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.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New work: Governor candidates and their hair

This is a recent illustration that ran in Saturday's paper. It's for a Features story about the Texas governor candidates, their hair, and what it says about them.

I was happy with the end result, thought I captured the likenesses well. I was a little nervous, though. Politics these days are so . . . touchy. Have you read the comments section of any online news story? Pure evil lives there. Figured I'd get a bunch of hate mail from readers unhappy with how I portrayed their political heroes. Thankfully, that didn't happen. As far as I know of.

Pictured are Governor Rick Perry (whose hair has it's own twitter account), Kay Bailey Hutchison, Debra Medina, Farouk Shami grasping a hot comb, Bill White.

I rendered this with Adobe illustrator and added brush effects in Photoshop.