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Category:Art Forum:Pirate ABCs

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This Art Forum is still running [1]

With my own Little Nemo being born amidst this crazy adventure that is Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates, and a call for me to bring back the old Art Forum, I thought the most fitting theme would commemorate the occasion. A pirate's ABCs.

For those who haven't participated in an Art Forum before, here's the way it works. Unlike the contests, these aren't for fame or prizes. The Art Forums are all about improving yourself and learning from and with your peers. I set up a theme for all of us, and we all post our works in progress as we go along. We critique each others' work at each stage so that we can all arrive at great finals. The two differences in this Art Forum is that the theme has us each claiming a letter of the alphabet, and all working in the same dimensions.

When all is done, I hope to make nice printouts of them and bind them together as a memento, and anyone else can do the same.

So, the process, if you would like to join in:

  • Post your letter choice, with the related sentence, such as "D is for Dog," only piratey. Then get to work on your sketch.
  • Post your sketch, and post critique on any other posted sketches as they come up. Critiques are helpful suggestions and appreciations of the work so far, such as "I like the layout and the proportions are good, but the pose could be more exciting. What if he was actually swinging from the yardarm?"
  • Incorporate people's critiques when you go back to work on your sketch. You don't necessarily have to do what other people say, but usually the suggestions are very helpful and will help you make a better image.
  • If your changes from your first sketch posting were significant, post your new sketch. Keep at it until you are satisfied, which usually comes with the satisfaction of the critiquers as well. And, of course, keep up with helping others with critiques as well.
  • Post your work on your final. Whether you start adding greater detail, or more concrete coloring, or final outlines, let us see how it's coming. By now nobody's critique should suggest sweeping changes (those should have been addressed in the sketch), but some advice can still help in subtle adjustments at this stage.
  • Post your final. Now, people may still offer some critiques, and you can always rework. In fact, I encourage reworking a "final" at least once. Again, this never involves totally redoing anything, as changes like that should have been suggested and taken into account during the sketch phases. Just small adjustments, like changes in highlights and shadows, or a facial expression.
  • Keep helping others with critiques.

Essentially, we just keep showing each other our work as we go, and give each other suggestions and praise on the pieces as they come along.

These pieces don't have to be super ambitious. In fact, I suggest you not tackle anything too crazy, because the point here is to finish and to learn. There's also no requirement for "skill." All are welcome, and all can contribute. Although, if you want to comment, you have to come and play.


  • Any 2D medium, digital or physical (although you'll have to scan your physical media to post, of course).
  • The piece must be square, working at 2400 x 2400 pixels. Physical media can be at whatever scale you want, just scan them to be that many pixels across.
  • Your piece must show the letter and sentence (like "D is for Dog"). The type can be hand-drawn or computer-typed.
  • Of course, it has to be piratey!
  • Post a reasonable thumbnail in your posts (about 400x400 is usually good), with a link to the full 2400x2400.
  • Have fun, and help each other.

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