Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Doodling in Photoshop

I started training on a Mac in the early 90s. At the time, I was working as a publication designer for an educational publishing company. As the art department made the transition from drawing board to computers, we had many discussions about how the computer would affect the future of commercial art. We knew the future would never be the same. No more Zip-A-Tone or Letraset. No more rapidographs for ruling lines. No more Amberlith cutting for prepress. No more hot waxers. Have I aged myself?

Although we all agreed the computer would change production art, none of us believed it would ever replace pens, pencils, brushes, paint. Even early versions of Painter — which I dabbled with a little — didn't produce anything that remotely resembled natural media. But that has certainly changed.

I use Adobe Illustrator every day in my work. I have since day one, and I love it. I've used Photoshop and Painter to create special effects in my illustrations, too. And I've used Painter's clone technique to make a photo look hand painted. But I hadn't had any real success freehand painting on the computer, mimicking natural media — paint, chalk or pencil. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the concept of digital brushes. But suddenly, I'm coming around. With a point in the right direction from the amazing CY, freehand sketching and painting in Photoshop is starting to make more sense. I doodled the above with digital brushes that mimic pencils, using my Wacom. I didn't say it was a good example, so stop laughing. Plus I do all my digital work with my left hand — long story — even though I'm right handed. But I'm on my way.


jesse joshua watson said...

A. Left handed? Wow. Not even sure I wanna know the story to that.
B. Yeah, man. I hear you about not getting the results analog materials produce... though, as you said, folks like CY are doing just fine.
I think I am missing some major step that will make all the difference. Or maybe I need to get a bigger tablet. Or, hey even better, why doesn't Apple redo their iPad into a real screen/tablet surface that we can use with Photoshop. That would solve all kinds of issues for me.
C. Looks great!

g nemec said...

Don, I am a lefty who is a digital righty. For me it started because I was coloring scratchboard digitally and needed to give my left hand a break.