I’m fortunate to be taking Web Content Strategies & Management this semester with Dr. David Hopping. Here are some games and tools I learned about in class to help me practice my HTML and CSS knowledge. These games are helpful whether you’re just starting web development or looking to improve your skills.
Grid Garden is a great way to practice placing items on a page using the CSS 2-dimensional grid layout. Water your carrots by moving the water placement on the grid using the grid-column-start property.
When learning CSS, it’s essential to know how to select which specific items you want to change with your CSS code. In CSS diner, you can practice writing CSS selectors to select elements by their type.
For more resources on learning HTML, CSS, or other major web languages, visit W3Schools. This website has step-by-step lessons and tutorials for self-guided learning. If you get stuck on any of the previous games, W3 Schools might be able to help you figure it out.
It’s Open Access Week! Every year this international event brings the academic community together to discuss the benefits of free and immediate access to information, especially scholarly resources.
This week, I’ll be sharing open (and semi-open) resources for artists. When I’m not at the library desk, I like to draw, and I’m always on the hunt for high quality reference images. When learning how to draw people, you’ll often have to figure out a pose without the help of live models. References, however, are not always free or easy to find. Here some of the resources that I’ve found helpful over the years.
Provides both nude and clothed photos for study. Artists can start a drawing session by choosing the kinds of models, and the time intervals between photos. There are also posts here that give advice for improving your technique.
This collection of motion images provides rapid sequence photographs of athletes and dancers. These images are a good way to study how the human body moves. Most of this content is only available with a subscription, but there are some free sequences. When browsing a section, click the “free” tab on the right-hand side of the page.
This stock photo collection has models with plenty of different body types. There are some fun poses in here: from fantasy to action, to sci-fi settings. All models are wearing clothing or flesh-tone bodysuits, so no need to worry about using it in a public space.
Okay, so this one is from the 40’s and it shows; the majority of nude female figures are still sporting high heels. However, Loomis still offers many helpful tips. It contains an exhaustive instruction of perspective, musculature, the mechanics of motion, shading and lighting as well as exercises for practice.
Practicing with the gesture technique can help you break out of “stiff” poses and figure out how to imbue your figures with character and expression. This guide contains an overview of gesture, videos of instruction, and a list of books on gesture.
A good fashion reference site that showcases clothing through time and around the world. The information here gives context for clothing, bios of fashion icons, overviews of fashion movements, and the history of clothing items. It’s a good tool to inspire clothing design for the people and characters you draw.
You’ll have to create a free account on the Internet Archive to view this one. It’s a collection of costume plates from the 19th century. There are later editions of this book available, but this edition still contains original clothing pattern drafts.
This website provides free tutorials and podcasts on drawing topics with a focus on human figures. Sign up for the free “fresh eyes” drawing challenge, a ten-day course that teaches students to identify gesture and structure of the form.
This resource isn’t human-figure specific but these videos are great resources for learning how to draw and design. Try “EP 30: Character Silhouettes” to buff up your character illustration skills. This channel is especially good for creatives interested in comics or illustration.
An independent website that showcases concept art from animation, games, and comics. There’s a little bit of everything here. I’d recommend checking out their visual library. There are anatomical references, character/creature design references, vehicles, props, and lighting/color tutorials.
What is your educational and/or professional background?
I graduated with an English degree from Beloit College in Wisconsin. Afterwards, I worked at the Circulation Desk and then at the Reference Desk at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, IL. I also had a second job in Materials Services and then later Cataloging at the Poplar Creek Public Library in Streamwood, IL.
What led you to your field?
I ended up in the library world unintentionally. As an undergraduate, I worked a campus job at the college library so I could avoid cafeteria work. Then, once I moved back to my hometown, I used that experience to apply for a job at my local public library. I ended up really enjoying the atmosphere of the reference desk and worked there for five years. I like the odd out-of-the-box questions I get at the desk and enjoy helping people with their research, their genealogy hunt, or their email accounts. Libraries do a whole lot more than I’d ever realized.
What are your research interests?
I’m interested in equitable and accessible library services, social work in libraries, and open educational resources (OER). I’m also interested in art and design.
What is your specialty within the Scholarly Commons?
I’m working as a Digital Projects Assistant at Scholarly Commons and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. I work on our social media accounts, our newsletter, and I create graphics or instructions as needed.
Describe a favorite project you’ve worked on.
In my previous position, I was given free rein to work on mini posters for a bunch of tri-sided stands to advertise different library services. I enjoy being able to make creative graphics and designs.
What Scholarly Commons resource are you most excited to learn about?
I’m excited to learn more about our studio cameras and how to take professional-looking photos.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I’m still undecided as to what kind of librarianship I’d like to pursue after I graduate. I think I’d like to work as a research librarian at a college or university.