Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Digital art

Something that's been coming up a lot in conversation lately is Digital art. I'm a varied artist(as most of you have figured out) and I have quite a bit of experience with digital art work. I've done professional Logos, vector graphics, and illustrations in various ways. My digital illustrations were published in a book, and my logos are in use by lawyers and hot dog stands.

There are a couple things I've learned over the years in regards to digital art.

1: People separate it too much from traditional art: it still has tools, and it still depends on HOW you use something not WHAT you use. I've seen people using artists quality paint, create crap, and people using student quality, create works of art that rivals the great masters. This goes for programs, and for tablets too. A better tablet won't make you a better artists, and most of the top of the line artists programs can do the same thing. I've used painter and Photoshop (up to cs3) and I will tell you, there is NOTHING in painter you cant do with photoshop, and vice versa. The difference: how the tools are laid out, and what work is done for you. The problem with programs is, it makes the tools for you. I say if you can paint with no undo button, and just one brush - you're a skilled artist, if you can paint something using every filter, brush, and setting in the program, you're an accomplished nerd.

2: Most people are going to hate me for this generalization, but I remind you that this is my blog. Most of the "painter" type art work out there looks the same. the same half assed unrefined BG's with over painted characters, women mostly, with shiny high points and extreme hot and cold lighting. Its like they've all learned from the same place, and never moved on. OH my biggest pet peeve is the lifeless wispy hair. Gimme a break. I'm sick of regurgitated floaty hair, more than I'm sick of 3d Animated films that would have been better in 2d.

3: Most people think that you can do things digitally that you cant do traditionally - that's only because you haven't figured out how to do it traditionally.

I'm not against digital art. It does have its place, that's for sure. some people don't have as much of a tactile connection to traditional art, and some people just are to addicted to not making mistakes, and some people just prefer it. I know there is a world of people out there, each one with their own reasons, but there is something I would like people to always remember

  • You can only learn by making mistakes - Undo Less, try to fix the problem as you would traditionally
  • Mistakes in art are sometimes "happy mistakes" Don't get hung up on perfection, no one has ever reached that level in the history of DNA.
  • Learn from others, but bring your own elements into your work - fuck wispy hair dammit!
  • Use the tools for your expression, don't express the tools - filters are rarely good things, textures are awesome.
  • Check out tutorials on the tools that the programs have, and experiment without looking at tutorials others have made on their techniques, at least right off. once you get a grip on the programs a bit, that's a good time to start checking our other tutorials, because then you take those techniques and incorporate into yours, and you aren't just following someone else's work.
Not too ranty I hope :p

Another day, another blog <3

Monday, 6 April 2009


I thought I'd write a little bit about the gouache I use, and how it can be used. Not many people know this, but gouache comes in 2 forms. There is a and polymer emulsion gouache and a gum Arabic gouache. The main differences are that the gum arabic gouache can be rehydrate once dry, and you can make adjustments to your painting, and the polymer emulsion based is permanent when dry. Gum Arabic is the based used in watercolours, so you can use that as a guide to remember which one can be adjusted later. Gouache is almost always Matte in appearance, and depending on techniques can be painted like watercolours, or like acrylics. Its a very diverse medium!

The gouache I use is Holbein Acryla Gouache. Its a polymer emulsion based gouache made by Holbein (the German named company from japan lol). they're artist quality designer paints, and they come in sets or individual tubes. they have 2 series, A, for all the colours, and C for the metallic and some odd balls. one of the nice features of the packaging is the wide range of information they give you.

Permanence: They use a star rating for the permanence of the colours. 0-4 stars. 0 stars is a fugitive colour that will fade, 4 stars is a permanent colour. Gouache are a little notorious for not being light fast since it was created for designers and used for painting backgrounds for animated films, so the permanence wasn't an issue, the images were reproduced on film or in printing, but they've come along way in becoming an artistic medium and they've developed much better permanence for these paints.

Pigments: They list the pigments used to make the colours, so its easy to identify your paint colours. For example, you could look on the back of the tube and see the pigments used to make a certain mix colour, and then get just those colours to mix your own. Its a potential money saver, since you don't have to keep buying tons of different tube colours, you can just buy a few colours and mix the rest.

Munsell Score: They list the munsell score of Hue, value and chroma on each tube so you can more easily control your colours (again, these were made for designers, so that's of value to them but maybe not so much to painters of other types, but good to know)

These paints are water soluble, meaning you can mix them with water to paint with them, or you can mix polymer mediums with them for different looks. They are matte, and opaque. you can paint with them on a variety of surfaces. Illustration board is one of the best surfaces, but you can also use Bristol board, watercolour or print paper. Its fantastic for mixed media work. I've used then with my airbrush (and in my airbrush), watercolours, markers, pencil crayons, acrylics and painted sculptures with it. Its extremely versatile.

Here are some of my works that have used gouache in a variety of ways.

Hope that was a little interesting to someone.

Now playing on Winamp: Ralph Fiennes & Amick Byram - The Plagues
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