Tools and Tutorials Tools and Tutorials

What Every Trade Needs....

Every artist needs both a medium and a means to apply ideas to that medium. Those tools can be anything; some artists are akin to certain pieces of equipment while there are those that appeal to most individuals. These tools are those that I find most useful. (BTW, There's all kinds of info in here, so be sure to scroll through each segment!)

The Hardware
Wacom Tablet

Wacom Intuos 5 Tablet

This is something that almost every digital artist NEEDS. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this piece of equipment. For those that are skeptical, it features more dexterity and control than that of a mouse. If you are a newcomer to the digital drawing tablet realm, try one for at least a month.

Sony NEX-6

Sony Alpha NEX-6

This is the camera I currently use. I am nowhere close to becoming a truly professional photographer, but for what I am interested in, mainly macros and environments with some motion capture, this camera is more than sufficient. However, if you desire to go completely pro, it is best to use a Nikon or a Cannon.

The Software
Adobe CS6

Adobe Creative Suite 6

Almost every digital artist will agree that Adobe Products are the life-blood of the industry. Not only are their products fantastic, but their customer service is top-notch. However, as with Wacom, you will pay a hefty price for their services. For traveling folk like myself, the Cloud Creative Suite is a bad idea.

Manga Studio EX 4

Manga Studio EX 4

For those of you that are interested in developing your own Manga or Comic, this is the premier choice, particularly the EX version. Although the same strokes can be done in Photoshop using a properly calibrated drawing tablet, the panel cutting and page organization are by far superior to other products.

The Online Resources

Lynda dot Com is one of the most comprehensive learning sites out there. Not only do they specialize in photoshop, but also have online, video-based instruction for most of your graphic design needs. I say most because they do not have anything on inking/brush pens. Despite that, the $25 a month fee is well-worth the price.

Mark Crilley

Mark Crilley

Mark Crilley can be debated as one of the best American-side Manga Artists around. Although some people may disagree with his art style, there is one thing that is universally agreed upon: he is INCREDIBLY active. He is very personal with his fans, and frequently uploads drawing tutorials on youtube. This man is one of my heroes!

PSD Tuts Plus

PSD Tuts Plus

For those of you not willing to spend a monthly fee on, there is always PSD Tuts Plus. Be warned, what's on this site is a collection of tutorials from all different kinds of artists, so its not as organized as Also, these tutorials are very loosely screened, meaning that you must have a good working knowledge of Adobe software before beginning.

The Offline Resources
Manga Design

Manga Design (Various Authors, Published by Taschen)

The cover is goofy. The book is thick as hell. And it advertises a free DVD on the front... not necessarily the most appealing of packages, but believe me when I say this: this book is a God-send! If you want to learn about Manga as an art, there are literally over a hundred recorded styles and examples stored within this book. Don't waste money on the "Big Book of..." whatever series; this is what you want.

Dynamic Figure Drawing

Dynamic Figure Drawing (by Burne Hogarth)

Before I go on about this book, I want to dispel some of the uneducated reviews out there. This book is not meant for realistic posing; its more for Comic posing. If you desire to learn about realistic posing, you might want to look elsewhere. For what this book does teach, though, is absolutely phenomenal, breaking down the brilliant physiques often found in American-style Comic Art. A must-have for those striving westward!