Search This Blog

Friday, 29 March 2013

Imagine FX issue 95 review: Manga Issue

I've seen enough hentai to know where this is going (sorry it had to be said).  This is the reason I am still subscribed to IFX. Being a huge fan of the manga style how does this issue stack up to my expectations? The front cover is a stunning 2 page spread (over the front and back cover). Derrick Chew has really out done himself here.

Let me just say, if you are expecting nothing but manga art in this issue, you maybe disappointed. FXPose is kind of lacking in this area. That is not to say that there is no talent there. It is the usual impressive gallery that is has always been and it serves as a bit of a break for those who are not necessarily into this style. My favourite artist in this section this month is Leann and Karin Regenass (page 17). This is a delightful and unique find.


First off the artist's Q&A seems less intimidating than previous issues. I think this is because manga art seems more accessible than the usual photo realism illustrations that artists want to emulate. This whole section has a fun feel to it and on a personal level makes me want to dust off my Wacom and get stuck in.

For those of you who want a more advance tutorial, the later pages should peak your interest. These will be a little more intimidating for the more casual artist but they are very informative. I personally love the simplistic image on page 77. Choi Won-Chun teaches how to take full advantage of photoshop's masks feature.

Other Noteable Sections

The sketchbook section features some unashamedly stylised works. The confidence here shows some real potential. Whilst not at the same level as most of the other images in the magazine there is alot of heart here and that brought me an unexpected smile.

Artist portfolio seems a little out of place in a manga issue. Don't get me wrong Simone Bianchi is an extremely talented comic artist with a very impresive portfolio but could they not have found a manga artist. Why not feature Genzoman? I would have loved to hear more from him.

Overall Impression

Being a huge fan of the manga style I felt this issue was fun but I do feel that there were afew missed opportunities. I was half expecting wall to wall manga/ anime but some areas where lacking. Is this issue worth getting? Yes. No matter what level of artist you are, you will find something you will enjoy. Even if you don't like manga there are enough breaks for you to enjoy. Part of me wishes they had of stayed on topic though and I do wish they tackeled manga more throughout the year.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Artist Feature: Dylan Teague

Holy crap this guy is good. Dylan's sketch blog makes you want to pick up a pencil and draw. This blog is filled with some fantastic sketches and some awe inspiring comic pages. The great thing about this blog are the development of some of the final pieces. You get to see Dylan's work process, something that I personally love.

Visit his blog at:

I have not seen a sketchbook use colours quite like Dylan's The varying shades of red and blue are a great contrast and I would love to see more artists post work like this up. The image above seems a bit chaotic and eclectic but for some reason I can't stop starting at it, and this is just one example of his sketches.

I always try to feature the female form in this blog (feel free to call me a pervert) and these studies are a fantastic example of how to lay out your sketchbook. Rough doodles in light blue fill up otherwise unused space whilst not detracting attention from the main figures. Line quality is superb and eye catching. No line is out of place or wasted.

I know a few artists struggle with colour (myself included). This is a fine example of how to apply colour. By using minimal tonal variations Dylan has brought this character to life. The minimal background and foreground look fantastic and really bring the piece together.

I love featuring comic work. I feel it takes a great amount of knowledge and effort to even attempt comic art yet alone master it. This is where Dylan really shines. His professional level and expertise is outstanding. This part of his portfolio is worth a visit on its own.

I could easily ramble about Dylan's work all day but I would recommend you view it for yourself.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Artist Feature: Petitecream

I was alerted to Petitecream's work via my twitter feed. She was promoting her comic "The Wastelands" I was impressed with what I saw so I felt the need to show Petite's work to you.

To view all her current projects visit

Before I get onto the comic lets look at some of the other interesting works in her gallery.

Some of her more graphical styles look really cool and eye catching. There are some good colour schemes going on in Petitiecream's work.

Another thing I love is the use of texture. When done right this adds an extra element to the atmosphere of an image. The marbled effect combine with the subtle dark tones in the image bellow give a creepy foreboding feel.

Anther image of Petitecream's that makes excellent use of texture is the bellow environment study.

The sketches from her TF2 Halloween series are eye catching in their minimalist nature. These are a unique take on a very popular game and I would love to see more work in this style.

Now on to the comic. Whilst Petitecream has a few comics under her belt that are worth a look, the Wastelands just has a much stronger look to it. The first few sample pages on her site look fantastic. All that she has learnt from all the images she has displayed over the site seem to have merged into a fantastic style. The environments are fantastically textured making them leap off the page and the bold daring use of lighting creates a final product that is difficult to ignore.

Overall whilst Petitecream as a bit of a way to go this site is certainly worth a visit. This is one artist that will be a joy to watch grow.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Featured Artsit: Mel Artugue

I am over joyed that I get to feature a vector artist. Mel has a great range of works from unique looking vector portraits, right the way to avatars. I really don't get to see much vector art so when one comes along you can bet I am going to feature it.

View Mel's blog over at

It is something most of us never think about but someone created the default avatars you see on forums and comment boxes. Mel has given me a new appreciation to these little works of art. These designs are very well executed and look great as a set.

The above image is my favourite in Mel's gallery. The vector style looks very distinctive and eye catching. I love the 3D look to this style.

Being somewhat of an anime and manga fan, another thing that I love about Mel's portfolio is the cartoony images. The graphical nature of these can have a multitude of applications and I would love to see Mel get lots of commissions in this style to expand his portfolio.  Be sure to request a commission from Mel via his website

One of Mel's more recent work is for an up and coming game project. I love the range of characters in this and I love the style.

Over all I cant wait to see this artist grow and produce even more great and unique pieces of art. Be sure to check out Mel's full portfolio

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sketchbook Feature: Inward outward! i want to draw

Sketchbook Name: Inward outward! I want to draw
Artsit: GrayPersona

Whilst this is a small sketchbook at the moment, it is no less deserving of a look. The improvement GrayPersona has made is impressive.

There are alot of nice studies. From Bridgeman to Loomis this artist is off to a great start. Gray also has a good grasp of values which I know from personal experience is a tricky subject.

If there is one small complaint I have about the sketchbook it is with the lack of imaginative pieces. GrayPersona has the skill to produce impressive finished pieces but I feel Gray lacks the confidence. I cant wait to see some coloured personal pieces. I am sure they will look amazing.

My personal favourite piece is the jug study. The values are fantastic and the metal is rendered very well. I cant wait to see this artist grow.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Art Interview With: Forrest Imel

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Forrest Imel. As well as being a fantastic artist he also runs a live stream. Be sure to check out his various portfolio links.

Deviant Art:
Kitchen Sketchbook:
CGHub Sketchbook:
ConceptArt Sketchbook:
Live Stream:


What got you into art?

Dragonworld by ~ForrestImel

What got me into art? I've kinda been drawing ever since I was born, before preschool even. I really started realising that I wanted to become an artist as a career in kindergarten after checking out a book in the library filled with poems about mythical creatures and each poem had an illustration done of the creature. It really inspired me. Of course back then I would trace the pictures straight from the book and think I was good at art but I mean c'mon I was 5 or 6 years old. I changed my career choice multiple times although all of them were art related. At first I was all about becoming a cartoonist and then later I wanted to draw Yu-Gi-Oh cards and then a video game concept artist. This went on for awhile until about 8th grade when I finally decided to get better at drawing for real, to really get serious with it. I decided after realising that there are so many people out there who are better then me and after getting inspired by a lot of the illustrations on Magic: The Gathering cards.

Who are your inspirations?

Feast or Famine MTG by *chasestone

My inspirations, oh lord there's too many. My first inspiration ever was Todd Lockwood, then it was probably Jason Chan after that and people just kept getting added on to the list. I suppose for recent inspirations I've really been obsessing over Chase Stone's ( work lately.

What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

Ha, well the best piece of advice I've ever been given wasn't really directly given to me. It was a quote from Chuck Close that I read during a time in my life where I really wasn't inspired to draw or improve and was desperate for motivation. Among all the quotes and inspirational stories I read a quote from him that said "Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work." Since then I've never really had a problem with needing motivation to draw, after all I don't want to become an amateur haha.

What is your favourite piece?

All time favourite piece? That's way too difficult, but I will show one that always seems to blow me away even though it's been my wallpaper on my Mac for almost a year now ( Brad Rigney's work is too delicious to not stare at for hours.

What has been the key to your improvement?

Application of what I learn. I discuss this a lot on my streams too, it probably gets boring to hear after awhile but it's true. If you're studying something, let's say arms, then after you draw 10 arms from an anatomy book draw 10 more arms from your imagination. Once done compare them, ask yourself "why do I suck?" It might sound harsh but you have to be honest with yourself. If you go on in life thinking you're good or okay at where you're at with your art then your art will never improve.

You do regular streaming sessions. How do you feel this has helped you improve?

I like my stream sessions, it's kind of a way to help me relax and talk with other artists. I usually work on stuff that I want to work on while I stream and then afterwards get back to studies. Streaming is also nice because I've usually got some sort of an audience, so I don't go and check facebook or art forums or whatever. I stay focused.

There are quite a few pieces of fan art in your sketchbook. How do you feel about fan art?

KidBuu by Forrest Imel

I enjoy fan art. I actually did fan art recently because I honestly think it's a good way to help yourself out of an artistic rut. If you've got artist's block then draw something that you loved as a kid or even still love and don't take it so seriously, mess around with it and have fun with it. I drew Dragonball Z fan art a little bit ago because it was a huge inspiration to me as a kid so I kind of wanted to return to the roots of where I began my journey to remind myself why I'm doing this.

Are there any areas in your work you wish you could improve?

Is everything an ok answer? ha. Seriously I notice something wrong with my work every day, recently it's been composition and value but I know my anatomy needs work, I want to make more dynamic of figures, half the time when I draw cloth I'm not sure what I'm doing, the list goes on and on.

What do you do in your spare time?

Draw and on occasion maybe play a game or watch a movie or something, lately my thing other then art has been Magic: The Gathering. My girlfriend lives with me also so I usually try to make time for us to hang out and have me not be in front of the computer for awhile.


What are you currently working on?

Right now I'm working on my submission for the Crimson Daggers' Bloodsports competition ( I was working on another fan art piece of the DC comics villain Deathstroke but I'll have to continue work on that after the Bloodsports piece.

Is there anything you wish to promote?

Anything I wish to promote? hmm... Other then what I just promoted I guess I'll promote the Crimson Daggers forums ( which is a great place for people to improve, everyone there is pretty friendly and helpful even to brand new people wanting to get better. And while I'm at it my blog (, I have multiple links to people that inspire me, resources, and a link to my portfolio. I try to post every day and always post everything I've done that day.

Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview it's always nice answering questions like these because they make me think back on why I got started in this in the first place. Thanks :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Artist Feature: GodOfBadWeather

I love the anime and manga style. Done well it is eye catching and very stylish, so when I got the chance to feature some manga art you bet I lept at the chance. GodOfBadWeather is an exceptional artist with an impressive portfolio of manga art, not only that but she can also paint in a realistic style. Be sure to check out her full gallery

The use of strong bold colours in the more graphical pieces works extremely well with her style. Whilst there is not a log going on, in regards to perspective, the background makes the characters pop and makes them immediately noticeable.

Freed (the image above) is one of my personal favourites in GodOfBadWeather's gallery. Striking use of contrasting values coupled with fantastic application of the rule of  thirds, produces this stunning image. The pale skin looks great and the daring choice of painting his with damp rags really paid off.

I could talk about the stylised stuff all day but I must mention the more realistic studies. These are great and really showcase GodOfBadWeather's range of skills. In the image above we not only see him tackle the difficult subject of glass but also a variety of textures.

Be sure to visit the full gallery on Deviantart.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Artist Inspirations

Here is your latest batch of interesting sketchbooks and articles across the web. Enjoy.


Sketchbook Name: I Can't stop drawing:(
Artist: MrBrown

Stunning sketchbook from start to finish. MrBrown's work is simply amazing. Values and colours are great but the amount and variety of work is staggering.

Whilst considerable growth has occurred between now and when MrBrown started that does not make the beginning of his sketchbook any less impressive.

This sketchbook is a must visit.

Sketchbook Name: crits and comments appreciated
Artist: Kanoa

This is one of the most colourful sketchbooks I have seen. I love the style to each image. There are some really beautiful images here.

With the standard of images on the net increasing all the time what makes Kanoa stand out is the use of a dark colour pallet. 

Artist: GodOfBadWeather

I have had the pleasure of chatting with GodOfBadWeather during a web chat. A really nice person who's art work deserves alot of attention.

It is not often I get to feature manga style art so I am more than happy to highlight this artist.

Not just content with manga/anime style GodOfBadWeather has some really good realistic studies.

Featured Art Book: The Art Of God Of War 3

Art of god of war
To those of you who are fans of this game series or to lovers of great art, this book is for you. Featuring a range of game art (from pre-production to post-production) The Art Of God Of War 3 gives you a behind the scenes look at one of the most loved recent game franchises. This book is a must have!

Buy this book and support ArtFreck.

Be sure to check out our range of game art books

Featured Video: Art tips and life blips

Monday, 11 March 2013

Artist Inspirations

Here is your latest batch of interesting sketchbooks and articles across the web. Enjoy.


Sketchbook Name: Spud's Sketchbook
Artist: Spudonkey

Spudonkey has some beautiful ink work. The sketchbook is chocked full of studies and stylised personal work.

The perspective work is particularly nice with guide lines showing you Spud's workings. There are also some nice coloured images.

This is a sketchbook to keep your eye on.

Sketchbook Name: Stoodles, Studies, and Doodles
Artist: Secumfex

The shading in this sketchbook are truly spectacular. Values are near perfect and anatomy of the faces are spot on.

There are a few weak drawings with anatomy issues but these should be eradicated with a bit more practise.

Secumfex shows alot of promise and I can't wait to see what comes next.

Sketchbook Name: Yell at me and see improvement!
Artist: Forrest_l

Oh my god. This sketchbook is amazing. The improvement from start to finish is breath taking.

Values and anatomy are near perfect and each image is eye catching. This is one of the best sketchbooks I have seen in a long time.

Featured Art Book: The Art Of God Of War 3

Art of god of war
To those of you who are fans of this game series or to lovers of great art, this book is for you. Featuring a range of game art (from pre-production to post-production) The Art Of God Of War 3 gives you a behind the scenes look at one of the most loved recent game franchises. This book is a must have!

Buy this book and support ArtFreck.

Be sure to check out our range of game art books

Featured Video: 10 important sites for figure drawing

Monday, 4 March 2013

Interview with my drawing tutorials.

We have a brand new interview for all of you budding artists out there. We had the pleasure of interviewing the manager of For those of you who don't know,  highlights the best drawing videos and tutorials from across the web. This is a very handy resource to all those who are new to art.

Be sure to check out his website


Tell us about yourself

My name is Ethan and I'm just a regular guy who likes to draw. I've been doing it since I was a kid, but I had to give it up for a long time ever since I got older. When I finally decided to get back into
it, I pretty much had to start from square one all over again. I went through a ton of courses and books and practise a lot. It took me a long time.

I'm still not the best artist in the world. Not by far :-)

But I feel like the fact that I had to learn all this stuff from scratch helps give me a lot of insight into the things that beginning artist really struggles with.

What inspired you to set up my drawing tutorials?

When I was learning, I was very frustrated with the lack of really good instructions out there. It was very hard to me to find really good, simple instructions to teach me what I need to know.

And so now I just want to share what I learnt with other people who might be struggling like I was.

I think a lot of art teachers are so skilled for so long that they forget what it's like to be a beginner and NOT know how to do something. So there's a lot of tendency to say, "Just do this..." or be really vague about their instructions.

Ironically, the fact that I'm not a great artist makes me a better teacher for beginning and intermediate artists, because I can relate more to the things they are struggling with.

Creating these videos and working on the website has been a really fun hobby. I love reading all the comments and emails and hearing that people are actually benefiting from the contents that I'm putting out.

What is the biggest difficulty you have faced with MyDrawingTutorials?

At first it was dealing with all the technical issues of setting up a website. But now, my main challenge is to find other teachers to help me create the lessons.

My goal is to make the go-to place for anyone who wants to learn how to draw and paint. But to do that, I need the help of other artist.

I know that my expertise is limited and there are areas of art (painting, for example) that I just can't teach every well.

But I've been finding it very difficult to find teachers who meet my standards. There are many extremely talented artist out there, but no many who can really break down how to do what they do into simple, easy to understand, instructions.

What makes a really good tutorial?

I think to make a good tutorial, the you have to always keep the student in mind. You have to really know the student and anticipate what questions and sticking points he or she might have an address them.

And also, you have to really understand the subject matter inside and out so you can really explain it clearly.

And lastly, you have to combine theory with practise. After you talk about the theory and techniques, you have to give the student clear instructions on how to practise and apply what they just learn.

Otherwise, no learning will take place.

A lot of books and videos out there is missing this last element, I think.

What has been your favourite tutorial so far?

My favourite tutorials so far is the "Hard Edge VS Soft Edge" video:

...and the "Drawing Exercise" video:

I'm really like these tutorials because they share a small tip or trick that is simple but gives the viewer a big improvement.

Where do you feel most amateur artists struggle most?

I think most beginner artists make the mistake of being too hard on themselves and being afraid to make mistake.

I know I made this mistake when I was learning. You get down on yourself and feel like you'll never get better and so you become discourage and stop practising.

Or you compare your work with other better artist and feel like you just don't have what it takes to be good like them.

That kind of mentality can really hurt your growth. Not just with art, but what everything in life.

And I think many people (myself included) are really guilty of this.

What do you recommend to help artists improve their work?

Be easier on yourself and give yourself permission to make mistakes. I think this is the key. Make mistakes. A lots of it.

You can not learn, you can not improve without mistakes.

The best artists in the world are the one who have made the most mistakes. Always.

Do you get any requests for tutorials?

I do get a lot of request and I try to accommodate them as best I can. But I'm so busy with so many things I that I can't get to them all.

That's another reason why I really want to find a teacher I can trust to help me create lessons.

How much art do you personally do?

I try to do a sketch here and there, but I've been so busy with working on the site that I don't have much time for drawing anymore. Other than when I draw to make a tutorial of course.

But to be honest, I don't mind all that much. Building this website and this community is sort of my creative outlet right now.

Have you got anything major in the works?

I am working on creating a course on figure drawing right now and hope to release it in March or April of 2013.

After that, I would like to create more courses and more free video lessons.

Finally is there anything you wish to promote?

If you are interested in learning how to draw or paint, you should join my free drawing newsletter. Just go to and enter your email into the new page.

Once you join, you get access to a series of free tutorials that will show you how to draw a realistic portrait step-by-step.

In addition, you'll also be updated on any new lessons that I come out with.

ArtFreck Promotion

Game art books

Have you seen our range of game art books? From Halo to Uncharted you will be sure to find something to inspire you and your art work

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Deviant Art Feature: me-illuminated

Me-illuminated has a stunning gallery. It is worth a visit just for the perfectly rendered skin. Whilst this is not the biggest gallery (just over 30 images as of 27th of Feb 2013) each image looks fantastic and you can really see the consistent level of skill in each image. There are no weak images and no filler. Even the studies look great.

Me-illuminated has a flare for portraits. Black and white or full colour renders the faces look consistently amazing and life like. Hair is something most artists struggle with but Me-illuminated achieves a realistic look with apparent ease.

The details in each of his images are magnificent. Small things like the parting in hair or textures in clothing add to each image.

Whilst Me-illuminated can handle a subtle colour pallet when he paints with more vibrant colours something spectacular is always created. He has the wonderful ability to grab the viewers eye and hold it. The image above (mayday, mayday) is very eye catching. Bold colours really tell a story about the character shown. Different textures are captured flawlessly and the back lighting really makes this image pop out at you.

My personal favourite image is Angela Eanor- Come and get some. The colours are fantastic. The character concept is well executed and I love the details in the sparks coming from her. I am glad no background was added as I feel it would detract from the image. I must mention the bow. I love the design and the idea of adding multiple bow strings makes it look even more powerful. It is a very clever way of manipulating your eye back to the main character as well.

I must mention the image above. I grew up on Disney cartoons so this piece inspired by beauty and the beast really brought a smile to my face. Nice re imagining on a classic cartoon.

Be sure to check the full portfolio of work at

Like this artist?
Then you may also like Digital Masters Volume 5

Get your copy from our online store or check out our wide range of art books

Follow ArtFreck by Email