In the spirit of Halloween, I made this cool demon-ish sword; heres how you can design one too! I used the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook for the iPod touch, however it would be easier I imagine to use the pc version.
Step 1: Sword Design
Start with a blank slate, and turn on the vertical mirroring tool. Begin drawing the blade using a dark color (I just used black for the outline). After creating the general outline for your blade, Add some curvy lines below to create a guard.
Step 2: Make Blade
Add a blood-vane down the center of your blade; I used a light blue color and some curvy mirroring to make the blade look a bit "magical". Add another set of lines down the sides of the blade to give it some edges - make sure your still using the mirror tool it will make things a LOT easier! After adding your edges, fill in the blade with some color - I recommend using a light color for the outside edge, and a slightly darker color for the main portion of the blade. I recommend using the paint bucket tool. Don't worry if you cant fill every nook and cranny; we'll take care of that later.
Step 3: Add Colors
Now it's time to put a handle on this baby! I just used some curvy lines starting at the bottom of the guard, and made a couple rows of them. Then add a nice hilt to the bottom of your handle. Now go back and add some color to your handle, your hilt, and your guard.(again, using the bucket tool is easiest, and don't worry about every little bit) If you want to start getting fancy, you can even add a little hue down the center of the sword like I did, using a mostly opaque brush of your choice.
Step 4: Add Shadows/highlights
Next, start making the sword look realistic by adding some shadows! (use a slightly opaque medium-size black brush) Put shadows wherever you feel the light would not reach (i.e. undersides of parts, sides opposite your imaginary light source). Once you've added shadows down one side, add some highlights to the other side where the light WOULD strike. Use a slightly opaque brush, either a white one or an eraser. Try to add a few really white spots where the light is reflecting! Then, once you've finished the blade, do the same with the handle, hilt, and guard. The guard is a little tricky - just darken/lighten whatever seems right.
Step 5: POWER Curves
To make the sword look like it has powerful/magical capabilities, make a few curvy lines around the sword, then erase parts so it looks like the lines travel behind the sword. This creates the effect that they are circling the weapon, ready to release a blast of energy!
Make sure you create a new layer for the curvy lines, or when you go back to erase parts of them you will accidentally erase you beautiful sword :'(
Step 6: Background
So now your sword is done, but the picture doesn't look quite right. You need something to fill all that empty space!
To make a background is quite simple. Create a new layer, behind the other two layers you now have. Fill it with a solid color. Using the eraser, make a bunch of squiggly white lines coming down from the top of the picture. And using the black brush, make a bunch of squiggly lines coming up from the bottom of the picture. As the two colors met, they should decrease in strength, leaving a sliver of red in between each other.
Step 7: Awesome!
Congratulations! You now have (if you followed thisdesign) a thoroughly epic demon sword! Nice work!