Butterfly Wings

Art thursday already? Wow the week has flew by! I spent most of my free time painting this spiffy piece. I decided to combine two things as my project for this week and chose to combine the monarch butterfly with flowers – it resulte in this:
I am thrilled with the result! 😀


Web Wednesday

I actually did a lot of web work this week! First I updated the cosplay tutorial list and added some new graphics for the highlighted section.

But today I finished up the mockup for my portfolio website, I decided to take from magazines as my inspiration and focus on color and typography rather than graphics. Today I am building ou the basic frame for the site and hopefully I will get to adding in some content for now.

Wigs: Yellow vs Blonde

This is an interesting topic and something I see come up a lot in wig advice threads. Yellow or Blonde, what color should a wig be? It’s a challenge that can make or break a cosplay! Some people argue that yellow never is good, however I don’t believe that it’s true and I am going to go over some ways to determine if you should choose a blonde or yellow wig!

Obvious Blondes
These characters tend to have a lighter color of hair that is more blonde than yellow anyway. These generally should be a blonde wig.

Yellow Hair, Normal World
In some situations the character will have a very yellow hair color, but is still supposed to be human or appear human. There are few situations where a bright yellow actually works, but in these situations it doesnt. I would reccomend a golden blonde wig which will have more color to it, but still look fairly natural.

Yellow Hair,  Other World
Most of the time yellow wigs look bad, they look fake because it is so unnatural. However there are situations where yellow hair is possibly the better choice because the character is not from this world, or  isn’t human. With yellow, sometimes it is better to opt for a pale yellow, or a blonde/yellow mix rather than something bright and solid.

Yellow, or Maybe Blonde?
There are characters where it’s tough to decide. The hair can work as both yellow or blonde. An example would be naruto, cosplays of the character look good with both blonde or a pale yellow, and sometimes it looks okay with a brighter yellow. In this case, the best thing to do is look through existing cosplays of the character and decide what you think looks the best, and if you want to do a realistic version of the character orvery cartoony.

Choosing a Yellow Wig

The biggest problem with yellow wigs are that they are this unnatural, obnoxious, bright color that just looks bad. It doesn’t look natural or realistic, it just burns the eyes! So here is a quick guide to choosing a yellow that looks good.

Say no to neon!
If  it is a bright bight neon yellow it is going to look bad. Most of the time these are also party wigs which means they end up being low quality as well.

Bright Yellows are a Sometimes Wig
These are fairly bright but a little toned down from a neon wig. These generally should be used for characters that you want to have very yellow hair and not look natural. Most of the time it would be good to avoid these wigs.

Golden Yellow Brick Road to Success
If you want a character’s hair to be yellow but don’t want it to be vibrant and in your face, go with a golden yellow. Golden yellows usually are a darker blonde and yellow mix which gives you a good strong color but without the eye burning.

Mellow-Yellow Blonde
Yellow blonde wigs are good for characters who have a light blonde / light yellow hair color. It also looks natural but doesn’t have a the bright boom that the golden yellow has.

Mjolnir Photos

So Mjolnir is finished and a guide to how I made it will be coming on Monday, but for now I will share some pretty photos for everyone to oggle! These were taken at a park near our house, nothing super fancy 😛

Josh enjoying his new prop:

Web Wednesday … on Thursday

So I dedicated wednesday to post about web design stuff! But I got really busy yesterday and didn’t get a chance to post. So, I’m making a quick one now.

I decided to share a great tool that I have a lot of love for:

What is it?
Colorburn  is a widget you can add to dashboard on Mac OSX, but I also believe it has windows availability using yahoo widgets.

Every day it features a new color pallet, showing the colors and the hexidecimal values. On some days it even offers to show it in action!

Why is it awesome?
I find it’s great for inspiration. I check it daily and if I like the color combination I will screenshot it for later.

Another interesting tool, which is related, is adobe’s Kuler:


It also helps with color pallets, it lets you look through existing ones or create your own from images or off of a starting color. It’s really great when you grab a nature photo and grab some of the colors from it!

Vintage Photo – Photoshop

My goal is that every day I try to have a blog post, and have given each day a theme. Today is tuesday and this has been dubbed my photoshop day. So hopefully every tuesday this will be updated with something done in either photoshop or illustrator, or another image program.

I decided I was going to try and imitate a vintage photo for today! I have a porcelain doll that is apparently from germany and it has a very old look about her, so I set her up and took some quick shots to be used. I’ll add them here if you want to use some of them:

After I had my shots I looked up some vintage photos to be used as a reference. Some common themes I found:
– Black and white
– Yellow tinge
– Little bit blurry
– Grainy
– White areas aren’t very detailed (blown out)
– Sometimes damaged (creases and folds, white spots)
– Some of my mom’s photos have a white border to them, and are square or weirdly sized.

Then I played around in photoshop, imitating my references and this was the result:

For those who want a general idea of how I did this, using photoshop CS4
– I created a new adjustment layer for Hue/Saturation and dragged the saturation bar so that the photo was black and white
– I created a new layer overtop and set it to “soft light” and colored in the background black with a soft round brush, this darkened the background
– I created a new layer and flood filled it with black. Then I went filer > noise > add noise and dragged it to 400%. This layer was set to darken and an opacity of 3%
– The next layer was a white overlay set to 34%, this helped blow out the white areas.
– I created another overlay layer and colored over the shadows with a black soft round brush.
– I created an overlay layer and a color layer with the yellow color
– and lastly I added the white damage. I created a new layer and colored it entirely white. Then I used the rough round bristle brush as my eraser and erased the majority of the white, leaving some scratches.

Everything I used was default with the program, and overall it only took a couple minutes.

Posing Template

I saw this originally as a cosplay meme on 4chan. I thought it would be a great way to practice some poses before a convention and photoshoot, and really see what looks best ! So I decided to make my own version for posing practice. Posing is an important part of cosplay because a good pose can make a costume look so much better!

What you need:
– A camera
– A friend or a mirror
– images of the character for reference and posing ideas
– A cosplay costume*

* While posing out of cosplay is fine, if you are in cosplay you can see what looks best for that specific outfit. Your face might look great, but the costume might sit weird!

How it works:
Simple! Check out the sheet below and do a pose for every section. Have your friend take a picture or take a picture in the mirror. Then compare the poses and see which works best for the character, and which you look best in. Get feedback from other friends too!

Did you try this out? I’d love examples to share when I post this to cosplaytutorial.com. If you are willing to share your own, please post a link to the image in the comments or email it to admin@cosplaytutorial.com!