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.