Sunday, December 27, 2009

Swedish season greetings

A little late, because of some last details I couldn't finish before Christmas, here comes a first attempt to paint a character completely digital, without a previous sketch. This time I could use both mouse and Wacom pen.
It is a traditional Swedish tomte, a kind of funny and not so fair Christmas elf.
The picture could be used as a quite kitch X-mas card; it was painted with different layers for text, skin details, red details, beard, sky and wood.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Another oil copy

I did not practice so much with digital painting in the last weeks, since I had another urgent project to complete.
This summer, my mother-in-law became 70 and was asked about a nice birthday present. Her wish, a painting to their flat, turned out to be one of the works of the spanish artist Ramón Pujol, who usually paints very beautiful coastal landscapes from Mediterranean. Unfortunately, such a painting can cost around 3000 €, which is quite above our budget, and we agreed that I would have tried to paint it as a Christmas present instead. I chosed to reproduce "Harbour at last light", which is a picture of Portofino, because of the pleasant bright palette and the many elements present in the composition (sea, mountains and buildings). This would have also been a good exercise for me to practise landscape, water and reflections effects on it, and a little perspective.

(picture taken from the Internet)

Here comes the result of my attempt to reproduce this painting (since it is a photo the colours aren't the same as in my painting) :

As a disclaimer, the latter cannot be considered a false, since it is quite evident that proportions, colours and especially the quality of the work are not close to the original.
I'm not really sure if I'm really satisfied with this work. Perspective at the boats is not correct, and the copy do not show the same clean realistic touch which can be admired in the original of Pujol. Some of the houses on the left side are not really parallel with the coast line! On the other hand, it is just my second oil painting after many many years. And, my mother-in-law has not the possibility to directly compare my work with the original one, so I hope she will not notice these details...

Friday, November 27, 2009

The mouse in the pumpkin

A second project was to paint a still life from a live subject. The easiest I hade at home was a pumpkin:

Its round shape is ideal for a beginner because it makes it easy to paint values and so on. The photo doesn't show what I saw from my point of view, so don't compare it with the painting.
Well: when I started, I realised that the precious old Wacom pen was dead. Dead! We'll never know if it was a question of age or the consequence of having a toddler going around and playing with everything interesting he found on his way. So I had to use the old dear mouse, instead. Maybe I'll think about a nice Xmas present to myself...
Dish and pumpkin are painted on two separate layers; it is wonderful to have the possibility to change the oval shape size and proportions if you realize that perspective is wrong. But I realised that I must begin to practice with textures. And layers, of course. And everything else...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The first digital: Northern Light

The very first time I start to paint digital was in October this year, when I needed a picture of the first northern light I saw, for my other blog. All I had were:

1) a quick pencil sketch taken six years ago:

2) the Photoshop program and a Wacom set (pen and tablet), that my boyfriend has at home (he is art director in a own computer game company, so he has a lot of these stuff).

I never hold a Wacom pen in hand previously and was quite unfamiliar with Photoshop as well. As a beginner, I found that there were many issues with this new technique:
- with the Wacom pen you experience a lack of direct feeling with the material you're working with: one cannot feel the texture of paper, or the pressure of pencil/pen/brush. Even if I feel a bit confident by drawing with pencil, I must say that I was completely handicapped with the digital one;
- what you're drawing doesn't appear directly under your hand, but in the screen: you need a new way to coordinate eyes and hand;
- it takes a while learning how to manage different layers in Photoshop.

On the other hand, the possibilities offered by the digital techniques are much larger compared with the traditional ones, so I thought it was worth trying. That's why this blog is called A Wacom Journey.

Here comes the final picture. It is a very simple work, nevertheless I can get the same feeling I had watching the Northern light six years ago. The first step was to correct all writing and other flaws from the original photo, then create and paint distinct layers for sky, landscape and northern light on the background base.

Painting fractals

Even if it is often too complicated for my neurons, I think Mathematics is one of the most beautiful creations of the human mind. And, among of the most beautiful visual representations of Mathematics, fractals are surely the most intriguing, at least for me.

The good news is that you don't need to be a Mathematician or a skilled Artist to paint wonderful fractals. A couple of years ago I discovered the free program Chaospro, a German production, which can be downloaded here. You just choose the function, modify its parameters, look at the result and then zoom in the detail you like. Another feature in the programs helps you with colouring and other effects. Some fractals can take long time to be calculated and somewhere there are some bugs, but possibilities are endless.

It is this program I've used to make the logo of this blog. Here follow other examples of what I did in my evenings. It is sometimes very surprising to find familiar shapes in these creations, as a broccoli or bacteria.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I used to paint and draw until I graduate. Afterwards, I got a black hole of creativity until I met my boyfriend and got our child. Since I was longing for some free time, he gave me a present card for a oil painting course, incouraging me to begin again with some kind of "art" activity.

This was the result, a reproduction of the painting "The vegetable gardener" by Arcimboldo. I chose it because we
though it could be a funny subject for our kitchen.

And below you can see the original version. Surprise!