Over the last month our moderators and I spent some time disussing how to move our group forward. I must admit I was a little disappointed that nobody was particularly interested in helping out with our monthly news article but I think perhaps that may have been a good thing. We've started looking at ways to improve not only the article but the group as a whole and we came up with a few ideas we'd love to get your feedback on. Monthly Challenges
We discussed the possibility of offering monthly challenges to our members with prizes as rewards such as Premium Memberships or
. At the moment we don't have a clear direction for these as we felt it would be best to listen to what our members think first and then we can work with that to make these challenges more appealing to everyone. Discussions
Let's all get involved and get to know one another better! The idea is that we can regularly present a topic to be open for discussion to encourage mingling and becoming closer with one another as a group rather than just being another username submitting your art. Monthly Adoptables
This seems pretty straight forward, we know many in our community are quite fond of adoptables so we thought perhaps it's time to start offering some to our members on a regular basis, kind of like an exclusive thing. Also, we talked about inviting some of our members to participate in creating adoptables for the group. Featured artists
We are a supergroup and really don't always take full advantage of everything that has to offer. We discussed featuring challenge winners or otherwise noteworthy members on our front page to help them with added exposure and perhaps let it also be an added assentive to participate and be active. Informative Articles/Tutorials
Another thing we discussed was offering tutorials and or educational articles to our members from experienced artists in our community. We know that we are all on a path of artistic growth so having added guidance and tips can only be a bonus.Interviews
It seems over the last few months as we've included member interviews in our monthly articles, members have enjoyed this quite a bit. We'd like to continue interviewing our members and hope you share our views on this. Community News
Our monthly articles will change from here on out. Depending on the input we recieve from everyone we will determine how to handle everything and make our group as awesome as possible. This means, we will no longer scavenge for and post equine news in our monthly updates. We felt this was something we were unable to cover well enough, and it wasn't very popular with our members. We are of course always open to helping promote things as we are able, perhaps we can even work on a special blog for promoting our members contests, shows, and events etc.
Interviews =qannekkeHow long have you been creating equine artwork and what initially got you interested in the subject?
I think I've been drawing equines for about five or six years? It's been a very long time! I got interested in horses when I used to live outside of Chicago, I lived in a very horse-centric town, and always wanted to ride - but I didn't get to ride until I moved to Canada a couple years ago. When I started riding, I initially wanted to do everything horse - so I started drawing them as well. And it just escalated from there! Do you have original characters?
Yes, I do! I only have a few at the moment (namely Otachi and Blue), but I also have a few non equine characters. I'll (hopefully) be starting a new project soon which will introduce a few of my characters which haven't been shown yet, though! I'm very excited for that. What do you find to be the easiest and most difficult part of creating equine artwork?
I don't think there's really an 'easy' part - if everything is easy, you're not challenging yourself, and you're not improving! The most difficult part really depends on what you're doing. In some pieces, figuring out a style or shading might be difficult, while in others, it may be color or anatomy. Overall, I think that anatomy is really the most difficult part of any drawing, equine or not. You can have all the technical skills and expensive materials you want, but if you don't have anatomy, well... Anatomy is very difficult to learn, and it takes a long time - so aspiring artists shouldn't worry about getting it perfect right off the bat! I'll get more into this later in a later question. Is there a piece in your gallery that you like the best?
That's a tough decision - I think all my pieces have different strengths. But overall I think I like these two the best (I couldn't pick just one!):
The first I love because it was my first attempt at animation in a very, very long time! I think I also had a lot of improvement in my anatomy in that piece. I love how it turned out, and I'm glad it did for the work I had to put into it! I did the animation sketch digitally, but all the lines were done traditionally with pencil and paper and then colored in in SAI. It took a lot longer than expected!
The second I love because I feel like I learned a lot about my characters while doing it. Sometimes you might have an idea of a character in your head, but putting it into words can be tough. I love the art on this piece, but it's really the story that got me - I've never been a writer, but putting my characters and their history into words for the first time was great! Are there any deviants that you look to for inspiration?
Yes, absolutely! I love seeing other people's work, and sometimes it just makes me very excited or gives me a great idea for my own art!*RinaKisaragi
is a big inspiration to me - her art is lovely, and her concepts are so amazing! Recently I commissioned her for art of my character Otachi (you can see it here
), and it's given me a great idea and inspiration for a new project that I can't wait to start working on! *nettlebeast
is also a big inspiration of mine - I love her illustrations, they're so beautiful! For anyone who doesn't watch her, I highly recommend checking out her gallery and giving her a watch. *eponagirl
has been a huge inspiration for a long time. When I was little, I used to play horse isle, the game she made art for - and it really got me inspired to start working on my own art! Even now, she still inspires me with her work. =lackless
and I were friends a few years ago, and her art and even personality inspires me still! She's honestly one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of talking to, and is an amazing artist as well! I love her work, it's absolutely beautiful. I hope that one day my humans will look as nice as hers do *U*;; (unlikely, but I can always hope!)Any helpful tips or advice for newbies?
All right, getting back into my anatomy lesson from before! Anatomy is probably the most important part of artwork (at least in my opinion). Now, before someone goes off on a 'look at all these artists who don't have anatomy but are great, like picasso!' tirade, let me just say this: There are three steps to 'evolving' your artwork - anatomy, quality, style. They go in that order. You cannot have quality without anatomy, and you cannot have style without anatomy and quality. So many people jump strait to style that they forget to study anatomy or improve their quality! It's like eating ice cream and forgetting about dinner. Nobody likes brussel sprouts, but you have to eat those before reaching into the cookie jar. I see so many people that are trying to get style, and yet complain about how their art isn't good - well, there is a reason for that. Anatomy is tough, and you have to study it like any other subject! Making great art isn't supposed to be easy - if it was, we would all be out of a job because everyone would be good at art. Honestly, all I can say is that practice makes perfect - use references, look at muscle and bone structure, memorize it, commit it to heart. Fill a hundred sketchbooks with drawings of just one muscle or just one bone, and then fill a hundred more with everything else. Your art isn't going to get better if you don't practice and work hard.
So, to improve your anatomy and quality: Study hard. Look at photos, look at videos. Anatomy isn't just proportions, shape, and structure, it's movement as well. Practice, keep drawing. Look at other artists' work, and dissect it with your mind - what makes it look good? Study more. Practice more. Look at lighting, look at color, look at landscapes and backgrounds and subjects and objects. Study more. Practice more. Take tips, comments, and critique from other artists with a grain of salt - they can see things that you can't in your work.
I cannot stress the practice and study enough. So many people come to me, in real life and online, asking me for help with their art. I will look at their art, give them critique, and tell them the same thing I'm saying here - and so far, absolutely nobody has actually studied or practiced, and every single one of them has come back to me complaining that their art hasn't improved.
Ah yes, and one more thing - tracing is not practicing or studying. You are just going over an image that someone has created or taken, and it's nowhere near as helpful as referencing. When you use references, it forces your mind to acknowledge shape, position, movement, everything that will help your anatomy improve - however, I find that tracing does not. Art is like math, and is just as hard - referencing is like taking a problem from your textbook, and solving it, looking at it and thinking about it and finding a solution. Tracing is like copying someone else's solution from their workbook. You don't learn as much. I know that a lot of people say that 'tracing is so helpful', etc, but I've been there, done that, and my art didn't improve a bit for two years because I never had to think. So an artist can trace if they like, but I don't recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their art to a professional level. Closing thoughts:
Well, after that slightly ranty improvement spiel (sorry about that, folks, improvement in art gets me heated uvu;; ), I'd just like to say that although it might be a bit intense for newbie artists, don't get discouraged - it takes years and years to see a big improvement, but that doesn't mean you should stop working on it! Honestly, even if you're older, anyone can learn about anatomy and quality - but really, hard work, patience, and effort is what's going to get you there. There's no such thing as natural talent in art, it's just plain old work! Go forth, and make good art!
While our group does have its own chatroom #UniqueEquines
, I'd like to take a moment to let you know about #EquineCommunityChat
as well. This new chat has been fairly active as of late with several of your fellow EC members so if you enjoy chatting and have some free time I suggest you stop on in.
Equine Community News Group Contests:#HARPG-Pony-Directory
is having an annual pony mini showPersonal Contests:
Halloween Horse Contest, ends Nov 9 xxsleepswithsirensxx.deviantar…
Desert Sands Arabian Horse Show, ends Nov 20 rahc-association.deviantart.co…
Half n Half Horse Show, ends Dec 31 ouroboros-eternal.deviantart.c…
Medieval Fair, ends Jan 30 2014 (tentaive), horselady36501.deviantart.com/…
100 Day Primancer Challenge Event dancingorbi.deviantart.com/jou…New Groups: #DA-Horse-Stables#EquineTerraRPG#IlluminatedEquine%CervicornGeneral EC news:
Equine Secret Santa now open! crickatoo.deviantart.com/journ…Have any equine related news? Send us a note and let us know so we can include it in our next issue.
Previous UpdatesJanuary February March April May June July August September October November December January February March April May June July August September October