Saturday, October 31, 2009

Smooth Criminal

When I was a kid I idolized Michael Jackson. But let's face it, who didn't? I remember watching the Moonwalker video EVERYDAY and dancing along with the choreography. (As well as a five year-old can, at any rate.) There was only one bit I couldn't pull off to my satisfaction - the Smooth Criminal lean. I figured it must be possible. I mean, Michael Jackson was doing it! And, while he was admittedly better at dancing than I was, I figured if he could do it then I should be able to do it too. Only logical, I feel.

It wasn't until later in life I discovered they were using wire harnesses (and specially designed shoes for the live performances)
to pull off his gravity defying feat.

So, Michael, this one's for you.

oil on canvas. 21" x 35"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Deeper into the Digital Rabbit Hole I Go!

Sometimes when I can't sleep I like to play dress up and play with some of the myriad of props I've collected. Trouble is, I often never have a project in mind for them, so they end up collecting whatever the digital equivalent of dust would be.

Unable to let things go, I've been tinkering with brushes in Photoshop. (Who? Me? Stubborn? No!) I forgot that you could customize them and make them do your bidding as you bend them to your will. Silly me. So tonight I thought I'd pull one of the aforementioned silly pictures out of mothballs and try to make something happen.

I think this is a lot closer to what I'd want to be doing if I were to create illustrations with a Wacom tablet. It doesn't feel as sterile and flat as other things I've done in the past, and I didn't even have to impose a texture on this one! Originally I planned on coloring this image (and I may very well still do that) but I got really into just playing with black and white - then I realized what time it was. So, I'm off to bed before my lady wakes up and kills me. Or looks at me with severe disappointment. I can't tell which would be worse. You'll have to wait until next time for any kind of update on this cowpoke.

What's he looking at, I wonder?

About an hour and a half. Photoshop Cs3. Intuos 3 tablet.

P.S. I have some ACTUAL paintings coming down the pipe. I miss oils.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day Job

Sometimes the day job spills over into my art. Once upon a time I was sitting down with my boss and playing with her iPhone. I went to play with the camera (I don't know why, it just kind of happened, okay?) and she pulled a silly face. As she's been known to do. Like the sneaky little sneak that I am I emailed it to myself. I swore one day that I'd do something with it. So, viola!

Continuing my exploration of the digital realm. I think part of my trouble is I think square. When I'm painting in the real world (as if I enter some alternate dimension to paint with pixels...) I use flats and brights for about 92% of what I do. I really only pull out a round for a few details and to sign my paintings. To that end, while there are some nice flat brushes in the software I use, it has the disadvantage of not being able to be turned in space. If the brush has a natural 45° slant to it, it will always have that slant. I can't rotate it and get a wider stroke or turn it on it's edge and get a fine line.

This time around I kept the image in Photoshop (as opposed to getting frustrated and moving it over to Painter, as I've been known to do) and simply used the default brush. I'm pleased with the results, but it doesn't really feel like me. Yesterday's painting has more the feel I want to be getting from my tablet, but wasn't as tight as I'd like it. I don't know, something like 10% tighter would be better I think. Next time mayhap I'll try the square brushes in Photoshop, but so far Painter still has my heart.

However, thanks to my buddy Brian the color-choosing process went a little easier this time. He sent me this link that really simplifies it to an almost "no-brainer' level. I've know (and have been rather intimate with) the HSB sliders for the last few years, but I overlooked the swatches entirely. I'm sorry, swatches. Can you ever forgive me?

P.S. My boss doesn't always look like this. Only half the time (maybe a little more). I swear.

2 hours. Photoshop CS3.

A Digital Caip-er!

A long overdue character study, for a long overdue piece for a friend of mine. She's got a whole bunch of story written up that I want to get my hands on and maybe start drawin' some of it up. If any of that starts to happen, I'll be sure to let you know. In the mean time, however you can enjoy this preview of Caip.

Ok, I'm beginning to concede. I think I'm getting a better handle on this digital thing. I'm still kind of frustrated because I can't seem to find the colors I see in my head in the sliders and color wheel. There's something kind of sweet in just having a few tubes of paint to limit your palette to simplify things. When I've got every veritable color at my finger tips it's hard to reel myself back in and take it easy. I'll see if I can work through it, though. I may just have to do more stuff like this.

About 2 1/2 hours. Painter IX.