The 11 best drawing books

There's a myth out there that artists are born, not made. We believe this statement is false, and that nearly anyone can learn a skill if they know what resources to use to help them learn.

And that's where we come in. Whether you're just starting out or you're a long-time artist, this list of the best drawing books will help you improve your knowledge, and provide you with some great reference material, too. While this isn't an exhaustive list, this is our pick of the best drawing books we recommend for artists, or aspiring artists, of all skill levels.

For more inspiration and advice in video or online tutorial format, take a look at our roundup of how to draw tutorials.

Best drawing books: Drawing the head and hands

Andrew Loomis' Drawing the Head and Hands is a classic, and is excellent if you're looking for a solid foundation on drawing hands and heads. There's a ton of info inside, so you'll want to take it slow, especially if you struggle with drawing hands. Loomis' explanations are detailed and engaging, and it's hands-down (pun intended) the best anatomy reference book despite its age. Loomis' systematic approach will help you understand the principles behind drawing realistic portraits. Aside from the benefits of learning how to draw, Drawing the Head and Hands makes an excellent coffee table book too.

Pocket Art: Portrait Drawing

This Pocket Art: Portrait Drawing art guide is perfect for those artists looking to improve their portraiture skills. Artist Miss Led (real name Joanna Henly) breaks down the stages of portrait drawing into manageable, easy-to-understand sections, covering how to best approach creating beautiful portraits in a range of styles.  

Aimed at beginners and experienced artists alike, this 112-page book acts as a solid introduction to portrait drawing techniques, but also looks at how professional artists can create fine art and commercial-style illustrations. The handy-sized book is full of expert advice and tips, backed up by plenty of exercises for readers to put into practice. Copy is minimal but covers everything it needs to, leaving more space for Miss Led’s …

The best camera bags and cases in 2019

If you're carrying camera gear from place to place, then you'll be best of with a specially made camera bag designed for this specific purpose. This holds true whether you're using a small compact camera with a fixed lens, a mirrorless setup that almost fits in a pocket, or a hefty DSLR setup with lenses and flashguns to spare. 

The camera bag market is growing larger and larger, with everything on offer from small clip-on pouches to heavy-duty hard cases. And there are plenty of different brands out there, all with different versions of each type of bag, so even if you have a good idea of what you want it can be difficult to know where to start.

That's where we come in. We've put together this list of what we reckon are the best camera bags on the market right now.

We've aimed to cover every major type of camera bag, from pouches and slings to rolling hard cases. Whatever your needs and your budgets, you should hopefully find the best camera bag here that'll suit you and your camera gear. 

Right now, we think the Tenba Axis tactical backpack is one of the best camera bags out there. It gives you a decent build quality and plenty of room to expand for a reasonable asking price. But the right camera bag for you naturally depends on your personal requirements. While most find space to stash a tablet or laptop alongside photographic equipment, some are better for compact system cameras than bulkier DSLRs, while others offer space for a camera drone too. So study the following list closely in order to find your own best fit.

How to choose the best camera bag or case

Of course, it’s not just the gear you’re going to be putting in the bag you need to think about. Also consider what you typically photograph – and what environments that places you in. For example, a street photographer might be better suited to an equally unobtrusive shoulder-worn …

These honest logos have got us giggling

Everyone loves a good ol' swipe at big brands, and that's probably why we love Viktor Hertz's Honest Logos project, which we discovered this week. Since 2011, the Swedish designer has been taking some of the world's biggest brands and redesigning their logos according to what they actually mean for most people. 

Most of his descriptions are harsh but fair. Netflix becomes 'Nosleepnosex', for example, the Academy Awards is transformed into the 'Annual Orgy of the white mutual admiration society' and Games of Thrones becomes 'Gore and Titties'. And there are, of course, some others that don't mention sex or body parts.

While the honest logos show a new side to these big brands, we also think they demonstrate the power of branding. Compare the honest logos to the real ones, and you'll see that if you create a powerful enough brand, you can create associations with your logo and identity that may be removed from what you are actually selling. The obvious example being that Apple does not sell apples.

Facebook, which Hertz reimagined in 2011 as 'Procrastination', is just that, a way for people to waste time. But how many of us think about wasting time when we see that blue 'f'?

The logos also show that what brands mean to consumers change over time. There have certainly been worse accusations levelled at Facebook lately than it aids procrastination – this year alone it has been accused of promoting self-harm and violence. It's also got us wondering how we'll see these brands in a few years time. 

Since his initial honest logos project, Hertz has continued to poke fun at brands and branding with quips on Instagram and Twitter.

He's taken aim at Instagram for its censorship policies.

Updated his honest logos for the seasons.

And taken a pop at cupid's favourite day.

We hope to see some more honest logos from Hertz soon. Meanwhile, we'll just be off to watch Nosleepnosex. 

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Photoshop colour change: 2 tools you need to know

In this tutorial you'll learn two of the most basic techniques for making colour changes to selected areas of an image in Photoshop. From the quickest approaches with the Color Replacement tool, to the slightly more advanced techniques of using the Color Range command, these tips have you covered.

We'll also talk you through the tools and panels to give you a good understanding of what they do and how to get the most out of them. Not only that, you'll pick up handy Photoshop shortcuts along the way.

As we mentioned, this tutorial covers the most basic Photoshop colour change tools, the Color Replacement tool and the Color Range command. If you know which one you'd like to explore, simply click on the above links to jump to the relevant sections in this article.

Photoshop has many different ways of doing things, but this tutorial is a great starting point that will give you the basic information you need to get started with making a Photoshop colour change – if you'd like more Photoshop help, check out our roundup of the best Photoshop tutorials.

To follow along using the images used in this tutorial, download the following: Image of lady by Noah Buscher, macaroons photo by Eaters Collective, both from Unsplash.

The Color Replacement tool

The Color Replacement tool is the quickest way to colourise images in Photoshop

The Color Replacement tool is the quickest way to make a colour change in Photoshop. It works by sampling the original colours and replacing them with your selected foreground colour.

The great thing about the Color Replacement tool is that it maintains the midtones, shadows, and highlights of the original image so you get a realistic-looking colour adjustment. On the downside, it’s destructive. Any changes you make will permanently adjust the pixels in your image. Unless you undo them, that is.

The Color Replacement tool can be found under the flyout menu of the Brush Tool in the Tools panel (for PhotoshopCS – CS2 users, you’ll find it …

14 of the best JavaScript APIs

Here's our pick of the best JavaScript APIs around right now. These will help you add new and interesting functionality to your sites and apps. A word of warning: many of these APIs are still in development, so make sure you check browser support before you start using them, and provide fallbacks where necessary. You'll find a note of the API status at time of writing at the top of each entry. 

01. Payment Request API 

JavaScript APIs: Payment Request API

  • Status: Candidate recommendation
  • Read more: W3C summary 

The first JavaScript API we're looking at is the Payment Request API. When creating an ecommerce website, lots of thought goes into improving the checkout flow to make sure the experience is as smooth and pain-free as possible. Entering payment details remains a repetitive process. If any field is slightly wrong, the whole process breaks and it needs to be started again. On the developer’s side, making sure the right validation checks are in place for each payment method is a time-consuming process.

The Payment Request API does away with this part of the checkout experience. The page can request the information it needs and the browser provides the user with the fields to enter.

The user only needs to enter their details once, and they can be used across different websites and transactions. Depending on the device, they can even use the payment methods linked to the user account, such as Google and Apple Pay.

The object takes a few parameters that describe the payment that should take place. The first details the payment methods accepted. These can be different types of payment cards, as well as details for integrating with other third-party payment solutions. There is even scope to include another web application as a payment method by using the Payment Handler API.

The second is a breakdown of what is being purchased. This can be in any format that makes sense to the transaction. This also includes options for shipping costs, which can be calculated based on other factors, …

The best memory cards for your camera

Whether you're shooting photos or video, you can never have enough SD memory cards. These tiny devices are the common standard media that cameras use to store what they record, and you're going to want to have plenty of them about your person at all times when you're shooting.

But which to choose? There are loads of brands and types of SD memory card out there, available at a wide range of different prices. How do you know which is right for you, and how can you be sure you're getting the best deal on it?

That's where we come in. Read on for our top recommendations of all different types of memory card for your camera.

Which is the best SD card?

Most photographers will be aware that the postage stamp-sized SD (secure digital) card, also available in SDHC and SDXC iterations, is the memory card most commonly supported by today’s digital cameras. Within that context, we think that the SanDisk Extreme PRO SD UHS-I is one of the best SD format memory cards currently available.

But there’s also the fingernail-sized microSD utilised by smartphones and tablets, the older but still popular CompactFlash (‘CF’), utilised by many DSLRs, plus what has been termed CF’s successor in the newer XQD format memory card.

Eyebrows were raised when the Nikon Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras were recently introduced with a single XQD card slot. While they may be currently less common (and pricier), the good news is that the XQD memory card has been specifically designed to keep up with the shooting speeds that these latest generation cameras offer; a blazing fast read and write time a particular advantage when capturing Raw files or 4K video.

So when choosing your own best-fit memory card it’s very much a case of horses for courses. You’ll need to consider what you’ll be shooting on, how fast you’ll be shooting, whether you mostly shoot Raw or JPEG, Full HD or 4K video – as well as what your budget is – and choose a …

Get the skills to work as a full-stack developer

Would you like to make more money in 2019? If you're interested in becoming a developer, The Full Stack JavaScript Developer E-Degree Bundle will get you up to speed in this lucrative field. And if you have no prior coding experience, don't worry. there's plenty of courses for those new to the discipline, including CSS for Beginners, JavaScript for Beginners and HTML for Beginners. 

Once you've mastered the basics, you can work through the more in-depth courses at your own pace. These include Contributing to Open Source, HTML5 Programming, NodeJS & Express JS Framework. PWA in JavaScript, Modern Java with ES6, JavaScript Frameworks, TDD in JavaScript and even Advanced Javascript. 

This 11-course bundle would typically cost $182.50, but has recently had a price drop to $35, saving you a whopping 80 per cent on the retail price. Pick up The Full Stack JavaScript Developer E-Degree Bundle for just $35 here

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from Creative Bloq http://www.creativebloq.com/news/get-the-skills-to-work-as-a-full-stack-developer…

Perfect object-oriented UX

Sophia V Prater – who is interviewed in this article – will be exploring object-oriented UX at generate New York (April 24-25). To book your ticket to this award-winning conference for web designers, visit Generateconf.com.

According to Sophia V Prater, broken objects are one of the biggest user experience fails. To avoid them, she’s come up with a process and methodology that she’s named ‘object-oriented UX’ (OOUX), which is focused on figuring out and modelling the user’s world.

“The idea is that before I design any screens, before I even wireframe or work on the UI, I’m going to answer the following questions: what are the objects in the user’s world, what are they made of, how do they connect and how do they relate to the user?” says Prater. “If I get those questions answered and make sure that they’re clearly reflected in the user interface, I have a much better chance of this user interface being intuitive.” 

Object-oriented UX has its basis in the real world and how we navigate through it. “So if I go into the bathroom and then leave through the same door, I’m going to expect to be where I was before,” Prater argues. “But this often doesn’t hold true in the digital world. While breaking the laws of physics can be great – just look at spellcheck and undo – you still need to lean back on the principles of what users will expect from any environment. 

"Google Photos is a good example of this: I’m in my photo stream, I select some photos, add them to an album and then go into my album, rearrange photos and save it. Then I click the Back button but it doesn’t take me back to All Photos, where I just was. It takes me to All Albums, which is a page within this user session I haven’t even been on before. And this happens all the time.”

Prater teaches OOUX within companies (such as Macys.com, Mastercard, Delta …

The best cheap GoPro deals for filmmakers and creatives

When it comes to action cameras, the GoPro Hero series is still very much the top dog. These pocket-sized waterproof cameras are fantastic for shooting both high-quality stills and 4K video. They're able to take a pounding and survive freezing temperatures, and thanks to a broad range of accessories, can be mounted and configured in all sorts of ways.

The series has gone from strength to strength, and fairly recently found new space for innovation in the form of the GoPro Hero7, which introduced super-stabilised video to the GoPro space. Everyone wants a piece of GoPro kit right now, and there are loads of fantastic deals out there from different retailers. If you want to pick out a bargain, it's well worth shopping around for the best deals on GoPro cameras, and that's where we come in.

Our tool automatically searches all the major retailers to find the lowest prices on the best GoPro cameras for filming you can buy. This includes everything from the updated top-end GoPro Hero7 Black, the new mid-range GoPro Hero7 Silver and White models, and the GoPro Karma drones, right down to the sometimes very cheap GoPro Hero4. 

GoPro cameras have quickly become the go-to tool for filming POV (point-of-view) videos thanks to their low cost, fantastic footage, extreme durability and portable nature. Perfect for strapping to your helmet or chest, they're especially good for intense action event filming, providing a first-person viewpoint of muddy forest mountain-bike descents, extreme snowboarding, sky diving, near-miss wingsuit flying – the lot. If you've seen an extreme sports close call on YouTube, it was probably shot on a GoPro camera. 

They're not just portable and tough, though. GoPro cameras are capable of shooting with multiple field-of-view (FOV) options. With the GoPro Hero7 Black, you can shoot in 4K at 60fps or in Full HD 1080p at an incredibly slick 240fps, for super-slow-motion creative effects. GoPros also take great stills, and often have a burst mode to give you even more shooting flexibility. 

How to create a 3D werewolf in Unreal Engine

The concept, model, texture and material setup for this ferocious image of a werewolf – which was created for Kunoichi, a stealth-oriented game set in a fantasy world – was completed entirely in Unreal Engine 4. “It took me around 12 working days from concept to final model,” says 3D artist Hooman Raad.

He employed industry-standard methods to create the piece, but feels the Unreal Engine 4 material gave it an outstanding quality. “I always make sure to put in hours of hard work to ensure it comes out nicely, because presentation is crucial to selling the model and making all those hours worthwhile,” he explains.

Raad has worked in so many disciplines within the world of 3D art, including rigging and animation. Around five years ago he decided to focus purely on character creation for animation and video games.

“Seeing the work of other artists always encourages me to continue improving my work,” says Raad. “Everywhere I look in nature becomes a source of inspiration.” And now he's ready to inspire you with this real time werewolf workflow.

01. Find the forms of the hair

Werewolf hair detail

Think of hair as clumps, not stands

For hair always try to understand the flow as well as clumps; try to do a quick paint-over in Photoshop CC and then break it down. Then move onto a hair system software (such as XGen). As many artists have said, reference is your best friend.

02. Place the hair

3D werewolf model with hair being attached

Hair is carefully laid by hand

For a creature like this, I prefer to place the hair by hand. Recently I found a useful script for Maya called Hair Grabber, which helps you select the hair card easily and will save you a lot of time. For example, sometimes it’s difficult to select the root or tip of the hair card meshes, but with this script you can do it quickly and easily.

03. Sort the hair types

Detail of werewolf hair on 3D model

Different hair textures tell their own story

There are a lot …