This was my ‘breakthrough’ in digital painting. It may not seem like much, but this ‘clicked’ something in my brain. This was the first painting I did where I was able to get over my fear of working completely digitally. I painted this as one of my pages for that children’s book job. About 15 years ago.
This was my next breakthrough. That first one loosened me up. I did the initial sketch in my little Moleskin as tiny drawing, about 3″x 5″ inches. I scanned it and started coloring it in ArtRage. It went by super quickly for me.
ArtRage was the program that kind of started me thinking about changing up my process.
In fact, my life drawing in tradtional materials improved. This was a quick demo for a student where I sat and drew for him as I explained while I was drawing. This maybe took a minute. It went quickly for me because the thought of making mistakes never entered my mind while I was showing someone something.
When you are trying to teach a child how to make a free throw in basketball, do you think about missing the shot yourself? No, you keep taking the shot until you miss less and less. You can feel when you’re going to miss when the ball leaves your hand. When you draw, it’s the same way. Don’t think about missing. Think about making the shot.
This was the old way. The ideas behind it still work but it can get tedious and time consuming and messy. However strong the foundation is, it became a drag and not fun.
I discovered that I was having more fun, playing in class doing demos for my students.
ArtRage really opened the conceptual door for me to start playing and having fun. It was like I had a huge mental breakthrough.
The software was so easy that I felt like the interface was not in my way. It was like I didn’t have to learn anything new.
This image below on the left was a quick scribble scribble to get students to understand how to think about gesture. I think I used the marker tool on a textured paper.
The image on the right was just me switching tools. Here I’m using the palette knife.
The drawing on the left took about 5 seconds to do. The drawing on the left was like about 2 minutes.
I wanted my students to understand how fast and free you could be painting digitally. So many of them were uptight. It didn’t matter if they were working with charcoal on newsprint or on a Wacom Tablet. The point was was to just get over yourself and abandon your fear.
Fear, as much as if not more than anything else, will stop you from becoming better. When you can relax enough to play, that is when you start to grow.
All of this, is just me purging my old stuff. I feel like I have to get all of it out there, out of my system before I can proceed with new stuff.