Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Peeking Out of the Rabbit Hole ~ My Art, Other than Writing

I don't talk a lot, because I'm writing a lot. I'm also anxious...a lot. Talking to people clearly will lead to the zombie apocalypse, so I don't do it.  It's just safer for everyone that way. Trust me.

Because I do honestly believe that speaking to others, be it in person or via social media will spell doom (I am truthfully spinning into a mania while I type this and I will cry about it later.), I struggle to make good use of this blog. I would like the content to create itself magically. I need gnomes.

But before I get too far afield, the purpose of this post is to let everyone know that I'm going to work at maintaining a stronger presence. I have to, if I ever want to open up a Dryth Chronicles forum and chat with people about mystics, elves, dragons, dwarves, giants, etc.. (And I really would like to.)

I shall begin by sharing art, which I have almost no time for while on a legitimate publishing schedule. Still, I do fit it in when I can. I love to doodle, and I manage that more often than not. Drawing is something I once did lots and now do very little.  The same can be said for painting (though my manner of digital painting is completely mutated from any traditional form through necessity of having to use a mouse only.  I call it molding. I'll explain more about the technique later).

So, in an effort to get me to dedicate more time to visual art, I received a gift.

This set came with the Slate itself, a sketchpad, cable, clips to hold the paper in place, and both a pen and pencil with the 'magic' rings. The rings enable you to draw with physical media on physical paper and simultaneously saves a digital version, which you can work with in the companion app and also in a program of your choice, such as Photoshop. It will export a .psd file, among others. It eliminates the scanning part of the process, essentially, and also allows you to build/save your sketch in layers.

I've only had the opportunity to just do some quick doodles so far, but it has a lot of promise. I've always avoided drawing tablets because I felt very disconnected from the art (hence my mutated style of painting on the computer), but this enabled me to draw comfortably. It syncs well and does allow you to center your page whenever necessary.  That said, I did fumble a bit with it at first and managed to get my lines off a few times. Having virtually no experience with a drawing tablet of any kind, that's probably to be expected. Those with experience would likely have no issue whatsoever.

Here's a video of a doodle using the Slate. I found the coloring options whimsical and fun, though I would save any serious rendering for Photoshop, as there are few color options and limited brush tips. The rings do not process the color of any pen or pencil you may use, but, if the ring fits, you can use any pen or pencil. Instructions are included on how to fit the rings.


Here's some of my digital style that I concoct in Photoshop, via my 'molding' process, which can be summarized as creating a glob of texture and color and then sculpting/molding it into shape by using the smudge/finger painting tools. Details are done in much the same way, then refined through use of eraser and smudge brushes, and shading tools and techniques. (I may stream the process in the future.)

I have mainly studied faces, and they take me many, many long hours. I plan to incorporate full body and full scene over time, by better maximizing the time I have. Most of my drawing experience has been in designing my own characters and a lengthy, early period of studying to draw graphic novels (I experimented with that option once, but writing always wins.) I also enjoy drawing/painting animals and beasts. Architecture and landscapes are my weakest skill. I have previous professional experience in design and like to create design elements, which tend to come from my doodles.

I also work with needles and thread. I manage to get at least an hour in for embroidery every night, which helps to settle my racing mind down at the end of the day. I use patterns sometimes, but mostly, I free-stitch.

I've been working on this project for nearly a year.  I started with the peacock, then built the frame and filled it in. There are thousands of stitches here.

And that's what I do, other than write. Now to save this puppy as a draft and bury it(or press 'publish' and run away).

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