Wednesday, July 29, 2020

More Digital Sketches!

Another week's worth (almost) of digital sketches, done on the iPad Pro in Procreate. These are all done 'by hand,' meaning that I don't upload and alter a photo. I use photo references from Sktchy in the same way I would use them if I were doing these in my sketchbook, or on WC paper or canvas. I have the photo nearby (often in my iPad mini) to look at, but am using the Apple Pencil in the same way I would use a 'regular' pencil or brush to sketch and paint.

The sketch on the right above (with 3 raccoons) was a challenge to use multiple photos to create a new story. The original photo had one raccoon. This is something I actually do a lot of  when I design tapestries; work from multiple images. It was probably my favorite challenge of the month, because (in part) it felt familiar.

The challenge for the 'Frida Kahlo' style sketch was to import a background for the figure, after you had sketched it. I used a Henri Rousseau painting and added the birds (also a part of the challenge.) The sketch on the right also asked to import a background, using a photo you were to take yourself. I shot a photo of the light coming through my sheer studio curtains. The middle sketch was again from the tutor who is a cartoon artist. It was done from looking at a photo. I always loved his days, as they felt like 'recess;' as his tutorials were 20-30 minutes, and most of the others took an hour.

The biggest advantage - and also the biggest disadvantage - that I can see in doing digital art, as opposed to 'analog art,' is that perfection always feels attainable. You can erase and undo, you can use multiple layers and 'paint glazes,' fixing and correcting until you suddenly realize you have spent an hour or two on a sketch that you will actually not do anything with. It's not even in a sketchbook that you can take off the shelf and leaf through months or years later, unless you print it out. And, if you print it out, it looks like digital art. It feels to me like the artist's hand (although it is used much the same as with other media) is lost in translation.

I know I will continue to use this handy (and expensive) tool. I will use it much like I have used PhotoShop over the past many years: I'll start out in my head with an idea, scribble it in a sketchbook, paint or photograph it, then put it into the app to 'fix,' to alter, to change size or color or direction, then take it back to the sketchbook or into the computer to finish into a usable design. And maybe I'll continue to 'sketch' a bit on the iPad, just because it is so mess-free and so portable.

I do look forward to choosing my own 'muses' again! These were all chosen by the tutors, and I stuck to them, so that I could learn the techniques that were new to me. Tomorrow is Day 30, so I have one last sketch to do, and another handful to upload here. Then I'll post what I've been doing at the loom again!

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