Saturday, February 28, 2009

I would like to be an artist

When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist. And a musician, and an author, and and and etc...

I loved to sketch things out. I didn't have much innate ability, but I figured that with hard work and practice, I would gain practical skill. There were two things that prevented me from reaching my goal:
  1. My colorbindness
  2. The accident
Now, ideally disabilities like colorblindness can be overcome. Practically, however, it's really not that possible. I might train myself to recognize some colors that I can't now identify, but that still wouldn't give me the sense that an artist needs. I wouldn't be able to see colors as you would. (Yeah, yeah, work in black & white, I know; it's very limiting however).

And then there was the accident, wherein my right hand was crushed. That put the kibosh on any freehand drawing/painting (as well as ending piano playing and basically anything else that requires full use of your hands).

But I still come back to the idea every now and again. I have my wacom tablet hooked up at work and I play around with Painter and Sketchbook, without much success. Lately, I have been experimenting with photographs, trying to make a regular picture look drawn or painted. I have not yet been entirely successful, but here are some of the results so far:

Redfield Sketch Master "Sketch", darken, 67% opacity on the face only, top layer
Redfield Sketch Master "Crayon", soft light, 50% opacity
Cutout + Palette Knife for the background

These two are very nearly identical.
They both have dry brush 50% on the top layer
Redfield Sketch Master "Crayon", soft light, 50%
The first one has cutout + palette knife as the background
The second one has a Corel Painter autopaint as the background

I think the colors seem off on the second one, but how can I tell? For both of them, I think there is too much detail just in the face, but how do you get _just_ the right amount? I'm still searching.

"Welcome to my secret lair under Skullcrusher Mountain."

One of my co-workers made an excellent villain for Halloween. Unfortunately, Photoshop does not save your actions history in the PSD, and I don't exactly remember how I got to this point.
Probably crayon on cutout + palette knife with face and eye details somehow.

"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

Again, details are missing (I've got to start labeling my layers better)
eye in dry brush, 50% (I think)
face in graphic pen, soft light, 50% (I'm guessing)
crayon, soft light, 50% (I'd imagine)
autopaint, 50%
cutout as background

And my favorite as last. I think this is the one that most succeeds in looking hand-drawn.
dry brush eyes, 50%
crayon, soft light
cutout + palette knife as base


  1. The colors are off in the second one of you at the table, but it's kind of cool. Surreal.

    As you know, I can empathize with your artistic frustration. Still, good for you for making an effort!

  2. Also, apparently people don't smile for pictures. ^_^ How did I not notice that?