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About Varied / Hobbyist LainiFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 4 Years
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Statistics 392 Deviations 5,492 Comments 11,128 Pageviews

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Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
a run through my gallery reveals that i'm a jack of all trades- digital, traditional, literature, jewelry, photography. i primarily draw and write, and i have no preference between traditional and digital. i'm also interested in fashion of the wearable kind, not the freakish runway stuff that no sane human being would ever let themselves be seen in.

i'm currently not open to commissions- i don't have time or a paypal, and i'd like to make real money from my work. however, you can contact me at if you have any proposals, have questions, need help, want critiques, etc.
I've found that my own process for digital painting is very different from that of other digitalists, and I thought it might be interesting to go into some detail about how I make things like Le bateleur
Le bateleur by blankfaceisclaimed The Witch Sketch by blankfaceisclaimed


    Like most artists, I start with a basic sketch. It is something of a necessity. Every artist starts with some kind of pre-planning, whether it be just a few strokes to suggest form and light, or a detailed, practically finished drawing. I've noticed that most (not all) of the digital artists I follow create lineart from their sketches, which they follow in their final images. My sketches are different in a number of ways:
    I hate lineart. When it comes to digital, I despise lineart. It's a pain to make, and often, the flat, two-dimensional nature of lineart skews the image. It distorts the proportions in order to make up for missing depth. While it can be useful and the effect is incredible when done right, it doesn't suit my style of my technical ability. 
    I rarely, if ever, follow my sketches exactly. This is true of a lot of artists, but much more common in artists who, like me, don't make finalized lineart. When lineart doesn't define the image, it's easy, and often necessary, to change the image from the original. For me, it gives me a lot of freedom to adjust my paintings and create better compositions. Le Bateleur, for example, is very similar to the original sketch, but I can point out a few key differences:
  • hair: the curls on the left side of her face originally flowed straight down, and the style changed to accommodate the effect of color and shading. 
  • nose: her nose was higher, and more pointed. I decided to change this to more a snub nose.
  • lips: her upper lip was originally quite thin. 
  • hands: positioning, fingers, etc. Hands and feet are incredibly difficult to draw, and I'm not surprised that the final image doesn't match the sketch.
  • light swirls: this is something I intend to go back and change because I actually much prefer the original sketch, but as you can see, the lines don't match up.
  • dress/torso: her back is arched much more in the original than the final image. In addition, I added a whole swath of fabric to balance the composition. 
  • cropping: the entire image was shifted up quite a bit to make room for the dress and so part of her hair is missing entirely. 
    My sketches are messy. This is related to the fact that I don't really follow my sketches to the letter or create lineart. They tend to be at least two layers, one with basic forms and a general idea of what I want, and a second that is more polished, with fixes and adjustments. 


    Most tutorials you look up for Photoshop or any other kind of digital art software usually tell you to create new layers for skin, hair, eyes, clothes, etc. They'll even have multiple layers for each category, and if it clothes, for each article of clothing, usually based on color differences. I used to try to follow this principle, but more and more, I find myself ignoring this rule of thumb. 
    My skin, eyes, and hair usually end up all mixed together. I start with a layer for the base color, then build on top of that. I do all of my main shading and detail work on this layer, with my sketch layer above it, set to low opacity. I periodically turn off the sketch layer to check my progress and see where I need to add definition. This is usually when I start to diverge from my sketch. I also tend to add layers on top of this first base layer, all to work on the skin, but with no specific purpose (highlights, shadows, etc) for each layer. I paint in the eyes on the current top-most skin layer. I used to create a separate layer for the lashes and shading around the eyes, but now it all just jumbles together. I usually create yet another layer for the hair, which ends up as also being a skin layer, wherever skin meets hair, and for general adjustments. I dislike erasing and deleting, so I usually just add layers on top of things and paint over them when they bug me.
    Layer settings are amazing. I use these for highlights, color changes, small adjustments. They are so incredibly useful for adding accent lighting and adjusting tones. The hair on Le bateleur was originally very blue. I added a layer and set it to "Color," and painted various colors over the top, turned the opacity down, and voila, I got the pearly, silver color you see now. I mess around with the settings a lot because you never know which one will work best. 


    ... are ANNOYING. I hate painting backgrounds. Too little, and it's boring. Too much and it distracts from the focus of the image. And the brighter and lighter the picture, the more care you have to take with the background. So I usually just use a dark base color and paint a sort of backlighting behind the figure. It's a handy cheat. It's also got one excellent advantage that has to do with optical effects: light colors look brighter when set against dark colors. Grey becomes white, and white becomes almost fluorescent. It allows for a much greater range of light tones than if the background were brighter. 


  • Brushes: I have gravitated away from the classic soft-round to textured brushes and the hard-round. I find that I can still get smooth shading, but I get the benefit of texture. The faint criss-crossing effect on her skin and feather-like quality of the dress is from using brushes intended for hair and fur. Sharp edges add visual interest if they aren't overdone. A lot of artists do the same, while many prefer to use soft brushes. It's a matter of preference and style. 
  • Detail: So many digital artists incorporate a mind-boggling amount of detail into their works. And that's great. It's amazing. But it's really not me. My taste is reflected in my designs, because, really, each painting I do is a design. I have tried my hand at more complicated designs, such as vivat regina or However Improbable but it's easy to tell that the quality of these is nowhere near as good as ones like blue fire or someone's universe and Missing Pieces. It's something I'm working on, but I find I just prefer simplicity. 

vivat regina by blankfaceisclaimed   However Improbable by blankfaceisclaimed   V.S.   blue fire by blankfaceisclaimed    someone's universe by blankfaceisclaimed   Missing Pieces by blankfaceisclaimed  

  • Anatomy: By this, I mean, mostly, female anatomy. You'll notice my girls and women have gotten increasingly flat-chested and were never very curvy to begin with. Women don't all have 26" waists and 40" D-cup breasts and enormous hips and thighs, nor are they all tall as elves. Certain artists exaggerate female anatomy to the point that it makes their work off-putting. I am Asian. I've got a snub nose and boring lips and a flat chest, narrow hips and broad shoulders, muscular arms and no thigh-gap. But I have very rarely seen art of women and girls with a body like mine, unless it's in anime/manga, where these traits usually belong to an unpopular school-girl who is sexualised and basically turned into a fetish, or reduced to a comic relief. I want to dispel this idea that you have to be a Kate Moss or Kim Kardashian or Taylor Swift to be beautiful. I'm currently working on including more people of color in both my writing and my visual art, in addition to body diversity and positivity. 
Anyway, I hope this was interesting and that it helps you figure out your own process. You don't have to follow the accepted method of doing things if you find something that works better for yourself.


Kay so once I'm done with my Instagram requests, I'm going to be making something special for you guys ;) stay tuned!
HOLY SH*T 10k???? when did this happen? 10k pageviews. I'm just amazed. like what in the what, people come to my page?

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AnkaZima Featured By Owner 4 hours ago  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you for adding my quilt to your Favorites, I am happy you liked it :) .
MonkeyShepherd Featured By Owner 23 hours ago  Professional General Artist
(1 Reply)
SinistrosePhosphate Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Hello once again, 

And thank you for your visit. Thank you for adding my work to your list of favourites once again. I really appreciate all of your support over this time! 

With sincere thanks,
(1 Reply)
PaMonk Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fav by funkypunk2:heart:
(1 Reply)
SilviaVanni Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the :+fav: ^_^
(1 Reply)
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