A doodle-a-day doodle. Because wherever you are in the world and however foreign and magical and strange everything is, a sparrow is always a sparrow.
Dear All y’alls.
I recently got a new tool. I love it very much.
I wish Samsung would pay me to brag about the Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 edition, because I’m doing it for free anyway.
TADAAaaaAAAaaA (Angelic choir noises)
For those who don’t know, I’m living in New York City. I live in the nosebleed section of Manhattan and I now work at an animation studio in Brooklyn. My commute takes up a lot of my time. I initially wanted any old tablet (my first), and a keyboard case to write some stories I’ve been putting together because my laptop A) is friggen huge, B) needs a fan blowing on it at all times, and C) can sometimes sort of fall open due to the time I broke some of the casing, trying to clean its fan. Seriously – there is no need for that many microscopic screws in one machine. It’s built to be impossible to repair.
What I got was that Android tablet, to be sure, but also a magical drawing machine.
I’ve realized over the years that I’ve been getting progressively anxious about starting new sketchbooks. My last four sketchbooks are each about half empty. I’ve been afraid to crap them up and ruin a perfectly good book. I’ve tried playing mind games with myself to cognitively unwind, but ultimately, I just stopped drawing. And the less I drew, the more likely I’d be to draw crap and ruin a nice sketch book.
So, already with the Galaxy stylus and the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro app I had one very helpful tool to encourage drawing. I could draw a literal pile of crap and it wouldn’t be wasting a thing. Weeding out my good and lousy drawings later isn’t like tearing pages out of a book. (It’s like it never even happened!) … That was my creepy, whisper voice.
Secondly, I have chronic tendinitis that I need to really keep an eye on and not over-project myself. …which I’m bad at. If I want to also draw, I’ll hurt myself. I don’t have to push very hard on this machine to get different line qualities. If the stylus were normal pen/pencil sized, it’d be better, but as it is, the ease of pressure is very helpful.
Thirdly, I CAN PAINT SKETCHES!!!!
I’ve worked in Photoshop for over a decade, but never been much of a Photoshop painter. I’ve always envied those to whom it came naturally. I can paint a real canvas, but something never quite translated to digital.
Something clicked when I put stylus to tablet… Maybe because on the road or in a coffee shop it’s less pressure. It’s not a job. If it’s on a tablet, it must be a game!
My first drawing’s intent was to just see if I could really, comfortably sketch without sticky, un-ready technology getting in my way.
I drew my hand. I painted under the “pencil” lines because I knew I was too insecure to go at it as a full painting and didn’t want to ruin the sketch with lousy swatches of random flesh tones.
Click on the images for a larger view.
I got distracted on the subway and saw a man with chubby, gnarly hands. So I drew his, too.
Next, I decided to paint over some already beautiful photos by the one-and-only Kim Potter‘s series of artistic iPhone photos.
I had already made one acrylic painting of a photo of his and would like to put more on canvas. Drawing directly over his photos on the tablet, moving the photo aside and then painting them was a really fun exercise in what basically became a colour study for a future acrylic painting.
Again, I became distracted and drew some more subway things.
Sometimes I watch horrible B-movies because, why not. Of course, they have to be so bad they’re good. One that struck me as having potential in an alternate universe as being an adorable plushy toy was the horribly conceived, terribly executed, gratuitous bikini-shot movie, “Sharktopus”.
Now he’s my little pet mahnstah!
I really enjoyed seeing progress in these, as I got used to the brushes. The first li’l guy is a bit lumpy – a little impressionistic. By the time I got to tooting Sharktopus, he was nice and slithery like ocean life should be.
My boyfriend believes Sharktopus is buddies with Nessie. He thinks they dress in leather jackets and smoke cigarettes. I, however, believe when they get together they dress as pirates. Those drawings my eventually come to the website.
After finishing the Sharky-pusses I took reference photos at the Museum of Natural History of every interesting animal, current and ancient, for drawing reference.
This is my first painting based on one of those photos. Drawn and painted by me – no tracing or painting OVER anything involved.
So, I’m happy to be growing – happy to have a new outlook on painting and drawing. I seem to have overdone it a bit by drawing all weekend and not doing ANY laundry or dishes, leaving me to wear napkins for socks and eat dinner from ziplock bags, but it’s worth it.
My only complaint would be that using Sketchbook Pro for a SOLID day may result in technical glitches like this…
They just appear once in a blue moon and you have to manually erase them. but luckly I’ve only ever seen it happen over a transparent area, not over drawing.
It’s not Photoshop, to be sure, but unless you’ve got the several thousand dollar Cintiq Companion, you probably can’t expect Photoshop from your tablet. For what this is, it’s brilliant.
And a note to tablet case manufacturers… Putting magnets in your cases to clip them shut?? Why would you think that’s a good idea?? Occasionally my keyboard case will interfere with my stylus when I try to draw in random, spazzy ways, so I remove the tablet from the case when drawing.
This brand-spanking new tablet would be a lot of money to shell out for a toy (it cost me about 600, all-in-all), but it’s just right for an on-the-road TOOL.
I plan to use this magic machine until it biodegrades in my hands.
To end this post, I will share the song from one of my favourite animated series, Home Movies, which has been stuck in my head since I began drawing Sharktopus. Enjoy. And you’re welcome.