Posts made by Pam Boutilier
Purchasing fonts - Necessary? Advisable?
This may be a weird question, but I'm working on my own IP in the form of a graphic novel. I have found a font (one of the ones loaded in Photoshop) that I really like and am thinking I might use for the cover title (and pseudo-logo for the world I'm creating, eg on social media/etc to identify illustrations related to that project).
My understanding is that you are permitted to use the font as a typeface in static images, e.g. if I drew A cover with that font and export it as a JPG or PNG that's fine. However, I'm wondering if using it repeatedly in this sort of 'logo-ish' way would cross the line? I know that e-publishing can be an issue, and I don't know if a webcomic will eventually require those kind of export files.
(Apologies if I am massacring graphic design terminology... I really have no idea what I'm doing and trying to learn as I go).
The font I'm interested seems to be only ~$35 to purchase a license so I'm tempted to just do that and not have to worry. But I wanted to ask the community because it's an area I'd like to know more about (also, if I really don't need to spend any $ that's always better :D).
RE: Looking for help - Canon Pixma Pro-100
I have checked printhead alignment and it was fine, but it might be worth looking at again. The drivers were updated not long before one of the instances but I'm going to update drivers again just in case!
Someone on another forum suggested flattening images before printing, that they've had issues with this printer series and layered PSD docs - so I'm going to pay attention to that as well just in case!
RE: I need art friends! =)x
I just wanted to say 'hi' and echo what's been said earlier ... it's never too late!
I am 43 and can empathize.. it's hard, at this age, to make any kind of friends. Especially if you're introverted. My theory is that once you hit 39 your tolerance for people's BS drops precipitously which makes it hard to get past the first stages of meeting new people and making friends (or maybe it's just me :D).
These forums are GREAT! Filled with wonderful, supportive artists. But if you find a way to make art friends in person at our age please do share it!
Also - regarding the book turn this thread has taken, I'll toss out "War of the Flowers" by Tad Williams - it's dystopian fantasy, though his style quite different from Neil Gaiman (who I also love).
Looking for help - Canon Pixma Pro-100
I've been off the forums for a bit because I've had some paying fine-art commissions (Yay for paying work! Boo for not having time for illustration!).
I'm posting here to seek help from anyone who knows printers and may be able to troubleshoot or point me to somewhere I can get help.
I use a Canon Pixma Pro-100 with Photoshop and the Canon Print Studio Pro plugin. I've got it pretty well figured out and my prints are coming out nicely. HOWEVER, every once in awhile something weird will happen (see examples below). I'm not sure what triggers it which means that I have no idea how to prevent it. I work primarily with Canon Museum Etching paper and this stuff is so frigging expensive (both the paper and the amount of ink it soaks up) that today I'm terrified to attempt a big 13 x 19" print.
Here are two examples. In both of these cases the ink levels were fine, I'd followed the procedure I always use, and prints done before and after these came out perfectly with no issues. As a rough estimate I'd say this kind of thing happens maybe one out of every dozen prints:
2001: A printer odyssey. The small box in the upper left is what I was printing (it was a colour sample for a bigger print). The huge, solid black area on the right is something the Canon did all on it's own.
Screenshot of what I sent to the printer (left) and what actually printed out (right):
Got the Blues: The right edge of this one printed a series of blue lines (as you can surmise, it should have been a clean edge like the left and bottom showing in this pic). I don't remember the orientation but I THINK it was aligned with the paper feed (e.g. the bottom edge came out first, the top edge last) - but I'm not 100% sure on that.
I've been scouring various boards on the internet but I keep getting photography forums and so far haven't found an answer. If anyone here can help, it would be greatly appreciated!!!
I guess these are the pitfalls of trying to do self-printing when you are self-taught.
RE: Online store options?
I use Wix for my website and decided to go with their built-in eCommerce platform. I have an old, dormant Etsy shop and looked a bit into some others (Red bubble, Shopify) but sticking with Wix was easiest and keeps it all in my own domain. It’s not the most robust service but I just need a platform to get started for now.
It looks like Jake Parker uses Shopify and Will Terry uses Etsy, both of which seem pretty streamlined within their websites. I can’t tell what Lee is using, but it looks kind of like my Wix shop. (I just figured if they all used a certain one that might be a good bet).
I think it doesn’t matter all that much which one you choose so long as the service is reputable and you are not trying to use the platform for exposure, but it sounded from your message like you aren’t trying to sell huge volumes of goods.
I’d check reviews of Woocommerce (I know nothing about them) and if they seem good and it’s the easiest thing to go with then do it! Especially if they integrate well with your site, as @jimsz said!
RE: Quick Perspective help
@tazzyartist it might help for you to play around with placing different vanishing points and draw your tables as boxes until you have the sizes and orientation the way you want then just erase the extra lines.
I mocked up something quick with a more horizontal horizon line which reads more as a front-view instead of top-down angle.
RE: Looking for C&C - "Chess Lesson"
Not disheartening at all!!
@Gary-Wilkinson and @evilrobot thank you both! I truly appreciate you taking the time to make insightful comments, they are greatly appreciated (I'm in a 'leveling up' stage and really want good, honest feedback).
@Gary-Wilkinson I had to laugh at your comment about it being dragons - the real reason is that I like dragons. The more complicated reason is that animal and fantasy creature characters are my thing, so right now I'm working on using those elements (which I have more fun with) to create illustrations to work on my technical skills. I also play lots of D&D and the older a dragon is the more intimidating they are - so the idea of a granny dragon showing the wisdom aspect of an ancient dragon was a fun idea to play with. HOWEVER - your comment is spot on because I struggled with whether to make them play chess or some imaginary game. In the end I thought chess would be a relatable activity for 'old mentoring young' (plus I used my social media fanbase to give me the actual chess board setup - a little easter egg for those who might look closely at it). I will think more about how I can make the setting and game situation integrate with the characters being dragons.. I have a couple of ideas percolating already!
You were also spot on with the linework comment - I am really struggling with how I want to develop that. I'm drawn to line (not great at it, but drawn to it to the point that I am starting a graphic novel project to learn more) so at the moment my goal is NOT to try to retrain myself to full digital painting, but rather figure out the best way to use my linework without having the entire piece in full, lined detail. I liked the outcome for the piece below and was trying to recapture some of that feel. I think the lighting and contrast were stronger in the piece below, and the linework not as heavy handed.
And lighting. So important! So not my strong suit!
I think it's time to go redo some of the SVS courses on light and make sure I'm really doing the work and not just passively watching!
Thanks again! All further feedback is greatly appreciated!
(LOL - nobody commented on the fact that the chess pieces are all leaning a little bit to the right... which I ~just~ noticed now).
(Also - @Gary-Wilkinson I love your 'Octopus Selfie', it made me literally laugh out loud!)
RE: Old and New Slideshow
I second that!
The way the SVS posts load in my browser I seem to always miss some of the art when I scroll through the thread - your slideshows let me see all the amazing entries and I REALLY appreciate that you take the time to make these slideshows!
RE: Quick Perspective help
I am definitely no perspective guru, so hopefully someone smarter will chime in, but I quickly plopped your sketch into Procreate and laid the perspective guidelines on it. I don't see your guidelines for the second vanishing point (but it looks like you are using 2 point perspective) so I used your middle table to create one.
If the tables are meant to be equal size and equally spaced then the middle table looks maybe a bit too long and the gap between the middle and right tables appears narrower than between middle and left.
One thing that I've noticed trips me up is that with sketchy lines there is enough variability in the angles that it can end up with the perspective way off. Using a clean, faint line for 'perspective important' parts of my sketch has helped me in that area as generally tend to sketch rough and loose.
Hope this helps a little!
Looking for C&C - "Chess Lesson"
Hey folks! I just got back from a month away from home and am now officially done with my former career...wow. I have ten million things I need to get done, but while I was away I started an illustration for the March 'Old and New' challenge. I couldn't complete it in time to submit, but I like where it is going and would really appreciate any comments and critique the community is willing to provide:
RE: Looking for critique - "Witch Shop"
@evilrobot Thank you for the insight!
Your question about trying to get rid of the linework vs. keep it is very on point - I am INCREDIBLY torn as to which direction I want to aim for and this piece in particular suffered for it.
I love the look of digital paintings and keep trying to go in that direction - but I really lose something in the rendering. This particular piece was really caught in the crossfire - every time I tried to render it as a painting it just...wasn't...working. So I fell back to the linework/comic style.
They say artists are either 'line' or 'shape' oriented and I think I'm maybe 'line' (my fine art is in scratchboard... so I guess that shouldn't be a surprise to me).
I worry that doing illustrations with linework is not something that publishers (picture books, early chapter books, covers) are looking for so much. It's also fine for character studies but gets much more difficult when doing larger, complex images with backgrounds. And yet... it's what I'm drawn to.
Maybe I should double-down on my linework style and put my effort into improving that instead of trying to turn myself into a painter.
(I went through years of finding my style with scratchboard... and now I seriously feel like am starting over completely with the digital medium! Yikes!)
RE: Looking for critique - "Witch Shop"
@aska and @kat thank you so much - I'm not very confident with light, I always seem to overdo it and have too many distracting highlights or go the other way. I'm going to try to incorporate some of your comments and to a revised version of this one - if you have any reference illustrations that might help please post them!
@demotlj Good point! There's a bunch of dead ceiling space up there too - I'll try cropping it down more from the top.
I really appreciate this feedback!
Looking for critique - "Witch Shop"
Hello SVS folks! This is an illustration I made of a little witch character that I'm developing. The original inked sketch started as an Inktober drawing that was also a 'draw 25 things' as a practice for a future attempt at #Draw50things.
I struggled a lot with the rendering and must have restarted this one half a dozen times. I'm reasonably happy with the final outcome, but I really want to take my illustration skill to the next level.
Please share any insight you have as to how I could have done better, or things to watch for in future illustrations.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide!
RE: iPad pro screen - finally a solution
Yeah, I started using that same protector a couple of months ago and I LOVE it.
I also have found that I like the feel of the contact better when I've worn the nib down -
and when I went to replace it the new one felt all slippery again.
Here's my current nib (Bottom, top is a fresh one):
I'm going to have to change it out at some point, but at least I know that it may take an adjustment period when I do!!
RE: Art Shipping Q's
Hey @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen, I hope someone with more knowledge than me pipes up because it's been years since I worked in Pastel, but I can give you my 2 cents for what it's worth. Shipping pastels was always nerve-wracking for me, which is honestly part of why I moved away from that medium!
In my experience the surface makes a huge difference - when I worked on a less toothy paper like Canson the pigment stayed on tighter and I was able to pack those in a variety of ways. When working on a super toothy surface like Colorfix the pigment would come loose and I ended up only shipping those ones framed under glass with spacers. So if you haven't packaged and shipped one in this way before, maybe try out a test wrap before you ship your finished work? Package up a little 5x5" with some crisp lines and edges and toss it around, stack it, throw it.. all the things that are going to happen to it during shipping, to see if the pigment moves on you.
I think if you aren't using a spacer/glass then the biggest thing is that ANY movement of the material against the surface of your artwork can lift and smudge the pigment. I've used glassine for this a couple of times (never used newsprint so I can't comment on that), but it always made me nervous. I think that if the boards holding the pastel work are secure enough, shipping something else with them (if also well secured) would probably be okay.. but if you want to err on the side of caution just ship the books separately.
I don't know if that helps at all, but there you go!