Back in the Saddle (But I’m Riding a Mechanical Bull)

Started: 3:00 p.m
Finished: 4:35 p.m 

Because I haven’t drawn in so long, I knew that my fine motor skills would be a lot less than fine. To get back on track, this week I started attempting some old drawing exercises I learned in my high school art class days.

Now I knew that my muscles would be a little stiff, but I didn’t realize that it would feel like my arm had been replaced with a hand about 3 days deep into rigor mortis. I struggled a lot with my traditional art exercises, getting everything smooth and natural looking was not happening. I felt beyond incompetent. It was rough. If you look on that upper right hand and that bottom left corner of my traditional art practice, you can see how much I was not having it.

Going through these traditional art exercises made me question a lot of what I’m doing here. It made me feel like the answer to that big question, “Am I an artist?” was a big fat, “No.”

Because I was beating myself up so badly, I decided it was time to try again. So I broke out that sleek, beautiful Wacom and got to work.

Starting off was as intimidating as I thought it would be. Drawing the first sphere, I used the elliptical marquee tool to create a circle. I stared blindly at the canvas. Because I needed to shade this to look like a sphere, I just started toggling between different shades and opacities of gray and white and colored in the circle.

And then I found my best friend:

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 4.57.23 PM

THE MIXER BRUSH TOOL!! Holy cow, if I could marry this, I would. Using the mixer brush made me feel like a real artist again. Although my sketches on Photoshop aren’t that clean, the values are definitely getting there.

This small victory gave me inspiration to push forward with the rest of my work. Although I figured a lot of this would be pretty “laggy” (as the Xbox live community puts it) the Intuos tablet is powerfully responsive. It felt like I was drawing on paper; my favorite feature is when using the pencil tool.

If you look at my “scribble” and “crosshatch” gradients, when I used the pencil tool, it picked up on the pressure I put on the tablet which was REALLY REALLY RAD.

Overall, I am feeling optimistic about further endeavors on my tablet. Let me know if you have any suggestions for digital art and painting in the comments! Thanks!


One thought on “Back in the Saddle (But I’m Riding a Mechanical Bull)

  1. Urban Disgust February 9, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    Loved this post, can definitely relate. I took a lot of time off of drawing to focus on painting, sculpture, and photography. Found myself missing drawing and am no where as good as I used to be. I also did find a new love for photoshop though I haven’t used it to edit my own works of art. Looking forward to see what you’re working with.


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