Monday, November 14, 2011

art life after desk overhaul

oooooh man, I know I'm jumping the gun but I've got to play around a bit.

OK, on deck is My Paint which is fast and furious for playing around. For serious painting, I'm not the one. You see I've been an Electrical CAD drafter for years and the only digital drawing I've done you see here. I've got stacks of paper and notebooks with scribbles but this is new. I do have a desire to adjust my pen and tablet to feel like I am drawing in my notebook. Actually there are many considerations to account for in doing real art, like what is the outcome, will it be printed?

You got to think ahead, especially with bit-mapped drawings because if your stuff isn't a good resolution and size it will be pixelated if you enlarge it. Of course drawing or painting things require a more trained eye and that persistant spirit.  Most of us use the trial and error exploration method. We stumble upon stuff that is cool with us until we learn otherwise. I came across some tablet exercises on Deviant Art, I'll have to find the link. You got to get the machine out of the way so that your work is flowing out. You could do this with a mouse, yeah, good luck with that. A cheap tablet is fine if it works well, you can always upgrade. Linux users should for sure to get a Wacom brand tablet as the drivers for Wacom are in the OS.

Freehand drawing requires practice to make the cursor do what you want. Doing vector work with Inkscape is kind of like CAD and requires more nudging lines that putting down and erasing dots. Feel the pen on the tablet surface, learn to trust it. Adjust the software sensitivity of pen pressure. find comfort. For me the mouse works better with vector drawings, the pen with bit-mapped work is more natural. You may have to get ink, paint and charcoal scented candles, never mind.

You'll need some help like a cheat sheet of keyboard short-cuts for each drawing program you use. You can't remember them unless you use them. Like in My Paint "d" makes the brush smaller. One hand poking the keyboard and the other holding the pen, I can change brush size on the fly. Oops, I don't know what makes the brush bigger, where's my cheat sheet? Aah, "f" makes the brush bigger. So, think about the final output of your work and compensate up front. Planning ahead is very important. Save your work often, I learned this in CAD work. The biggest thing in playing around is learning what you can do and knowing what to expect trying different stuff. It's getting fun.

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