How do I become a better artist?

Well, my answer is always “practice, study references, get advice on your artwork…” and I think I’ve had just about enough of telling you all the same boring and vaguely helpful answer. Instead, we’re going to embark on a yearlong quest to actually become better artists.

A year may seem like a really horribly awfully long time, but I have faith in you! I know you guys can do this and I know you will all improve. Yep. No question about it.

So, HOW are we going to do this? I’m working on that… Hey, I never claimed to be anything other than a slacker. I’m working on the steps and reviewing tutorials and… well, it’s a lot of work, okay?

I wanted to give you guys a heads up about this so you have time to prepare and decide if this is the year you improve your artwork. This program will be designed for beginners and intermediate artists who want to improve, but even pros can use it to look at their own artwork and think about how they can improve.

The NAL program will start in January, and I will offer a prize to the members who can get the most people to join and participate. There may be many winners and prizes, but for now let’s say there will be a first and second prize. Keep a look out for more information about that coming up next week. The NAL program itself will offer prizes as well- which will not be based on artistic skills, so don’t worry.

Interested? Send me a message or reply to my blog post with the same title and info.


November 25 Update

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So what is the Now and Later program?

Good question… imaginary site member… Yeah, I’ve got to stop talking to myself in these blogs. Anyway, the program is really simple. Most of what we need for it is already on the site. However, there is a little prep work to be done.

You’ll need:

  1. Space in your gallery.
  2. Pencil and paper
  3. A way to upload your artwork- don’t quit reading if you can’t upload your artwork!

Since you will be drawing things from tutorials, it’s best that you have a way to look at the tutorial and draw at the same time, and then get that drawing onto the computer. If all you can get is a disposable camera, ask for the pictures to be put on a disk when you get the film developed. Alternatively you can try the tutorials on paper and then again using the Drawing feature on DrawingNow.com if you do not have a way to get your pencil drawing onto the site.

If you can’t get your artwork onto your computer but you still want to participate then just forget uploading your artwork. Read the comments left for other members and look at your own art with a critical eye and see if the feedback applies to you as well.

So, what are we doing and how? Well, there isn’t really a new addition to the site at this point in time because we have everything we need. Instead, we’re going to use what already exists to its full potential. Oh, I hear you. Yes, you. The one complaining. Stop that. The more we learn about what the site needs and what people want, the more we can do, but for now just chill out.

Ahem…

In my monthly blogs and forum posts and in the newsletter I’m going to list four tutorials, one scribble, and some advice and instructions.

Every three months we will have a check point- so four checkpoints in total. These will help you see improvement because in these checkpoints you will draw the same thing every time. Confusing? Probably, I’m a scatterbrain and I tend to be annoyingly hard to understand. It’ll make sense as we go along.

For now, gather your material and start thinking about what your very first drawing will be. Please try to make that drawing full body with a background. Human or animal is up to you, but let me know.  The pose can be simple or complex but please try to make it something you’re interested in as otherwise you will be very bored with the checkpoints. I’d also suggest you try an original character as tastes change and you may not want to draw Naruto for a whole year.

So to recap you need:

  1. Paper
  2. Pencil
  3. Idea for a drawing
  4. to reply to this and tell me your drawing idea.

Please let me know your drawing idea by December 20th! Need an example? Fine, let’s say I wanted to draw Nevina and Aniven. They could easily stand like mannequins and I’ll spend time focusing on learning to draw the human figure. Or maybe they’ll be posed to reflect a scene or their personalities, and spend time learning more about emotion. Hey, I’ve got four checkpoints, so maybe I’ll focus on both! So I’ll have them both stand facing forward with their arms to their sides for checkpoint one and two, then let them move for three and four. For a background, well let’s try it simple and place them outside near a cherry blossom tree.

So I’d write:

Two human original characters. One male, one female. Outside under a tree. Anime/realism style.

Oh yeah, styles… well for styles you can try whatever. Anime is easier, and real is more intricate. I like to mix them. In this we will focus on both so you can pick and choose.

Alright? Questions?

I’d also like to take this time to showcase DrawingNow.com’s art lessons. These are step-by-step lessons in drawing your own Manga characters and buying it once will give you access to any and all future updates. Check it out: http://www.drawingnow.com/manga-lessons.html

So, hint hint, in this season of gift giving a receiving, hint hint, you may want to add something to your wish list… hint hint.

Accept everyone for their race, beliefs, gender, and age. If you have time to judge others, you're not looking closely enough at yourself.
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