Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flying Billy

Doing things like this will be so much easier in Photoshop, but it is possible with Corel Painter Essentials 4. Here's a tip when using the Bamboo Pen while working on photos/artwork. Keep the buttons on the pen turned toward the palm of your hand so you don't accidentally click them when you don't mean to. I lost all the work I had done, twice, and it caused the program to have to shut down both times. I was able to save the individual layers original jpegs but not the work I had done on them. Live and learn.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Illustration

Finished the tutorials for the Bamboo pen and Corel Painter Essentials 4. Jumped right in to create my first illustration with it. I started with a pen & ink drawing that I had from my days as an illustrator at Tinker Air Force Base. It was originally a design that we used for the annual Oktoberfest celebration we used to do. Great memories, by the way. Anyway, I imported a jpeg of that and then used all kinds of tools on it; marker, chalk, hoses, scratch board tool, etc. The end result turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. My processor is a little too slow for this program so I had trouble switching back and forth between layers but that won't be a problem when I get the new computer. Voc. Rehab. is sending me the papers to sign and then I will be on my way to the next step in meeting with their tech. people to work out the details. It's a slow process but it will be so worth it to be able to work in vector files and be competitive in my market. Any tips or suggestions from more seasoned freelance digital illustrators would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pen & Tablet and Corel Painter

Two days ago, a package arrived on my doorstep. Inside was the Bamboo pen & tablet and the Corel Painter Essentials 4 software that it came with. I loaded them both onto my computer. It was a quick and painless process. Remember the first time you stepped into an art supply store and felt like a kid in a candy store? This gave me the same feeling. Wow! What I have been missing by not having these tools in my studio. It really is like having a studio in a box. I've already watched the tutorial for both the pen and Corel Painter. The things this program can do just amazes me. I know, kids studying graphic design in college today find this common place, but for this old traditional artist, it has opened up a whole new world. I can't wait to get started. When I was in college, 30 years ago, it was considered cheating if you used an art projector to trace an image. Hah! This computer program will even take a photo and turn it into a Monet painting, complete with a palette of colors matched to one of his paintings, just by pushing a few buttons. Talk about cheating. Thankfully, you can still draw and "paint" with it for those of us who actually do know how to draw and paint.

Speaking of which, I tried using GIMP but all that selecting points and snapping lines and stretching lines to get curves just frustrated me. I suppose that people who are math minded might enjoy working that way, but it just made me want to pull my hair out and run screaming into the woods. Only drawback of Corel Painter is that it is raster based. I'll just have to wait for Adobe Illustrator to get to the vectors. Hey, for only 60 bucks (I bought a refurbished model) I am not complaining. I love the Bamboo Pen & Tablet and Corel Painter Essentials 4.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Digital Pen & Tablet

Trying to draw on a computer screen with a mouse is like trying to make a pencil drawing with a big hunk of sidewalk chalk. It just "ain't gonna" happen. My dad always told us kids to use the right tool for the job, even if it meant fashioning one yourself. The man could fix anything with a roll of duct tape and a piece of baling wire. For quite some time, I have been wanting a digital pen & tablet but the cost had been too much for me. Most I had looked at were upwards of $200.

Yesterday, as I was surfing the web looking for useful info on digital illustration, I ran across a blog by Lorraine Dey. She talks about making the transition from traditional illustrator to digital. She recommends using a Wacom pen and tablet. Well, I strolled on over to Wacom to check it out. The one they recommend for art is the Wacom Bamboo, available at Amazon. On over to Amazon I went. I read several customer reviews on this little jewel and couldn't find a bad review in the bunch. Low and behold, the price was about a fourth of any I had looked at in the past. Granted, you can get one with all the bells and whistles at a higher price but I figure the Bamboo will be a good one for me to learn on. It comes with software for using it with Photoshop and Corel Draw but I am hoping I can use it with either the GIMP, Paint, or Open Office Draw programs that I have now. If not, I will just have to wait and use it with the new computer and software I will be getting through Voc. Rehab. Adaptive Services has received my paperwork so I am waiting to get an appointment with them. In the meantime, I am studying digital graphics programs as much as possible and working with what I have now. Life is good and God is great.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Insulting T-shirts

Is it just me or is anyone else tired of seeing disgusting and insulting messages on T-shirts, especially kid's T-shirts? Personally, I don't see the humor in walking around insulting everyone I come in contact with. I've also noticed that children speak to each other and to adults using these same insulting remarks. I'm not sure which came first the T-shirts or the change in attitudes of children. I think I will design a line of T-shirts with positive messages on them. I did the first one this morning. It's available at my Zazzle store. I used the caterpillar I drew during the "How To Draw A Caterpillar" tutorial. Please leave a comment below and let me know if you agree or disagree with my opposition to insulting T-shirts. I'd really like to know. Am I just being an old-fashioned fuddy duddy or do some of you agree with me?