Thursday, March 14, 2013

Zen Pencils, and Photoshop woes

Sorry for the lack of posts. I was unexpectedly off of work again this week, and when that happens I like to try to stay away from the internet to focus more on actually making art instead of just looking at other people's art and reading and thinking about art. Usually that doesn't end up happening, but I'm happy to say I've logged a lot of drawing/painting hours this week, mostly in Photoshop which I am really enjoying learning. As a junior in college, when I was teaching Avid, an editing program, to some younger students, I always used to tell them: "I can show you Avid tutorials all day, but the only way to really learn the program is just to import some footage and try to edit something yourself." And I've found that's totally true with Photoshop - I had watched a million tutorials before, but it never TRULY sinks in until you start using it yourself. After about a week of fussing around and being super frustrated, I'm starting to understand how to actually achieve the look I'm going after. It's really not too different than learning any other material - you can buy all the paint brushes in the world, but then not know how to use them until you experiment with holding and moving them in different ways, with different paints, etc etc. And then after years of using a certain brush a certain way, someone will come up and show you an angle of the wrist that produces a totally different affect. Or, you know. I'm not a painter (yet) but I IMAGINE this is a thing that happens. Whatever, it's my blog and I'm sticking to that analogy.

The thing that has frustrated me the most by far is line drawing with the Wacom. I was almost in tears the first day, because I had drawn up a rough sketch and scanned it in thinking I'd refine it in Photoshop. And then no matter what I tried I could NOT draw a good clean line for the life of me. I eventually chalked it up to a lack of line confidence/arm strength/general drawing skill and figured I'd just have to keep at it... until today, when I came across THIS POST by Jesper Ejsing on the Muddy Colors blog. Note that there are about FORTY COMMENTS saying that line drawing in photoshop with a tablet is nearly impossible. Commenter Jari Paananen says: "I switched to Cintiq three years ago - and haven't looked back. Before Cintiq it was Draw Line - Undo - Draw Line - Undo - DrawLine-Undo-DrawLine-UndoDrawLineUndoDrawLine - Okay, that will do even if it's not even close to the line I wanted." Which was exactly my experience. Needless to say I felt validated.

ANYway. I wanted to post about an awesome short comic I found last week that illustrates a quote from Chris Hadfield, a commander at the ISS.

Rest of comic HERE.

The art is by Gavin Aung Than, who runs a website with these comics called Zen Pencils. It's really worth checking out - The art is great and the quotes are great too. Here is another of my favorites:

Rest of comic HERE.

Lastly - extremely sad news today - Google Reader, the way in which I consume 90% of my internet (and ALL of my art blogs), is being put out to pasture for no reason that I can discern. Does anybody know of a good replacement?

© Gina Florio 2013

1 comment:

  1. Whaaaaa....*picks up jaw from the floor. I thought it was something wrong with me too. That I just lacked muscle in my hand or something. I have been using a tablet for 4 years now and I am proficient in Photoshop...but lines...nope nope nope. I just gave up on trying to do lines in Photoshop. Switched entirely to sketchbooks for that. I have been considering to save for that big Cintiq...this has been the last drop. *Flips keyboard and Bamboo tablet and goes to count the coins in the piggy bank...