Lane Brown's page led me to this site, Ctrl+Paint, which has been the answer to all of my Photoshop tutorial prayers. There are over 200 free videos in the site's video library, all concise, categorized and organized into an intelligent flow of information, as well as some paid video series that go more in-depth into certain techniques, all for $10 each. (I already bought the "Grayscale to Color" series and found it very helpful... for $10 it's hard not to justify the cost.) The videos range from traditional drawing practices, to composition basics, to more confident digital brushwork, even to things like art theory and mindset. But I wanted to share with you this one in particular which brought me a lot of comfort.
At the point I'm at right now, I think I can confidently say I'm not a total beginner any longer. I've been at this for a year and a half and I feel that I at least have a reasonable grasp of the very basics of drawing. But I remember when I had just started, and I felt like I was trying to find a needle in a haystack... in the dark. While it was raining. With a hungry tiger about to be set on me. You get the idea. I felt lost, like I had no idea what I was doing and like I would never get any better. But now I've been throwing graphite/ink/paint/pixels onto paper/canvas/computer screens for a while now, and I may not be lead character designer at Pixar, but I've had my own small victories, moments where I can look at what I've just drawn or painted and realize that it's better than it would've been a year ago, and that's enough. That's what keeps me going. Progress is its own reward.
PS: Another thing that's come in really handy from Lane's art resources page is a link to Houston Sharp's digital painting brushes. They're free and it's by far the best collection of Photoshop brushes I've ever come across in all of my digital painting time. I spent a very happy hour and a half just trying them all out.
© Gina Florio 2014