Three Things To Do When Your Art Starts Looking Mediocre

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If you make art regularly, then you’ve probably gone through a mediocre art phase at least once. This is a time when your art isn’t exactly terrible, but it isn’t exactly at it’s best either. Whether it’s because you were feeling uninspired, or were mostly focusing on other projects or just didn’t have quite enough time, it can happen.

In fact, it can sometimes happen annoyingly often. I mean, some of this month’s paintings and quite a few of next month’s paintings and comics (as well as some paintings that will appear in early October), were made during these phases.

So, what should you do if you find yourself in the middle of one of these mediocre art phases?

1) It isn’t as bad as you think: Chances are, if you’re able to recognise that you’re going through a mediocre art phase, then you’ve probably got a bit of artistic experience. You probably practice regularly enough to notice both subtle and large changes in the quality of your art over time. You’ve also produced good art, which allows you to notice that your current art is mediocre by comparison.

Well, one of the great things about practice and experience is that it can help you out during the difficult times. If you practice regularly, then there’s a good chance that the “uninspired” or “mediocre” paintings that you seem to be making at the moment are probably better than the “good” paintings that you made a 1-2 years (or more) ago.

So, if a painting is “mediocre” by your current standards, then it’s probably jaw-droppingly excellent by your old standards. In other words, it’s a sign that you are still improving and that you should keep practicing.

2) Get some inspirations: If you have a solid idea of what you want to paint before you start painting, then this can improve your mediocre art. The more specific the idea, the better.

For example, during the mediocre phase I was going through when writing this article, I made a relatively decent painting during a fairly rushed day purely because I had the idea of “cyberpunk hackers using typewriters” before I made the painting. Here’s a reduced-size preview:

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 2nd October.

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 2nd October.

But, where do you find these ideas?

Before I go any further, I should probably link to this article of mine that explains the difference between inspiration and plagiarism. That said, don’t be afraid to do a bit of artistic research (eg: image searches, films, games etc..) before you start making your painting if you don’t have any ideas. As long as you only extract the general themes/general ideas/general techniques etc.. from those things and use them as the basis for your own ideas (instead of copying specific details), then it’s ok.

For example, both this short story of mine and my “Cyberpunk Typists” painting were – amongst other things – partially inspired by an episode of “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman” (one of the few superhero-related things I actually like, due to 1990s nostalgia) where the city’s computer systems are damaged and the newspaper that Lois and Clark work at has to return to using typewriters and linotype machines. I was curious what a “low-tech modernity” storyline would look like when transposed into the cyberpunk genre. Hence the painting and the short story.

3) Keep going: This one is pretty self-explanatory, and it’s something that I’ve said in many other articles. If you’re going through an uninspired phase or a mediocre phase, keep making art. Even if it’s crappy art, keep making it. Even if it feels like a chore, keep making it.

If you keep up the rhythm of regular practice (to the point where not making art every day or every week or whatever feels somehow… wrong) , then you’ll be able to get back to making good art a lot more quickly after the mediocre phase.

Likewise, if you have a brief moment of inspiration or a bit of extra time during your mediocre phase, then you might just even be able to make a good painting or two. Sometimes, this will help you get out of the mediocre phase (by increasing your confidence). But, sometimes it’ll just break up the mediocre phase slightly and remind you of what you’ll be able to make when the phase passes.

For example, here’s a reduced-size preview of a good painting that I made during a mediocre phase that affected the art I made in late September/ early October. If I hadn’t kept up my practice during the “mediocre” times (eg: if I’d waited until I felt totally inspired again), I probably wouldn’t have made this good painting.

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 25th September.

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 25th September.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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Three More Tips For Making Better Paintings When You’re Extremely Tired

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The night before writing this article, I was extremely tired. I’d been awake for almost 24 hours and, at about 1am, I realised that I needed to make a daily painting.

But, unlike my usual “tired paintings” (that often look like something that I made 6-12 months ago), this digitally-edited painting only looked like something that I’d made 2-3 months ago. Here’s a reduced-size preview of it:

 The full-size painting will be posted here on the 20th September.

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 20th September.

So, how can you make better paintings when you are extremely tired? Here are a few tips:

1) Focus on the scenery: If you look at the preview painting that I showed you, you’ll see that it mostly consists of… well… scenery. Sure, there are a couple of people in it but, they’re standing in the distance and/or are drawn in a slightly undetailed way. The main focus of the painting is on the giant city that they are standing in.

Now, compare it to this preview of a quick “minimalist” painting that I made on the day when my all-nighter began, when I was considerably more awake:

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 19th September.

As you can see, the painting that I made when I was awake features a lot more character detail. The person sitting on the chair is shown in detailed close-up, rather than hidden slightly in the distance. But, why didn’t I do this in the “tired” painting and why shouldn’t you?

Simply put, people are more difficult to draw well than angular buildings, natural landscapes etc… are. A lot more complex thought has to go into character designs – including everything from their pose to their clothes, hairstyles, expressions etc… And, if you’re tired, than you need to conserve that mental energy.

So, you can make much more impressive-looking paintings when you’re extremely tired if you mostly focus on painting the scenery. Sure, you can do things like adding a few undetailed people to the background but, for the most part, you’ll make much better “tired” paintings if you focus more on buildings and scenery than on painting people.

2) Have an inspiration right in front of you: First of all, if you’re making a painting when you’re extremely tired, then you should make it in a genre that you really love and, more importantly, a genre of art which you’ve already practiced a lot.

For me, this genre is the cyberpunk genre. This is a genre that almost always inspires me in some way, and it’s a genre that has had a huge influence on my art. Your own “inspirational genre” may be different though.

But, when you’ve found the genre that inspires you a lot – find a DVD, internet video, piece of music etc… from that genre and put it on in the background when you are painting.

No, you shouldn’t directly copy any of it (although taking inspiration is perfectly fine), but having something from your favourite genre directly in front of you can help to get you in the mood for making art. It’s a way to increase what limited motivation you’ll have when you’re extremely tired.

For example, when painting the picture at the beginning of the article, I re-watched two and a half episodes of “Ghost In The Shell: SAC 2nd Gig“. This made me remember the highly-inspired cyberpunk art that I made when I watched this TV series for the first time (which helped me to feel motivated). Likewise, the futuristic cityscapes shown in the TV show helped to put me in more of a “cyberpunk” kind of mood.

Yes, the actual painting itself was more heavily inspired by other things in the cyberpunk genre (Blade Runner” and “Technobabylon” spring to mind for starters…). But, I was able to work up the enthusiasm to make it by watching something else from the same genre. So, yes, having an inspiration directly in front of you can be a useful thing when you’re extremely tired.

3) Use every trick in the book: Finally, if you want to make good-looking art when you’re tired, then you’ll have to be sneaky. You need to use every piece of art-based trickery in your repertoire to give the illusion that your painting is more detailed than it actually is. If you’ve practiced enough, this sort of thing should be second-nature to you.

There are too many tricks to list here but, to give you an example, here’s a reduced-size version of my “tired” painting that highlights all of the detail in the painting:

 All areas featuring artistic detail have been highlighted green.

All areas featuring artistic detail have been highlighted green.

If you compared the number of green pixels to the number of black pixels in this picture, it would probably only be something like 30-40% green and 50-70% black. In other words, through careful use of composition and lighting, I was able to make a better painting when I was extremely tired by only adding detail to less than half of the painting.

Likewise, here’s a close-up detail of one of the background details in the painting, from a version of the painting that doesn’t include any rain. For the sake of clarity, I’ve also digitally removed all of the colours from this close-up:

This is a close-up of a greyscale background detail from a version of the painting that doesn't include any rain. As you can see, most of the buildings are just simple shapes and/or random scribbles.

This is a close-up of a greyscale background detail from a version of the painting that doesn’t include any rain. As you can see, most of the buildings are just simple shapes and/or random scribbles.

Although distant objects in paintings are meant to look less detailed, this looks extremely undetailed (and more like a rough doodle than anything else). Yet, thanks to both the vivid colour scheme that I used and the rain that I digitally added to the background after scanning the painting, it looks a bit more detailed in the final painting:

This is the same area in the final painting. The lighting, colours and digitally-added rain make it look slightly more detailed.

This is the same area in the final painting. The lighting, colours and digitally-added rain make it look slightly more detailed.

So, yes, if you’re making a painting when you’re extremely tired, then be sure to use every sneaky artistic trick that you know.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Three Tips For Making Minimalist Art (Or, My Interpretation Of It)

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Well, for today, I thought that I’d talk briefly about minimalist art. Or, rather, I’ll be talking about my own approach to minimalist art. This is mostly because knowing how to make art that includes relatively little detail can be extremely useful when you are either feeling uninspired or if you don’t have too much time.

There are lots of different approaches to making minimalist art, and I’ll only be covering one of them here. But, here are a few tips for how to make minimalist art in the way that I do:

1) Darkness: Shrouding large parts of your painting or drawing in darkness can be a great way to make minimalist art. Not only does the darkness make all of the colours in the painting look bolder by comparison, but it also allows you to do things like play with the lighting in your painting and to use a limited colour palette too (just remember to use pairs of complementary colours when choosing your palette).

One of the advantages of using darkness (with a few small light sources) is that, if you know what you are doing, you can leave a lot to the audience’s imagination. In other words, you can tell a story only using a few small visual details.

For example, here’s a reduced-size preview of a digitally-edited painting that I’ll be posting here in September:

The full-size painting will appear here on the 15th September.

The full-size painting will appear here on the 15th September.

As you can see, most of the painting is filled with black paint. But, the silhouette of a tail against the red doorway in the background implies the presence of some kind of alien monster. Likewise, the outline of the man is standing upright in an alert way, with the lights in front of him illuminating part of a pistol in his hand. This picture contains a fairly small amount of detail, but it still hints at a story of some kind.

2) Detail choice: Although your painting should look “minimalist” from a distance, one way to make it seem less minimalist (and look less “lazy”) is to add a lot of detail to a few small areas of the painting. These should usually be areas that are close to the foreground.

For example, here’s another art preview. This is a digitally-edited painting that will be posted here later this month and it features no background detail whatsoever and only four objects (three trees and a glowing orb).

The full-size painting will appear here on the 24th August.

The full-size painting will appear here on the 24th August.

As you can probably see, the tree in the foreground has a lot of extra detail. There are striations and realistic shadows on it’s trunk, there are veins on the leaves and even the soil that it sits in has some level of detail. The other trees have considerably less detail than this but, because the detailed tree is the first tree that the audience sees (and the other trees are further away), they’re just going to assume that the other trees have the same level of detail. They don’t.

So, if you want to make a “minimalist” painting that doesn’t seem like something lazy, then add a high level of detail to a few select parts of the picture.

3) Silhouettes:
One way to give the impression of detail, whilst keeping your painting fairly minimalist is to make heavy use of silhouettes.

But, as a general rule, if you are going to include a silhouette, then there should be a light source of some kind behind it. After all, this is how silhouettes work in real life.

One advantage of using silhouettes is that, as long as you get the outline vaguely right, then your audience will automatically imagine all of the details that you haven’t included.

Plus, even a more limited use of silhouettes can also give your artwork an ominously gothic “look” too- like in this almost-minimalist digitally-edited painting of mine that makes heavy use of silhouettes:

"Storage" By C. A. Brown

“Storage” By C. A. Brown

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Three Fascinating “Time Travel”-Based Art Exercises

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Unfortunately, apart from following the normal passage of time, travelling through time is something that is impossible in real terms. Yes, according to Einstein’s theories, if you travelled vast distances every day for several decades, you would be a miniscule fraction of a second ahead of anyone else. But proper movie-style time travel doesn’t exist.

Still, if you are an artist, then there are at least a few thought provoking time-based art exercises that you can do in order to see how time affects the art that you make.

1) Work out the earliest date your art could be made: Although I think I mentioned something vaguely similar in a previous article, this is a really fascinating exercise.

This version of it was inspired by an online discussion I read somewhere about a modern fan-made modification (for the classic computer game “Doom”) called ‘Brutal Doom’. Basically, the creator of the mod had worked out that the earliest time that computer hardware could support his mod was sometime in either 2002 or 2003.

Yes, “Brutal Doom” didn’t exist back then. But, the idea that people in the early 2000s theoretically could have been playing “Brutal Doom” is an absolutely fascinating one.

Naturally, this made me wonder if artists can do anything similar. And, yes, we can!

Take a look at the materials you use to make art. Take a look at the common subject matter of your art. Take a look at the things that inspired your art style. Now work out which years all of these things came from. This should give you an approximate time when someone like you could have made the art that you make.

For example, my art could have been made in the late 1990s. The traditional materials that I use (eg: waterproof ink [albeit in rollerball pen form] and watercolour pencils), existed in the 20th century. My favourite digital image editing program (“Jasc Paint Shop Pro 6”) is from 1999. Likewise, although the version of MS Paint I use is from 2007, I tend to use basic features that probably also existed in previous versions of the program.

Likewise, most of my artistic inspirations come from the 20th century. Even some of my more modern inspirations (like this set of levels for “Doom II”) are often heavily inspired by things from the 1980s and 1990s. The very earliest beginnings of my art style were also inspired by animated TV shows from the 1990s like “Pepper Ann”, “South Park” and “Pokemon” that I watched (or, in the case of “South Park”, really wanted to watch) during my childhood.

So, yes, the earliest time that someone could have produced art very similar to my own is probably sometime in the late 1990s. The idea that my art could have existed back then absolutely fascinates me.

2) Remakes: Yes, as I’ve mentioned countless times before, remaking your old art can be a way to see how much you’ve improved. But, in addition to this, it can also be useful when seeing how the passage of time affects your own art. And when it comes to predicting what your art might look like if it had been made in the past or future.

For example, here’s a small chart showing two versions of the same painting that were made (but not posted here) pretty much exactly a year apart from each other:

Click to see a larger version of this picture. The full-size version of the second painting won't be posted here until the 1st September though.

Click to see a larger version of this picture. The full-size version of the second painting won’t be posted here until the 1st September though.

Doing this yourself and comparing the two pictures will show you how your influences and art style have changed over the past year. This can, of course, make you think about how some of your current artwork might have looked if you had made it a year or two earlier.

Since you’ll be able to notice and categorise the technical differences in the art you made in the past and the art you make today, seeing a comparison of two versions of the same picture from different times will help you to imagine what other pieces of your current artwork would have looked like if you’d made them in the past.

3) Predicting the future:
One easy way to predict what your art might look like in the future is to look at the types of art that really inspire you, but which are way above your current skill level. If you keep practicing, then there’s a good chance that your art might eventually end up looking a bit like a combination of these things.

Yes, developments to your art style can be unpredictable (after all, you don’t know what else might inspire you in the future). But, taking a careful look at what the things that inspire you have in common with each other can be a great way to see how your art might change in the near or distant future.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Three Basic Reasons Why Remakes Change Things

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I’m sure that I’ve probably talked about this before (and tomorrow’s article will be a much more interesting interpretation of the topic of remakes), but since I was in a slight rush at the time, I thought that I’d go over some of the most basic reasons why remakes change things.

Although it won’t be posted here until August, the day before I wrote this article, I re-made one of my favourite paintings from last year called “La Chanteuse” because I was feeling too uninspired to come up with a totally new idea for a daily painting. Here’s the original painting from 2016:

"La Chanteuse" By C. A. Brown [2016]

“La Chanteuse” By C. A. Brown [2016]

And here’s a reduced-size preview of the new version:

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 18th August.

The full-size painting will be posted here on the 18th August.

As you can probably see, it looks fairly different to the original version. Personally, I’m not sure which version I prefer, but I thought that I’d talk about some of the reasons why remakes can end up being different from the things that they’re based on.

1) Skill changes: If someone returns to something they’ve made a long time ago, or if someone remakes something by someone else, then there’s a good chance that the person making the remake has at least slightly different skills to the one who made the original.

For example, between the time that I made the original version of “La Chanteuse” and the remake, my attitude towards using colours in art completely changed. I went from using strict limited palettes, to using a slightly wider palette in a particular way. Likewise, I’ve become more interested in (and/or very slightly more practiced at) painting realistic lighting. I’ve also learnt a few new digitial editing techniques for my art too.

So, when I made the remake – I ended up using all of this new knowledge. After all, what would be the point of remaking something if I wasn’t able to add everything I’ve learnt to it?

2) Inspiration changes: Likewise, the inspirations that someone brings to a remake will probably be different to the inspirations that were behind the original thing. This can either be because the remake is being made by someone else or because the person who made the original has found new influences.

A good example of this can be seen in the 1982 film “Blade Runner“, which is an adaptation of a novel from the 1960s called “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” by Phillip K. Dick. The setting of the original novel is closer to a semi-abandoned post-post-apocalyptic city than anything else. This was probably at least partially inspired by anxieties about nuclear war, pollution etc.. at the time.

But, when Ridley Scott directed the film adaptation, he was a lot more influenced by old film noir movies and contemporary cities in Japan, South Korea etc.. when shaping the ‘look’ of the film. So, far from being the decaying remnants of a civilisation, the city is a bustling futuristic metropolis that is lit with neon signs, filled with towering buildings and omnipresent rain.

The book and the film tell slightly similar stories, but their settings are very different because they were made by people who had different inspirations.

3) Times and trends: As I hinted at in the previous point on this list, the time that a remake is made can also cause changes too. Popular fashions can change, popular trends can change, technology can change, popular politcs can change etc… And this can often be reflected in remakes.

For example, things in the horror and dystopian sci-fi genres that tapped into contemporary anxieties when they were originally released will often be updated to reflect current anxieties when they are remade. Likewise, bringing a story “up to date” can sometimes involve transposing an old story to a modern setting – with mixed results.

This is especially noticeable when Shakespeare is performed live these days. Although a lot of people have tried to “update” these plays by setting them in the modern age, few directors would dare to change the original dialogue too much. So, you end up with this surreal situation where modern people are talking in 16th-17th century English. It’s hilariously bizarre.

So, yes, the time that a remake is made can also have a huge effect on it too.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Four Awesome Advantages Of Watching DVDs Whilst Making Art

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This probably isn’t for everyone, but I thought that I’d talk about something that I tend to do quite often when I’m making art. I am, of course, talking about watching DVDs in the background (usually whilst both listening via headphones and keeping the subtitles on, to avoid missing any of the dialogue).

Again, this isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to work in absolute silence, some people just like to listen to music and some people actually prefer to have other people in the general vicinity when making art. For me, solitude and non-interactive background things (eg: TV shows, music etc..) seem to work best. But, different things work for different people.

Likewise, it’s only possible to do this if you make traditional (eg: completely non-digital) or semi-traditional art that mostly uses fairly portable materials.

For example, whilst I heavily edit/process most of my art on the computer after I’ve scanned it, the actual drawing (and painting, using watercolour pencils) usually takes place in a sketchbook that is resting on my knee whilst I’m watching DVDs on my computer.

But, what are the advantages of watching DVDs whilst making art?

1) Time limits: If you’re making art regularly, then it’s often good to set yourself time limits. If you can make a fairly decent painting or drawing within 1-2 hours, then this level of efficiency is probably going to help you out when you’re making more time-intensive things, like comics projects.

In addition to this, setting a time limit also means that you’ll quickly learn to actually finish most of the pieces of art that you start making. It stops you from turning into a perfectionist who never finishes anything.

And, if you’re watching TV shows (or possibly shorter films) on DVD whilst you’re making art, then it’s a lot easier to set a time limit. After all, you can tell yourself that you’re going to finish your artwork within the time it takes you to watch 1-2 episodes of a TV show, or one 90 minute film. This can also sometimes (but not always) help you to prevent yourself from binge-watching your DVDs too.

2) Physicality And Ritual: This might just be my traditionalist side, but there’s something good about the actual physicality of using a DVD (rather than just watching modern streaming video).

Since making semi-traditional art is often at least a slightly physical experience, it just feels right that the things in the background should also share this quality too. I mean, if computers could play VHS tapes, then this would be even better. But, they can’t, so DVDs are a good substitute.

In addition to this, actually getting the DVD out of it’s case and putting it in your computer can add an interesting element of ritual to the whole experience too. The only downside is the other ritual of replacing the DVD drive every couple of years….

Whilst every artist probably has their own “rituals” (and mine also include things like drawing guide lines on the sketchbook page I’ll be using etc..), these sorts of things can help you to get into the mood for creating things.

3) Purpose: One of the strange things that I noticed after I’d been painting or drawing whilst watching DVDs for a while is that, if I watch a DVD when I’m not painting something, I’ll sometimes feel like something’s missing. I’ll sometimes feel like I’m wasting my time.

In other words, making art whilst watching DVDs can turn what is typically a fairly passive and “lazy” experience into something that feels a lot more productive. Plus, the incentive of watching a DVD can help you to feel motivated to keep up your art practice on the days when you are feeling less enthusiastic.

4) Inspiration: Watching a DVD in the background whilst making art can help you to feel more inspired in at least a couple of different ways.

First of all, having a background distraction can be useful to take your mind off of any feelings of uninspiration for a few minutes. If you’re thinking about the story of the film or TV show you’re watching, then you’re less likely to be thinking things like “Oh god! What should I paint?!?!“, “I can’t think of anything!!” etc… And, as any creative person will tell you, these kinds of thoughts only make you feel more uninspired.

Whilst you shouldn’t procrastinate for too long (see #1 on this list), a small amount of distraction can sometimes help to shake you out of an uninspired mood.

Secondly, you can also take inspiration from the things that you’re watching too. Whilst you need to know how to take inspiration properly (and the difference between inspiration and plagiarism) before you do this, it can be surprisingly useful.

In general, I’ve found that TV shows will sometimes give you a general direction that you can take your art in. Whilst you’ll still obviously have to work out a lot for yourself, having some hint of which genre you can use takes some of the uncertainty out of planning a painting or drawing.

For example, here’s a preview of what my art looked like when I was watching a cyberpunk anime series called “Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex”:

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will be posted here on the 15th July.

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will be posted here on the 15th July.

And here’s a preview of what one of my paintings looked like when I watched season one of “Twin Peaks”, as you can see, it has more of a 1980s/90s kind of look – as well as some slight strangeness too.

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will be posted here on the 13th August.

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will be posted here on the 13th August.

So, watching DVDs whilst drawing or painting can help you try out different genres of art and, whilst it may not make you feel completely inspired, it will at least point you in a particular direction.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Four Basic Ways To Preview Your Art (or Webcomics)

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Well, since I couldn’t think of another topic for today’s article, I thought that I’d talk about art previews. If you post art (or webcomics) online regularly, then there’s a good chance that you probably also prepare your art well in advance of actually posting it online.

Of course, if you’ve got something really cool that you want to show off, then the wait can be kind of annoying – so, posting a preview can be a good idea for both you and your audience. But, how do you do this? Here are a few simple tips:

1) Line art: If your next piece of art involves line drawing (in addition to other things like paint, digital effects etc..), then one easy way to come up with an intriguing preview is to just scan or digitally photograph your art after you’ve finished the line drawing, but before you do anything else to it.

If you really want to make the line art stand out, then just open the picture using an image editing program (here’s a freeware one, if you don’t have one) and mess around with the “brightness/contrast” options. Generally speaking, if you lower the brightness slightly and increase the contrast heavily, then you’ll end up with crisp-looking line art like this:

"Architecture (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Architecture (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

The advantages of using a line art preview are that your audience gets to see the whole picture, but they are also left guessing what it will look like after you’ve added colour to it. Likewise, since more detailed parts of your line art can end up getting painted over etc… when you get round to finishing the picture – so, it’s a good way to show the audience all of the shading and fine details that they might have otherwise missed.

2) Reduced-size previews: I use this one a lot, mostly because this site tends to be the last place my art ends up getting posted online and because I like to discuss techniques that I’ve used in my upcoming paintings. As such, the audience either may have seen the full painting already, or they might need to see the full painting.

So, a good compromise is to make another copy of your artwork, open it in an image editing program and then use the “resize” option to shrink the copy to something like 30% of it’s original size. Like this:

This is, of course, another preview. The full-size painting will be posted here on the 5th August.

This is, of course, another preview. The full-size painting will be posted here on the 5th August.

Although this shows your audience a (mildly less detailed) version of the full-size picture, one slight disadvantage of this approach is that many websites automatically shrink images in order to speed up loading times. So, the picture will, at first glance, appear to be the same size as the full size one (even though it’s smaller if you actually click on it).

3) Details:
This is the classic way to preview a piece of artwork and it’s the easiest way to make your audience intrigued too. All you have to do is to make another copy of your painting or drawing and then open it in your image editing program.

Once you’ve done this, use the “crop” tool (the icon for it looks like two overlapping corners in most programs) and select a small, but interesting-looking area of the copy. When you’ve done this, just click on it and everything outside of that area will disappear. This allows you to show off an intriguing piece of your painting, whilst making the audience curious about the full-size painting. Like this:

This is a detail from a painting that will be posted here on the 4th August.

This is a detail from a painting that will be posted here on the 4th August.



4) Greyscale preview:
This technique is fairly similar to the “line art preview” technique. It’s a way of showing off the whole painting, whilst still making the audience curious about the final piece.

All you have to do is to make another digital copy of your artwork, open it in your image editing program and look for the option called “hue/saturation” or “hue/saturation/lightness”. Most image editing programs have this option, and it’s usually somewhere in the “colours”/”colors” menu at the top of the screen.

Once you’ve found this option, open it and reduce the saturation level to zero. You’ll be left with a greyscale copy of your picture that will leave your audience wondering what it will look like when you show off the full-colour version. Here’s an example:

This is a greyscale preview of a painting that will be posted here on the 17th July.

This is a greyscale preview of a painting that will be posted here on the 17th July.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂