Monday, 3 June 2013

Week Special: Traditional vs Digital

Hi guys sorry for not updating in a while, I just want to take a little break from doing tutorials so I thought this week I start talking about a topic that most people are and still are debating about picking a medium between drawing traditionally and digitally.

I’ll admit when I first went into the subject I thought that digital artwork made everything look awesome and cool and that in itself was impressive, digital could pretty much be a more cleaner way of creating great artwork without the mess that you’d usually have with a more traditional medium like paint and other works.

So in this Weekly special I’m just going through what I myself think about the whole Traditional V Digital, now both traditional and digital mediums can be used in a degree where you can create the most breath taking artwork but also when not used correctly it can really create an eyesore.

I should know, I use to be a big offender of this myself, just to let you know that I’m not trying to deter people from taking up the artistic arts but pretty much giving advice on what to expect.

Like I mentioned on an earlier post, before you can expect to be great at anything you should first go through a serious of trials and errors and learn how to draw before even attempting to take the more digital approach.
Sure there are useful tutorials online on how many other artists and what their drawing, artist processes are but you should work through a process that suites you and not anyone else.


First I’ll go through the pros and cons of Traditional Media. Like I’ve mentioned before, I grew up with a sketchpad and a pencil before even going into the more digital tools and even though digital is useful, it just doesn’t give me the freedom that I feel with a pencil and a piece of paper.

Some artists on DeviantART might tell you very differently but most of the good artists will tell you that they would start traditionally before they even went digitally.

Again this is my opinion so I’ll try and not be biased, well too biased

·      You have freedom to draw whatever you want in a sketchpad
·      The tools and materials you use aren’t as expensive as their more digital counterparts
·      You can improve your character designs
·      Learning new ways to draw these characters and backgrounds
·      Gives you more control on how the artwork you do will look and even gives you more control to change it.

·      The tools you use do take up too much space in your room or studio, it spends how much room you have to store
·      I also find that I go through a lot of sketchpads and at times that can be very expensive, especially when your favourite make of sketchpad is either sold out or they just don’t make them anymore. Same with any tools you use.
·      When dealing with paints, charcoal and the more arty tools, it can get a bit messy.
·      When you spill something on your artwork it can’t go back to normal

Like most artists, especially in the Manga/Anime Style, I started out drawing in a sketchpad and then gradually went from traditional to digital. I still draw traditionally but that’s when I’m making new character designs or creating a storyboard for a future project.


I have to say when I transferred from traditional to digital, the change was a little bit tricky especially when it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. Digital when used correctly can open a world with many doors opening however when used poorly, it can have the opposite effect.

Some people skip learning traditionally and just go straight into the digital stuff without knowing much about how to draw but if they do then it does get a bit easier for them later on in life.

I have to say for years I have been and still consider myself to still be a novice when drawing in programs like photoshop and paint tools sai but in a world where there’s more than one programs and especially since the Adobe programs are in such high demand, brings in itself another few trials and quirks to get through.

·      Some of the programs are pretty straight forward in some of the tools they use
·      There are many programs to chose from in creating their pieces of artwork
·      Working digitally doesn’t create a mess, especially when your using it for painting and even making it easier to mix colours together and blending them
·      They allow the user to create artwork in a higher quality
·      Basically they can do anything, providing they know how to use the program properly
·      Some of the programs can be obtained for free

·      Some of the programs are expensive, for the Adobe Design suite your basically looking at nearly $600 give or take.
·      It does take a bit of time to learn what all the tools are used for, half the time you might not even be using some of the tools because there is no point to them.
·      When drawing in the programs it can be a bit tricky to get the artwork looking the way you want it too, for years I was obsessed with having my artwork have very smooth lines.
·      Sometimes it will crash, especially when you don’t have much memory on your computer system. So make sure that you have enough memory on your computer before using it.

This is my opinion from my own experiences, there were so many programs I went through before deciding on which one I should use.
It was kind of frustrating, especially when all I wanted was a way to make my artwork look more professional but at the time I didn’t realise that obsessing on things that I myself can not change was no way to be creating artwork, it actually got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I wanted it too.

But then a year ago I realised that I am basically good at what I do and shouldn’t be obsessing with every little thing because that’s not what I strive to do, I strive to have fun and create some work that people can enjoy with me and whether I can accomplish that is a totally different subject as I’m still in the process in finding out what it is that I want to do and what programs I feel more comfortable with to do it.

If there were some things in this blog that you want me to take a look over, like programs in general then don’t be afraid to send me a message but don’t expect me to have the same opinion as everyone else, like some people I have processes I love and then processes I hate, same with programs and other things.

So that’s this weeks special in the No Talent Café, come back next week for hopefully another entry that deals with tutorials or on genres in general especially in the Mangaverse.

Thank you for your Patronage.

Until next time!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Week Special: Chibi Characters + Tutorial

Chibi is a Japanese slang word for ‘Small Person’ or ‘Small Child’, it’s a very popular character type, mostly used for comical effects and moments of adorable childishness.
The first thing that anyone is probably ever going to draw properly is a small cute, adorable chibi.

Chibis are mostly drawn with oversized heads and huge eyes with a rather small body, now a days it’s rare to see an entire anime or manga series done in this style.

And example where Chibi’s are used is Baka and Test, an anime series that depicts high school students fighting each other with cute adorable chibi versions of themselves or in this case are called avatars, the avatars in the show are used for fighting or are just for comic relief, this show used chibi characters very well and still managed to keep anyone entertained.
I should know, I have a weird sense of humour and sometimes doesn’t know if something is funny unless someone else laughs

However despite that chibi comics are on the rise of popularity because of their cute adorable faces and comidec value as well as being a lot easier to draw than their full bodied, detailed counterparts, their mostly used to make fun or offering a more fun, colourful view on the current events that are happening around the world.

So in today’s special in the No Talent Café I am going to give you a quick tutorial on Chibis.
The only things that you will need for this tutorial is a sketchpad and pencil, pen if your looking to do some lineart.

A thing to note in this tutorial is that I’m going to show you the usual way of how I draw chibi characters, I like to combine western and eastern styles

So Enjoy, any questions or anything else that you want me to cover then don't be afraid to send me a note.

Also sorry for the long wait on this, I'm just after completing my coursework and relaxing now, it's been months since I've felt so relaxed.

Thank you for your patronage and please come again to the No Talent Cafe.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Week Special: Tools of Trade

Over the years you pick up a few things, I never really started drawing until I was inspired, like all children who grew up in the nineties.
I grew up with such shows like Batman the Animated series and when Japanese Animated shows like Cardcaptors Sakura, Dragonball Z, Pokemon and Digimon came on to the scene how could I NOT be captivated by such shows.

Those were the shows that inspired me to draw and probably paved my first path down this way, I already enjoyed drawing and loved it more than anything in the world but when it came to people watching me draw I was shy, I remember my Primary Seven teacher watching over my drawing and when he saw the sheep I drew he was disappointed with me and even told my parents.

How else can someone in Primary school handle the eyes of masses in those days?

When I attended high school I tried to keep my love for anime and manga a secret because back then it was considered a childish thing but now I’m more open and comfortable with it.


Anyway in todays post I’m going to be going over the tools that I use for creating pieces of artwork.

Before programs like Photoshop and Paint Tools Sai, even a computer coming into schools, a pen, pencil and sketchpads were the only companions that you needed as you go through the development of creating art.

Before you can even ATTEMPT to start drawing in a drawing tablet and doing it digitally, you need to experience the feeling of having a pencil in your hand and watching your artwork taking shape and your skills growing as an individual and more importantly, find the inspiration through your art.
They don’t even need to be deep and logically, that makes things rather complicated, it’s the simple pleasures of life that can inspire you the most.

Down below are the materials that I use:

1.     Pencils and erasers

Probably one of the most important tools that I have come to love during my years, it’s the very first thing you have to take control off before you can even go on to sketch with a pen. Any type of pencil will do, it can be a HB Pencil to a normal one. You can find some good ones in Easons or any stationary shop. Having an eraser/rubber is also an important tool, especially when you want those little pencil lines out of the way after inking.

2.     Pens
These are handy for inking your pieces of artwork, it sometimes give your artwork the extra bit of oomph your looking for, especially when your looking to take your artwork further. But inking with a pen takes a lot of care and practice, it’s how you handle it that counts.

3.     Colouring Pencils/Copic Markers/Paint/Etc

Probably another important tool at your disposal is how your going to colour it, you can colour it in with colouring pencils, copic markers, paint, anything can be used as a tool to give your artwork that much needed magic, when drawing manga though I have come to love using the Copic Markers, but they are very expensive and hard to obtain, you can get a pack of five including a pen for £13.50 but any type of markers will do. A friend of mine says that magic markers work just as well.
But it’s up to you, colour with what you feel the most comfortable with and go with it.

4.     Sketchpads
The canvas in which you draw and sketch your ideas upon, there are many brands of sketchpads to choose from, I stick with one brand of sketchpad that I feel the most comfortable with but also make sure that you pick the right sketchpad, especially when your thinking about adding colour. I use a marker sketchpad because I like colouring in with markers, there are sketchpads that are suitable for watercolours and oil pastels, choose your sketchpad carefully though because there are some brands that aren’t suitable especially for the mediums that your going to be using.

5.     References
Magazines, comic books, photographs, these are probably more essential, drawing from the top of your head is okay but it’s not bad to have references, I get a lot of magazines that keep me up to date with the latest trends and materials that I could use for my own projects. Not only that but it’s good to look up tutorial sites and books on how to draw to give you an idea on what to create.

6.     Let your imagination run wild and have fun
The most important one out of seven, if you don’t have fun when your drawing then your in the wrong industry, don’t expect to get popular over night when you start drawing because that’s a fools dream.

On DeviantART there are many great artists but most of them get overlooked but don’t get disheartened because some of them have probably been in the same place as you and took years and years of perfecting their art to get where they are now.
They understand the hard work and enjoy doing it and that’s the right attitude to have, if you don’t come in to drawing with the right mind set then your going to fail way before you even start.

Anyway that’s all I’m going to be covering in this weeks special, come back again next week for more tips and showcases, an animation if I’m in a really good mood.

Thank you for your patronage

Come back again next week. 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


This is a small little blog that I’m going to be using to not only show case my work but to also show work processes and giving out tips that I feel could be helpful to some people as they go into the world and show their artwork.

My name is Sarah Allen, I’m twenty-two years old and currently living in Londonderry in Northern Ireland, where my town was recently given the title of city of culture, so in such an occasion the entire city is in full swing showing the world what they have to offer.
I’m currently studying towards a degree in Creative Design Technologies, it sounds fancy but it’s just another title for Graphic Design, hopefully when I leave the University I get to leave with a piece of parchment in my hand and getting work in the big enigma called the world.

I’ve mostly been drawing Manga since I was in Primary school and continued to do so up to the age I am now.
I also make short animation from time to time and I do hope to make my own little web series some day but like all people that live on the other side of the pound I’m a little bit of a shy gal especially when it comes to showing off.

But in an age where you must market yourself and the best tools win you the job I have to try everything in my power to get noticed.

Join me in the No Talent Café as I try to get into the design industry and also helping others to make their own start.

If you have any questions or want me to investigate current designing trends then don’t be afraid to give me a buzz and I’ll tell you my own opinion be it good or bad, I strive to give an honest opinion and review on some of the current trends that people are going through.

So sit at a table and get ready to look through the menu because here in the No Talent Café I strive to give a hundred present into work, so expect some great service and order away at the No Talent Café.

Please enjoy your visit!!!