Too dependent on one brush/high smooth setting?

I’ve been drawing my sort of cartoon furry characters in MyPaint for a while now, and I’ve found I can produce results that are sometimes quite nice if a little basic for my taste.

My still developing anatomy/cloth fold skills aside though, I feel like I’ve been wanting to move forwards into shading and possibly lineless art, and part of that move I imagine would involve moving beyond my current toolset.

As of right now, I’m mostly dependent on the Kabura brush with the Smooth setting turned up high so I can get clean lines. I use this for both the initial sketching and the inking process, and sometimes to draw the shapes for the Multiplier layer I might use for basic shading. I use other brushes basically never.

I’ve tried moving away from the Kabura brush, but I’ve found that I can’t really adjust as well. The sketching pencils tend to be far too loose for me with their default settings. My question is, is it “cheating” if I increase the settings on these, or would this be abnormal and might it stunt my growth?


In my opinion there is no cheating when it comes to art, except maybe tracing someone elses work and calling it your own.

All the brush settings are tools at your disposal. If you get good at using them it’s a skill that people should admire. In the end it’s the result that counts, not how you produced it.

That said, if you want to expand your horizons, it’s probably best to dive in head first. It will likely be a bit uncomfortable at first but I think you’ll get used to it and begin to enjoy it after a while.

In my opinion there is no cheating when it comes to art, except maybe tracing someone else’s work and calling it your own.

Thank you for the reply, but while I’m aware that the end product matters more than what methods I used, I feel like learning how to use the most efficient methods will produce a much better end product. If I’m dependent on a method that’s foreign to most artists, then it means that I won’t be able to get as useful of advice from other people. On the other hand, if it’s normal for most artists to play around with the smooth setting, then I don’t really need to feel like I’m doing anything wrong.

I’m with bleke on this one w. regards to “cheating”, but it is also true that removing the software aides (the motion filter, a.k.a smoothing) could help you focus on improving your technique.

“Cheating” in art… well, that’s a complex argument.
First of all, one must understand if digital art itself isn’t a form of cheating if compared to traditional art. For this reason one can use as many excuses as he pleases (like : " I want to spare money, I want to save the rainforest, I want to feel modern, etc… " )
Second, once it feels morally ok to produce digital art, there would be still picky people trying to bring you down and considering, for example, the use of 3d background as form of “cheating”…
It’s up to you, some people don’t blame themselves not even if they steal shutterstock cliparts just to achieve some kind of result (ego, money, whatever…)
Again, what is “cheating” ? Is art itself a way to cheat on perception, anatomy, etc… ?
If I copy another artist, am I “cheating” ? Same goes for “inspiration” and “fan-art”.
If I copy natural elements onto a canvas, is it “cheating” ?
If I use the most common ways of illustration to portray a character in a specific way, to make him look bad or good, nice or ugly… am I “cheating” on the viewer’s interpretation ?
If I play a game on easy difficulty… is it “cheating” ?
If I play a bugged or glitched game using cheats (just development tools, actually) to skip an impossible or badly developed part of the game… is it “cheating” ?

Too broad argument, to solve it up: if you like it and it doesn’t harm anybody, well you can feel morally safe ( I guess). Just don’t focus too much on this argument, for the risk of becoming cynical.

To me, art is already a form of cheat.
With art one can cheat on reality itself, one can cheat on other people’s mind (and this “science” is called " semiology / semiotics " ), one can cheat on nature, anatomy, science, whatever.

It’s about creating illusions. Taht’s why people aim at becoming “pro’s” so they could master any aspect of representation and make people say “wow!”
That “Wow!” is the wonder. Yeah, people want to become monsters, lol (“monstrum”, latin, means “something that generates stupor”).
If this isn’t dishonest by itself, I wonder what it is.
Yet, we need it, welcome to this paradox.

You, for example, make furry art. That’s a cheat on nature because beings like those don’t exist. So you’re actually fooling yourself… but it’s good anyway because, you would direct that sexual desire toward a real-life subject and become an animal-sexual-predator.
Don’t get me wrong, this is psychology.
It’s the same reason why drawing violent stuff restrains one from committing violent actions.
Art is a technical purge, where technically everything should be admitted.

“Oh no I’ve said too much” lol

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OK, whoa, whoa, WHOA! I am sorry, hold the phone, but the idea that if a furry doesn’t draw furry art they’re likely to commit bestiality? What. What?!
With all due respect, to call that a gross inaccuracy is like calling the Pacific ocean a ‘bit of a damp spot’.

Firstly, thank you for your comment and I do somewhat agree with the idea that art is about illusions or ideas more than accurate representation like a schematic, the same way that fictional re-tellings of story may not present the information accurately in favor of telling a good, coherent story, and in filling in gaps where historical reference alone only leaves vague clues. However, my question (as I tried to clarify) was whether or not I was “cheating” in the sense that I was stunting my growth. I accept that there isn’t necessarily a defined way to go about art (and thus artstyles exist) but if my use of smoothing means it will be harder for me to grasp lineless art, shading, etc., then I want to start moving away from using the smoothing tool.

Secondly, as soon as I saw the email I knew I had to address this even though I didn’t want to, but I do not condone or support bestiality or pornography by any means, (I know it’s possible I’ve chosen a poor piece of art to represent that) I associate more with the furry fandom as I enjoy the concept of anthro characters and how they present great opportunities for creating original characters, writing stories, etc. I assure you that fetishism is not my main investment in the fandom. I don’t want to get into an off-topic discussion about pornography or the furry fandom though, so I will leave it at that.

yeah, I heard that elsewhere. but it’s a fan-dom. it implies fanaticism (eventually more dangerous that fetishism), so it’s about instinctual sublimation. I’m not “condemning” it (I wouldn’t be entitled to do so neither, just saying), but as any other fan-dom, it’s not just about jumping on a bandwagon for a while then getting out as soon as it gets boring. fanaticism is a fixation, so just watch out because there could be toxic people in those … “places”.
anyway, yeah, /offtopic

but the argument stays the same, if you think that using smoothing adjusters could delay your technical growth, then I suggest you to try pixel-art.

sounds strange, I know, but that’s where you get the concept of anti-aliasing and shading in a digital way and, speaking of “growth”, that’s where digital art actually started, so that would be coherent.

If not, don’t know what else to suggest you


It ‘implies’ zip. While the original etymology of fan is, indeed, fanatic, taking it to the extent you suggest is untrue for practically all fandom members, whether Trekkies, Whovians, Browncoats, Star Wars geeks, furries, et cetera, hyperbole at best.

well, if you compare the Sun to the VY Canis Majoris (speaking of “beasts”, lol) you’ll see the whole Earth is just a dot.
It’s a matter of perspective.

oh well, even buddhists, artists, scientists, etc. are all “fans” of something.
it’s a matter of devotion. meaning they devote their life to something : somebody chooses devotion for Buddha, somebody else to Mickey Mouse and so on…

furries devote their life to the genetical inclusion of nonhuman traits into human bodies, all of this (combined with the belief or convinction according to which “art is just a sublimation of an instinctual desire”, go search the quote origin yourself and prepare to be surprised) suggests that any fandom, if not directed to a sexual satisfaction (it would be immoral thinking that a buddhist monk sexually desires Buddha), it’s directed by admiration (or even jealousy, sometimes).
so, if it’s not desire of possession, it’s envy or identification.

but we’re not talking about high ideologies, here.
we’re talking about female anthropomorphic animals.
as fishy as it looks, at least to me. you can keep your opinion if you like, anyone’s entitled to his own anyway. I didn’t want to moralize anyway, neither I want to polemize furthermore

farewell, I hope to come back when I’ll actually have some drawing to show, rather than arguments.

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