Thursday, February 16, 2012

we're fine, we are all fine, aren't we?

I want to say we are all fine here at the Linuxville chateau, not. I am getting overwhelmed. Focus, focus, dang! Just burnt a hole in the curtains. LOL, you know using Open Source Software programs can't be as complex and serious as using the commercial pro-ware. It's even worse! I now know just enough to get by in GIMP, Inkscape and non-OSS but free Sketchup. The things I want to do requires deeper experience, deeper study and major play time. I also know if I had to buy GIMP and Inkscape and the other Open Source stuff I might could afford a couple but not all of them. I got them all and each one is a profound world on there own. Time, I need time!

I am thinking of teaching some classes at the art center when we get some PC's. I probably don't know as much as some students but I am willing to bet most haven't even considered Free Open Source Software. After a long introduction to Open Source Software and uncovering a flood of free resources to boot, what to teach? I am thinking of a tea/coffee party where each student draws the cup, saucer and libation in the various artist programs. Drawing forms, solids and liquid, light and shadows and making it appealing so you can almost smell the aroma.

Actually, in Inkscape how to use bezier curves is most useful. Most don't go beyond simple shapes and text. You guess right I am a simple shape kind of guy. In GIMP to be able to sketch like drawing on paper or paint same as using oils or watercolor would be cool. I will have to tell my students I am a student like they are, exploring and discovering myself. The biggest help is all the on-line videos. So I am thinking about using a studio lab scenario rather than a classroom all follow the teacher program. Layers and masks are essential knowledge. Art can be abstract, sort of realistic to photo-realistic. Also art can be decorative or illustrative and can be the vehicle for other arts like book art and movie art. Sketchup is a 3D program, that for sure is another world and rendering is alien science.

The basic stuff, hmmmmmmmm! Simple lines, circles, shapes with a mouse and digital pen. Also all those drop down menus and keyboard shortcuts. Tools man, it's all about the tools, then moves. Moving the mouse, the pen, getting that muscle memory and that feel and that eye. Know what to expect out of your software, also your discovered biases, strengths and weaknesses. Being familiar is half of being comfortable, being accomplished or experienced is the other half. The strangest thing is realizing you don't need to know everything about a software. Some things you might not ever use. And there are usually hidden functions or combinations of functions discovered by other users, very helpful at times. Yup, if you fall this way, and are in for the long haul, you'll learn way too much.

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