Another Thursday, another profile

The casual portrait group I go to more-or-less weekly is quite popular, and unless you get there very early, chances are good that the only seats left will be on the outer edges – but happily, I really like drawing an interesting profile!   2 hours or so on the Surface Pro, using Autodesk Sketch.   And, so bold, I even tried a little colour this time around.

Digital painting of an older man

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Baboon processed 2 ways

Baboons, despite being the most evil of all apes, are quite photogenic, with eerily human-like eyes and looks-like-a-smile-but-it’s-not mouths.  Dithering about processing this chap, to colour swap or not?  Either way, I’m glad that viewing glass at the zoo is thick, even though it does make taking photographs harder!

Photographed with the IR modifed camera, and a 590nm filter

Another version of that friendly smile

Bitey ape

October in Wellington = NZ Improv Festival!

So, 20-27th October, stop everything else, it’s time for the annual Improv Festival in Wellington.  This year I was one of the volunteer photographers, and also ran a workshop and co-directed a show based on that workshop, took a bunch of other workshops, got on stage, and had a most excellent time catching up with improv friends old and new.  I saw some of my photos from festivals past blown up super large on walls about the town, which is an oddish thing.  Here’s just a sample of some pictures from a wild week.

 

 

Digital Painting – Gill

More digital painting on the Surface Pro, working from a live model over 2 hours or so, and using Autodesk Sketch.

finished 2hr sketch

 

Most of the work (and what really decides if a portrait works or not) is the first 10 minutes, drawing as quick and as fast as I can to get the features in place, before I get distracted by details.  And if I’d been working for longer, I might have tried to capture the model’s amazing multi-coloured dreads

 

Distracted by baubles

Such a silly, simple camera toy – a small glass ball, costing about $8.  But, great fun to take a photograph or ten through, until the novelty wears off, just as the technique is mastered.  These came out a little differently using the infrared modifed camera as the light doesn’t reflect on surfaces in quite the usual way.  Done with it for now, but I might revisit a few monuments with it, it functions as an extremely wide angle lens, so quite good for the kind of places that you usually can’t quite fit in due to other buildings and such.

Eh, lookee, I won a thing!

Well, I won a part of a bigger thing, the macro segment of The 2018 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year.  I’ve not won anything like this before, possibly because I’ve timidly not entered any infrared macro photos in any competitions. There’s even a nice prize lens coming my way.

So check this months D-Photo magazine, turn to page 42 and, look, it’s my butterfly, among some other darn fine photos all plucked from the 13,000+ entries in the competition overall this year.

DSC08034_2048

White Knight

Learning curves and painting with the pixels

When I bought a Surface Pro I romantically imagined drawing directly to the screen as I traveled; drinking in cafes by the Seine, jet-setting through airports and all that.  And, this will be feasible eventually, digital sketching turns out to be just as much hard work as any other way of drawing.  Just a little less messy.

Working in a new medium is always a mix of lovely and awful.  I’ve been taking the tablet to a weekly drawing portrait group I attend for a couple of months now. While still mild torture (I miss you charcoal) the processing is slowly becoming fun-ish.

After much practicing with different programmes, I settled on Autodesk’s Sketchbook as having the best interface for drawing live.  Photoshop is just too fiddly for quick brush changes and such with out a keyboard, and Sketchbook lets you work in layers (so an under sketch to paint over is possible), as well as having a interface easy to manage with just a pen, a nice selection of so-called natural media brushes available anda fair amount of control over how they perform.

Here’s a couple of examples, each about 1 1/2 hours drawing time, from live models.