Monday, September 30, 2013

Recursion - ..going back to simple

Over the weekend I did a lot of sketching and studied a few different styles that I haven't really tried or followed-thru-with before. It really helped to look at and simplify stages of my drawing process, and consequently since, I haven't gotten stuck as much. The biggest help recently has been the fact that I picked up my sketchbook again and started doing actual non-digital sketches and drawings.

I've never been a great pencil (or any other traditional medium) artist, but getting back to pencil helped me significantly. The main difference from digital is that pencil drawing has a relatively limited number of options to choose from. If you start with applying dark heavy lines, you won't likely be able to remove them completely from the paper at a later stage, and so drawing loose and lightly on the paper is helpful while working on one sheet. Limiting yourself to one pencil also keeps your final product to a limited number outcome, moreso than digital.

Digital has many options. With tools alone there are a staggering number brushes, brush-types, mark-making-tools, editing tools, and effects. Throughout the process, with digital you can choose many different styles to try. It has a very wide range of colors, and an endless supply of editable, individual layers with varying  transparency effects.. just a lot to get yourself lost in if you don't have a focus. I could spend all day changing a drawing around with layer effects alone. With pencil, or any other traditional medium, you get what you have. If you have one pencil, that's your constraint. You're limited to everything you can do with just that one pencil. If you have a tube of paint, you get (usually) the same color of paint out of it every time.

So coming back to digital drawing, I chose to limit myself to the pencil-like process (I used a 4-px round brush, with size set by pressure). I just kept it simple, and it really made things easier to do.

(the top image is a fanart sketch of a female Granok "medic" using my super-quick, loose pencil-like sketching; below are some button-link attempts; and lastly are my more involved older opacity-by-pressure-brush sketches)