There’s so much to learn about what a program like Krita can do when you’re used to doodling with a pen and paper. Thankfully, a guy named David Revoy has done a lot of work with Krita already and has some tutorials posted on his website. I thought one of the best things I could do is just follow along with one of his step-by-steps to see what I can learn. So here we go:

This is a ways down in his Step One, but he teaches you to start in grayscale to make sure you get a feel of the brushes and what they can do and start rendering shadows and weight on your subject. The reason I went all Sailor Moon here is just because he uses the mirror tool (which is pretty freaking awesome, if I do say so myself) and she’s one of the most symmetrical characters I could come up with.


In Step Two, you colorize your picture with an overall hue to get the feeling you want before coloring specific portions. Then you can go in and do the skin and such. I learned more interesting tools here that I probably wouldn’t have checked out otherwise, like how to select her mouth and move it up towards her nose a little more.


I think Step Three is putting in the background, but I haven’t gotten to that yet. Maybe I’ll update this post later with that.

Onward and upward,

Natalie Grace

Krita, the Great Alternative

Since my last post, I’ve lost Photoshop. Turns out it was just a trial. And I don’t have another $650 to shell out for a program of which I’ll probably only ever use about 20%. So I’ve been on yet another quest to find a program that suits my needs. I used to use GIMP, but for some reason on my Mac, it’s not registering the pressure sensitivities from my Wacom tablet, which is kind of a big deal. I love the idea of Manga Studio, but until my funds replenish a little from the Mac purchase, even that $50 price tag is a little high.

Enter Krita. It’s a totally free program that has been developed to be more of use to illustrators and painters than photo editors. Love the concept and the feel of it, and that it actually allows me to use all of the features on my Wacom really well.

Self Portrait No. 1

Self Portrait No. 1

Here’s my first work with Krita. I obviously have a long way to go, but I just wanted to do something quick. I’m excited to keep playing around.

If you’re a Mac user and you’re interested in using Krita, be forewarned. It still has a good number of bugs and the company doesn’t even really promote the Mac version yet because it’s still in beta testing. But I’m having fun trying it and finding bugs so I can report them (even though my technical skill is highly lacking). For instance, I haven’t written this post until now because I was having trouble saving images. It kept telling me my images couldn’t be saved, but with a bit of work, I figured out the problem and reported it. If you’re interested in the issue, leave a comment and I’ll explain.

Hopefully with this development, I’ll be posting little doodles a lot more often!

Beta testing for fun,

Natalie Grace

In An Apple State of Mind

I’ve been posting about this on Facebook, but my epic quest for a MacBook Pro has finally come to an exciting and rewarding end. I told myself before I started my search that I wouldn’t buy from Craigslist because you never know what kind of people you’ll find and what kind of junk could be left on a computer. Well, I abandoned that logic when I realized the prices there were SO much better than anything else I had found. However, I had to run the gauntlet to get the awesome computer and price that I finally did.

After almost losing $5oo bucks to a scammer, being mailed a broken plate instead of a computer, meeting up to check out a 13″ that just wasn’t what I wanted, driving 30 minutes with my baby girl to meet a no-show, trying to bid on a few Ebay auctions and realizing the final prices were WAY too high for my wallet, and being late to the game on multiple computers I was really excited about… *gasp* I finally have a 15″ Pro that I absolutely love, and it was worth every penny. ;)

Mac and Friends

Mac and Friends

My first hour or so with it, I was overwhelmed trying to figure out the differences between my new Mac and all the PCs I’d ever known. I’m still trying to pour all the PC out of my brain. But it’s fun to learn something new. And now, playing around with Photoshop has been a blast. I hooked up my medium Wacom tablet, and have been flying along. Here are my first couple pieces from my next project:

Hopefully, I’ll be posting a lot more often now, so stick around to see what happens!

Trying to be a fast learner,

Natalie Grace

Doodling Aimlessly…

Since finishing the book illustrations, I’ve kinda been giving myself some time off from art. That sounds weird seeing how much joy being artistic brings me, but I’ve wanted to focus on Baby Girl and get some things done around the house before I start into another major project. Thankfully, we were able to get away to the beach a couple weekends ago, and while Baby Girl was playing on the floor, I got to kick back and read some Real Simple magazines they had in the condo. I found a couple of really cool ads from Kate Spade and decided to try to draw one of them.

Kate Spade ad

Inspired by a Kate Spade ad

Original Kate Spade "Rapido!" Ad

Original Kate Spade “Rapido!” Ad

Clearly it’s not done yet, but I’m working on it little by little while Baby Girl sleeps. I just checked out Google images for Kate Spade ads to find the original, and I think I need to pin some of these to my Pinterest for future inspiration. They’re so colorful! I like it!

Just chillin’ for now,

Natalie Grace

“Webby Wednesdays” – The Ladies of Animation: Brittney Lee

The next Disney vis-dev artist is Brittney Lee.

Brittney Lee at 2012 Comic-Con (photo from http://www.liheliso.org)

Brittney Lee at a 2012 Comic Con (photo from http://www.liheliso.org)

Whereas Claire’s work highly influenced Tangled, I think Brittney’s work is best seen in Frozen. Just search Google images for her name and you’ll see how talented this lady truly is. She does layered paper illustrations that are just mind-blowing. I have no idea how she does it, but they look so intricate, they leave me amazed. Like this one:

Brittney Lee's crazy paper skills highlighted on StrictlyPaper.com

Brittney Lee’s paper layering skills highlighted on StrictlyPaper.com

Holy cow, right? Seriously. And if you’re in love with Frozen, she has some great blog posts about some of the developmental work she did for the film, mostly on the costumes. Very cool stuff. Check it out!