Install Theme

Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.

King o' the Cats

My name is Nilah and this is my tumblrrr. Posts and reblogs may or may not include topics pertaining to animation, film, comics (webcomics in particular), anime, art inspiration, Game of Thrones, feminism, diversity, Parks and Recreation, and cute animals doing funny things.

Art Tumblr | Portfolio | DeviantArt | Webcomic: M.F.K.

Posts tagged tutorial

Mar 23 '14


How to draw folds

Notes on how to draw folds back when I was teaching manga classes back in 2006. From the book “Drawing people” by Barbara Bradley.

This book has a very detailed description of 6 types of commonly seen folds and I think is one of the most educational resource on how to draw folds(Besides Vilppu and Bridgeman).



92,913 notes (via spx & poshuanotes)Tags: reference tutorial how to drapery drawing queueing me softly

Mar 21 '14

Throwback Thursday on Tuesday Tips.  This one is my favorite!  So simple!!!!

I have several people asking me on how to even start with color when you are not sure?  My answer is always look at old master for color inspiration.  One of my favorite color person is Robert McGinnis.  I love how simple his color choices are.
And photoshop really make this easy.  I use the pixelate tool to get a simple color pallete.  Then I color pick it and make it more saturated.  Ta Daaaa!!!!  My color pallete is ready.
Try it out, it’s pretty neat!


Throwback Thursday on Tuesday Tips.  This one is my favorite!  So simple!!!!


I have several people asking me on how to even start with color when you are not sure?  My answer is always look at old master for color inspiration.  One of my favorite color person is Robert McGinnis.  I love how simple his color choices are.

And photoshop really make this easy.  I use the pixelate tool to get a simple color pallete.  Then I color pick it and make it more saturated.  Ta Daaaa!!!!  My color pallete is ready.

Try it out, it’s pretty neat!


561 notes (via alishisia & griseldasastrawinata)Tags: reference tutorial how to digital painting queueing me softly

Mar 19 '14


I see a lot of comic artists posting their entire comic pages to Tumblr/other sites even though they have a dedicated website for their comics.  It’s fine to do this once in a while as an occasional promotion, but always posting your entire page to other websites is bad practice if your income relies on readers clicking through to load your ads.  There’s no incentive to go to your site if you post the whole page elsewhere!

A good solution is to make an eye-catching preview that entices readers and links back to your site.  Some comic artists have said this is too hard/time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be if you set up a clipping mask file.  Every time I finish a comic, I just plop it into my preview file, shift the picture around to find a nice crop that doesn’t spoil the whole page, and save it! Bam, preview done.

If you want to see how it works, you can download my preview PSD file here.

Ahahaha I’ve been meaning to class up MFK’s update posts for a while now. ;o; This is good reference!

747 notes (via wasthatamelon & yamino)Tags: reference webcomics tutorial how to photoshop yamino queueing me softly

Mar 15 '14


GGGUNS AND STUF i forgot who asked for it , as usual look up different refs to ;earn how to draw the amny differnt varieties of guns!! 

41,980 notes (via vanglorian & kelpls)Tags: drawing reference tutorial how to

Feb 28 '14


There’s always space for yet another armor tutorial, right? (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

Note that the armor I drew would be worn around 15th century, the more into the future the less and less components knight’s armor had (i. e. in early 14th century instead of greaves a knight would wear long boots only; in 12th century knights didn’t wear plate breastplates and instead a chain mail only). Also the design of armor pattern changed by year and was different in every country (i.e. in eastern Europe armors, while still looking European, were heavily influenced by Turkey). so just make sure you always do research whenever drawing an armor. And one more thing to keep in mind is that armors were expensive, knights wearing a full plate armor weren’t an often sight.

Some links that may be useful:

28,587 notes (via perplexingly)Tags: reference tutorial how to drawing queueing me softly

Feb 25 '14



via Flooby Nooby

Screen direction…definitely need to work on this.

4,714 notes (via vanglorian & wannabeanimator)Tags: storyboarding reference tutorial how to film language queueing me softly

Feb 24 '14

On Character Design and Consistency


So, one thing I’ve grown to appreciate since starting a comic is it’s really, REALLY easy to go off-model. Most (all?) sequential artists and animators know this. And now I’m gonna try to talk about it ahahahaha *sobs*

So when I say consistency (for the purposes of this post anyway), I’m talking about drawing your characters over and over and having them look the same. No matter the composition, they should be recognizable and look like they belong in the same world every time you draw them.

The short answer to this is to draw draw draw. It’s really about being familiar with your designs, and the only way to get familiar with them is to draw them a lot. But that’s pretty abstract advice, so we’re going to look at various systems for learning consistency.


Consistency’s all about understanding the design choices you’ve made, and sticking to them. You’re essentially establishing the rule book for how your characters are drawn. Now full disclaimer, I’m very much into asymmetry and energy over accuracy. I find that if I get too technical with my drawing, that’s when I screw up. So I never think too hard about consistency; mostly I just try to get my drawings in the right ballpark.

It’s not really about details, not entirely. It’s about big picture. Establish the big choices, and then work your way in.


So I’m all about shapes in character design. I try to keep them basic. This doesn’t just apply to the overall figure. What are the shapes of the eyes, the hair, the clothing? What do they look like in profile, or in motion? How should they look?

When you know your character’s shapes, it’s much easier to control those small details that give your character life on the page.

You’ll do yourself a lot of favors by keeping your designs as simple as possible. I’m not saying they all need to look like cartoons - I mean be mindful of eliminating useless noise. Too much detail can clutter up a design, which is why starting with broad shapes is so important.


Somewhere in the character creation process - preferably somewhere early - you’ll be establishing visual style. Are these characters going to be realistic or cartoony? Are shapes very literal, or subtle? For MFK, I knew I’d be sticking close to an anime-inspired style, with some flexibility. Most key characters have more superhero-type proportions, but I’m open to getting a little crazy with supporting characters. The visual style walks the line between stylized and realistic. To make this work, I keep proportions on all characters relatively exaggerated and line work to a minimum, even unfinished in places. It’s a personal preference, but I also stay away from straight lines and sharp angles. Even the most angular characters have a bit of curve in their design.

This is broadly speaking. Within your chosen visual style, you’re free to do whatever you like. Characters don’t all need to look the same - in fact, they shouldn’t.


Let’s talk silhouettes next. The theory here is that if you were to line your characters up, then fill them all in with black, you should still be able to recognize each character.


Like this.

This ties in with establishing shapes and is also a good starting point when designing. This is when you think about how your character carries themselves, how the little details break up the silhouette and make them unique. At this stage, I start with a big brush (a Sharpie or marker if I’m working traditionally) and just start making broad strokes. Then I work smaller and smaller to add or take away details.

TIP: This is also a good guide when drawing your characters in action. If you filled them in black, would you be able to tell what they’re doing? Character pose is also a storytelling tool.

You don’t need to stick rigidly to your silhouette, but you do need to understand what features make your character recognizable. And this is not simply the clothing, the hairstyle, height and proportions, all those things, but the shapes of them.

Everyone recognizes Mickey Mouse’s silhouette, right? What’s interesting is that the shape of his ears is maintained no matter at what angle his head is drawn.

This was a design choice. These are the rules in the world of Mickey Mouse. It’s this silhouette that differentiates Mickey from every other mouse character.

Now, you are establishing your own design rules. You can make them whatever you want them to be. But, they’ve got to be believable (note I do not say “realistic”).


This is the part where we talk about drawing your character over and over. Once you have the design pinned down, it’s time to try it out in various conditions. Push and pull it every which way, and figure out its limits.

The turnaround is a common tool in animation. It’s a technical drawing that explores the design from multiple angles. Turnarounds are a handy way of getting the proportions and smaller details of your design down on paper. As such, they should be clean, specific, and detailed.

Here I’ve done a similar thing, just focusing on the head. 


This is the time to discover the problems in your designs and work out solutions. 

TIP: I don’t know about you, but my ¾ views are almost always lopsided. To check how you’re doing with a ¾ view, hold your drawing up to a mirror, or if you’re working in Photoshop, flip it horizontally. You’ll be able to tell if something’s off and correct that way.

I’ll be honest, I don’t use turnarounds so much for comics. Instead, I just sketch my characters a lot. I focus on full-body poses as well as the face. I like to think ahead about what actions my characters are likely to take, or the emotions they’re likely to experience. Don’t restrict yourself to one angle - try them from all different views.

The more you draw your characters, the more familiar you will be, and the better prepared you are when it’s time to work on those pages.

Aaron Diaz and Tracy Butler do amazing amounts of drawings of their characters. They’re both good reference points for this sort of thing. Speaking of…


All this work you’ve done is going to be reference as you’re working on your comic/book/animation/what have you. Keep your character sheets and sketches handy as you’re drawing. When I’m working on a new page, I always have the last few pages up so I can look at how I’ve drawn the characters before.

So yes, there’s a lot up there about character design, but I feel that the key to consistency is having a solid design foundation. Make a study of your characters - draw them from the ground up, take notes, do what you need to do. Establish your rules, then stick to them. Hope this helps!

My buddy Jennifer Zyren had a question about consistency, so I tried my hand at a tutorial to explain some of the ways I approach drawing characters in a comic or picture book.

619 notes (via nilaffle)Tags: drawing making comics tutorial how to reference nilaffle

Feb 19 '14

Using Color Palettes Part 2


I consider three main properties when I go into using color:

  • Hue-the specific color on the spectrum
  • Tint or Shade-the amount of white or black in a color
  • Saturation-the intensity of a color 

Using the palette from Part 1, I adjusted the hue, tint/shade or intensity of the three columns of colors. 


Here are a few results of mixing and matching the various hues, tints/shades and intensities of each color. Note the appearance of each color in relation to another. I also threw in a  speculative saturated color for each palette image

Change multiple properties of each individual color you choose. It complicates things, but in a way to give you more range in your color selection. 

360 notes (via richiepope)Tags: digital painting tutorial how to reference queueing me softly

Jan 31 '14





A gorgeous fuck-ton of human ear references (per request).

Your main admin said reblogging an old post might be helpful to you guys!!!! This one didn’t seem to have as much notes, but ears are so wonderful, so I’m reposting this one!!!!


THERE!! Now nobody has an excuse to not get ears right. :)

21,344 notes (via wasthatamelon & fucktonofanatomyreferences)Tags: i'm terrible with ears so reference drawing tutorial how to queueing me softly

Jan 23 '14


I finally remembered to save shots of a piece along the way so I can show you guys a step-by-step!

First just let me emphasize that this has nothing to do with “how to draw” or “how you should make a picture.” Blindly following someone else’s process isn’t gonna help you learn a damn thing. My hope is that people might benefit from this by THINKING about my decisions and analyzing how you may or may not be able to incorporate this information into your own approach. Picture-making is an active problem-solving process. This serves as a good example of how I generally work, but I don’t make every picture the same way! I can’t, because every picture is different. If you only learn how to follow a set of steps or rules, and not how to think and problem-solve, you are going to hit a brick wall as soon as you have to create anything remotely outside of a very limited comfort zone.

Okay, now the steps I went through with this picture:

  1. Recently I’ve shaken up my usual way of working by starting out with silhouettes rather than sketching with line right away. Strong, clear silhouettes are important, and it helps to focus on the basic shapes of the pose rather than getting lost in markmaking and detail.
  2. I started over with a different pose because I wanted something more dynamic, based on this ref. Holding hands may be cute and all, but maybe not so practical when in battle. Besides, what’s cuter than two people with the dokis going into battle together knowing they’ve got each other’s backs?? IT IS THE CUTEST DON’T ARGUE ME ON THIS
  3. Lowered the opacity of the silhouettes, made a new layer on top, went to town. Drawing on top of silhouettes gives me enough information to go straight into clean linework, without the stiffness you get when you do clean lines on top of a sketch. Don’t trace the silhouette, it’s just a general guide. BE FREE.
  4. Got rid of the silhouette layer and made a new layer for color underneath the lines. Used the magic wand to select all the negative space. Expanded the selection by a few pixels, inverted the selection, then filled with an obnoxious color so I could see what I was doing. You may have to clean up some areas where the fill doesn’t match up with the lines (that’s where the bright color helps).
  5. The “coloring book” stage. Locked the transparency and blocked in the local colors (i.e. don’t worry about lighting yet).
  6. Added some hue variation. Again, we’re not worrying about lighting yet, so this isn’t about values. Getting some color variation in skin is really important, especially in faces (see here). I also created a clipping mask above the lineart to add color to the lines.
  7. NOW is when I start working with lighting/values. I like to work dark-to light, so I start out by putting a blueish shadow over the characters with a Multiply layer (on a clipping mask above the flat color layer, like all my lighting layers will be). Then I add in the first light source on a Hard Light layer (test out others like overlay, screen, etc. because different layer modes work better than others depending on the particular image you’re working with).
  8. So far my Multiply layer and my primary light source are both cool-hued, so I’m gonna add some variety with a warm secondary light source. I also added some very low-opacity white to fade some parts of the figures into the background more gradually (particularly the sword and the bottom of the shield).
  9. The last step is to add a subtle texture overlay, which in addition to providing a bit of natural texture also makes the colors a bit richer and more unified. I always fiddle with the hue/saturation/value of the texture image, because it has to fit the picture and it has to enhance it, not overpower it.

I hope that was helpful in some way! If you have any questions about how to use clipping masks, where to find brushes/textures/etc., please actually don’t ask me, because that stuff can be easily discovered by googling. But aside from those kinds of inquiries, or things addressed in my FAQ, I do welcome any questions I might be able to help with!

These characters belong to emstantinople and you can see more of them in her knight boyfriends tag.

2,695 notes (via quillery)Tags: quillery reference tutorial how to digital painting queueing me softly