Friday, August 12, 2011

The Tree is Dying

(Click on the image and the text becomes legible)

I have been following the riots in London. I wanted to have this on my blog while the riots were still in the public eye, so I didn't have nearly as much prep time as I would have liked. I'm really intrigued as to whether it reads.

We are living in exciting times.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I just dusted off my ukulele! Its delightful how such a small piece of carved wood can bring so much untempered joy. This particular piece of wood holds a special significance because it was given to me by three of my dearest friends! Playing music has such healing properties.

So.... art!

(Masterwork Study of John Bond Francisco)

I've done a couple masterworks from Photoshop artists, but this one was my first from a traditional painter. I learned from the Photoshop painters that I can simplify a LOT more than I do. There were tricks that I picked up from them. I was hoping to find similar tricks about color from working on this John Bond Francisco piece. He didn't use any. He just observed the correct shape value and color.

I've been skating by thus far with my Photoshop paintings. I've been depending on the fact that if I put down a swatch of color that is incorrect, I can just go over it and change it. With the way I have been painting, were I using acrylics, the paint would be caked on. I have thus far lacked precision. Realizing that I have to do more work to be better is obvious, but always a little maddening. I sometimes wish I could just go out to the store and buy the pack of "painter" pills, take them, and be totally brilliant.

I truly love this guy's facial expression. I think this is sort of what I see when I think of what a brilliant painter would look like.

I've also been playing with edges. This is one where I roughed it in and then painted it almost entirely with the blending tool. Like the others, it was done in 30 minutes from a photograph. I realized, while painting this one, that I couldn't just use the blend tool for a painting. There is an interesting quality to it, but it's just to soft and mushy.

Here I tried to use mostly the blend tool and just add accents with the paint brush. Here again, it is an interesting effect, but it lacks precision.

This one is a pretty even combination of the two and I started to like the direction this one was taking. Also I've been noticing how drastically different these paintings look on other computers. I've been told it's a matter of screen calibration. My monitor shows me more range at the bottom of the spectrum than usual. So with this one I just eliminated the bottom of the spectrum.

With this one I wanted to start playing with getting skin to feel like skin. Those little bumps and ridges that skin has are so distinctive. The right side of her face (the side on the right of the painting) is beginning to get there, but it feels a little furry to me.

With this one, I put down an initial layer, used the blending tool and then put the brush at full opacity. I wanted to see how much of the edges i could put in with squiggly lines. It's an interesting look, but I am not fully satisfied with it. It just looks messy.

So I used the blending tool. This second image is almost entirely done with the blending tool with the previous painting as the base. I am happiest with the left side of her face and the oddly implied necklace. For some reason, the necklace fading in and out of being defined really makes me happy.

There are a bunch of things I don't like with this one, but there is something pleasingly urgent about that facial expression.

Well fine folk, without further adieu, I am going to go eat some Chinese food and play my ukulele =)
Have a fun night folks!