TOP RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS
Welcome to the resource page. Recommendations on this page are products and services I tried out and love. Have Fun.
Many of you asked for advice to jump-start your artistic career – how to find your style, how to improve your skills, how to increase exposure in social media and how to talk with clients.
It is difficult at the beginning when you don’t have access to mentors and inspirational people in your close circle who can guide you in the right direction.
- Responsive websites set up, hosting, maintenance incl. online shops
- Setup of online stores for your art – Etsy, Society6, RedBubble, Storenvy and others
- Mobile Apps production (e-books, comics, games)
Email me directly so we can discuss your project
Note: some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.
Blick Art Materials – family-owned art store with great offers!
These are my go-to tools when I need to be productive and get things done
Focus@Will – scientifically created music to enhance your concentration. It simply works!
Audible – over 100’000 audio books – test it FREE for 30 days using this link!
Calm – meditation app with plenty of meditation programs. Tamara’s voice is really soothing.
Headspace Meditation app – another meditation app with meditation programs. Andy teaches you how to meditate.
Relax Melodies app for a good sleep – good if you have anxiety or can’t fall asleep easily
Website hosting – Hostens – for only EUR 19.99 you get a pretty powerful shared hosting! It works really well with WordPress
WordPress themes – Themeforest – a great marketplace for premium WordPress themes – handy if you need to design your good looking website!
Skillshare – classes are thought by expert practitioners and many of Art Side of Life guests! FREE 2 months PREMIUM trial with this link
Udemy online courses – learn anything from Business to Marketing to Social Media
Color & light
James Gurney – Color & Light – the color & light “bible”
How to Render: the fundamentals of light, shadow, and reflectivity by Scott Robertson
Drawing the Head and Hands, by Andrew Loomis
Figure drawing for what it’s worth by Andrew Loomis
Drawing Manual Lecture Series, by Glenn Vilppu
Master Class in Figure Drawing, by Robert Beverly Hale
Constructive Anatomy, by George Bridgman
Bridgman’s Life Drawing, by George Bridgman
Figure Drawing, by Michael Hampton
Animal Anatomy for Artists, by Eliot Goldfinger
Animals: Real and Imagined, by Terryl Whitlatch
Character design & Portraits
Creating Characters with Personality, by Tom Bancroft
Comics & cartoons
Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre – the ultimate guide to visual storytelling
How to make Web Comics, by Scott Kurtz and others
Making Comics, by Scott McCloud
Perspective Made Easy, by Ernest Norling
Cartoon Animation, by Preston Blair
The Illusion of Life by Ollie Johnston
Imaginative Realism: How to paint what doesn’t exist by James Gurney
Science of art
Classical Drawing Atelier, by Juliette Aristides
Classical Painting Atelier, by Juliette Aristides
The Practice and Science of Drawing, by Harold Speed
Oil Painting Techniques and Materials, by Harold Speed
Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Drawing, by John F. Carlson
The Elements of Drawing, by John Ruskin – victorian style
Blinkist – book summaries – If you are short on time, this service helps a lot!
Slight Edge by Jeff Olson – the power of small accumulated wins
Tim Ferriss – Tools of the Titans – transcribed interviews summaries from the most successful, smart and fit people in the world
Adobe Photoshop takes a bit of time to learn but then you stick to it. Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard so probably any company you would like to work for uses this software in the office.
Procreate app for iPad is a cheaper version just to start with and try it out to see for yourself
Tip: Be patient, any software takes some time to learn and it might be frustrating at the beginning.
iPad Pro 10.5″ is nowadays my go-to digital tool when sketching and creating digital art
iPad Pro 10.5″ 256GB, WiFi only – check it out here: http://amzn.to/2DqCxQU
Apple Pencil – check it out here: http://amzn.to/2BjjkPm
Wacom offers a different version of tablets from beginners Bamboo, professional Intuos to super-pro Cintiq.
Wacom Cintiq 24 HD – I really love my drawing screen. I use it every day. It is really solid and you get used to it very quickly because the precision is absolutely great. However, if I would buy again I would go for 22 HD as 24 is quite heavy if you want to move it around.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2E9SZpM
Wacom Intuos Pro tablet: I use it when I travel with my laptop. The version I have doesn’t exist anymore but here is a new version.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2CefprP
Wacom Draw Graphics or Huion tablet are cheaper options when you are just starting. I haven’t tried these myself but friends recommended them as a good starting point. Money vs. value ratio is pretty good.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2DtjOEf
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iMac 27: although pricey, it’s the best computer I ever owned. Powerful enough to run all demanding applications and fast enough thanks to macOS
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2Ci0ZEn
Palomino Blackwing pencils have a wide range of colors from very light to very dark. They also have a quite good eraser at the end of the pencil.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2ChFS5b
Tombow mono. I like The HB which is great for sketching. It is cheaper than Palomino Blackwing and doesn’t need that much sharpening. It is great value for money.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2BONpY1
Graphgear 500 Pentel. I like to use this pencil for fine details after loose sketches.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2E8oW1t
Prismacolor Col-Erase. Very soft to draw with and good as a base sketch (underpainting). I like the blue and red.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2DrEwUL
Mono eraser. It is my go-to-eraser after a recommendation from a friend. Can’t imagine my life without it now. It has awesome small round tip to erase finest details. You can use it to add small highlights to your drawings.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2Ckm0OZ
Kneadable Art Eraser. It is great for gently removing smudges from pencil without destroying the paper. What is more, you don’t have the sticky feel on your fingers as you might have with other types of erasers.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2CicpYS
Sakura Pens Pigma Micron: Great for inking details, taking notes and calligraphy. They dry very fast. You can use them even on thin paper and they don’t come through on the other side. They might run out quite quickly if you use them frequently.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2BRK2jr
STAEDTLER Pigment Liner. Similar to Sakura pens, they are good for technical drawing, doodling, drawing and taking notes. I like them as a second option because they have nice sizes, from fine to bigger tips. Watch out, if you push too hard, you may destroy the tip!
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2C5kFPh
Uniball Signo. I love to add tiny highlights to my pencil, aquarelle and watercolor drawings. This pen does the job nicely after the paint dries. The highlights stand out quite well from the paint.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2ClE7nB
Pentel: An another option I like for the highlights.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2zILr9R
Stabilo carbOthello. They have vivid colors and chalk-like texture. These pencils are so smooth to work with! Finished drawing can look like painting because they blend together so well. It is a great option when you want to have a soft feeling of pastel without the mess all around you. You don’t have to be an expert in blending because they do it for you. Other brands I tried don’t blend so well and they are not so soft.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2E8kXlx
Caran d’ache. They have really beautiful solid colors. They blend well together when you want to do a gradient. They are great for coloring books or your own creations. Do an outline with drawing pen and then color it with these pencils. I also like Neon colors from this brand on darker toned paper.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2zIHKkw
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Faber Castell Polychromos. They are great as a base sketch for painting, drawing or toned notebook They have solid pigment, good blending and they are easy to sharpen. If you enjoy adult coloring books or creating drawing for yourself this is a good option. Try smaller set to find out if they fit you before going fancy with a big set.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2CiwCAm
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2zHITsJ
KOH-I-NOOR Watercolor pencils. If you want to transition from pencils to watercolors or you are a professional these will come handy. I see similar results for KOH-I-NOOR as for Faber-Castell.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2CiP2P0
Ecoline. This watercolor ink has all my favorite colors and they are really bright and vivid.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2C4rdxi
Winsor Newton. They are very popular in Europe where I live so I started with this set. The colors are very vivid but they are only basic if you have something really special in mind.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2zHhWoR
Kuretake. The colors are stunning, deep and rich. The pigment is very strong and there is a big selection of colors.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2BQJwSu
Kuretake Starry Colours. The best metallic watercolors I have tried so far. Some other gold or silver paints might be just like sparkle but these have a solid base color.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2CgiQ12
There are many great brands to choose from. I use Acrylics with watercolors in one painting sometimes so I choose according to the colors.
Daler Rowney. I love the solid and soft paste tone of the pink Blush paint. You can choose colors you like as a separate tube, which comes very handy.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2DtbTXq
Kreul Chalky Acrylic: Amazing for DIY. It is good on paper, wood or metal.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2Ck5HBR
Turner: I combine my favorite pastel shades ( lavender and blue) together with the metallic pearl white.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2DsGxjv
Holbein: The difference from classic Acrylics is that they dry slower so you have more time to blend and correct. I love the vivid colors in this set.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2E8Zidh
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2DpYgIk
Pentel Water Brush. This brush holds water in the brush itself so it comes very handy. It is a very nice idea but sometimes I go back to traditional brush anyway. I have the feeling I still need to dip it in the water. If you want to buy just one brush this one is great for the start and then you can try other types and brands.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2C5fUVM
Daler Rowney. This brand has a very nice range of brush sizes. They are soft and hold their shape well. This one is also good as a gift or carry-on brushes.
Check it out here: https://artsideoflife.com/goldtaklon
Canson. The best value for price combination.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2zHbO06
Maruman. Can hold a lot of water despite being thin and it has a nice texture.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2C4tlFf
Moleskine. The classic sketchbooks!
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2C5s6FZ
Strathmore. Great, toned sketchbooks with different sizes and the cover has a super soft feeling as a bonus.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2CqsvQ8
Copic My favorite go-to markers because they blend so well and have vibrant colors.
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2CjsOMD
Check it out here: http://amzn.to/2DrEdJD
3 resources, most mentioned by guests in the month of November 2017
- Wacom Intuos Pro + Adobe Photoshop – a midrange level tablet in 3 sizes
- Winsor and Newton watercolors – high-quality watercolors for reasonable price
- Skillshare – online courses with a wide range of application – art, design, business, etc.
3 books, most mentioned by guests in the month of November 2017
- Leonardo’s Notebooks: Writing and Art of the Great Master– lessons from Leonardo Da Vinci
- Julia Cameron: The Artist’s Way – inspirational tool – spiritual book with creative exercises
- James Gurney Color & Light – the color & light primer ‘must have’
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