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Art Help

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General Tips on the Creative Process

Saving for web

Saving images to be displayed on the web: [1]

This tutorial is for Photoshop's "save for web" feature, but in most programs there is a quality option when saving in a jpg/gif/png/bitmap format and should be used for images intended to be posted on the web.


  • Graphic Tablet - The most popular brand is Wacom. Choosing a Tablet, Tablet Tutorial
  • Ink Pens
  • Brushes - Use synthetic brushes rather than natural ones because they will last longer with ink and the consecutive regular cleaning.
  • Brush Pens, for example those by Pentel. Like a brush, but with an ink cartridge.
  • Nib Pens, Quill Pens. Tutorial
  • Pencils
  • Colored Pencils
  • Rulers
  • Markers
  • Watercolors. Tutorial
  • Ink
  • Paper
  • Scanner Basics - Scan with a dpi of 300 or more, color or greyscale mode, adjust the blacks and whites in a program afterwards.
  • Light Table [2]


Free art programs

Read a review of 10 free digital art programs, written by Poj.

  • Artweaver - Freeware, many brush customizing options, nice selection of layer options, gradient-friendly, has the ability to save PS files with layers.
  • Open Canvas 1 (OC or oC) - Shareware (free), networking possible (make sure all participants use the same version), uses layers with only three layer modes (for example multiply). Good for painting. Tutorial for first-time users.
  • Paint.net - Free program that is essentially a ramped-up version of MS Paint. While it certainly doesn't have everything, it's a nice upgrade to Paint and it handles text a lot better.
  • The Gimp - Does many things that Photoshop can do. "Gimpshop" is not very stable on Windows Vista.
  • Art Rage - Emulates traditional media such as oils, chalk and pencils. Uses layers. More info.
  • Photoshop Elements - A slimmed down version of Photoshop intended for hobbyists and "normal" people. Often comes for free with tablets or scanners. Can do probably all you will need for comic editing.
  • Corel Painter Essentials - Often comes for free with tablets. Emulates traditional media.
  • Google SketchUp - A free 3D program for beginners. Use it to construct your air ships, mechas and buildings which you can use as references for your comics.
  • Sculptris - Free 3D sculpting program, very intuitive. Build your own character to get some hard perspectives right.
  • Aviary is a suite of creative applications that you can use right in your web browser.
  • Free painting programs such as ArtRage and TwistedBrush: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-paint-program.htm.
  • Inkscape for vectors.
  • Draw online: oekaki boards, paintchats, iscribble, DeviantArt's Muro.
  • Pixlr, free online program with a PS layout.

Paid art programs

  • Photoshop (PS) - Will fulfill most of your needs. Good for a clean look rather than a painterly one, although it depends on technique and whether you use textures. Uses layers that can be set to a multitude of different modes. Originally intended for photo editing. Text can easily be inserted and you can create your own brushes and textures. You can get older versions for very affordable prices, but don't use versions older than PS6 as they will have very limited or no layers. If you are an art student look into the reduced student rates for current versions!
http://www.webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/photoshop-secret-shortcuts/ - helpful keyboard/mouse shortcuts in photoshop.
  • Open Canvas 2 or higher (OC or oC) - Networking NOT possible, options are more extensive than in the free version. Used by the painterly types like Ben and Naeru. Trial version. NOTE: PAID VERSIONS OF OPENCANVAS ARE NO LONGER SOLD AS OF SUMMER 2010.
  • Manga Studio - Software specifically for creating comics. Comes with a lot of textures and ready-made stuff like speech bubbles and even organs. Trial version of Manga Studio EX. (The slimmed down version Manga Studio Debut is cheaper). Only supports black & white. Used by Jackster.
  • Painter - Emulates traditional media and gives you so many options that many are overwhelmed at first.
  • Paint Tool SAI - Painting program that is a lot like Open Canvas. Can import and export Photoshop files. 31-days trial version
  • Autodesk SketchBook Pro - Sketching program for making quick sketches and drawings, as well as making very clean lines. Also used by Jackster.



Comic Pages

--> For more help on writing issues, see Writing Help.

Construction & Anatomy

Stan Prokopenko's Tutorials:

Alexds1's Deviantart Tutorials:

  • Drawing Expressions: [9]
  • Pose Tutorial: [10]
  • Drawing Feet: [11]
  • Drawing Ladies: [12]
  • Drawing Men: [13]
  • Drawing Faces: [14]
  • Drawing hands: [15]

Cedarseed's Deviantart Tutorials:

  • Drawing Hands: [16]
  • Drawing Emotions and Facial Expressions: [17]
  • Guide to drawing different human types
    • Part 1: [18]
    • Part 2: [19]
    • Part 3: [20]
    • Addendum: [21] (contains body/hair/eye/nose/face variations)
  • Felxibility [22]
  • Animals, Horses, Birds and wings: 1, 2, 3

Andrew Loomis:

  • Figure Drawing (also with posing/perspective) [23]
  • Heads/Faces [24]
  • More: [25], all books as PDFs [26]


Coloring & Shading


Traditional Inking




Comic Fonts


  • Screentones: [27]
  • Free textures: [28]
  • Photoshop brushes: [29]



Draw from life or from photos to get difficult poses right. Many of these links are not safe for work!


Weapons & Vehicles





Free Image Hosting


Thinking about getting your art published somewhere? Consider print-on-demand websites or take part in anthology book projects, for example.

  • The Submission Guidelines for every Comic and Manga Publisher in the Universe
  • DAP Show brought us themed comic anthologies like Gothology. Check them regularly for new projects. No profit, no submission fee, no free copy.
  • Jazam, German annual themed comic anthology. Black and white. No profit, no submission fee, no free copy. Artists can buy one copy for a reduced price. Organization takes place on the German comic forum.
  • Krazybov Comics is a themed anthology looking for completed black and white strips of any genre and any length. The comic is freely distributed in London with adverts to cover the printing costs. Contributors receive a copy of the book.

Your Art on Warforarcadia.com

To find out more about how to put your art skills to use around the site, check out our page on Contribution Information.

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