Thursday, January 8, 2009

Still more computer-generated figure studies

The computer is great fun to experiment with once you get used to dealing with this sometimes infernal machine. Mysterious crashes can occur at the most inconvenient times and if you haven't saved your work, you'll have to start all over. Hopefully you learn a lesson from this, but you don't and suddenly it happens again.... and again ! At times the computer definitely seems anti artist ! Learning how new programs work can also be a real chore at times. Then there are computer upgrades and some of your favorite programs won't work with the new system. Many of the books dealing with computer operations can be mystifying. I'm not trying to discourage you from dealing with this amazing machine, just giving you an idea of some of the things you can expect to experience. Myself, and most of my artist friends, have just jumped in head first and bungled through somehow. Believe me it's well worth whatever effort it takes to learn how to create digital art. Usually there are several ways to accomplish the same thing and you will gravitate towards the method that best suits you. As you work more with the computer you will fully understand what I mean. Occasionally you will accidentally stumble onto a new way to do something and hopefully remember just how you did it. As I always remind you, the computer is a terrific art medium and can really help you develop as an artist.

Fig 7

Here's a realistic digital painting done in Photoshop Elements 2.0 using a mouse. When I was a child I severely hurt a finger on my right hand and would not use it. I began writing and drawing with my left hand and still do. But I find it impossible to use my left hand to draw with the mouse but can easily do so with my right hand. Technically, I must be right-handed even though I draw with my left. When using the Wacom tablet with the pen I do use my left hand.

Fig 8

A second version of the same composition this time I changed the background color and added a few black shapes and some lines as a design elements.

Fig  16

Here are four other versions where I played around with the background colors. The two lower versions are negative images of the original. Doing many studies like these are invaluable for an artist as a learning exercise. They are also fairly easy to do on the computer.

Fig 10

Another figure study, this time done in a loose sketchy technique. This type of color sketch is very good practice and can be based on a photo or drawing. In fact, you can paint directly over a scanned photo.

Fig 15

Any number of additional versions can be created with little effort. I just work over copies of my original image. Once you familiarize yourself with the Photoshop tools studies like these will be fun to explore. You don't need the pro Photoshop program, the simplified versions like Photoshop Elements are more than adequate to create these types of studies. If you have a printer or scanner most likely it came bundled with a version of Photoshop Elements, so you have all you need to start experimenting with digital images.

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