Monday, December 31, 2012

Illustration Friday: New

Here's to the hope that newness brings! 

2012 brought me new software--Painter 12--and I am having a blast with it. Best new toy ever!



More play with Painter brushes today for this week's Illustration Friday prompt: "New." 

I know I need to spend gobs more time learning this stuff in 2013, but I am excited--not daunted--by the prospect.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Play with Corel Painter 12

I've been going through the book Digital Painting for the Complete Beginner by Carlyn Beccia, and playing along with the software (both Painter and Photoshop) as I read. Today I learned how to clean up an old scan and tint the pencil lines.  I tinted the drawing in this post in Painter 12.  I used Photoshop CS 5.5 to tint the blog banner. Simple, but different processes for each.  (I won't go into them here.  If you are using both of these kinds of software and are eager to learn lots of tips and tricks for illustration, I strongly suggest getting a copy of Beccia's book.)

Then I went a little crazy playing with the brushes and paper textures in Painter.  Apparently it's possible to get just as messy in a virtual studio as a real one.  Who knew?

I did not bother to save most of my sloppy efforts today, but here's one I don't mind sharing:  


I colored this version with a diffuse grainy camelhair watercolor brush on handmade watercolor paper. The base drawing comes from an old sketchbook.  A very old sketchbook.  The model died about twenty years ago.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Illustration Friday: Glow

Futzing around with Corel Painter 12 for the first time.  This glowing lamp post in the woods (a la Narnia) I did with the soft pencil tool that was set for use when I opened the software:


I know I can do a lot more with the software, but today I am merely getting acquainted with the interface.  I love the realistic feel.  Very gratifying for an artist who had always assumed she would only be happy working with traditional media.  I look forward to playing around with the different surface textures and patterns.

Today I inadvertantly learned an important difference between Photoshop and Painter: When you're saving a Painter file in a different format, in my case a riff to a jpeg, you have to generate a different base name for the file or the save won't take.  In Photoshop, it's enough that your file name has a different extension.  You can have a sketch.psd and a sketch.jpg generated on the same PC by the same copy of Photoshop.  Painter says, "Get you sh*t organized or I ain't playin'!"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Tomie de Paola Illustration Award Contest Entry

You may have noticed that my last post, yesterday's Illustration Friday, was a Christmas card image from 2011.  I drew and painted that just before Thanksgiving, over a year ago.  So I did not create a fresh "snow" picture.  I decided to slack off and post an old one.  

I have excuses. It's been a hectic week at the day job what with all the year-end donations to process and the  preparations for our annual holiday party.  I've put in a fair number of extra hours the past few weeks.  My daughter returned from college yesterday.  And on the weekends, I've been working on this:


This is my submission to the SCBWI's annual Tomie de Paola Illustration Award contest.  It's a scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, rendered in Photoshop using the scratchart method I've been trying to perfect recently.  The challenge was to illustrate a scene of your choosing from Tom Sawyer, Little Women, or The Yearling in black and white.  Since one of my goals is to illustrate middle grade novels, I thought I'd better enter the contest this year--you know--put myself out there.

If you'd like to see some of the other entries, take a look at the blog the SCBWI-Houston Illustrator Coordinator, Diandra Mae, set up: scbwicontest.blogspot.com.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Illustration Friday: Stretch

Reaching for that book on the very top shelf . . .

This is a re-posting of a pic I drew in 2011 for the portfolio.  I don't expect to generate any new Illustration Friday pieces until the submission deadline for the Tomie dePaola illustration contest has passed.  

Yes, you read me right.  I am daring to enter this year.  I figure the challenge to do a black and white illustration for a classic middle grade novel is right up my street.