Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Digital Dreaming

I was about to head to bed last night after a frustrating night of bad drawing- ideas would come and go, nothing was feeling right to draw, and what did make it to the page was hardly worth mentioning- and an hour or so of surfing the net, checking out www.deviantart.com, which is normally always good to get me excited about drawing. Not last night; nope, last night was all about making me feel like nothing I was drawing was worth the paper it was printed on. Let me tell you, times like that really make me want to pick up the pencil again. And break it.

So yeah, I was still frustrating myself by looking through these artists' pages, and my internet radio was playing on- it's a channel called 'Coffeehouse', which I guess is meant to be a mix of new music and classic rock- all the cool stuff that gets played in a coffeehouse, I should imagine. So I'm looking at this art, and thinking yeah, that's pretty cool, I'll never be doing anything like that, when the radio starts playing some different music. I'm not even sure what it started out playing, but it was good- really good. Nothing up-tempo, or 'feel-good' or whatever, but just good music. Another song comes on, and I'm turning on Photoshop, bringing up a blank page, and taking out the stylus, and drawing the above.

I know it doesn't look like much- hell, it really isn't much- but it's something new for me. The above is the first picture I've worked, start to finish, in Photoshop. No big thing for these folks on Deviantart, mind you, but pretty big for me. I've really been hesitant to look at digital art as art- The fact that someone could conceivably create the Mona Lisa entirely in a computer, without ever touching a tube of paint, never sat well with me. However, as I've come to use tools like Photoshop and the Wacom tablet more and more, I've finally realized that they're just tools- they are all there to help the artist convey whatever is inside his or her mind to the rest of the world. Whether it's via pencil, paint, or pixel, it's all art. And alliterative, evidently.

One thing I've learned about this experience is I still think analog- I sketched out the figure just as I would on paper, moving in just the same fashion- hence all the jagged little lines. It feels a lot like when I first started putting these pictures up on the web for folks to peruse- I know there's so much I can do with these programs, but I'll only learn through practice.

Oh- the music I was listening to led me to the picture above. Music is great for helping me find out what I'm supposed to draw.

That's all for now.

Music: "Girl in the War" - Josh Ritter

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