“Make Gifts for People”

Duration: About 2 hours


As an artist, my “default gift” for people is to draw A Thing. Birthdays. Christmases. Valentine’s Days and the occasional Hannukahs. Drawing A Thing for someone is my go-to gift. It’s amazing for a few reasons. Number one: People are so flattered that you drew A Thing for them. And rightfully so!! Drawing A Thing for someone means that you took the time out of your day to make something special for a person. It means that you thought long and hard about A Thing that someone likes and that you tried really hard to draw it in a way that they’d really like. Number two: Drawing A Thing is FREE. I never have the amount of money I want to have to shower the people I care about with gifts. So making them A Thing is so cheap: it’s free! Going digital is even better because it means that I don’t even have to spend money on paper or pencils or anything. I can just doodle about on Photoshop and BAM: A Thing is born! Finally, number three: Making A Thing makes you a much better artist. This point is summed up beautifully by this Zen Pencils piece, so just go ahead and read that.

Today, I am making A Thing for my friend Taylor. I am making A Thing because A.) I didn’t give her anything for her birthday last week so I am a trash friend making a late birthday gift, and B.) Taylor is a sporadic twitter user and I want to make her a new Avi. Our junior year of high school, I drew this picture of her:


And she loved it a lot because it’s super cute! Now, as a more ~seasoned~ artist, I think I can give her cute avi a lil tune up and give her the kinda twitter persona she deserves.

First things first, have y’all heard of a little thing called DPI??? Cause I had no idea what that was until my dad told me! DPI stands for “Dots Per Inch” and all it means is how many dots per square inch make up your image. Who would’ve thunk it, right? Standard DPI for images drawn on Photoshop is 300. I’ve been setting mine at 75. This explains a lot of the issues I’ve been having with low quality images, which is nice. SO for this image I’ve set the DPI at 350 to be SUPER SURE.

Second things second, I’m a lot more proud of my line art for this one! I think it looks a lot cleaner and, as Taylor put it, “meme like.” CHECK IT:

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 8.26.39 PM.png

After drawing this, I decided this was too basic and needed a little oomph. And thus the flower crown was drawn in:

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 8.28.05 PM.png


And then I colored those things in. I had initially made Taylor way too dark, so I switched up her skin tone, but it still wasn’t quite the rosy skin tone that I wanted. So I took a pink brush, shifted that opacity to about 50, and just painted over her cute lil cheeks. This is the final colored skin product:

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 8.28.38 PM.png

Next week, I’m definitely going to work on getting more interesting backgrounds done. For this, I just made an elliptical selection and colored it in with the gradient bucket tool. Here is the finished product:


Overall I’m pretty happy with this. I just wish my inking didn’t look so stiff, but that will come with time and practice.


I think she liked it 🙂 


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