Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Painting Digitally



I was just introduced to fellow DPG Jeff Mahorney's art blogs via Facebook yesterday - love his work! In one of his posts he talked about doing some digital color matching using Photoshop. ("Digital Starts") Its an exercise in seeing when you can't actually get out the paints and work from life. I was reminded of another blog I found quite awhile ago and have since lost track of... but it was a small group of digital artists who used a tablet to create digital paintings. I loved the images and was fascinated by the art and the process. I even looked into buying a tablet and using it to sketch! As an example for now, I found a similar artist who looks like he has since moved on from his "Thousand Sketches" - Walter Logeman - but he has some interesting cafe scene sketches.

Its no secret I work from photos regularly and sometimes I use Photoshop to adjust lighting and color, to crop and edit and to add and rearrange, but I haven't used it to paint.
So today, while I sat in the infusion clinic with my husband, I played with painting digitally. I used a museum photo and reduced it to a line drawing of sorts using Photoshop's photocopy filter and then I set to work, matching the colors I saw in the original photo and also just being loose and massing things. It was a lot of fun. I used the regular paintbrush but should have looked into using a different style that maybe wouldn't have had such hard edges.

Its a great exercise for seeing color. I find that the more I look at photos on the computer, the more color I see. A printed photo can generally lose a lot of subtleties, as it averages the lights and darks, but I find that on my monitor, perhaps because it is bright and illuminating, I see a very wide variety of color. I don't paint in probably near as much as I see... perhaps I need to start! At the end of this exercise I began to pop in some of those colors, but I also wanted them to be small and not disrupt the color harmonies I had working in the overall painting.

9 comments:

Naquaiya said...

Hi Robin,
I'm glad you are doing this. It's really striking, and I like the hard edges. The red on her legs looks great and the mustard color is nice. I also love to paint in photoshop, it's such a great tool.

Dale Sherman Blodget said...

Robin, thanks for sharing this exercise. I'll be watching to see where you take it!

John Fraissinet said...

Nice style on this one. There is a new application that is on the iPhone that a lot of artists are using. The cover of the New Yorker was recently done with the program. This is a picture of it here with an article about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/25/business/media/25yorker.html

Marian Fortunati said...

Really interesting process.
I too saw a similar post a while back..
Now that you've reminded me I may try it as well... although I doubt I come up with anything as great as your digital post.

JMahorney said...

Robin,
Cool! I'm so glad you found it useful. It doesn't replace the spontaneity of moving a physical brush around, but it really is a good way to just exercise your eyeballs, to practice judging one color against another. It's a good quick exercise especially for us office peeps who are on a computer all day anyway. Gotta take a break from work? Try a little digital painting instead of facebook or youtube. :)

Dustin Strong said...

This is interesting! It reminds me about using photoshop to create digital paintings that really look like an oil painting. My cousin has acheaved some stunning results with photoshop, using a Wacom digital tablet, to creat pictures that nearly exactly look like a painting. Great post!

Karen's blog said...

Besides enjoying your artwork, I always learn something by looking at your blog. Painting digitally sounds like a lot of fun. I wish I was more computer savy. It seems the more I learn the more there is to learn- both with painting and with the computer.
Karen Wilkerson

Robin Cheers said...

I guess the newest craze is the brushes app on the i-phone. I've seen some work that really amazed me too! I would like to test drive that. The new electronic sketchbook!

hokiesunshine said...

Megan uses a tablet now to paint. Her art changes tone with the new medium, and I find I rather like it!

C

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