After the digital failure I mentioned in my last post, I felt like there was a blatant gap in my skill set. It seems like everybody who is anybody can paint digitally these days. Back in school when I had my first digital painting class, I thought my work was on par with my fellow students. However, I ended up focusing more on traditional media and my peers who kept up with digital painting are now killing it, while my skills are sadly wanting.
So, I decided to practice (they say that is how you get better at things). I dug up an old piece of reference and just started making an image. To start with, it felt as digital painting always does for me—like I’m fighting the pixels. They just don’t do what paint does and I spend time trying to wrangle my tools rather than focusing on making a good image.
Then with time, I started to work out a process by which I could reasonably control what was happening on the screen. By the time I finished this piece I felt I was doing alright at this digital painting business. Of course, that is when I saw the latest digital piece Miranda Meeks, one of my old classmates from BYU, had made…. and I decided to go buy a big panel to do some oil painting 🙂
Here is my digital exercise:
Below is an animation of some of the stages of progress. I decided before finishing it off (above) that she was leaning too far forward, so I tilted her back and then did the background.
While procrastinating the initiation of my daily adventures in sawdust and spraypaint, I started a digital sketch. My original intent was just to do a basic line drawing of this little fantasy house tower thing. I ended up doing more than just the drawing, but I’d still consider it mainly a sketch. I’m still no pro at purely digital art, but there are definitely some fun effects you can incorporate quickly. I particularly like how soft brushes and masks on my texture layers can create atmosphere. Enjoy!
I have a this shot of my sister with her two girls that I took at a birthday party a while back. I thought it would be fun to try to make it look like a vintage print. Turns out there is more to that than you’d think. There is the photoshop work, of course, but I also created the distressing patterns by hand. I didn’t follow any instructions or tutorial, so there may be an easier way. I thought it turned out kind of nice. It makes me want to try out different techniques, which also makes me wonder if there is a market for portraits like this. Let me know if you’d hire me for portraits of you or your family in a vintage style.
Also, my wife and I will be in the UK for the next two weeks, so blogging may be sparse. But rest assured I’ll be back with plenty of material soon.