January 29, 2016

How do you make your illustrations?

Often I am asked: 'How do you make your illustrations?' 

Naturally people want to study a step by step method - to figure out how artwork is created.

Well I use photoshop and a wacom and pens and brushes. But very often I don't even know myself.  I know, that sounds mysterious... but it's true.

One very odd thing about working in a complicated digital method is that it becomes unthinkingly second nature.  Sometimes I can work the most complicated procedures with little conscious effort. I remember one project that required multiple groups of linked layers in folders all set to unusual masking characteristics - and I did it all more with intuition than with planning. I'm sure I could never explain how to anyone... including myself. It is mysterious.

I just click the keys without looking mostly - and when someone needs tech help I have to go back and look at the keys to remember which ones I used.

So it's largely intuitive... which I like.  And usually in Photoshop there are 3 different ways to achieve the same result, so really the medium is quite organic.

It's a little like how when Mozart was asked where the music came from, he would say he didn't know - it just appeared out of thin air. But I think it requires one to imbue the language of keyboarding into your thinking... learning everything about layers, masks, linking and artistry before that's possible. I know many people hate photoshop, which is understandable I guess. But this is the computer age and I find it a helpful skill to acquire.

January 27, 2016

Nature just keeps going...

On this afternoon's walk in the rain I saw my first crocus. Isn't it fitting how Nature just keeps going - despite all the misgivings of we striving people lost in the all the awful news of the moment. It's nice to just be painting, painting, painting - without scarcely thinking about it.

January 12, 2016

And after Winter, Spring springs forth...

And after Winter, Spring springs forth... 

It was fun to find a way to paint the backgrounds simply and mixing abstraction and detail.

January 1, 2016

A winter day in the life...

The Olympics with a fresh dusting of powdered sugar.

My ducks waiting for their 'duck feeder' to arrive.

A trip to Hogwarts...

I always wanted to be a mouse who lived in the library here, assuming it was a mouse that could read.