Playing with the WACOM and random doodles.

truckdriverBusy, busy, busy, but I have gotten a few sketches done.  I need a new life-drawing class – my schedule is too busy for the seasonal commitment of MICA’s life – drawing class (I end up losing a fair amount of money because I only make it  to half the classes), I refuse to get up at 7 am on a Saturday to make it to the Creative Alliance’s class, and the Charcoal Club has become something akin to a high school lunch cafeteria with all the political infighting that entails), and Towson is just too damn far.  Dr. Sketchy’s would be perfect, but things are usually a little too hectic on our end running the thing to get much drawing in.

Oh, well, something will turn up.

The above doodle was done sitting on a barstool at Windup and then was heavily edited in Corel Painter using the tablet.

Next is a doodle from a section meeting….

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Another tablet experimentation… initially I thought the sketch was good enough to play with in Painter, but, eh, it wasn’t.  It was done in bits and pieces during a group meeting at work; I’ve cropped out the boring parts and just included the head which I was fooling around with for a bit.

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Next, some rocks doodled with markers and pens while the Daily Show was on…

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Ugh, I can do a lot better than that, but oh well, I try to put up the disasters as well.

If I’m able to go to the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I plan to take my pad . . . we’ll see if that happens.

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Filed under 21201, 21202, art, art class, art tools, baltimore, doodle, draw, Drawing, ink, life drawing, marker, pen, pencil, sketch, WACOM, Windup Space

Dr. S NYC sketches and WACOM experiments

DRSNYCGIRLFISHWent to Dr. Sketchy’s NYC last week and did a couple doodles in between talking to various folks.  The above actually had some color in it, unfortunately I somehow scanned it in black and white and I’m too lazy to scan it again.  (The marker was actually a flesh tone, not gray.)

The next fellow was someone sitting near me . . .

 

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Halfway through the drawing I accidentally kicked over my beer (it was my first and had only had 3 sips taken from it) which immediately made a bee-line for some poor girl’s purse.  I *think* grabbed her purse in time, but then got a dirty look for having grabbed her purse.  Everyone in fact started giving me dirty looks since they thought I was drunk, so I got up and moved (I needed a new beer anyway and apparently more elbow room).

The next marker sketch was a girl drawing near my new spot, which was too far from the stage for me to effectively draw anything there anyway.  It was completed it in about 3 minutes, which was probably a good thing since a fellow with an Italian NYC accent had attached himself to Alexis and her sister.  He seemed nice at first, at least until I walked up and in an attempt to prove “he wasn’t up to no good” started buying he and I shots.

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Turns out the fellow had never been to a Dr. Sketchy’s before and had been sent (with money) by his wife to “get out of the house for once and try to socialize.”   Unfortunately he had either been drinking earlier or had no tolerance (surprising for his size).  He quickly became toasted, somewhat aggressive, and stopped making sense.  I kept attempting to step away to talk to either John Leavitt or Molly Crabapple (the folks who run Dr. S) to sign a copy of their new graphic novel so we could give it away as a prize at our next Dr.  S – Baltimore, and he would flip out, grabbing my arm and refusing to let me leave.  Eventually we had to leave to find dinner before the burlesque show later that night.  When we got back he had either been picked up, poured into a cab, or arrested.

(We spent the rest of the night drinking with one of our former models, Sugar Ann Spice, and a bunch of New Zealanders who had to be some of the funniest guys I’ve met in years.)

Next up, if you remember (I wouldn’t), I won a WACOM tablet a month ago at San Diego’s Comic-Con.  Upon getting the thing home through a gauntlet of airport security procedures, I tried it out with my 75 yr old Dell laptop.  Here are the two doodle pages generated in Photoshop while attempting to learn how to use it.

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wacom2Yikes.  In any case, it didn’t matter since the laptop was unable to handle the tablet (it also can’t handle Firefox, virus scanning software, booting up, or not making strange smells when guests are over).

A few weeks later we got a Macbook Pro, Painter, and the entire creative suite Adobe puts out.

I now understand why blog after blog is devoted to discussing brushes.  Anyway, here are the three doodle pages so far.  I’m not attempting to learn anything new (yet), I’m just attempting to learn how to do what I already know how to do with a tablet instead of a pencil. 

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experiment3webphotoshop

 

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Sketch-dump, Comic-Con, WACOM, And-don’t-be-number-11

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Went to San Diego Comic-Con this past week and had a blast.  Thursday night, after a first day of pushing and shoving our way through hordes screaming Twilight fans, fat people who had doubled their size with fat backpacks adorned with sharp swords and flags designed to skewer an eye, furries (apparently Johnny Depp was sneaking around in a squirrel suit), stormtroopers, and anime kids toting cardboard signs saying “FREE HUGS!”, we checked out a session of Drink and Draw at Hennessy’s Tavern in the Gas Lamp district.

A lot of folks showed up, leading to some confusion, but it eventually worked out — ended up sitting with Lily of Dr. Sketchy’s San Diego and having a beer or two with the guy who designed Bumblebee for the Transformers movie.

Here’s the couple of sketches I did of the model inbetween beers.  I didn’t really feel like drawing (I felt more like gabbing and drinking), so they’re crap, but here they are anyway…

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Checked out a drawing panel on Friday Saturday?) that had Terry Moore, Camilla D’Errico, and David Mack demonstrating their approaches to life drawing while Amanda Palmer posed for them.  We bumped into Molly Crabapple, who did some amazing drawings (maybe she’ll put them up on a blog or something at some point) . . . I only did one sketch, simply because I’d never seen anyone pose with their mouth open before.

img111This was done in the hallway beforehand while waiting in line for the panel.  (Picture a campground of people in Predator suits, people with 3 bookbags apiece, forests of poster tubes, and, well, cranky people.  When Molly tried to wave to us, some girl called her a whore and barked at her to keep moving.)

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Attended Dr. Sketchy’s San Diego Saturday night, with Molly presenting and the lovely Lady Borgia posing as Scarlett O’Herring from Molly and John Leavitt’s Scarlett Takes Manhattan.

REALLY drew some crap this time.

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Last day of the Con, while everyone else finished up they’re shopping, I decided, while bored, to wander past the WACOM booth, which was supposed to have a drawing on the last day for a free WACOM tablet.  Figured they might have the winner, if they had done the drawing yet, posted up on a sign or something.

No luck.  So I kept walking, but stopped when I heard my name used in conversation.

“Umm, excuse me, what did you just say?”

“What?”

“Who are you looking for?”

“Aaron Bush.”

“Umm, I’m Aaron Bush.”

“What??”

“No, really, I am, look at my badge.”

I won the tablet.

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The odds were so astronomically high that I would walk by at the exact moment they said my name that I think I freaked them out a little bit. 🙂

Instead of going through all the trouble of mailing it later and all that, a nice fellow named Steve Smith decided to give it to me right then . . . I played with it a bit when I got back to Baltimore, then spent last night cleaning off the drawing desk so I could give it a serious go this weekend.  Hopefully I’ll have some interesting stuff to post in a few days.

Anyways…drew this on the plane.  It was going to be a Chinese dragon, but the pencil was so dull I gave up (I couldn’t find the sharpener for the life of me).

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And last, this was doodled in a section meeting at work . . . the guy on the right was showing off safety equipment and telling us not to be the company’s 11th fatality.

 

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Dwarves, Sketchup, & Photoshop

I’m currently in the process of building a website for a fantasy novel I’ve been working on (I’m editing the last few chapters of it now…of course, I said I was on the last edit two edits ago) and I’ve been fooling around with various sketches for the header.

(That’s not completely true . . . I’m also toying with cover ideas and layouts for a cover, which is kinda silly since I know no publisher would ever let me design the cover, but whatever, it’s fun.)

In any case, the novel is set in a low/nonexistent magic world just beginning to it’s industrial age.  Think top-hats and locomotives.  One of the main characters, Donth, is a dwarf who spends a lot time sitting in various cafes playing chess. 

Here are the first two doodles I did on a memo pad at lunch while bored.

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donthsketch1

Next I found a cafe table and a chess set in Google Sketchup.  (I could draw a table if I want, but I’m just playing and have absolutely no desire to draw a cafe table.  The point wasn’t to create a “piece of art” but to get an idea of how to layout a painting or drawing to be done later.  I still might use the last picture in a header though.  We’ll see.)

Where was I?  Oh, the table….

tableandchairforblog

Next, I lighted the image of the table and then printed it out as large as I could, drew Donth sitting at the table, scanned it back in and used Sketchup to throw a cobbled floor unerneath everything. 

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I then opened the image in Photoshop, erased the overlap lines, through a graded tint on the whole thing, then used the burn and dodge tools to add some tonal work.

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In about a month, I’m hoping to have a Powerbook along with a tablet, which, in theory, should allow me to go a lot further with this sort of thing….working with a mouse is just too damn difficult, not only that, but my computer is so old that Photoshop slows it to a crawl.

Hell, Tweetdeck slows it to a crawl. 

At that point (when I get a Mac), I’ll probably revisit this for real instead of just toying with it.

(I don’t quite like the angle…..something doesn’t look right, but I’ve got a bit to figure it out, not to mention what to fill the rest of the space with.)

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Tattoo starts and dwarf’s first coat.

Alright, well, I gave the dwarf his first oil coat . . . I have to be careful to wipe away as little as possible of the pencil beneath. Basically I just paint with a lot of medium and some white, letting the pencil tint the mixture as I carefully go over the drawing.  Occasionally you’ll lose some tonal work, but it’s easily replaced on the next layer as long as you don’t lose anything too important like facial features.

Obviously I can’t scan a wet canvas, so we’re back to the fool camera.

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When that coat dries, I’ll go in with black and block in the tones correctly, deepen the shadows, and sharpen up some edges.

I also carefully applied the beginnings of a tattoo to the other painting with the intention of wiping it away if it didn’t look good.  It works for me though, so I’ll leave those basic lines and build a more complicated tattoo around them.

Still haven’t decided if the Maryland flag will go on the shoulder or not.  (I took the photo at an angle to prevent the flash from bouncing off it too badly.)

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The flash is still washing it out a bit though.  (It’s a lot darker than what it looks like above.)  The top band is a little too dark and will have to be lightened.

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Pre-paint sketch.

Doodled this after posting the last blog on a foot by 3 inch canvas given to me by Don from Artist & Craftsman Supply at the last Dr. Sketchy’s (or maybe the one before?  Things get blurry.)

Figure it’ll give me something else to work on inbetween coats on the other two canvases, that and some more skin and hair practice.

dwarfpainting

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Painting Update.

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Well, it’s slowly still getting somewhere, where, I don’t know.  At least I’ve learned how to paint skin again and are getting better at hair.  There’s still something proportionally wrong with her head….not only that, but the painting’s layout sucks.  There’s simply no room for anything else except her back, and well, it kind of makes it boring unless I go crazy with tattoos or something.

It was just a practice piece though, so I may very well do that, even if it means ruining it.  At the very least I’ll have the technique for the next one, and hopefully the good sense to put some thought into layout before I start slapping paint around.

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