But I started digital art on 2010 when I got my first drawing tablet.
how many years have you been drawing?
Nope! I've learned everything by my own, with the exception of a couple of online courses which were way too expensive for what you get to be honest.
I have a couple books that I recommend to learn by yourself:
did you go to art school?
Chile! South America.
where are you from?
IPAD PENCIL 2nd gen / Silicone case for Pencil: The silicone case was a gift from a friend and I really love it! Makes me less worried about my pen rolling off the table and such. I use it without the nib protector for drawing.
WACOM CINTIQ 22HD: I've had mince for over 6 years and its the sturdiest and most reliable piece of tech I've ever owned. Mine is still working like a charm, and it allows me to work keeping a better sitting position, which reduced entirely my back, neck and wrist pains.
DESKTOP PC: Used to love Laptops until I had my first Desktop, not going back! Some of the specs of my current PC: Intel i5, 16GB RAM, 255 SSD, GeForge GTX 1050Ti.
Works smoothly with any heavy PS files, the SSD makes opening and saving files a LOT faster, speed is more important than saving space if I had to chose. RAM is very important to keep Photoshop open and going. A decent graphics card is good to avoid lag when zooming in and out and rotating the canvas.
PHOTOSHOP CC: I recommend getting the Photography plan!
PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES: I've gathered a big amount of brushes from many different places over the years, but you can find a pack with my favorites HERE. I also really recommend this very complete set by Vesner you can get for FREE HERE.
LIVESTREAMS: I use OBS Studio and stream through Picarto or Youtube.
OTHER ADD-ONS: Brush Box is a great add on to keep your brushes organized and categorized on Photoshop! and PureRef is a useful tool to create a mood/ref board and keep it on top of whatever program you are using without cluttering.
traditional art tools
where i get my merch done
what do you use to draw?
How do I learn to draw animals in a semi realistic style?
I´d say, try drawing animals first, not characters, just real animals. With REFERENCES and also tracing photos (don't post them unless you own the photo or have permission). There are many amazing stock photo accounts on DeviantArt art!
Focus on what aspects of the realistic animal you like and then start merging it with cartoony style to get the mix you want.
( kind of like when anime artists study and draw realistic human anatomy BEFORE trying to use a style, it's all about knowing the fundamentals before breaking them on purpose for style. )
How do you do textures?
Study from photos, trace and simplify the shades that create a texture.
For example use a photo and try dividing the tones you see in dark, midtone, highlights.
Something else I find very useful is using texture brushes (linked above) to lay a foundation, and then go over it by hand! I dont recommend leaving the generic bush/tree/grass/stone texture by itself, because most of the time it looks off, but they are very useful to add that bit of randomness to base yourself off from.
how's your coloring process and how do you keep a good range of values?
I usually start my very rough thumbnails in greyscale, but I need to jump to colors really soon or I will end up with a really muddy mess. There are many great artists that use greayscale until much later and add color afterwards, but I've never managed to get the right colors using color layers on top of grey. That said I do try to keep a white layer turned to color mode above all to be able to check values easily.
A great resource of how to think about values are this one and this one by Devin Korwin on Twitter. On a very summarized and simplified way, what I try to keep in my mind the most is this Image (found on Devin Korwin's thread, full credit to him):
what do you recommend for someone who wants to start drawing?
KEEP IT FUN. Start with no expectations.
The main thing in my opinion is to KEEP DRAWING, so whatever it is you enjoy, go at it!
Save the countless boring excercises and studies for when you have the stamina or you will risk overwhelming yourself and end up quitting!
what is your drawing process?
B&W Thumbnail: Very rough simple concept of the idea, focusing mostly on composition, and the arrangement of the elements on scene. A bit on values.
SKETCH/LINEART: Yes, I usually sketch after the thumbnail. Personally I dont think I'm good at sketching, blocking in shapes and silhouettes usually helps me more to organize and arrange elements. After that, I go in and sketch the main elements, the anatomy and the details of each character are defined here.Many times I've regretted skiping this step! I know its fun to go on and just paint your way into detail, but if you dont have things clear first, you will encounter many obstacles that would've been easier solved by a good sketch.
PAINT PAINT PAINT:
COLOR CORRECTION, MODE LAYERS:
You can find the step by step process for most of my art on my PATREON