Tuesday, September 27, 2011

5 Awesome Sites for the Graphic Designer

For this post, instead of show-casing works of my own creation as I normally do, I'd like to take some time to share some useful, compelling, beautiful, and totally tubular websites that have helped to inspire me in the field of Graphic/Web Design. In alphabetical order, here are five sites that you should totally check out if you're a wanna-be, beginner, intermediate, or even a professional designer:
Color Scheme Designer

Want to create killer color combinations? Piece of cake! Just play around with this baby and you're sure to find something you like. This web-application even shows you how your color scheme would appear to color-blind people. How cool is that?
Create a Favicon

You know those tiny icons you see in the top of your browser window, in your tabs, in your browser's bookmarks area, or on the tiles of your tool-bar? Those, my friends, are "favicons" (just in case you didn't know). Favicons are very useful for identifying websites from one another and making them easier to remember. With this tool, you can whip up a favicon in no time by either uploading a photo or drawing a 16x16 pixel icon from scratch and then downloading a miniscule file for including in your web-pages.

This resource is excellent for people who really want to go the extra-mile when it comes to CSS. It's got it all: articles, forums, download-ables, video-tutorials, even handy snippets that you can copy-and-paste. Not to mention that the website itself is the very model of Web 2.0 design. Browse through it and you're sure to find something useful.
Nice and Free CSS Templates

What you see is what you get. Click on any one of the 12 solid, simple starting points for a website layout and you get the HTML and CSS code that you need to make it appear. The website itself may not be loaded with the latest content, but it has all that it needs to be a great tool for web-designers and developers alike.

This is for all you Adobe Photoshop users out there. If you're anything like me, you know that the way to stay ahead in the game is to keep learning. With this site, artists of all levels can gain valuable tips, tricks, shortcuts, and new skills from following the step-by-step tutorials and videos. Even if you're a first-time Photoshop user who doesn't know the difference between Filters and Layer-Effects, there is definitely something for everyone.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chobits Characters!

Hello! Or as the Japanese say, "Konitchiwa!"

Lately I have been inspired from reading some excellent manga series to practice my figure drawing skills.
How is it that the Japanese-style method of drawing the human form has become so prevalent? It's amazing how cartoony, and yet how real characters can look when drawn manga-style, isn't it?
Here's a picture of my most recent sketches, my favorite characters from the manga/anime series "Chobits".

The basic premise of the story is that it takes place in an alternate universe where computers are so advanced they can be made to look like actual people, and Hideki, a 19-year-old student who's almost broke, happens to find one of these "computer-people" lying in the trash. The "persa-com" (as they are called in-universe) is shaped like a beautiful girl, and Hideki names her "Chi", because at first that's the only word she knows.
Eventually Kideki teaches Chi more and more about the world, and he discovers that Chi might actually be a "Chobit", an artificial-intelligence with the ability to learn and think for itself.

The other character shown in my drawing is a "laptop" named Plum. In the story she's about the size of a doll. She is the most adorable thing I've ever seen! ^_^

I hope my drawings have piqued your interest enough to get you curious about this awesome series. Fair warning: it's got a bit of mature, sexy content, but then again, what good manga/anime series doesn't?