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Thread: Concept Art 101

  1. #61
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    Wow! Spazazo, that was superfast! And what a fun drawing! :-)

    You could do a really quick shade-job just to see what happens. Don’t labor over it – just knock in some values and see what happens. And don’t be afraid to ruin it. You have to ruin a lot of art to learn the ropes.

    Have you got a way to scale that down? Your image is a lot larger than it needs to be.

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  3. #62
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    Color

    If you don’t have PhotoShop, there are a variety of physical color mediums that you can use in your sketchbook.


    Dry Mediums

    Colored Pencil This medium is dry and tidy, which is ideal for sketchbooks, but has the unfortunate problem of being a tiny, tiny drawing point.

    Caran d’Ache This is a fancy name for crayon. It’s pigment held together with wax, that comes in the form of a stick. It’s not great for details and it works best on a paper that is mid-toned – such as postal paper.

    Oil pastel These are sticks of pigments held together with oil. They are vibrant, but have the annoying property of being permanently smeary unless sprayed with a fixative. (See ArtEdGradStudent’s awesome tutorial on the previous page for more info.)

    Marker Markers can be good for quickly throwing some color into a sketch; the down side is that you have to own a giant set of them to have a good range of colors to choose from. These aren’t likely to wrinkle your paper. Be sure to work in a ventilated area.


    Wet mediums

    Watercolor When used in a sketchbook, expect your page to get wrinkly. Watercolor is a difficult medium to use, because once you put a color down, there is usually no way to cover it up or erase it. However, it makes a good sketch medium because it forces you to put down your brush and move on!

    Gouache This is opaque watercolor.

    Inks These behave similarly to watercolors.

    Acrylic paint This is pigment held together with acrylic. It can make a decent sketch medium, but like watercolor, it will wrinkle your sketchbook page. It is easier to use than watercolor, because once a color has dried, you can paint freely on top of it. You also have the option of working either opaquely or transparently. Acrylic paint can be thinned with either water or acrylic medium.

    Oil paint Don’t use oil paints in your physical sketchbook, unless you want to set the book aside for a few weeks to dry! Oil paints can make a good sketching material, but you’ll have to work on individual surfaces, such as loose gessoed paper. If you are using oils for the first time, read up on them first.


    Combinations If you have multiple mediums on hand, don’t hesitate to mix and match! Sketchbooks are an ideal place to experiment. You may find that one medium is awful on its own, but wonderful in combination with something else.


    PhotoShop If you haven’t figured it out already, PhotoShop and programs like it are amazingly versatile color sketch mediums. Such programs allow you to fill up a lot of space with color very quickly. You can work transparently or opaquely. You can change the color of a layer that isn’t on the top, you can make multiple versions of one image, etc. Get in the habit of using layers. Get out of the habit of drawing on a white background. Get a tablet. Get used to drawing with the biggest brush possible. And GO! :-)

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    Color Assignments

    To learn to draw a thing, the best way to go about it is to draw it from direct observation. But there’s no good way to paint a moonlit landscape from observation, because it’s too dark to see what you are drawing. Let’s say you want to paint a scene with a ninja on a rooftop at night. . .


    ******** Assignment #12: Night and Day from Observation*********

    Set up a still-life lit by a strong direct light-source. Sunlight is preferable, but a lamp will do in a pinch. Paint it or draw it in color, doing your best to capture the colors accurately. Remember, this is a sketch, so don’t spend more than about an hour on it.

    Once that is done, start a new image. Paint your still-life a second time. This time, don’t use “accurate” colors. Use the same value information in your image, but substitute blues and greens for the original colors. Turn that sunlight into moonlight.

    If you are using PhotoShop, you can do this quickly by fiddling with the colors of the original painting; but for a better understanding of the colors I recommend starting from scratch.

    This can be repeated with any subject from observation.

    ******** Assignment #13: Night and Day from Imagination*********

    Repeat assignment 12, but instead of working from a still-life, draw something from imagination – such as a ninja on a rooftop. Paint the subject first lit with sunlight, and then lit with moonlight. Use what you learned about colors from assignment 12.

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    Skin Tones

    The big secret to painting skin is that there is no single “skin tone”. Skin is made up of different colors depending on the setting. Whether skin looks correct has more to do with the values then with the hues.

    ********Assignment #14: Self Portrait in Arbitrary Colors********

    Set up a mirror and a light-source so that you have a view of yourself with one part of your face lit, and one part in shadow. Then, pick two colors, one warm, and one cool. One of those colors is going to be your shadow color, and the other will be your brightly-lit color. Adjust the values accordingly – lighten the “brightly-lit” color and darken the “shadow” color. Add a little of another color to one or both of those, if necessary – I find I almost always need to add a bit of yellow. Then, use the two resulting colors to start painting a two-color sketch of yourself.

    Once you have what is essentially a full monochromatic sketch, then you can try adding in little bits of other colors, such as red for the lips and ears. But don’t forget: this is just a sketch. Don’t get caught up in painting details. The goal is to get the colors to work as skin tones.

    As you work, think up different possible scenarios in which such a color scheme might be useful. Red shadow and blue highlights? That’s a figure standing on the rim of a smoldering pit of lava at night, lit by the sharp glow of a crystal ball. Green shadow, red highlights? He’s in a jungle, lit by the setting sun. And so forth.

    This assignment is best if repeated three or four times with different sets of colors. It is also a wonderful opportunity to practice sketching crazy expressions.

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  9. #65
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    I shaded the self portrait. It looks better but I think I rushed the shoulders and the chest.

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    Here goes the first assigment. Gorilla toy.

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    Last edited by Kubushas; December 5th, 2006 at 02:06 PM.
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    Spazazo – spiffy! Don’t worry about rushing – it’s just a sketch, and sketches are for quick experimentation and learning. Some tidbits to think about: eyeballs and backgrounds can get shaded, too. Lips stand out from the skin by being darker, so for better results you can draw the shape more with shading and less with an outline. And hair – bleah, I haven’t figured out what to do with hair myself. ;-)

    Kubushas – Fun! And lol! :-) Some things to think about: if you shade in just the barest hint of a shadow under your object, then it will look a lot more grounded in the picture. Suddenly that blank paper will be a location. If you are interested in shading, try pointing a desk lamp at your subject, or use some other light-source. Having a good light-source on your subject can really help to make it look 3D on paper.

    Let’s see some more! :-)

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    Self - portrait. Did this from a photo, and turned out fast as for my self, less than hour, ussualy I draw for a long time, but well I haven't tried a portrait before
    My shading sucks
    Also added shades to gorilla.

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  13. #69
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    Seedling~

    Great thread my friend! I am so happy you are doing this. Once i get more time i would be more then happy to take part in this. I do alot of drawing/painting etc, more based towards fine arts, but im not sure how to draw concept art

    ~Cheers.

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    wow so interesting im gonna read some more and! thanks for the link here!! i feel honored to have been replied by a pro in the industry of ART

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    Wohoo! I got myself a scanner! Here´s my first try on the assignments! Hope i have the time to make all the others!

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    " The scientific and generally accepted-in-art term for this is "You're fuckin' screwed, dude..." " Ilaekae - May 16th, 2009
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  16. #72
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    Another go. It´s being funny!

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    Hi guys, here's my first post here.

    Thanks to the hostess, by the way, for doing this. Very kind of you to spend the time.

    Here's a try at the self portrait. It didn't end up looking much at all like me, but it's just a 15 minute speedpainting and sketch I guess.

    Concept Art 101

    Maybe I'll stick with these assignments, what the heck.

    Here are a couple of unrelated matte paintings:

    Concept Art 101
    Concept Art 101

    These are all done in Peeshop. I learn a great deal with each matte painting I do.

    Last edited by solidcube; December 9th, 2006 at 08:25 PM.
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    Assignment numba two...
    I should take more care with my shading next time.
    I actually learned something whilest doing this - that hairlines aren't, like, vertical equators down the middle of the scalp. Learning is good!!!

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    As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle being swept along is no longer enough.

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    Doinferno, That lighter is really funny.. so stupid

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  20. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisis
    Doinferno, That lighter is really funny.. so stupid
    Hehe... Thanks Crisis! Fact is, i do believe it would be functional... Crazy...

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  21. #77
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    Wow, you guys have been busy! Awesome! I’ll have to comment on your drawings later; for now, here’s the latet batch of assignments. . .

    Hey Solidcube – I’m seeing red X’s in place of your images. You might want to check those. . .

    You guys rock!

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Drawing Humans

    People are hard to draw. They are also the most common subject matter in representational art. Between those two things, it is a good idea to practice drawing people.

    The following is by no means a comprehensive list of exercises for learning to draw humans. It’s just a few things to try that maybe you haven’t thought of yet, in an order that may or may not be useful.

    ********Assignment #15: Researching Anatomy********

    There are a number of books out there that teach methods for drawing humans from imagination. These methods often involve sketching limbs as basic shapes, or starting from some sort of simplified skeleton. There’s no one right method. Try one for a while, then try another, or invent your own.

    Keep in mind, however, that in order to get the most out of these exercises, you also need to spend time drawing humans from observation, and you need to spend time studying muscles and bones – also from observation, if at all possible. It does no good to sketch a human from the skeleton up if you don’t have a basic understanding of the human skeleton.

    Cadavers aren’t a dime a dozen, so medical models make a good substitute. Medical models aren’t cheap or easy to come by, either. So, you need to get creative. Does your school own a plastic skeleton? See if you can schedule some time to draw it. One skeleton can provide hours and hours of sketching fun. Draw the skull, draw the rib-cage, draw the limbs, draw the whole thing. If you ask very nicely, the school might even let you take the skeleton off of its hook and lay it on a table or set it in a chair.

    You can also do some research on plastic models of skeletons and skulls. With a little searching, you might find some that are reasonably priced. You could ask for some bones for Christmas. . .

    Then there are textbooks. Gray’s Anatomy is a classic, but there are others, meant either for artists or physicians. Do some research, ask other artists for suggestions. Diagrams on paper aren’t as good as models, but they are better than nothing. Study those muscles; copy them into your sketchbook so that you can build a virtual model in your head of the complex shape that makes up a human being.


    ********Assignment #16: Adding Bones to a Mastercopy********

    This is based on an assignment that I did in college.

    Pick out a piece of art with a human in it. The more anatomically correct, the better; and also, the more foreshortened or contorted the position, the more fun the assignment. You can use comic-book figures or you can use a Michelangelo – it’s up to you.

    First, draw the figure in your sketchbook. Focus on keeping the proportions correct.

    Then you have three choices: use tracing paper, draw right on top of your drawing, or do a second drawing. If you use tracing paper, then tape it to your page or paper-clip it down. Then draw the skeleton onto the figure. (Or next to the figure, if you use the third option.) Use whatever reference you have available to you. See if you can make the bones work correctly in space.

    The funniest version of this assignment that I ever saw was Hello Kitty turned into a skeleton. Okay, it was an awesome drawing, but if you wish to really learn anatomy, stick to a realistic figure.

    ********Assignment #17: Constructing Humans from Spare Parts********

    So, about those techniques for drawing humans from imagination by starting with basic shapes of some sort. Great! Leap right in and give it a try.

    To really give your brain a workout, try this: draw a human from imagination sitting in a chair. Don’t get too worried about details just yet. Focus on proportions; focus on getting the basic building blocks into place.

    Good. Now, draw the same figure, in the same position, from the side. And then try again from the top. Focus on understanding the figure in 3D.

    Don’t forget: there are about a thousand ways for a human to sit in a chair, and there are a thousand types of chair. This doesn’t have to be boring.

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  24. #79
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    Still More about Drawing People

    ********Assignment #18: Sniping********

    Take your sketchbook to a public place with lots of people, such as the food court at a shopping mall, or a sporting event. Find a strategic place to snipe-draw, and start attempting to catch heads or whole poses on paper.

    You may want to start by sketching people who are holding still and absorbed in some task that doesn’t involve much movement. But the really fun part is trying to capture people in motion. For that, try to catch a mental snapshot of someone in action. Then, blot everything else out of your mind, and try to get that snapshot down on paper.

    One trick to this is to draw until your mind runs out of real, remembered details. Then use that scribble you did manage to capture as the starting point for a character that is made up by your imagination.

    It’ll be very clumsy for a while. You’ll get lots of scribbles and wasted paper. But don’t worry about that – it’s all part of training yourself. The paper can be thrown away, and you will improve.

    ********Assignment #19: Figure Drawing Class********

    It is unavoidable: the best way to learn to draw people is to lock yourself in a room with a naked sample.

    Check your local community colleges, continuing-ed courses, adult courses, art centers, art leagues, etc. Somewhere near you is an opportunity to draw from a nude model. If you are underage, they very well may take you if they get your parent’s permission, even if they don’t specify that in the class info – so call them up and ask. Do everything that you can to get into one of these courses or open-drawing studios. Life drawings are the best possible thing to have in your college application portfolio.

    ********Assignment #20: After Figure Drawing Class: Costumes********

    Once you have access to a figure-drawing class, you will find yourself with piles of sketches of naked people. Now for something a little more fun! Copy those figures, and add costumes. Go crazy! Historical dress, armor, fantasy chain-mail silliness, stylish fashion drawings, mech exoskeletons, superhero costumes, grafted-on animal parts; whatever floats your boat.

    ********Assignment #21: After Figure Drawing Class: Spare Parts********

    Take one of your nude drawings and copy it over – only this time, use your “spare parts” technique to rebuild the pose. Use this to reverse-engineer the spare-parts technique. Where does the technique work? Where does it over-generalize? How can you change the process to build a better human from scratch?

    Try to come up with a technique that works best for you. Don’t stick so slavishly to someone else’s instructions that you are limited.

    Last edited by Seedling; April 29th, 2007 at 09:33 AM.
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  26. #80
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    About assignment #15, here is a link that might help a lot:

    http://link.library.utoronto.ca/anat...tion/index.cfm

    And i mean A Lot! =]

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    Hi

    The "Concept Art from Found Photographs" assignment is hard. I really see the value of these excercises now.. but damn it's hard

    So i decided to give it a try but lack of time made me do it kinda quickly, at work. This morning at breakfast i googled two wolf pics and i made a quick sketch of them (the ref. sketches). Then i headed of for work and scribbled a few minutes here and a few minutes there. I'm not satisfied, but it's a good as it gets for now.

    Doinferno, I've been lookin for a anatomy site like that, thanks

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    Here is mine, it took me about 45 minutes or so. It's a bit unoriginal, but I didn't know what else to do. My imagination is where my art fails me. I think I'm too afraid to elaborate.

    Sorry I said I'd get it done ages ago, i had some problems with my scanner, and can't draw with a mouse from reference on Photoshop. I have done the other lesson with the still life though, i just need to find it.

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    I hope you guys have been having fun with this stuff. :-)

    Kubushas – Haha! I had nearly forgotten that one of my application drawings to RISD was a self-portrait with zipper. :-) Nice work. Next time, try a mirror instead of a photograph. It’s harder, but you’ll learn more from it and ultimately, it’ll get you a better self-portrait.

    JustinBeckett – Thanks! :-) There really isn’t any significant difference between fine art and concept art. The big leap is in figuring out how to get the observational work helping out the from-imagination work. As far as I can tell.

    Rolo - :-) From my perspective, being a “pro” artist is just an everyday thing. But I remember all too well being a student and being scared that I wouldn’t get here, so I’m happy to help others get here, too.

    DoInferno – Haha! Fun stuff. The lighter made me laugh. Next time, use a mirror for the self-portrait. It’s harder than using a photograph, but that’s part of the point. Keep going! Oh, and thanks for the anatomy reference link! Awesome.

    Solidcube – Foo, your images aren’t showing up at all. Try attaching them through “edit”, “go advanced”, and then “manage attachments”.

    Bunny – teehee! Tattoos and antlers – some of my favorite things to stick on people. That’s a good self-portrait under the extras! You’ve got nice line-work. Try adding the tattoo in the same medium as the rest of the drawing next time

    crisis – wolfies! :-) Good job with those! If it’s hard, that means you are pushing your boundaries, which is exactly the point! Next time, you could try going for the basic shapes under that fur. Try to puzzle out what basic 3D shapes your subject is made from. Then you can build it up from those shapes from any angle.

    Pound – believe it or not, originality is over-rated. :-) Especially when you are learning, chances are your art is going to look a whole lot like everyone else’s art who is learning the same skills. Don’t worry about them – just focus on doing the best possible job on whatever task is at hand. And you’ve done a nice job with your self-portrait! You did a good job with the shading and caught your emotional state well. (Which is tricky with the blank “I am drawing myself” expression. ;-) Hey – you seem to have some wiring loose there. . . you might want to pay a visit to a mechanic.



    Keep up the good work everyone!

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  30. #84
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    Hello,

    I just checked out your sketchbook and they are amazing. My life drawing and sketching ability has been a bit rusty lately, seeing this thread gives me the motivation I need right now to improve my skills. Keep up the good work, and I'll put some of my sketches online once I get enough practice (and doing some of your assignments). Thanks!

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    A bricky train vagon, done while traveling For the third assigment. Next time I'll definately drar some lines from perspective points, cuz it's pretty messy here

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    It`s study time... will try to do them all

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    I think this thread is a great idea, Seedling. Please continue to help us all out.
    We appreciate it very much.
    Here's my exercises 1 & 2.
    If anybody feels like giving some critique that would be awesome.
    I really wish to improve
    Concept Art 101
    Concept Art 101Concept Art 101

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  34. #88
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    Hey Seedling, thanks a bunch for starting this thread. Learning things a bit differently here, really opening up my mind. Its 3:00am and i cant sleep, if i would have known about this thread earlier i would have participated a bit more. About the crap attached below, Just messing with layers upon layers upon more useless layers lol.

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    Awww, you guys make me feel all warm and fuzzy. :-)

    Saturnaius – Thank you! And good luck with that. And io saturnalia! (That’s the traditional greeting for the holiday of saturnalia. ;-)

    Kubushas – Haha! That’s a funny train. It must take a ton of fuel to get it moving with all the weight from those bricks. It looks like you got pretty close to proper perspective just eyeballing it. That’s good – part of being able to use all that mechanical perspective stuff is being able to see what looks right. Keep on truckin’!

    Paolo13 – welcome! And haha! That’s cute. :-)

    Peter Stapleton – Wow! If you hadn’t told me that the velcro shoe was drawn from a modified lace-up shoe, I never would have guessed. That’s nicely done!

    And great work on the self portrait! Woot! Nice job with the colors and lighting. I love the expression on the masked version! Some things you can try if you wish to continue with these: the skin at the edges of the mask could be just a bit more shadowy. Since it’s a slick mechanical device, some of the edges could be improved by getting them mechanically straight. (Or conversely, make the mask look old and weather-beaten) And in the skin-tones – you could try introducing other colors – a bit of red on the nose and ears, blue or green around the eyes and chin.

    Thestjester – messing around with a medium can be a great way to figure out what to do with it.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Some Ideas for Still-Lifes

    If you find that the objects around your house or your room aren’t all that interesting to draw, then go on a scavenger hunt. Go outside, and look for discarded junk or natural objects. Or, rummage in the fridge. An egg or an orange or a leftover drum-stick are all good subjects to draw either as-is, or bit/broken/sliced/cooked. (If it’s particularly perishable, be sure to throw it away when you are done.)

    Lower-end antique stores can be good sources of inexpensive and interesting junk. Many have boxes of old keys and other miscellaneous odds and ends that can be bought for under a dollar. And even better are yard sales. The last yard sale I visited yielded two baskets and two antique glass bottles, all for a couple of dollars.

    Know somebody who owns an interesting object? Ask if you can borrow it.

    If all else fails, make something! Fold some origami. Crumple up some paper. Use cardboard scraps and a glue-gun to construct a castle model.

    As they say in Katamari Damacy – “The world is full of many things!”

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