January 22, 2014

oops I arted

I told you I do things other than knit! Click on the image for a larger version.

I started this drawing in early January, just as an experiment in drawing mouths. And then, because I like drawing noses, I drew his nose as well. And then yesterday I opened up this file again and decided to continue it.

Honestly, I'm in a huge art slump right now. For the past three or four months, I've been fed up with my art style. Even though I'm generally a fast worker for most things, I've been a slow drawer my whole life. The only thing I can draw at a fairly reasonable pace is cute chibis, but I'm fed up with my chibi style too. They're not really western style cartoony, but neither are they asian style cartoony, and that in-between-ness has been really getting to me.

The other thing I draw (at least, in terms of digital art) that I'm really proud of is realistic portraits. My last portrait (before this one) was finished last June. It was a commission that I put off for over half a year because every time I went to work on it, I was just filled with so many negative feelings. It takes me so long to complete a drawing that I feel repulsed by the thought of drawing.

But I don't want to give up on art. That's not even an option for me. So this painting was my attempt at developing style that works for me in terms of both aesthetics and efficiency. I switched from photoshop to clip studio paint, which I was already using for other types of drawing anyway. Even though photoshop is a great tool, one downfall is you have to blend manually. Other programs, like SAI and CSP, have tools that can automatically blend as you draw. So painting his facial features and skin in CSP went a lot faster than it usually takes me in photoshop.

I did switch back to photoshop to paint the hair. I tried it in CSP, but the blendiness actually worked against me there, because the whole thing kept smearing into a flat blob. But hair has always been the fastest part of the process for me in photoshop, so I'm fine with using photoshop for that.

I also went with brighter, whiter tones. I did it to keep things simpler, but in the end, I think I actually like this better than my other portraits. If you look at this painting next to my previous ones, it looks so much brighter and cleaner in comparison, even though it's actually less clean. Which is the other big change. I sketched in a way that's comfortable for me, rather than the "accepted" way of sketching, and I kept the sketch lines on top of the final product. This takes out a lot because in some places, the sketch lines build up the drawing, so I don't have to spend as much time duplicating stuff that's already in the sketch. I also like that it makes the drawing look less like a photograph and more like a drawing.

So yes! There will definitely be more of these in the future. I've got some other commissions and projects I'm working on, but once those are finished, I'm think I'm going to draw. A lot.

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