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Digitizing Presidents

The last couple of days I’ve been messing around in Photoshop and painting some presidents. I have quite a few oil paintings that I’ve completed and worked on since last I posted, but I’ve been moving and haven’t had the time or space to photograph them properly. They’ll be up as soon as possible.

Digital painting is not something I particularly excel at. Every time I give it a go I’m disappointed the work did not come out as well as my traditional pieces. However, I feel as though I’m getting better and learning the techniques that will help make my digital paintings look more like oil paintings.

If you’ve been following this blog you’ve noticed all the ink sketches I’ve done of presidents. I decided it would be nice to throw some color on them and eventually make a large poster of all the presidents. I started with George Washington (obviously) and tried to film my process as well. Unfortunately the program did not work as planned. I still got the painting done, but I had no video to demonstrate the process. Thankfully I was able to remedy that for John Adams. Not only did I make a narrated YouTube video of my painting, but I also streamed it live on Facebook as I worked. If you’re interested in watching me every time I stream, go ahead and follow my Facebook page. It’s also the best page to follow if you’re interested in progress shots, unfinished works, competition updates, and showings.

GW-Color Bust

George Washington Bust

JA-Color Bust

John Adams Bust

And if you’d like to watch the video of my painting, click below! I tried to narrate everything I was doing and explain the process.

 

Oh! Also, here are links to all my other social media sites:

Deviantart

Facebook

Tumblr

 

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My First Digital Landscape

I recently followed a digital painting tutorial on Youtube after reading several recommendations. It was a tough learning experience and completely different than other ways I’ve approached painting. The lesson was very thorough. I kept gritting my teeth and thinking about how I could’ve had certain things done already if it was traditional painting. But as soon as I learn the techniques and short cuts I’m sure Photoshop will be much faster than traditional methods.

Shaddy 2

The lesson was all about layers. And I’ve decided that I love em and I hate em. They give me lots of freedom, but I’m still clunking my way around and figuring out the best way to use them. I’m sure the relationship will become all love and no hate at some point.

Above is the final result of the tutorial.

Until next time. More tutorials. More studies. That’s what’s in store for my future.

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Digital Painting Practice

Recently I found the website Ctrl+Paint, a place dedicated to teaching the ins and outs of digital painting. Since I am familiar with traditional media basics, I wanted to find tutorials on Photoshop specific techniques. Ctrl+Paint, run by the digital artist Matt Kohr, was just what I was looking for. I spent last week binge watching all the videos and today I sat down and practiced one of the lessons.

Skull Practice 1

The reference is on the left and my painting is on the right.

I followed this video, downloading the lesson file and Kohr’s brushes to work with. It was good practice, but the end result is an obviously digital drawing. I’m hoping that as I continue working through the lessons I’ll be able to develop a style that appears more traditional.

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Facts About Pirates That May or May Not Be True

For the final project in my grammar class I worked with a classmate and constructed a children’s book that teaches modal verbs. The title of the book is Facts About Pirates That May or May Not Be True…if you couldn’t tell by the title of the blog post. The pages are meant to be side by side so that children can see the difference between the sentences with modal verbs and the sentences without them.

Grammar Book 1

Grammar Book 2

Grammar Book 3

Grammar Book 4

Grammar Book 5

Grammar Book 6

Grammar Book 7

Grammar Book 8

We chose to put the modals in red to make them noticeable. Hopefully this helps demonstrate the differences between the sentences.

The idea to teach modals through pirates came through a brainstorming session. My classmate and I looked up a list of things kids enjoy and debated each thing. We talked about everything from ice cream to bugs. For a little while I really wanted to do a book based on dinosaur princesses. Maybe I’ll someday get around to making that book idea a reality. We settled on pirates because we felt it was a flexible subject matter that appeals to both boys and girls.

Once we had that figured out, we went through our grammar notes and decided to work with modal verbs. We chose modals because there are only 9 of them: can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, and must. Also, the concepts behind them are not often touched on in younger grades. That’s not to say we are hoping to completely teach modals with our book. No, we just want to introduce them to younger kids.

For the final piece, I drew and wrote 8 pages and my classmate drew and wrote the other 8.We also devised a workbook to use with the pictures to help parents teach their kids more about modal verbs.

I spent between an hour and two hours working on each page. I had done the thumbnail sketches a couple weeks before, so I just scanned them in and used them as base drawings. I used a 100% opaque pastel brush in Photoshop. Occasionally I adjusted the flow from 100% to 70%, but not often.

Since I worked very quickly on the pages, several of them are not as well done as I’d like them to be. There are perspectival and proportion issues in a couple of them. But it was a nice test run of a different art style.

Man would I love to just draw children books all day.