Tutorial sneak peek

As many of you know I have been releasing free video tutorials for the past 5 months on my YouTube site. In addition to those I have released several written tutorials over the past few years. I have always genuinely believed in giving back to the artistic community in any way that I can. I will continue to release free tutorials as often as I can, time permitting. I currently work 80-100 hours a week, 7 days a week. These tutorials are made on my free time when I am not working. One day I hope to have more time so that I can focus more on making these tutorials.

For the past few months I have been working here and there on a new video tutorial. I finally finished editing the video last week and I currently have 90 minutes of audio recorded out of roughly 144 minutes. It takes approximately one hour to record and edit 5-10 minutes of audio.

I wanted to do something different with this video, something that my other videos lack. One of the limitations of YouTube is that you can only upload videos that are 10 minutes in length. In order to release tutorials longer than that I have to spilt them into smaller parts, which can be a real pain for people to find and watch. Even if I break my videos into smaller sections I still have to increase the video speed drastically. Splitting a two and a half hour video into 10 minute segments isn’t the greatest idea. The Liche Priest video I released was split into 8 segments that ran almost an hour in length. The actual painting time was around 8 hours, so you can imagine how much I had to increase the speed. I found that most people only watched the first part and never really bothered to watch the other 7 parts. Other people would watch the first and second part and then skip to the last part.

I didn’t really like having to break my videos into so many sections, plus I didn’t like having to speed them up so much. It is hard to tell what the artist is doing when you have to increase the speed by 8x, especially when they are going through menus or using commands that you aren’t very familiar with. I spoke to a lot of people and they all wanted the same thing, a video tutorial filmed in real time. I tried this out on a small section of the Nibru painting I did and people really seemed to enjoy watching it in real time. I still had to deal with the 10 minute length issue.

The new tutorial I am working on is filmed completely in real time and has a length of approximately 144 minutes. The actual painting time was 4 hours, so I had to trim it down a little. I didn’t think people would want to sit around for 4 hours watching me paint the same thing…plus trying to make a 4 hour long HD video available for download wasn’t very plausible. Here is the catch, this will be my first video tutorial available for purchase. I plan to bundle my Photoshop brushes and the PSD files with the video so that you can see the different layers I work with. This will be a digital download, as of right now I have no plans on making it available on DVD. I still haven’t set a price tag as of yet, but it will definitely be affordable. I am still not sure if I will release this tutorial with a third party or if I will release it on my own. Sink or swim, we will see how it goes.


The other day I decided to pop on my headphones and listen to the audio I have been recording. To my horror I realized there was a lot of background noise in all of the audio. There was enough that I decided I did not want to release something I wasn’t happy with…especially if I expected people to have to pay for it. After a few minutes of flailing my arms in the air and kicking imaginary objects, I decided to redo all of the audio. It took me 7 hours of testing to find a solution to eliminate most of the background noise and to redo 15 of the 90 minutes I already had. I tried a few different mics, tested it with a few different headphones (my Bose headphones and the Dr. Dre Beats headphones), and tested it on a laptop and a desktop. I also tried a few different audio recording programs. This little endeavor should set me back another week before finishing the video.

In the end I found that Saran-wrapping a Guitar Hero mic to a camera tripod while sitting in the closet using WireTap Studio was the best solution. If anyone needs to find me, I’ll be in the closet.

24 Replies to “Tutorial sneak peek”
  1. I’ve actually been hoping you’d do something like this, where we can actually download one of your tutorials.

    Been a huge fan of yours for awhile now, and I must be one of those few who sat through all of the Liche videos, as well as every video you posted. I’ve learned so much from you, even though we’ve never met and I can’t wait til this next video becomes available.

  2. This is superb! I’ve been waiting for a tutorial like this from you for some time. I’ll be sure to pick it up immediately after it is available!

    Regarding your previous video tutorials, as much as I enjoyed all of them(yes, I did watch all Liche Priest vids and found them very inspirational and stimulating), the fact remains that they are still hosted on Youtube, which prevents me from going back to them as often as I’d like. Have you considered offering a bundle of ALL your video tutorials for high quality digital download for an added fee besides the purchasable Huntress tutorial?

    • Archexecutor – Hmm, I haven’t really thought about it. The only problem is that not all of them are filmed in HD, plus I do not own the rights to the Liche Priest painting, so I can’t sell it. It is something to keep in mind for any upcoming free tutorials though, thanks!

  3. I’ve been a big fan ever since i saw your Liche painting videos. Yeah, i must admit it was tiring to watch all 8 segments. I downloaded them all from Youtube & burned them all into a DVD so that i can watch them again & again without having to wait for them to load first. I agree with every one that it’s quite bothering to watch a sped-up video tutorial since i can’t see exactly what the artist is doing. I’m really waiting fot this new video of yours.

  4. Ah, yes. Completely forgot about the liche belonging to GW :/
    No matter. As long as I’ll be able to purchase real time HD recordings of your workflow, I’m perfectly happy 😀

  5. This tutorial can’t come soon enough! I have to thank you for your liche video. I’m actually a programmer who has taken up concept art as a bit of a hobby/necessity. I can’t tell you how much your videos and others I’ve seen have helped me along. A real time video would be invaluable.

  6. Lol @ your update. If it makes you feel any better when I recorded audio (guitar or vocal) I normally did it in the bathroom of my apartment. I used to string my mic up around the shower curtain. It was the quietest place so it was the place to be. I’d tell my roommate, “I’m going to the bathroom to make music.” I hope rerecording it doesn’t cause you too much grief.

  7. Been a fan for a long time, can’t wait for this tutorial man. I’ve learned so much over the past few months watching your vids, just wanted to say thanks!

  8. Daarken, your are such a inspirational person, Saran Wrapping A guitar hero mic, and recording in the closet, your amazing, your such a gift the the art community.

    • Jessie – Hehe, thank you very much! I actually just bought a real mic, so no more Guitar Hero mic Saran wrapped to a camera tripod!

  9. cant wait.
    there are so many people like me, its just a shame that just a handfull are writing comments or say it.

    as example, im a game design student and my whole class is watching your work always asking me “is there something new from daarken?”

    hope you get more exciting to work on such projects, we love your work 🙂
    (but i think you know that)

  10. On a side note- have you considered doing a tutorial covering the topic of mass battle scenes like the ones you illustrated for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition? I find such scenes to be quite enthralling, however, due to lack of time and skill so far I haven’t been able to pull one off on my own. The general composition isn’t the thing that tackles me, mind you- it’s all the little “extras” in the background, or rather the implications thereof. The biggest problem I have identified about my art is that I still fail to recognize when I’ve put just enough detail into a painting, therefore ending up with an uberdetailed picture in which the details have destroyed all signs of composition, or with frankly barren and desolate pieces. I feel I just can’t yet judge how much detail I can get away with in a painting…

    Well, after having spawned yet another wall of text that went from mass battle scenes to detail management, I’ll be shutting up 🙂

    I’d be extremely grateful if you would consider doing any kind of tutorial regarding the aforementioned topics, though 🙂

    • Archexecutor – That is actually a great idea. The only problem is I can’t really do a tutorial of my Warhammer covers since I didn’t film them when I was painting them. I would need to do a new painting, but I am not sure I have the time right now to paint a huge battle scene as a personal project. It is definitely something worth thinking about in the future though.

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