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

 

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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.

Just another Thursday sketch

This week, the wrong side.

The friendly portrait group I draw with for a couple of hours most weeks is often nearly full by the time I arrive.  This means the spots that have a full or three-quarter view of the model are usually all taken.  I don’t mind at all.  The very first drawings I remember being fascinated by enough to try and copy when I was a child were profile studies, by the likes Holbein, the Egyptians and Aztecs, and Regency silhouettes.  I like drawing people in a way they rarely see themselves, but is so distinctly them.

However, I realised yesterday that I have a habit of usually sitting on the side of the room that gives me a left-looking profile.  The only seat available yesterday was on the other side, and it was weirdly difficult to get my brain to drawn an accurate right-looking profile.   So, note to self . . .

charcoal portrait

Black and white charcoal and white ink, on A3 brown paper, 2 hours