Submission for Illustration Friday’s topic: Star Gazing. The images I could come up with invariably involved someone laying on a field at night, or peeking through a telescope, looking up at the stars. So I thought I could have the stars actually gazing back. This weekly Illustration Friday topic thing has become a little tradition for me now. It now seems that I’ve taken this scheduled event as an opportunity to exercise creativity on the fly. Most of the time I wait until the day before the deadline to start. Having little time motivates me to come up with something clever, instead of working on something for days, and getting too “precious” with it, or spending time exploring the digital tools instead of learning to draw and paint. I want to get to the point where I can produce something worthwhile quickly. Keeping it simple has forces one to concentrate on the idea more than on the technique. It doesn’t allow much time to explore and learn digital art skills, but its an excellent mental exercise. I don’t want the tools to interfere with my learning process at this stage. Thanks for dropping by, and have a great art time!
I had a few ideas before settling on this one, but the robots and the clock forced me to decided. Goal: Digital practice, speed, and process search. Experiment: Searching for a Quicker Digital Process (without having one).
I practiced a some shapes and compositions on sketchbook hitting the stylus. My first layer of roughs became the line layer. Used the paint bucket on selected areas for the next layer. I shaded with only up to 2 colors. Since this was to be posted quickly, I hit the background with creative brush usage. And that’s it! It took an hour or less. I’ll time it when I’m not improvising too much of the process.
There you have it. Happy with the shapes and the color balance. Also happy it made it to IF in time. Hope you like it. Let me know what you think, or tell me a story in the comments section. I love stories. Have a great art time!
My largest digital piece as a submission to Illustration Friday. The topic: Trail. It’s an experiment of quantity versus quality. Here’s the sketch I did a couple of months ago, while spending time with my daughter at the park. As she played, she pretended that the underside of the tall slides were caves, walking along an imagined path. I doodled some rocks, and took inspiration from the pretend play. I finished rendering in pencil at home, and left it untouched for a long while. Illustration Friday’s topic reminded me of the girl walking the underground trail.
This digitally drawn and colored piece took a relative long time. I’ve seen so many great looking digital paintings, so full of details, that I had to try for that scale. Quick and simple pieces have been fun to do for IF, but I have plans for more ambitious projects, and this was great exercise, as it let me explore process in a larger scale. It turns out, I was always fighting between concentrating on quality, versus the quantity of the elements. I could spend so much time on just coloring a rock, that I decided to forget quality in order to complete the “assignment”. It did give me an opportunity to mold a process, so to speak. I approached it in stages. First I scanned the pencils, and inked digitally, adding a larger area to the left of the stream. I changed the “quartz” attempt in the sketch to stalactites. Then I proceeded to color. I didn’t use much of that selection and fill strategy I see most people use, so the flats were done with big brushes, for most of the work. Then I went at it with the spray paint tool, varying in opacity, and using layers for line work and colors. I would say that maybe 70% of the work was coloring and details. Now I see that it needed more planning time. The stream itself got attention at the last moment, when I noticed it was throwing off perspective. First time I try a stream, even at an angle. Tried to fix it giving it a kind of a waterfall angle, but forgot to suggest it better with the rock walls around it.
Oh well… it was really an experiment, which I really enjoyed. My next digital piece won’t be as ambitious, as I will strive for a better balance between quantity and quality.
Main goal? Visualization and fun. I wouldn’t hang it on a wall, but its a landmark for me (pardon the pun). Thanks for visiting, and have a great art time! I did!