Friday, April 4, 2014

Thoughts on digital illustration/art

For the longest time, I had a love/hate relationship with digital illustration. Much of the illustration I saw looked, well... digital. Coming from a mostly traditional art background, I expected the digital stuff to look like the traditionally painted/drawn artwork of others. Much of what I was seeing looked plastic or shiny, which I—regardless of how well it was drawn—automatically dismissed as inferior.

After a while I came across some much better examples of what was possible in digital illustration. I was absolutely amazed. I had to try this...

Once I began to embrace digital, I did all I could to make my digital artwork look as much like traditional art as possible. I would watch videos on how others did it (mostly with brushes they created), try to create my own brushes, uses free brushes, etc, etc. This, in the end, was an exercise in futility. Nothing I did came out like I wanted. I continued to play around with it every now and then, but never got the results I wanted.

Only recently did I begin to see digital illustration as a medium in and of itself. Not as a means to create faux watercolor, but an actual artistic medium, new and different, capable of creating textures unlike that possible in traditional mediums, but artwork just as awesome—and with the added bonus of layers and undos! How cool! This also gave me a new appreciation of and respect for the art done digitally.

My latest foray into digital is the above peach illustration. Not an illustration I set out to do for art's sake, but mostly as an experiment in working in Photoshop with a brush I created to look like—of all things—pencil!

Lastly, one of my favorite things to do is watch others create their artwork. I wish every artist would do a video of their process. It is quite enlightening and encouraging. A couple weeks ago, I figured out how to record my activity on my Mac using QuickTime. While this video is not an end all to who I create my drawings, I thought it might be neat to share anyway.

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