Thursday, January 27, 2011

Illustration Friday - Dusty/Digital Baby Steps

His name was R. Dustorm McCloud, but folks jes called im Dusty. He got that there name cuz he was born in the great Dust Storm of 88. 19 and 88 that wuz. The R. was cuz he wuz named fer his Pa, P. Rusty McCloud. Another yarn fer another day. But that's right, Dusty was Rusty Dustorm McCloud.

Somethin' 'bout bein' born in that there whopper of a storm. Dusty was born dancin up dust storms wherever he went. Even when he wuz a wee bitty thang! Good thang his Pa married his Ma! Cuz her name was Molly Clean-er-Up McCloud. And yeseree, that's another yarn fer another day too!
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This is another digital experiment in Sketchbook Express. I took some screen shots along the way. You know there's nothing worse than a convert.... But rest assured, it's not my goal to convert the world. Rather, since I'm a digital novice (and I know some others) I thought I'd share some baby steps along my way. So if you'd like to see this drawing as it progressed, scroll on down to the bottom of this post to see how it was done in that there magical drawing machine thang - Sketchbook Express. (Ooops, there's still a little dust storm goin' on in my brain!)

For me, one of the unintended consequences of learning to do screen shots is that I discovered you can cut and paste from a screen shot. At one point, I felt like I was losing some of what I'd done previously. (Several points, actually. Including the finish! Sigh..) But, when I looked at an earlier screen shot in Preview, I was able to cut and paste from that earlier stage of the drawing and put it back into SE. Truth be told, I'm not at all sure I retained the energy of some of the earlier stages in this drawing, so I may do it again. Nice to know I can walk backwards through my screen shots.

Zooming is certainly one of the great advantages of anything done digitally. Can't do that on paper. Not that I don't expect to continue drawing on paper! But, it's nice to have the choice!


You can rotate parts of your drawing, move them, etc. Of course this is nothing new to anyone who draws digitally in Photoshop or Painter, but in SE, when you click the tool, it appears right in your drawing. Tools are accessible in a very streamlined way.

When I draw on paper (usually extra heavy tracing paper) I draw on both sides. I flip from front to back in order to check my proportions and see if anything looks out of whack. In SE, you can do this by going to Image > Mirror canvas. I do a lot of this - both on paper and in SE.

First rough idea. Sketchbook Express is in no way a substitute for Photoshop or Painter, but it has some nice features and it feels natural and easy to use.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Illustration Friday - Chicken (Rooster/Chooster?)

"You cluckin' to me?"

A chicken with a little attitude maybe? Could have more, we'll see. This was an experiment, so maybe I'll do more with this character. Push it further. It's a bit more realistic than I like, although it looks rather roosterish. Perhaps it's a chooster. But, in the meantime.....

It was mostly a digital experiment. I've always thought that even if I started working digitally, I'd still always draw on paper. But, recently, someone suggested that I try Sketchbook Express. It's an Apple App. (Hah! If nothing else, it's fun to say!) The Apple App store icon appeared on my dock recently, so it was easy to find. This version is free, so why not give it a whirl?

I like it. Specifically, I like the pencil tool. (So far.) It's simple and intuitive and felt pretty natural - with a Wacom, of course. It's no substitute for Photoshop or Painter, but I like how direct it is for drawing. Of course, there are the advantages of being able to select areas, rotate them, move them, etc., all of which I did in this drawing. So, maybe I'll like drawing this way after all. I'm not making a commitment yet, but so far, so good. Another tool in the toolbox.