the new year is upon us and as 2019 settles in I'm sure a lot of you watching this will have a new year's resolution to up your game in art and this can be a bit daunting how do we level up how do we go from novice to intermediate or intermediate to experienced or pro the reality is it's a long term process of course so you apply yourself over time and improve but also it's tricks that you learn if you learn the right combination of tricks are a few really cool things that really make your art pop you'd be surprised how quick you can level up your art skill and make your artworks really stand out and these tricks are often just learnt from observational or just other artists so in this video I'm going to talk about 10 of my top tips that apply to traditional and digital artwork to really make your art and characters stand out and hopefully take your artwork to the next level before we start off I want to mention that all of the pieces I'm gonna be showing and demonstrating these tricks through in this video but actually pieces I created for backers of a fundraiser I did a little over a year ago a little little over you if he was a over a year and a half ago anyways the six artworks you're about to see me create and share my tips and tricks through our art works that were commissioned through that fundraiser that actually made studio to happen and these were some backers and rewards that I've been longing to get to and finish up and I'm delighted to say that they're all done now and with their permission I'm really excited to share the process of making these artworks with you because they're some of the artworks I'm most proud of having made this year and in no small part because I really care so much about the people who supported my work and I really hope they love the result and I hope you do too so jumping is the first piece which was requested by Casey and it's of his favorite comic book characters Harley Quinn as depicted in a Batman animated series and a classically styled rogue from the x-men universe and basically as you'll see in the rest of this video the way I'm going to approach this it's just sort of talking about some of these tips a wild time lapsing the creation of these artworks so you can see the whole process of creating and also highlighting some of the things that I keep and kept in mind to make artworks really have that level of polish and completion that I personally strive for and have found are things that have helped me take my art to my next level so my first top tip would be that contrast is your friend then this is probably one of the scariest things to learn because it really does feel you know creative way like diving off of a cliff in a way you feel comfortable when you've created really cool sketches or line works but when you go to color really is tempting to play it safe and stick to you know the colors that make the most sense or have a really nice blend but as much as possible you want to dive in deep and have some good contrast between darks and lights my personal blending technique with copics in particular which helps me just make sure I keep contrast in mind is to select a mid a dark and a light I start off by putting down all of the light through all of the different placements of colors on the piece and then slowly add the mids and then darks and then sometimes I even add a second layer of darks just to make sure it has that extra pop of course if you want to blend it then you just work your way backwards so working from dark to mid and then back to light to just make it all smoothly blend together and the benefit of this of course is that by a further saturating piece you are adding even more to the contrast into the saturation and depth of your artwork tip number two is to add a thicker outline this isn't always applicable and it can be applied in different intensities but basically let's say in this artwork where I've drawn the characters it with a point one and point two fineliner I've gone back with a point eight and just drawn around the silhouettes you can go back with the thicker or slightly thinner marker than this the idea is especially after you have added color you can use it just to slightly mask some of your messiness or mistakes we've gone over the lines and then also just in general strengthen the silhouette and polish and I hope to out work stand out it makes it really feel much more final and solid and also in the case like this if you have two characters that helps them stand out from one another the next commission was four characters in the near universe I believe is a computer game and the request was that the characters Android to be be in profile petting pod o for two on a small island with a lone tree as requested that yacht would be mostly say pure tones and have a vignette with to be on the left and pod o for two on the right it was a little tricky with a somewhat specific request in a universe and with a set of characters that I'm entirely unfamiliar with so I just meant doing a lot of research and looking up a whole bunch of different reference images and videos of the game so tip number three which i think is well demonstrated in this piece obviously is the use of halftone paper remember this video is about tips to make your artwork pop and the point of halftone paper is that it adds a lot of feel to empty space since obviously doesn't know white it's sort of got that natural tone to it but also it gives you the ability to work out in both directions both too light and too dark and because you're starting with that halftone it allows you to use shadow and light in a way that's going to stand out more than just on white paper now this piece in particular was going for a bit of a sabia tone with a more watered-down look and the reality is if I tried to create this exact same piece with all the same techniques on white paper it just would have looked totally washed out using halftone paper can be a unique way to make your illustrations stand out and just be different people are so used to seeing just plain white sketchbooks or plain white finished works of art halftone paper is just one of those little things that you can use to either make your artwork stand out to other people but also make the experience different for you when creating your artwork tip number four goes really well with halftone paper and that is to learn to love your white pen this is of course usable in traditional or digital mediums but the point we're really getting to here is using highlights and using them quite strongly in some places because that can really add a lot of pop now you'll notice I use the white pen in the last image and you'll also notice me using it to finish off a lot of the future pieces and this piece I think is the best example of how much of a difference of white pen can make because of the halftone paper basically you can use it to fill in areas that are actually white on halftone paper which will really bring it all out and just fill it in with white but in general and the way to use it to make things pop is to use it for lighting and highlights and rim lighting that can very quickly add a lot of depth and dimension to your hard works also in line with their previous tip number two with a thicker outline you'll notice I did that with this piece as well but it's a lot more subtle so I think I did this piece with point one and point two fine liners and then the thicker outline was simply with a point three and I didn't use it everywhere for example on the hair I wanted to keep that delicate look and I mainly just did it around the darker and more solid areas of the characters a next piece was a commissioned of Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy FF v11 I think it's seven Final Fantasy seven a dynamic pose of him transforming into his chaos form this was commissioned by Rouen and as you can see in the filming of the creation of this piece that ties in nicely with our next tip number five to stay loose until you're locked in if it doesn't look right play with it and change it even if it means starting again too often it can be really tempting to draw what we think we have in mind and stubbornly try and stick to that even if it seems to not be working or over refining something that just isn't making sense in this piece you can see I changed the leg poses and slowly with the things I was happy with our added more detail but even later after I was adding detail in the piece seemed to be coming together pretty well I totally changed the pose of the left hand just because I felt like it could add a little more body and strength to the pose in general staying loose in your sketching process ride all the way up until you create the line work allows you to be fluid relaxed and create the strongest outcome possible obviously line works are going to rigidify your process but you needn't feel rigid when sketching just make sure to stay loose and relaxed and only incrementally as you're more and more confident with your artwork should you be more certainly in the lives that you draw all the way up until you create solid inked lines the next tip number six is what I will call the subtle tint trick this is particularly useful with copics how it works is let's say you have a piece like this where you have lots of different solid colors and everything feels pretty cool but also feels just that little bit flat it's not that you haven't got contrast or depth or cool shading in your piece it's just that the colors are all sort of independent from one another there's nothing really tying them in together or into any sort of environment or atmosphere something I love to do is to pick either a subtle or medium strength of color usually a much lighter color in this case a really light sort of turquoise blue and use that in the same angle or direction throughout the whole of the character or image so in this case I filled in the bottom angles of the character as if there's sort of a bluey green light underneath him this ties in well with that glowing blue in his chest there and basically in doing this you're doing two things you're tying the whole piece together so that obviously it all looks like it's in the same space it's all reflecting the same light and then it's also adding a variation in the hue and color of the image all of a sudden the entire image has just that little bit of color kick that applies to the whole image and makes it all make sense and adds a little bit of drama as well the next image was a commission of a polka Bowl pop pop pocket put their food the food with all things in it this was commissioned by a contributor with the alias gentle who requested that it have no background and I was confused as to why someone would want a commission of a pocketbook bed bowler food but you know what it takes all sorts to make a world and some people really like he's you know what I love sushi i love sushi so i can understand this this isn't too far into me but while it's not at the theme of something I would generally go out on my own and create an artwork of it brings me to my next tip which is number seven to know and own your style it sounds a little bit weird especially because the tips in particular have so far applied to a single artwork or sort of made sense in a much more practical way this is a little bit more of a philosophy that you can use when approaching artworks in particular as exemplified in the case of something like this when you're working on something that is a little fur matically unfamiliar to you it can be really tempting to create your artwork in a way that other people do it especially if those people inspire you or if you want to meet someone else's expectations for example my initial reaction with a piece like this is to be as realistic as possible but as most of you know realism is not my style now I'm all for going outside of your comfort zone and trying new things but at the end of the day I think it's really important to not apologize for drawing the way that you love drawing and to continue developing the style that you hold all of your strengths in especially because these are all tips about making your artworks stand out and when we're talking about standing out it's the things that make your style different that will take you further so as applied to this image in particular it's somewhat different aesthetically to how I draw normally for example I didn't do the thicker outline thing or anything just to keep a little bit more of a delicate look but it's still in a more Illustrated and linework ease sort of style that I'm most comfortable with and felt would make the most out of the image that I might normally struggle with or be tempted to draw in a different style as a result it ends up as something that I feel confident with and it feels more me than if I had have tried to copy some sort of realism method that I've just not got any sense of comfort with again it all comes down to the point of this video which is to stand out and that is in a good way if you try and work in a style you're unfamiliar with energy onra and theme you're unfamiliar with you're gonna stand out but most likely in a not good way our next artwork is a digital Commission as requested by show on Tucker of a derpy cat on catnip the dirtier the better I was instructed and in a cartoony style now this piece I thought exemplified tip number eight relax now this can of course apply to traditional I work to relax but it's especially true I believe for digital artwork in particular because digital as a medium feels like it should be perfect because you can perfect things you can create perfect gradients perfect edges everything can be really meticulously crafted now obviously there are infinite styles and things we can talk about when it comes to digital art in particular but in terms of making your artwork pop having your strokes and blending relaxed and having the floors gently visible will make your artwork more natural and pleasing to the viewer there are of course exceptions to this and there are different styles where this isn't the case but we're particularly talking about digital painting something that looks like it was painted in a digital medium so try not to overwork areas or details unnecessarily and focus on creating a comfortable and natural aesthetic in your overall work the best ways to do this are to work in broad areas or to have a zoomed out version or window of your image you can return to to flip the image to see as a reference to you know see if it's working well and to occasionally distance yourself from your artwork and make sure to not get too perfectionist II especially not too early leave the details at the end and just relax into the process and let there be flaws otherwise it will never feel like it's finished and if you overwork it until you feel like it's perfect it's just gonna look kind of soulless and to digital Alaska mission was of Frith the Barbarian viel up persona of contributor Annabella goth tip number 9 and this mostly applies to digital art work of course is to work in grayscale for simplicity and confidence particularly in a case like this where I knew the outcome was going to be something I wanted to be as ambitious as possible with lighting and detail if you know there's gonna be loads of textures light sources or effects colors and combinations of these things creating an entire work in greyscale first will make your life a lot easier and will remove a lot of the anxiety of perfectionism it'll allow you to be more ambitious and comfortable and refined in your creation process starting off really loosely and focusing on contrast and then slowly coming down to the details and eventually when you're really happy with the tones and contrast and the way you've done the tonality of the image then you can step into the process of adding color from a real next place the best way to do this in my opinion is by using clipping masks or some sort of mask where after using the core silhouette or segmenting off sections of the character you can then just quite simply briskly add colors in different layer overlays and blend modes [Applause] sort of in line with this shading process was something I would have liked to have maybe had as its own tip number but at the end of the day this is a top ten video people not top 11 who makes a top 11 video that's not clickbait and that is rim lighting specifically you can see on some of the edge areas of the character that are closest to a source of light behind the character there's a really strong light contrast almost up to a pure white this acts in a similar way that the white pen can in some of my traditional illustrations but it's even more outstanding in digital artwork because you can create a bit of a glow effect and because it can have a lot of contrast rim lighting essentially refers to a really strong light source directly behind the character or the object in focus this really helps the character or objects stand out from the background and is a really powerful tool to add an element of polish and punch to your final artwork and then finally tip number 10 because this is a top 10 video is bringing it all together with overlays effects and lighting again a little more applicable to digital art than traditional art of course there are exceptions or techniques you can use for traditional art but it really is most powerful and has the most flexibility you can do things by adding a layer on top and using a lighter color using either a hard light overlay or a screen blend mode and gently painting areas that add these sexy glows or highlights or areas of interest to your piece and much like tip 6 the subtle tint trick but with a lot more flexibility and punch we can add these interesting and ambitious and very very cool looking lighting effects and clothes of course important to leave this stuff mainly to the very end of the artwork but there are other ways you can really bring it all together with things like textures and special effects this is easier to do than you might think honestly even with an image like this I just went to Google Images and found some cool pictures of smoke and of embers bought them in in different areas of the image and created different blend modes and overlays that made them look really nice found also nice balances of opacity it can be really tempting to have them all really loud as special effects but you really want to make it more subtle and keep it integrated quite tastefully make it more of a garnish of your artwork and how it make your artwork stand out rather than having it the stand out aspect of your artwork with these different textures and then color an overlay effects it acts as a way to tie in all of your artwork and make it look more epic and ambitious than ever before and something you can also do just to tweak and punch out the final parts of your digital image is to create a single layer which is a duplicate of all your layers combined and then just do some final dodging and burning using the dodge and burn tool just to punch out the lights and deepen the darks you can also use this to add a bit of a vignette around the edges and a bit of a glow or highlight in the middle of your image so to round up this video I thought I'd go through each of these artworks one by one and starting off with the rogue and Harley Quinn piece really love the way that these colors in and the contrast turned out and really fun characters – that was really fun to create also this next piece which was in the NIA I think I hope I pronounced that right while a game and theme on thoroughly unfamiliar with I'm really happy with the result after having followed some references obviously I feel like the savior aesthetic turned out really good and I love the way that the white pops on those edges like I've sort of gone through in this video really then we have Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy 7 I believe like the way that that glow looks again all the little things that I mentioned in this video just that subtle hue that subtle lighting effect and that slightly sharper outline around the character I think it creates a really cool final result and we have the pokeball pokeball I don't know how you say another one of these things but I just I wouldn't go out of my way to create for myself but it's fun creating artwork for other people sometimes even if only just to try things you wouldn't normally try and this isn't something I would normally try but it was really fun to just challenge myself in that slightly different way I'm really hoping that our kind of contributor is happy with this and then last but not least we have our digital an art works first of all our derpy cat on catnip as requested by a show on Tucker went for that cartoony look while adding as much detail and that painterly feel as possible without making it look – attempting of realism and then finally frif de barbarian which is probably one of my most ambitious digital paintings that I've done in a very long time I love the result of this but I really really really hope that the people who backed me and the fundraiser a year and a half ago are happy with the results I'm hoping you guys have enjoyed the results too I am going to sign and personalize these and mail them off to our climb contributors so you go that's that's them done take it a while to get through all the rewards but I'm happy to say we're nearly there we've just got the wall of wine and then that's it and a few thank-yous otherwise I'm really happy with how these turned out hang on I'm wearing the shirt ha I'm not just saying that because I've merchandize this I made the shirt because I say it a lot and I think I said it after show you every single movie always say hey if you want to support the channel feel free to check out my merchants shirts and stuff at least in the description I've said it a lot I want to thank you for watching this video but from the bottom of my heart thank you for being a part of this community and share with you my excitement for everything that's gonna be coming in 2019 and there are big things coming until next time I'll see you later make sure to subscribe to my channel to see more of my videos and while you're at it check out my shop where I sell ebooks brushes photo references video courses and more there's another video you might enjoy from my channel over there and you can also check out my behind-the-scenes daily vlog channel daily Jazza that's it for now and until next time I'll see you later

23 thoughts on “TOP 10 Tips: MAKE your ART STAND OUT!

  1. Tip #10 is the one I need to do most, and the one thing I am MOST afraid of. :C For me, it always looks when i do this like my stuff is totally LESS polished and professional, instead of more. If you have any suggestions of how to avoid this (or how to calm down and stop panicking over how my work looks), thanks.

  2. I only started painting in grey scale very recently and it is by far one of the most useful techniques to use when doing digital painting (once you actually figure out how to do it right that is haha). Awesome video.

  3. I always use my white pen A LOT and i always have the feeling that i my art is a total scam when the white pen can make it look like 10 times better lmao :ddd

  4. even though i main in abtract and tribal im learn sometthing on this wow omg amaziong good artwork you def. know you're work im a long way from this but as u stated do as you do best the style you do best ill try to go back to my roots and mayube that will be better.. 🙂

  5. Could you do tutorials/how to- vids on other programs than PS? Like on Krita? Since not everyone has the money for PS.

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