Monday, October 29, 2012

Sweet Pea Love (Butterflower#3)

I'm not really a pink-sweet-girly type, but the pea flowers growing this summer in my greenhouse couldn't avoid the chance of becoming the subject(s) of a tender, eternal meeting between two Butterflowers. The motif of petals is a little revisited.
No surprise that an alternative name for this subfamily is Papilionoideae.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ipad + Artrage experiments

My boyfriend got an Ipad a while ago, which has became an abused object at home.
When I heard that there're apps allowing you to paint on it, with fingers, or a capacitive stylus and even a capacitive brush, I couldn't resist to try them. What sounded more appealing is the possibility to sketch in a traditional way, without the need to go around with a lot of material.
I got a Sensu brush (includes brush and stylus at both ends), downloaded Artrage for Ipad, and start to doodle to try the stylus and program features. I felt like when I tried PS and the Wacom tablet the first time: fully handicapped.

The first issue is the complete lack of pressure sensitivity. I use pressure massively, when drawing/painting both traditional and digital, and suffer when I cannot use it.
The second problem is the low resolution of the drawing, which do not allow you to draw tiny details, especially when using watercolour/oil brushes. The pencil/pen can compensate for it, but you get another effect. When you would like to paint tiny strokes, what you get are perfect, small circles. So, the sketch below named 'Autumn leaves' suffers of this flaw, and I find it awful, frankly.
The sizes for some brushes are limited.
Artrage has some bugs: sometimes the program stops before you can save; big, square areas of your drawing can get damaged and lost when you, for instance, try to erase/smudge/ or other actions.

The stylus/brush
having a stylus is much better than finger, the precision is really greater. I didn't experience an advantage of capacitive brush compared to the stylus. I believed that the brush strokes size could depend on the brush fibres and how you 'paint', but this is not true. The only way to set the stroke's size, is through the program.
You must also be careful not to put your fingers on screen, too, while drawing: otherwise you'll get effects you don't want, and maybe just realize it after a while.

Great features
Artrage works in another way than Photoshop. I think is moreless like Painter, though I've a very limited experience with the latter. It looks really like a real traditional painting, with watercolour, oil, pencil, pen effects. They also blend each other like in a traditional drawing.
You can paint on separate layers, and import reference pictures (maybe taken with Ipad).
Drawing with stylus don't have the annoying delay effect that I experienced by sketching with PS.
It is a wonderful way to keep sketch and paint while travelling, (or maybe lying in bed with a baby who wakes up every half hour): all those situations when dealing with brushes, solvents, or a whole computer with a Wacom, is very impractical or impossible.
The knife brush (which is much about smudging and blurring) has some very interesting effects.

I feel anyway that I need tons of practice to learn to use each brush, to get the desired effect, and how it blends with other brushes, and so on.


Autumn leaves


This is an attempt for realistic painting, used a blurry ipad photo as reference. I'm not very satisfied, looks like a bad PS airbrush painting.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Lady Faun

In the last time, painting has became nearly impossible, since my evenings are almost totally occupied by the baby-almost-toddler who got separation anxiety.
So, I was very uncertain if participate in the Faun Contest held at DeviantArt by the lovely Eledhwen, whose conditions were to choose one among three of her Faun stock pics, and do a paint, or a photomanipulation out of it. I tried to give it a trial, and chosed this one:

and finished in a hurry in around a couple of weekends, so I had to keep it as a simple portrait, even if I'd like to put more imaginative elements in it. She asked also to not draw the dress to let the faun features be more visible, but I find it beautiful so I decided to keep it.
It's always great to paint from a real model instead of painting stereotyped human characters, as often seen in fantasy illustration, so I really enjoyied it, despite the little time. It is moreover a very useful exercise. (then, I also won, which is an additional pleasure :) ).
I'm still not completely happy with rendering, but maybe I'll take up again later.