erika designs

An artist, a baker, a web design maker.

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Basic skin texture tutorial

  1. Create a new layer over the original and eyedrop both a light and dark tone from the base work.  These two colours are what we’ll use as the shadows and highlights of the speckles in the skin.  To paint the texture, we need to use a grainy or dotted brush.
  2. Set the brush Opacity and Flow to 60-80%.  Now we can paint in our dark speckles, paying close attention to creases and folds in skin (build the texture up in these darker areas).  Now do the same with the light colour, with the focus on painting the highlighted parts of the skin rather than dark.
  3. We’ll grab the eraser now, set as a soft round brush with low opacity, and gently erase the ‘harshness’ of the texture away.  We could just turn down the whole layer’s opacity but it won’t look as natural (trust me!). 
    Some areas will need to be generally darker, some lighter, it’ll obviously vary depending on subject.  Also, taking a step back every now and then to observe clarity in the texture can help you determine whether it needs fixing or looks realistic enough.
  4. Now we’ll create another new layer, and again taking the brush (larger in size this time, same opacity/flow) loosely spatter it across the skin in both dark and light.  This adds another dimension of detail. Once again, take the eraser and lightly brush over the layer to tune it down.
  5. To enhance the sharpness and overall level of detail that can be seen, we can bump up the definition by adding this quick textural overlay. I usually leave this part until the very end of the process as it pulls the painting together and is oh so satisfying seeing the level of detail jump up when the gritty texture is added.

(via bechahns)





The thing about this is that sculptures like these in art history were for the male gaze. Photoshop a phone to it and suddenly she’s seen as vain and conceited. That’s why I’m 100% for selfie culture because apparently men can gawk at women but when we realize how beautiful we are we’re suddenly full of ourselves…


“You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,” thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for you own pleasure.

- john berger, ways of seeing

selfie culture is reclaiming our image and regaining control over how we are depicted that is why selfies are so derided and written off as vanity, thats why those who take selfies are routinely mocked and belittled, thats why time magazine used the image of a teenage girl taking a selfie as the marker of everything that is (supposedly) wrong with the millennial generation

the world would prefer it that we remained the muse, they don’t like that we’re becoming the artist 

let’s hear from Christina Rossetti. she was the younger sister of dante gabriel rossetti, who was ringleader of the “pre-raphaelite brotherhood”, an art movement in the mid-late 1800s. dante loved to “rescue” young women and turn them into his muses — he particularly liked women with long, wavy hair; he and his friends called them “stunners”.

"veronica veronese" by dante gabriel rossetti

Christina Rossetti, badass baby sister that she was, had some stuff to say about the pre-raphaelites’ male gaze. and because she was even more badass than that, she wrote what she had to say as a sonnet and specifically called out her brother:

"In an Artist’s Studio" (1896)

One face looks out from all his canvasses,
     One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:
     We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
     A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,
     A saint, an angel;—every canvass means
The same one meaning, neither more nore less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
     And she with true kind eyes looks back on him,
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:
     Not wan with waning, nor with sorrow dim;
Not as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
     Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.

$100 is a lot of money for a single page.

A question by Anonymous







how much is a loaf of bread? hm? $3? $5? 

At my local grocery store, bread is about $4.50 for a decent size italian loaf. If I make $7.25 and hour, that means I’d have to work 37 and a half minutes for a Loaf of bread.

but hey, that’s not so bad right? Work two hours and you’ll have a sandwich, eh?

Oh hey, turns out I also need toilet paper, rice, chicken, some veggies, a can of soup, and some cereal. (to name a few basic groceries one might need on a budget) we’ll round those things down to $25 just to make the math easier.

at $7.25 an hour I’ll have to work about 3 and a half hours for basic groceries.

That doesn’t include bills or gas or all the other groceries I need, That’s ONE quick trip to the store and I already have to work half a day just for that.

You don’t understand Anon, my pages could take HOURS if not DAYS. Between the sketching, inking, colouring, lettering, and finishing it’s taken at least a full two day’s work if not longer for each page.

I have a job that pays me beans, I cannot afford to post more pages a week without compensation. I literally cannot afford to do that. Not to mention the idea that art is only worth minimum wage cheapens the amount of work and effort that goes into producing it. I should be making WELL ABOVE minimum wage for my art via page count and commissions but it’s this damn “deviant art” mindset that makes people feel like they’re being swindled for paying a livable wage to artists. It’s rude and childish and I ask that you please stop considering artists as less worthy of affording a normal life.

You can either pay me what I ask for what you want or stop complaining about what I already give you for free.


I cannot fucking stand people who tell illustrators that something they produce is too expensive.

Yall motherfuckers want cheap? Go get some paper, get a fucking pencil and then draw it your motherfucking selves because nobody freelancing on the internet who hasn’t even half made it in the illustration world is charging you ANYTHING close to industry pricing even when some of us are as good if not better. Why? Because of people like Anon. Your name must be out there and known to charge anything close to what your time and skill is worth. Yet still? You are paying for my effort, my time, my blood, sweat and tears and a lifetime of learning my trade.

A cheap page for yo ass is a piece of paper I haven’t touched yet.


(As a freelancer I cannot staaaaaaaaaaaaaand people who pull this dogshit.)

$100 is pretty cheap for a page.

Basic math, for Anon up there: Break that $100 down into an hourly rate. Factor in materials. Factor in skill and schooling and experience. Bear in mind that a page rate *at all* means there’s a good chance it’s work-for-hire, which means that $100 a page might be all the artist gets, ever.

And then, when you’ve done that math, think about what that means in terms of how few comics artists make a living hourly wage.

Want a pro artist, anon? Pay them like a fucking pro.

I’d like to add the a professional of any stripe has the duty to themselves, and the right to charge a rate based on his skill level and the work he or she puts in.


Client: The art looks really distorted in our email newsletter.

Me: That’s weird. I made it exactly to the specs. Do I have the correct specs?

Client: Yes. 

Me: Did you do anything to the image?

Client: All I did was stretch it!


I slowed down a bit during the summer. These are a few figures from a session wayyyyy back in July (I think!).

(via keepinitsketchy)


Client: Why would you assume I wanted the columns to be vertical?

Me: I - I’m sorry, how did you want them?

Client: Obviously, I wanted horizontal columns.

Me: Like rows?

Client: Exactly like rows!

Hell's Angles


So, we’re running through the final tests of a website that’s due to go live in a day or two. Everything’s looking great until the boss gets involved and casts his ‘experienced’ eye over things…

Client: Hmm it all looks great.

Me: Great, we’ll get it pushed live then.

Client: Oh, hold on…

A coworker brought a pumpkin spice iced coffee to work today. So of course I went home and made pumpkin spice pancakes. Obviously. #erikacooks #cooking #food