Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Doggone Digital Pencil

OK, so last time I was showing you my drawing of the ice skating dogs. 
This time I'll show you my neurotic attempts to render the darn little guys. 

Maybe I should explain a bit first. 
You all know I do colored pencil art. 
What you may not know is that for a while I've been on fence about doing it for children's book work. Just because it takes soooo loooong, and most children's book work budgets aren't big enough to make spending this long on a piece of art in this style worth doing. (I don't mind working hard on something and having it take a long time ... but there's "normal" long time, and then there's "I need to have my head examined because this is insane" long time. Colored pencil work falls into the second category.)

But old habits die hard, so I started rendering this in colored pencils anyway, just because I felt like it.
And this is as far as I got before I thought "yeah, this is taking too long ..." 

And then, "I know! I'll do it digital! That'll be quicker!" 
And it could be, if I could work out a way to do it ... less detailed? Less perfect? Because the way I've been working, doing the colored pencil texture digitally, takes just as long as the old-fashioned way. The fact that its digital makes it easier to make corrections and changes, yes, which is a huge plus. But it still takes too long. Seriously.

Here's the guy with no color on his coat yet. I like being able to get in there and really render it to death. I just can't help myself. I get in there with a 4pt brush and fiddle around, and get lost in some microscopic detail.

Here, the face it a little more done, and I starting playing with the coat. There are I don't know how many layers of colors on that coat. It doesn't even look like colored pencil anymore, does it?

And more.
This is where I stopped, and did a reality check. I started outlining, which is fine, but is that what I really want to do? (rhetorical question) I'm just saying. I've had to stop working on this for a while, and will come back to it with fresh eyes, when I've had some time to mull over what I want to do exactly.

I still think this is a viable technique. I just think that for what I was originally intending to do with it - faster children's book work - its not working. For me. Like this. I may figure out a way to do it faster, and if so, I'll share. 

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. I just thought it might help someone else who's struggling to figure something out, to show that things don't always go smoothly. Misery loves company, after all.  

1 comment:

Reflections From Life Art Blog said...

Hi Paula! Love your digital dog! Did you know I began my art career doing digital art? Yeppers, I did, and you are very correct - it takes an awful long time to finish a piece (depending on how big the piece is), especially for us detail oriented artists. ;)

It looks like you are beginning to become familiar with dodge and burn though, so that's a big step. You'll get the hang of it. Once you get the hang of it, it can actually get easier and quicker. But I do love my traditional art much better.

Keep up the great work girl!

~ Nancy