Thursday, March 10, 2011

Illustration Friday - Warning - Digital Baby Steps

The sketch for this piece was called "The Report Was Not Good." But, I think it fit this prompt fairly well. The drawing is from the series that I call 'After Hours Drawing.' These are drawings that I do late at night, after I've left my work room. I go to the living room, put my feet up, watch/listen to TV and draw. The thing about these drawings is that I have no preconceived idea. I just start drawing and whatever happens happens. I had nothing specific in mind for this piece, but, obviously, the result was a character that looks sad and anxious. Only after the fact did I realize what might have been in the back of my mind. I was concerned about a friend. But, the way this type of drawing happens is that I start with a line. The line usually becomes a face, then one shape leads to another and, eventually, there it is. That's not to say I'm in some sort of trance. But, the closest I come to controlling the end result is when I think it needs a shape here or an object there, and try to come up with something that fits. But, I also try not to over think it. Just do it. These drawings seem to have their own internal logic. It's the most intuitive work that I do. And, I love doing it. You can see the original drawing here.

The finish was done digitally. Thanks to Will Terry's wonderful video series, I think I'm a convert!

I'm also doing 'one - to - one' sessions at my local Apple Store. I call it Apple School. I'm very lucky to have someone who will do photoshop with me. So, I'll share a few tips from Apple School whenever I post a new digital piece.

You know the expression 'tip of the iceberg?' Well, what I know about Photoshop isn't just the tip of the iceberg, it's like a tiny ice chip off the tip of that iceberg. But for me, every single little tip that I learn is helpful. So, small as they may be, I'll keep sharing these little tips.

This week, I thought I would mention folders, in layers. In the layer palette, there's a little icon down on the bottom. It's the third from the right.

When you click this icon, it creates a group. The group shows up in the layers palette. You can name the group by highlighting it, then going to Layers in the menu bar. Layer > Group Properties. A window appears with a space for you to type the name of the group. Then you can drag layers into the group. For example, in this piece, I created several groups of layers . One group was for the door. I did a separate layer for the door frame, the window in the door, and the door, itself. Then I dragged those layers into the folder for this group. Each layer was named the same way. Layer >Layer Properties, then type it's name. For example, door frame, window in door, etc.  Then each of these layers were dragged into the group. I find this very helpful! If you didn't know about this before, I hope you find it helpful too!


michele said...

Wow! What you call digital "baby steps" are actually very large leaps! How nice to free sketch and shake it all out at the end of the day! Most therapeutic, and healthier than ice cream and the couch, (not an admission of guilt, here)! ;o)

Marion Eldridge said...

Hello, Michelle! And, thank you! What a lovely, thoughtful comment. I have to confess though, there might be a snack after the fact though. But yeah, I think it is kind of therapeutic. Definitely opens some sort of window to my unconscious, I think. Thank you, again!

Gnome G said...

I agree with Michele! No baby steps perceivable here. I am most impressed with this finishing and hope to be as adept one day. Wonderful expression and color.

Cindy Paul said...

Very nice and I enjoy the lessons. Very interesting place to end up at from just line here and a shape there.

Anonymous said...

I love hearing your story and lessons. I love to draw in front of the tv late at night too! I thought I was the only one! I will spend more time letting the intuitive lines flow~thanks for the inspiration and insight.

Ann Marie DiVecchia said...

Marion, this "late night" work you are doing is amazing! I love your use of type here...and so many other things about this illustration I could see it as an editorial piece. And I am impressed with your Photoshop skills. Thanks for the tutorial.
I think I might start watching more TV! :)

Marion Eldridge said...

Thank you all for such very encouraging comments! Each comment was so thoughtful and very much appreciated. Ann Marie, you made me laugh with what you said about watching more TV. A long time ago, I noticed that sometimes I would draw more easily if I was talking on the phone. Sometimes I would be stuck on something, but then get a phone call and the drawing would come more easily as I talked on the phone. I think it's the same idea. Something more intuitive happens when you are not TOO focused, I think. Anyway, thanks again SO much everyone!

k.h.whitaker said...

Nice work Marion. I think you are certainly moving more quickly into the digital realm than baby steps. I think it's more like leaps :)

John Nez said...

How fun to see you're 'going digital'. I know I was hooked the first time I scanned in a drawing and colored in deep rich colors on a multiply layer. I think it was the airbrush set to 'dissolve' that really got me.

But of course one ought never abandon one's pencils and papers. I can scarcely imagine doing an illustration without photoshop, but it's easy to imagine doing a painting that would hang on the wall.

Anyhow, enjoy the journey. Make sure you get a set of natural media brushes... those can be FUN!

The Nadel Series 29 group is clearly the group I like best. I also use some of the Nagel Series 40 brushes. They have lots of interesting textures... especially when used with a larger sized brush. All free and online.