I see a lot wrong with this one, but here it is anyway. This is all done in Art Rage on the iPad. Drawing today at lunch and saving off the work into a set of steps to show my progress–going from a really loose scribbly form and using new layers on top of it to build up the definition, working on the face, hands, background, and finally some light shadowing.
Here's a first pass at another piece of cover art for…not allowed to tell you yet, but I can tell you that it has some underwater scenes and there's this sort of oceany creature and a guy swimming… There, that's about all I can say right now.
I spent an hour this afternoon sketching and then painting this guy, the main character for the book I'm currently plotting. I've already written a couple chapters, put down some background, interviewed my characters. It's time to get into what they really look like.
I ordered one of the big MacBook Pro 17s with the I7 proc, and it arrived yesterday afternoon. I spent a good deal of last night and today moving everything over. This afternoon I plugged in my Wacom and went to work on something new. The hi-res screen on this monster so bright and beautiful, I wanted to paint something…equally bright and beautiful, a witch practicing magic. You know how it is. You have to stay on your toes, because you never know when some evil wizard is going to try to kill you.
There's the problem of finding apples at the grocery store with twenty-two varieties available, all looking equally tasty, or canned soups–you've seen what the canned soup aisle in the store has become. It's like something out of Aliens, if the aliens had abandoned their interest in planting eggs in humans, shifting the whole operation into soup and just went nuts with food storage and cylindrical tin. These crazy looping plastic rails dispensing soups and stews. And that's not getting into the cup-o-soups, soup mixes in bags, and microwave entrees.
It's like that with drawing an painting nowadays. Used to be, you got out your beat-up old notebook and some stubby pencils and went to work. Now, you still have the notebook, but you also have your computer, netbook, iPad, iPhone, with multiple painting apps on each of them, and they all do something really well. Each works a little different, but there's that blending tool in Paint Shop Pro which has always seemed to work a little better than anything else you've ever seen. There's a million brush plugins in Photoshop, and line drawing tools in Painters, and that wild ass palette knife in Art Rage. What's an artist to do?
…paint something, I guess.
I handed over the iPad to my son Christopher for a couple hours while I painted a couple scenes for the next set of Saltwater Witch. Here's a preview.
I continue to tweak this one, starting out as from the perspective of someone looking over a vast forested landscape from above, and from there, drawing it deeper until we're now looking up at the figure at the crest of the tree from below. Also playing with the reflection.
That's what reflections do, right? Mirrors, prisms, the surface of water–they show you where and how reality can be unfolded.
Here's another sketch of my new protag, in progress. What do you think? Did this in Photoshop on my Wacom…in a virtual machine on my Mac, so this started out as just an experiment to test the speed of CS in XP running in my Parallels VM. And, it works, nearly as fast running in the VM.
I read a lot of blogs–try to any way. I can’t keep up, and the ones I pick up regularly and read sort of shift around with what I’m doing, and what’s being blogged. Lately, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to webcomics.com – Comics news and how-tos for the modern cartoonist
I started my own web comic Saltwater Witch in November 2008, with a steady weekly posting, learning a lot along the way, and webcomics.com has been like a jump start for me.
I’ve been using Wacom tablets for several years, and it took a while to get used to–actually I’ll say there was immediate and gratifying results, followed by months and months of working better with the device, of getting used to looking at the screen with the pen on the desk, mastering brush and property changes in different apps, Photoshop CS, Painter, etc.