Category Archives: Drawing Tips

Great Forest thumbnails


Thumbnails are integral to my design process. I like to explore the possibilities before I start. References play a huge role in my thumbnail explorations. I look at color, texture, values and composition in photo references and distill my thumbnails down to the basic essence of what I see.

Composition Study


Some analysis for a recent composition I worked on. When constructing a background environment it’s really important to provide depth, contrast, narrative, and a focal point. Have a look at the example below for my analysis.

Painting Forms Fundamentals


I’m teaching a course on exploring concept design. This is an example of the first project I am assigning for my students. The first example shows simple volumetric structures with shading and a light source. The second example shows a more complex arrangement of volumetric shapes. Shapes can be overlapped, tapered, extruded, and intersected with one another. Understanding these fundamental examples is key to tackling more complex work.

Silhouettes to Volumetric Shapes


Just a sampling of visual notes I plan to share with my Concept Design class later today. For more on volumetric forms, check out a video I created on how to draw arms and legs using tapered cylinders. You may also want to watch the video I made on combining volumetric shapes.

Working with Clipping Masks in Photoshop


Clipping Masks are pretty powerful when used with shapes or type. Essentially, it allows the type or text to serve as a mask, permitting the images to appear only within the type or created shape. tFor this to work well, I recommend using a thick typeface (I’m using the type “Phosphate Solid” for the example above) to make it easier to see the images that will reside inside. After typing some text in, bring in your images as separate layers into the file you are working on. It’s important to stack your images ABOVE the type layer for this technique […]

Video: Combining Volumetric Shapes


In this video, I discuss different methods to combine volumetric shapes. Topics include intersection of shapes, tapering shapes and overlapping shapes. The concept of extrusion based on a closed shape is also demonstrated. Let me know if you have any questions, or have ideas or suggestions for upcoming video tuts. Thanks! -Krishna

Hand Studies


Drawing hands can be tricky. What helps me is to consider the underlying volumetric shapes that make up the different components of the hand. I start out with drawing a trapezoidal shape for the base of the hand. The fingers and thumb can be thought of as tapered cylinders. The knuckles of the hand are organized along an arc, which coincidentally, allows us to grip and hold objects. Maybe I’ll create a “How to Draw Hands” video… -Krishna

Video: Drawing Exercises to Improve Line Confidence


I’m finally on the “Youtubes”, after a very long hiatus. This is the first of (I hope) many tutorial videos with a focus on cartooning and illustration. Let me know what you think, and what additional cartooning topics you’d like me to consider. -Krishna