Heya guys! As the title states, i'm new around here and i'm just looking for some much needed answers to get me started. There's no doubt that these queries have been asked a few billion times, and the answers are lying around somewhere in this huge archive of juicy information, but i'll throw it out there anyway!
So here's the deal. I'm 18 years old and live in the UK. I took an interest in design around 5 years ago, and began experimenting with Photoshop which then led on to be quite a big hobby of mine - now my career option. I'm completely self-taught with no experience of design as a subject in education (with much regret), so there are still a lot of paths undiscovered. Like a lot of stuff, digital art has always been one of those amazing forms which takes time and dedication, but I could never really stick with it. Now i'm really up for it as I NEED to build a portfolio, but i'm just not sure where to begin.
As for my particular focus in digital art, i'm really interested in 'Speed Painting' and character design. I do understand that there's a lot of theory involved, and even more practice, but i'm just struggling to find the sources to gain that information from, and the processes of it. Here are a few examples of the sort of art i'd like to produce (sorry, if I linked particular images there'd be hundreds!):
Now for my questions. I'll try and keep them simple:
1. What would be the most productive way of getting started? Should I just practice my drawing skills? Experiment with painting in Photoshop? Any past experience of learning you could share?
2. I just can't get the whole brushing part down. Whenever I play around, nothing flows. It's always solid, blocky and flat. Any advice or settings I should be using?
3. Are there any helpful resources and tutorials you would recommend?
4. Any advice in general for digital speed painting?
Any answers are really appreciated, even though the questions are quite silly and obvious. I just feel like... the cookie is on the table, but I just can't reach it... if that makes any sense. Anyway, if it helps to know, i'm using Photoshop CS4 with a Bamboo Wacom Tablet (fairly small unfortunately). Again, i'd be really grateful for your advice.
Thanks for reading,