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Thread: October is Textures/Brushes Month!

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    and her haircut. Nina's Avatar
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    Default October is Textures/Brushes Month!

    The idea of Fanart Friday did appeal to several of us but we're such a small community and we all live in different countries and time zones. So there is a big chance that it will not work in that form. Instead every month will have a theme (let's start with borrowing themes from the AFAs but we can pick any theme related to fanart of course) and a new thread. In that thread you can discuss anything, share fanart or resources (when it's not your own make sure you do not hotlink and add a link to the artist), ask questions or mention techniques; as long it's related to the theme of the month of course. ^^

    This is the very first time so I just picked a AFA category that everybody has an opinion about to get it all started. Because the theme of the month is a fanart technique we all use. I was thinking about ending the month with a poll with graphics made this month where we vote for our favorite use of textures and/or brushes. Winner gets an award of course. Any ideas how we nominate graphics for the poll (we can only have 20 entries in a poll) are very welcome. Or is there no need for a poll at the end of the month?

    I can ask if you ever use brushes and/or textures but that's probably a silly question. But I can ask you all some other questions.

    What kind of textures are your favorite textures? And do you also have favorite brushes?
    How do you think about using many textures/brushes made by others in fanart? Is that a problem?
    Is there an artist who uses textures/brushes in such a way that he or she is worth mentioning in this thread so others can fall in love with their art as well?
    If you could give one tip to a beginner who wants to start using brushes and textures; what would you tell them?
    Is there a wallpaper you use as an guide/example for good use of the brushes and/or textures?



    Usually the TS starts but I've to go to the shop and start cooking so I'll answer the questions later. ^^ But don't worry; I'll be back!

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    Slayer HisMRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina View Post
    What kind of textures are your favorite textures? And do you also have favorite brushes?
    How do you think about using many textures/brushes made by others in fanart? Is that a problem?
    Is there an artist who uses textures/brushes in such a way that he or she is worth mentioning in this thread so others can fall in love with their art as well?
    If you could give one tip to a beginner who want to start using brushes and textures; what would you tell them?
    Is there a wallpaper you use as an guide/example for good use of the brushes and/or textures?
    I tend to like light textures and landscape textures. I feel those are the most versatile for me and my style of artwork. My favorite brushes tend to be BlakRavel's watercolors and the cloud brushes I got from Brusheezy. Also, I'm a big fan of the soft round brushes for blending.

    I absolutely love textures. Only in the past couple years have I started really trying to add more interest to my art by using a lot of different textures in different blend modes and stuff. I love finding great resources made by others in the fanart community!

    I absolutely love the way Zugma, Jenni Lou and Nina use brushes and textures in their art. I can look at their work forever and be absolutely amazed every time at the detail and composition.

    Tip for beginners: blend, blend, blend! There are all kinds of awesome ways to blend textures into your art, and brushes can only help your blending be better. Don't be afraid to use different kinds of brushes for blending; the results may surprise you!

    I wouldn't say there is one particular wallpaper that I use as a guide or example, but I am always inspired by the people in this forum. You guys' art rocks my socks!

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    fandom whore Jenni Lou's Avatar
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    YAY! Okay, who doesn't love textures and brushes?!

    What kind of textures are your favorite textures? And do you also have favorite brushes?
    I tend to use stock photos and scans and not so much of the pre-made ones, though on occasion I certainly do. I think I favor ones that have shape and light to them, as they can help mold by composition as I work images in and around them. The brushes I use most are actually the masking ones I made myself. They are my default go-to for everything I make. All my blending and erasing stem from their use. As for ones that are much apparent in a piece--since the masking ones are more of a behind-the-scenes feature, so to speak--it really depends what I am working on. But I do like sets from artphilia, appendix and headlock, to name a few. These are quite old though; I don't even know if the sites are still around.

    How do you think about using many textures/brushes made by others in fanart? Is that a problem?
    I sort of touched on this, but let me expand a bit. It's no problem, of course. However when I do use them I tend to modify them so that when you look at something I make, you probably couldn't recognize me as having used it if I hadn't told you beforehand. There's sooooo many pretty goodies that people make and it would be easy to make something pretty with them without much modification. But I like to try and make it my own if I can.

    Is there an artist who uses textures/brushes in such a way that he or she is worth mentioning in this thread so others can fall in love with their art as well?
    Zugma. Obviously. You can get lost in her works discern how fluid everything is in its complexities. And Nina. She does a lot of minimalist pieces but you can see the fabric, the thoughtfulness of it all. Her usage appears very deliberate.

    If you could give one tip to a beginner who wants to start using brushes and textures; what would you tell them?
    Don't be afraid to use a lot of them. Just find ways to be conservative and not overdo it. I think most of us as beginners found out how easy it was to slap a texture or some brushes down on something to make it more interesting and often times this led to a harshness of color and rigidity. So be willing to change the colors of the texture, to erase away portions, to use it several times in rotated ways.

    Is there a wallpaper you use as an guide/example for good use of the brushes and/or textures?
    Not really. Images themselves inspire me. Sometimes a stock photo is the jumping off point for me. And in that texture thread HisMRS started I downloaded a bunch of what y'all shared and have been playing around. So much cool stuff in there. It inspired me for sure. So I made this with some of the offerings over there.


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    Book Whore-ish Bre's Avatar
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    I am definitely one of the serial users of textures. I LOVE THEM. But they have severe downsides in my humble opinion as well.

    What kind of textures are your favorite textures? And do you also have favorite brushes?
    When I first started making art, anything was my favorite. Now, I prefer textues with stronger shape, as JL said above, something to integrate into the wallpaper as a foundation but also to give it an overall SHAPE. I am a junkie for HisMRS's textures, I love seeing what her amazing mind comes up with, she's one of the artists I've seen grown and change the most in such a short period of time and it's reflected in her textures. I also use a lot of Nikki's brushes, they're so fantastic for masking/erasing.

    How do you think about using many textures/brushes made by others in fanart? Is that a problem?
    I wouldn't say it's a problem so much as I think it can be a crutch. When I first started, I liked the idea of giving the wallpaper texture, not necessarily integrating it into what I was trying to get across. I honestly think I took the lazy way out with textures, they were never a large part of my decision making process. For a long time they were just something to stick in the background. Boo. Looking back, I wish I had stepped out of that comfort zone and tried different modes and modalities. I would venture out and say it's a very useful and fun thing to try and make your own textures, see what you can do with different images, blend modes, etc. They are a reflection of your wallpapers, so don't shy away from trying new things on your own. Don't be like me, she-who-still-uses-textures-like-she-can't-walk-on-her-own.

    Is there an artist who uses textures/brushes in such a way that he or she is worth mentioning in this thread so others can fall in love with their art as well?
    Jenni Lou and Zugma. The main thing I adore about their work is perspective. They don't stick to the original, they change it according to what they have in mind. Basically, they start from scratch vs. using the textures as a way into the wallpaper (if that makes sense).

    If you could give one tip to a beginner who wants to start using brushes and textures; what would you tell them?
    Use many different kinds. Don't get stuck using the same ones over and over again. Don't be afraid to change the HELL out of them - flip them around, use one edge, different sizes, etc. Keep your horizon broad as far as using others' textures, and remember that stock images are also textures! Looking back at Wenj's work, she NEVER used textures. Everything that wasn't a cap/promo in her work was from a stock image. That blows my texture mind.

    Is there a wallpaper you use as an guide/example for good use of the brushes and/or textures?
    I don't have a wallpaper that I use as a guide, necessarily. My walls depend greatly on my mood, although I do take immense inspiration from all the walls being generated for the challenges and threads in the Fanart section here. When someone tries something new, it's incredibly inspiring.

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    Bronze Party-Goer Demetreas's Avatar
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    I thought I would give my two cents (although I've not really done a lot of art work lately)

    What kind of textures are your favourite textures? And do you also have favourite brushes?
    I like Jenni prefer stock imagery textures, I just love the look of natural textures.

    I am kind of split between grungy textures like torn wallpaper or old paint and light textures I adore how photographs of shafts light create amazing colours and tones even better when there is a shaft of light contrasting against a dark background I think it create wonderful shapes and gradients when applied to fanart.

    When it comes to brushes I prefer grungy ones I don't tend to use brushes that are pictures of things I have 100's of brushes but it tend to use one called blood working and my all time favourite which I use in almost everything is HD Blood Splatter by nathradas ( which I was going to link to but their deviant art page seems to have gone) and the "Blood Working" on which I don't know where its from simply because of the textures they make.


    How do you think about using many textures/brushes made by others in fanart? Is that a problem?
    I don't think using textures made by others as a problem. I tend not to use them because as I mentioned above I prefer stock imagery instead of textures although I do have some most of them I would only a section of. I think its a great place to start getting into fanart and I really admire the people who can make them because I've tried in the past but mine are kinda rubbish which is why there are only a few, out of all the textures I've made over half of them are photographs that have been slightly modified so it goes to show I'm rubbish at making textures.

    Brushes I think are different from textures because a lot of the time you can't determine a brush set and the artist can really make it their own by how they use the brushes but sometimes its really easy to let the premade texture take over a piece of art, but it makes the artist all the more talented if they can take a very prominent texture and make it their own.

    My personal problem is gradients a lot of my work has way too many gradients that change the texture of a few blended scenes as well as the colour, I use gradients way to much to create textures.


    Is there an artist who uses textures/brushes in such a way that he or she is worth mentioning in this thread so others can fall in love with their art as well?
    well Zugma, Smth Blue and Nina. didn't even need to think about it!


    If you could give one tip to a beginner who wants to start using brushes and textures; what would you tell them?
    Try different ones don't stick to your favourite (I think this is the most common piece of advice) don't think you have to use all the texture/brush I think a lot of times I find textures/brushes that have a small section that I like but can sometimes be surrounded by other features I would crop out the area I like and reuse it flip it and resize it. But also look into other methods of getting textures, stock images, gradients, blends of multiple images can make nice textures simply in the areas that have been blended together, even try drawing a shape on the canvas and cut it at an angle and blend it out to create textures then overlap it with another with a different blending mode. try everything.

    Is there a wallpaper you use as an guide/example for good use of the brushes and/or textures?
    I wouldn't say I have a guide. My walls usually start with the blend and then textures are added then removed new ones added then removed and so on.. it all depends on the scene I think.

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    and her haircut. Nina's Avatar
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    And I'm back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenni Lou View Post
    This is kind of amazing; I've also downloaded most of the uploaded textures and I do not recognize which ones you used. Very impressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bre View Post
    Looking back at Wenj's work, she NEVER used textures. Everything that wasn't a cap/promo in her work was from a stock image. That blows my texture mind.
    I didn't know that; that is indeed mind blowing especially because it wasn't noticeable at all. I wish I could do that.


    What kind of textures are your favorite textures? And do you also have favorite brushes?
    I don't think I could live without grunchy textures (that's why Krakograff is often in my list with credits). Those are essential for hiding imperfections. And I love those tumblr textures (like the ones by Chodingdino) which invite you to create new compositions because of the unique shapes. Over the years I slowly trained myself in using less big textures; not because I do not like the textures or the effects you can create with those but, unlike Jenni Lou, I've trouble tweaking the resources in such a way that you no longer recognize them. And I felt that after more than 10 years I shouldn't make stuff where every aspect is made by somebody else while I just blended it all together.

    My favorite brushes are paint brushes (splatters or big grunchy shapes) because I really enjoy the effect they can have. (Blakravell & Chris Uy are favorites of mine.) I usually use my brushes on a layer mask to remove aspects of a picture and I prefer a messy/grunchy border over the neat blending with a soft round brush. If I want a softer look or want to blend I often use the Cloud brush set by Jenni Lou.

    How do you think about using many textures/brushes made by others in fanart? Is that a problem?
    Nope not at all. Not everybody likes making resources or has the time to make them and people who do make them probably make them so others can use those as well. I do think that experienced artists should try to morph the resources (especially the textures) in such a way that it truly becomes their own or make sure that it's just a fraction of their composition/coloring etc. Opening a picture on a canvas and paste some textures (made by somebody else) on top of it is something beginners do while they try out different settings and styles. I think most of us started out doing that and learned a lot from it but it's not something you should keep on doing.


    Is there an artist who uses textures/brushes in such a way that he or she is worth mentioning in this thread so others can fall in love with their art as well?
    While I agree with everybody else here that Jenni Lou and Zugma are truly masters of textures and brushes I do want to list some non-BF members as well. Cromwyll makes beautiful graphics where she manages to combine the usually harsh style of composing pictures and textures with a certain softness. And another tumblr favorite of mine is Sweet Taste of Bitter. She has a very minimalistic style that is very much her own and the way she cuts up textures is something I admire a lot because it's obvious that she has a lot of attention for shapes hidden in textures. Like this one. And somebody who inspired me a lot when I was beginning with fanart was Sarate mostly because of her own unique style. Perhaps it's the little fan in me speaking but I prefer the texture work in her old pieces more.


    If you could give one tip to a beginner who wants to start using brushes and textures; what would you tell them?
    While blending and putting textures on lighten are the most popular and well known ways of using textures you should try other things as well. Learn how to cut out a person (or download a file with cut out people) and put that person on top of a texture and then start composing (with some extra brushes and textures). Especially when you want to create light graphics it's sometimes easier to cut out figures and shapes and not blend. (You can save the file with a cut out person so you can use it again in another graphic.)


    Is there a wallpaper you use as an guide/example for good use of the brushes and/or textures?
    Well it's not like I stare at it every day in the hope I can figure out Jenni Lou's secrets but this wallpaper is one of the wallpapers I think about when I think of great texture work. ^^

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    Well Spiked Stoney's Avatar
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    I, in the main, can't answer most of these question properly, ha. But to show interest and willing...

    What kind of textures are your favorite textures? And do you also have favorite brushes?
    Obviously I haven't explored much yet. If relevant, I like adding some textures that work in context to add to the piece as well as adding them in a more abstract way for the artistic addition they give. I haven't really explored brushes. The last piece I did I used a brush to distort a texture I added and I've used a speckly(!) one to break up the edges of a screencap, but otherwise I have stuck with the basic soft/hard round ones. I definitely need to branch out and see what brushes can do and a lot of what people have said on here has made me want to be more adventurous next time.

    How do you think about using many textures/brushes made by others in fanart? Is that a problem?
    I have tended to try and avoid using existing textures. I worried at first that it was a bit lazy or cheaty but I see that it is a really accepted approach and would probably be more open to considering tweaking one now. The one time I used one as a main component I found it difficult to stop adapting the piece to it rather than using it to bring the piece together, if that makes sense. It could have just been a bad choice of texture of course. So I haven't explored much with the dramatic textures people have produced and I have stuck mostly to using my own for abstract addition from photos I have. I have taken to driving my husband/kids loopy by stopping randomly when we are out on walks because the sky/wall/ground/moss/building/brick/lichen/plant/tree bark/etc that caught my eye looks like it has a great texture, pattern or structure. I'm building up my own little library of natural textures. It is really addictive when you start doing that though and I get really irritated when I see a good one when I'm out and I don't have the camera with me, ha. So I would generally prefer to have as many components be my own as possible in a piece. As I said before, I haven't explored brushes at all yet really.

    Is there an artist who uses textures/brushes in such a way that he or she is worth mentioning in this thread so others can fall in love with their art as well?
    I know it sounds schmaltzy, but at the green/newbie stage I am at I am genuinely learning from looking at everyone's art, the more variety/styles the better!

    If you could give one tip to a beginner who wants to start using brushes and textures; what would you tell them?
    Come here and get involved in this community!!

    Is there a wallpaper you use as an guide/example for good use of the brushes and/or textures?
    Nope. I have a couple of times skimmed through the main art threads when I am trying to visualise an effect I have in mind more clearly.

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