art, drawing, illustration, inspiration, sketching

Back to Basics

Over the last few months I’ve been working at improving my digital painting skills, and quite often I would find myself thinking ‘how would I do this if I were using traditional media?’ And particularly when Photoshop was on the go-slow I would think ‘Could I just do this quicker by hand?’ But at the weekend I went for a walk on the beach, and the sky was so dramatic, the lighting was just awesome, and I just got that ‘I have to draw this’ kind of feeling.

So, when I got back, armed with a good number of reference photos I sat down and started to thumbnail a few different compositions, and then having seen one photo that caught my eye I just got out my water soluble pencils and started to draw. And as I drew I felt so much more connected to what I was doing, watching the image evolve in front of me (without constantly zooming in and out and waiting while the brush strokes on the screen catch up with the pen in my hand). I found that I’d really missed it. But the interesting thing is, I also found myself thinking ‘how would I do this on photoshop?’ ‘What kind of rendering style would I go for here?’ It’s like switching between digital and traditional really made me think about the basics all over again. Having not completed a piece traditionally for probably over a month it was like starting all over again. Now I know these aren’t the greatest sketches I’ll ever do, but the best thing is, despite the differences between digital and traditional, swapping between the two has really made me think about what it is I’m creating, and between them, they’ve helped push and improve my drawing skills as a whole.

Beach B&W 2

Watersoluble pencils

Beach colour

Watersoluble pencil and inktense blocks & pencils

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art, digital art, drawing, illustration, inspiration

When the image in your head actually makes it onto the page…

Magic Library re-sized

This painting is a bit of a first for me; it’s one of the few times when the blurry image floating around in my mind throughout the planning stages, somehow materialised in the final piece. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what it is that did this for me (as it could quite well be useful again!) and I think what it comes down to is not the actual layout or details of the work, but the atmosphere and feeling about it. While I was working I thought a lot about the perspective and lighting set-up, and it wasn’t until I put the final lighting in that I began to see it.

Of course, whether it conveys to you, the audience, what I was intending, I’ll leave up to you to decide… (and if you want to give me a shout about what you think I’d be very happy to hear!)

 

inspiration

Finding inspiration in reptiles

IMG_0689 converted landscape-13IMG_0658 converted-10As I think I mentioned in a previous post, when we were in France a couple of weeks ago we visited an Insectarium, and one of the creatures I didn’t realise they had there were geckos and lizards. I’ve never really thought too much about them in the past, particIMG_0647 converted-9ularly when looking for animals to draw- I’ve always gone with the more fluffy varieties, the sort you would probably call traditionally cute. But after 5 minutes or so of watching these little guys, I found myself hooked. I don’t know what it was exactly, whether it was the way they moved around, keeping an eye on me at all times, or their slightly ungainly interactions with each other, or just the details of their bodies up close…I just found myself wanting to learn more about them, to study them, to draw them. I was, I guess, inspired! The day we got back from the Insectarium I started sketching around some of these images, and I just loved exploring something different. There’s definitely a challenge to them, but at the same time it’s nice to be able to see a clear structure, and also not to have to draw fur! The final piece I worked on was a colour pencil sketch (again something I wouldn’t normally do) of the gecko at the top, and I’ll be posting it as soon as it’s finished.IMG_0741 converted B&W 2-15

inspiration

Taking Inspiration from the Little Things

IMG_3894 converted-1IMG_0361 converted 3-4IMG_4163 converted-1

Not so long ago I finally laid my hands on something I’ve been longing for for a very long time (pretty much since I really started getting into photography)…and that’s a 100mm macro lens. We’ve been together for around 2 months now and wherever I go with my camera this lens lens has become my inseparable buddy. Mostly because it just opens up a whole new world.

My trip to France was the first chance I’ve really had to test it properly and on quite a few occasions I was so relieved I had it with me. Particularly on the days when I didn’t think I’d be needing it, but packed it just in case, because more often than not, it was on these days that I’d suddenly spot something moving in a flower or on the grass. And where ordinarily I might have had a quick look and taken a couple of shots with my ordinary lens I’d probably have moved on quite quickly.

Now I realise these little guys aren’t the prettiest up close, but being able to see them in this kind of detail gave me a whole new perspective and a tiny glimpse into their world which, yep, you’ve guessed it (especially if you’ve seen my other posts), gave me a whole new inspiration. (Either that of I’ve just watched far too much Disney and will anthropomorphise anything I can!)