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.

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Picking up the ol’ digital paint brush again

Miss Amanda Fish
Not nearly finished, but well underway- Presenting Miss Fish.  Based on this lovely tintype photo from the 1880s.   The tiny original is, in the manner of its time, Photoshopped, with the eyes retouched, and colour added to her cheeks and earrings.  This one, painted using my trusty Wacom Intuos 4.