Monday, March 30, 2009

Past and Progress

I've been feeling blue-ish lately which isn't conducive to much in the way of art. Thank whatever little gods are listening that I have arty people in my life now who can inspire me to keep scribbling even when my heart isn't really in it. Previously when I've been down I would just... not do any art at all. This of course usually makes my blue funk even worse. Vicious cycle! In fact, there was a space of almost ten years when I produced a grand total of five drawings. Any progress I was making towards becoming a better artist came to a screeching halt.
Today whilst cleaning out the computer cave, I unearthed a backup cd of old images that I had thought were lost for good after my last catastrophic hard drive crash. They date from 1999 to 2003-ish and it was a good reminder of the progress I have made in the past ten years.
This one here was the most time-intensive thing I'd ever done. You see, I coloured it in Photoshop... with a MOUSE. This was before my wonderful tablet was gifted to me, so sometime in 2000, I'd guess. Obviously I did pretty much everything to it that you're NOT supposed to do, and the pencil sketch worked far better. There's so much Blur tool on this thing it makes me question my glasses prescription.
My first few tries with the tablet were tentative to say the least. It isn't like the latest model that my art-friend Barb has, where you look at the tablet to draw... you draw on the tablet, but watch what you're drawing on the monitor. That took some getting used to! Plus, I've never found Photoshop to be very intuitive... it's an awesome and powerful graphics program, but Painter really set me free to experiment with my tablet.
So the piece I ended up calling "Frogmask" was a mix of using the mouse and the tablet which gives it a rather odd look, I think. I seriously can't stand looking at the tree, grass or background on this for very long because the things I screwed up on are so very apparent to me, however, I still love the idea of it. Oh, and the shoes. The shoes are pretty nifty.

After a while I grew so used to the tablet that it was pretty much all I used. I would scan in the pencil sketches but those rarely made it to my gallery; everything was digitally painted. In retrospect, this was a good way for me to loosen up and play with paints which had always intimidated me in school because there were so many RULES. The tablet and Painter let me play without fear of ruining an expensive piece of canvas or paper or "wasting" paint. I could experiment without guilt!
This is one of the few pieces I have done that I never ended up hating for its mistakes. It cheered me up during a bleak time, and somehow can still do that for me now when I need it.
There wasn't any sketch for this one, it was started and finished in Painter using all sorts of the tools that I have since forgotten.
I'll leave you with Cosmic Cow.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cat-like-thing in tree-like-thing

This creature was inspired by a doodle from the sketching I did at the Vic Poetry Slam, oddly enough.
The media is so mixed that I can't quite recall all the steps I took with it. The original background that you can see peeping through the aurora strip was, if I remember correctly, a watercolour and chalk wash with chalk overtop and was done months ago. It sat in my book waiting for inspiration to strike. After the poetry slam, I knew I needed to draw the little creature, so I did and that sat for a couple of weeks. The bluey-purple nightsky and leaves are acrylic and I did that at Patti's place last weekend. The rest I did last night with my fave white pens and Prismacolor pencils. The photo sucks, unfortunately, but I can give the gist of it at least.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Back cover for Book: the Third

I had fun with this on Saturday afternoon. Once again it's just old corrugated cardboard covered with masking tape. I'm starting to recycle old notebooks that have been thoroughly written in to use as background papers. You can't tell from the scan, but I've got an old pen nib I can't stand using glued onto the long edge... it fit there as if it were meant to be there all along!

With both covers mostly done, I just need some more filler paper now! *sigh* I wish I had the equipment to make my own... lord knows I have enough scrap to feed it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Senior Eftus

As is obvious, the Eftii have caught hold of my imagination and I had to work something up from the original "happy accident".

I had originally wanted to do this planned version on some smooth hot-press Arches paper, but finances being strangulation-kinda-tight at the moment, I made do with toothy cold-press. The plus side of this being that the background textures I got with the acylics are really yummy! The minus side being that I couldn't get the nice smooth application of the pencil crayons.

Also, I really hate scanning these pieces in... they get flattened and somehow the colours are never shown to their full advantage.

Anyways, once again it's an acrylic background with white gel pen and Prismacolor pencils (hey Rachelle, I highly recommend trying these pencils if you haven't already! They're so soft and waxy that you can apply them in lots of spots you couldn't use ordinary student-grade pencils).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Eftus

The Eftii live in sound waves and harvest harmonies from the local vibrato trees.

(Some play-time with acrylics, gel pen and pencil crayons.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Front cover for Book: the Third

Just as I was rapidly running out of room in my large Book: the First, I'm down to the last ten pages in my small book that's mainly for "experiments". Usually I'll get an idea about how to use a material and to see if it works, I try it out on the small book because if it doesn't work out, I haven't wasted much of my supplies.