[Comic-Con@Home Panel Recap] Artist Bootcamp by DeviantArt
Still from Artist Bootcamp by DeviantArt panel
As an artist and creator, I was excited to sit down for the Artist Bootcamp by DeviantArt panel for Comic-Con@Home 2020! All three artists shared their own warm-up techniques and things they do to pull themselves out of an artistic rut.

CHAMBA, a well-known artist from Melbourne, Australia shared his warmup technique of drawing familiar characters that he’s comfortable sketching. He also discusses utilizing low-res imagery for the warm-up to avoid becoming frustrated with lag during your warmup process. I found the aspect of sketching characters you’re comfortable with very relatable and a very successful way to rev up your creative engine before diving into a project. He also talks about making sure he completes his project in one sitting which I do find useful as well because returning to something you’ve stopped working on before completion can be frustrating and sometimes discouraging.

Ironpinky explained that he will start his warm-up by working on smaller projects where he has more time and leeway for sketching, usually drawing characters he’s familiar with as well. He uses Procreate, which is the same program I use. He mentions that he will begin a small project while on the go and complete it and add the final touches once he gets home. I find myself doing this more often than not and it felt relieving to know I’m not alone in doing so. During this panel, I also discovered that Ironpinky is from my town, Sacramento. During his warmup process, he also explained that it’s important not to focus on your practice drawing for more than 25-30 minutes which is an excellent tip because you don’t want to burn yourself out before you get started on your actual project at hand.

Overlord_JC was the last artist to share during the panel but his tips were just as useful as the previous artists. He mentions after doing some simple warmup sketches he will zoom in to a specific part of his canvas and focus on individual sections instead of just jumping straight into a big idea. He draws 3-4 small boxes and begins to fill them in with different ideas as his warmup period. He refers to this as his daily warmup and explains that it truly helps him generate those creative juices and it typically keeps him out of a rut. I’ve never actually considering doing this myself and will most definitely be applying this to my warmup period during days I dedicate to creativity and art. He also makes sure that his warmup sketches pertain to the project he’s gearing up to work on and explains that it keeps the feeling of the project organic and a smoother transition from a “rough sketch” phase to buckling down and getting into the bigger picture.

All three artists mentioned that an important factor to sketching is utilizing muscle memory for digital and traditional mediums. They also shared that they all have had the experience of attempting to click the “undo” button on a traditional project (paper and pencil) which is something I’ve found myself doing accidentally after I’d started working in digital art. The biggest take away I had from this panel is that all artists utilize different programs for digital art, it’s just all about personal preference, not which program is better or worse.

I hope you artists out there found these tips as helpful as I did. I’ve been drawing all my life but digital art is a new medium to me so I’m quite sure this will be just as helpful to brand new artists no matter what your medium is. If you want to see the Artist Bootcamp by DeviantArt panel, check out the panel down below. Definitely check out these artists on Deviantart and Twitch to see what big projects they’re working on next!

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Devin is a contributing writer for Nightmarish Conjurings and one of the three Co-hosts of the GoreLords Podcast. In his spare time (when it exists) he's usually cuddled up to his wife binge-watching a TV series, checking out new indie horror films or more recently playing Nintendo Switch. Devin is a huge fan of horror and macabre and it shows in his household. There is a room in his house dedicated to VHS tapes, Disneyland, Vintage Halloween and 80's horror.
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