Monday, May 2, 2016
Long time ago I had purchased a palette that was ideal for my gouache paints. It was made by Grumbacher and the thing that was so great was that it kept the paints moist when I closed the lid. There was a sponge underneath the lid that kept the paints fresh. Unfortunately that little blue plastic palette was very fragile and the hinges on the lid always broke. I kept buying a new one whenever this happened until I could no longer find the palette anywhere.
For many years I searched for a good palette or that same palette but never found one or it until recently. Creative Mark makes a palette called the color miser. It is advertised for watercolors and acrylics and I find that it works well for gouache. It doesn't keep the gouache paint fresh as long as the Grumbacher palette did but it can stay moist for a week or two, maybe three.
I don't mind re-wetting a glob of dried paint but I cant stand it when I get little clumps in my palette that are all over the place and I have to match the clumps with the colors and put them back in their wells. The Color Miser saves me that trouble. It can be purchased at Jerry's Artarama for $29.99. While it's not as good as my old Grumbacher palette it comes in as a close second.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
I've had this Monoprice 22" HD Tablet for about a month now but aside from testing it out on the different software I use I have not done ant serious work. I decided to do this sketch of a pirate using Sketchbook Pro and ArtRage to fully test out the tablet and pen.
|Here are the Sketchbook Pro version and the painting after touching it up in Artrage.|
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
This is one of the type of illustration assignments I wished would come around more often. It was like illustrating an old pulp adventure story.
I used Sketchbook Pro through out. I was on a tight schedule to finish three illustrations in a short time so for the sake of speed and wanting the final illustrations to have a similar look I painted them digitally. The only thing is that I wished I had something other than a digital image for finished artwork.
The final printed image looks a bit washed out because of the paper that it was printed on. Something to keep in mind when I do another assignment for this publisher- keep the design and the color and values simple so that it reads better when printed.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
These quick sketches were done before turning in for the day. I have a few sheets of BFK Rives print making paper saved from my college days. I used it for charcoal drawings back then and thought it should work really well with gouache, which it did. Very nice paper, takes wet washes and doesn't get warp also its very easy to build and blend the paint on this surface. A very nice painting experience.
I spent no more than two hours on each sketch.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
|Wacom Cintiq 12WX|
Then there is the issue of size. I wanted to work larger, if I was going to purchase another monitor it would have to be at least a 19 inch screen.
After finishing a couple of illustration assignments I had some extra money to spend and I started seriously researching Cintiq alternatives. I spent days looking at YouTube reviews and reading reviews on different tablets that were in the running for an inexpensive quality alternative. The biggest obstacle was that most, if not all models had issues with installing the drivers and that those drivers did not work with all Graphic software. Also unlike the Cintiq their pens were either battery operated or had to be recharged. There were also issues with the screen on some models. Either the resolution was on the low end or the screen would appear unclear depending on the angle its viewed.
There were some models that seemed okay except that I would always have to deal with the challenge of the drivers and a rechargeable pen.
|Monoprice 22 inch HD Pen Display|
1- A large 22 inch HD screen. with no issues about angle of view or resolution.
2- There were no issues with the driver and it worked well with all the software I had- Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage, Manga Studio (Clip Studio), Mischief, Paint Tool Sai, Photoshop, Rebelle.
3- Even though the Amazon page said the pen was rechargeable the pen in fact did not need to be recharged. It worked just as well as the Wacom pen and was in fact similar in weight and size.
4- To top it off it was less than a third of the cost of a 22 inch Cintiq. The 22 inch HD Cintiq cost $1,799.95 and The Monoprice 22 inch HD cost $470.31 (you would of course have to figure out the tax but the shipping is free for items in this price range on Amazon). Even the 13 inch HD Cintiq cost more at $799.95!!!
When I finally got the display I set it up immediately and it worked as expected. Below is a YouTube video I made to demonstrate the monitor. I thought this was important to share for those who who wanted to buy a Cintiq but were put off by the price and especially to those who are used to working with traditional tools but would like to learn how to create art digitally. A tablet like this makes the transition much easier.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Having a nine to five means that there is less time in a day to get much work done 5 days out of the week. Yet I am determined to make everyday count. Because of this, unless I've already managed to start something that I can work on during the week, I do a lot of sketching between Monday and Friday. On the weekend is when I can get something started that I can work on everyday but If I have nothing going I sketch, hunting for an idea or just to practice in a particular medium.
Having a family life makes this doubly hard though. One of the things that has helped is being able to work digitally. The sketch above was done in Artrage. The approach I use to paint digitally is the same approach I would take in oils except that I can't always anticipate the brush stroke in Artrage, but it comes close.
Working digitally I don't have to worry about set up or clean up. I just sit in front of my computer and start. I much prefer working with traditional tools. They are worth all the bother of setting and cleaning up. Sometimes though it is difficult to find the time. If I didn't have the choice of working digitally I would have found another way but I am thankful for the convenience because the important thing is to do some work everyday.
The video bellow shows stroke for stoke how I worked on this painting (it is sped up- I can't actually work that fast of course). It is that same way I would have approached it if I were actually working in oils. There are flaws in the painting that if I would have cared to carry it further I would correct.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
So far in the month of March I've had two illustration assignments that required me to produce a total of four illustrations. Currently I am struggling to get through the last of these.
When I do these illustrations I almost always use digital media. It's just faster and I can take it with me and work on a tablet if I have to leave home.
Unfortunately I find that when I take the time to work exclusively in digital media I feel a bit rusty when I get back to working in traditional media. It could be that the mediums are just different disciplines like watercolor and oils requiring a different approach. The funny thing is that I find that it is much easier for me to go from traditional to digital and find it a lot harder to do the reverse. I always feel as If I need to shake of some rust after setting aside the traditional tools to do some digital work. I also feel that working with traditional media benefits the work I do digitally but I can't say that working digitally helps with the work I do in other media. Not saying that this is a rule of thumb, it's just the way I feel.
For this reason I always set aside time to do something in my sketchbook each day. It may or may not be related to the current illustration assignment. It's mostly drawings but most times I wish I had time to paint as well.
These pen and ink drawings are some of the sketches I've done as I worked on the illustration assignment this month.