Posts tagged Drawing
Drawing with invisible ink

It wasn't until 1998 that I discovered that by using a digital drawing pad I could interface with a computer in a meaningful and useful fashion. That is when I first entered the world of working with a computer to help me do some of my work. Since then we have seen vast improvements in computing speeds, and plenty of pretty amazing programs. I would never want to go back to doing everything by hand. But the key to it all - as it was back in 1998 is the digital drawing pad. It allows me to use a virtual pen instead of a mouse - which I would compare to trying to draw with a bar of soap. It sure isn't ideal for any kind of detail work.

There are a number of sizes available and I've tried them all.  My favorite (so far) is the Wacom Intuos 5 Medium as shown below.

Today I picked up the latest and best digital drawing pad I've owned to date ... a Wacom Intuos 5 - medium size. There is one better - a Cintique that allows you to draw on the screen but with the amazing graphics currently available with my Mac moniters I'll stick with the separate drawing pad. There is a learning curve of course as with just about everything. The tricky part is to learn to draw with your hand in one place while you look elsewhere - the computer screen. I tell those I talk to the secret is to give your mouse to someone you trust and then tell them that NO MATTER WHAT they are not to give it back to you for five or six days. It's my bet that you will never go back.

I also purchased some screen capture software today, meaning I could do a quick demo for you showing just how simple drawing with a digital tablet can be. Here's the video...

-grampa dan

Coming up with new ideas

I often get asked just where or how I manage to come up with the things we do. It is easy really although sometimes I have to think about it longer than I like. First I really SEE what is around me - constantly. But just seeing isn't enough. I have to somehow trap those ideas inside my brain for future reference. If I can manage it I'll whip off a quick sketch in one of the sketchbooks I always keep handy to capture an idea. That's the best for it already translates what I see to my style, and helps me remember it forever. Sketching also gives me practice drawing. I need to do that regularly for practicing is the only way to get good. If I don't have time to do a sketch I'll snap a picture with the small camera always in a small pouch strapped to my belt. But I have a whole lot of photographic images on file (tens of thousands) and can't always remember just where they are. Failing that I try and just remember - but after 58 years of collecting ideas my head is starting to get pretty full and this doesn't always work. I have a theory that everytime I push something new in something old falls out. Somehow the thing I lose is never something I won't need later.

I was working on a sign design for one of the last show pieces for inside the Fox and Hounds Pub this past while. I had discussed some ideas with the owner but nothing I was drawing was working. I filled a bunch of pages in my sketchbook to no avail. This morning for an extra shot of inspiration I typed 'pub signs' into google to see if anything would spark my imagination. One sign of hundreds there caught my eye. I did a quick scribble in my book. What I saw on that web page wasn't what I wanted but it sparked an idea...

The sketch I had drawn was far too much of a cartoon and lacked the character I desired. Fortunately I knew where I would look next for inspiration. I simply swivelled by chair around and looked on my bulletin board in my studio. Up in the top left corner was a pencil drawing I had done more than twenty years ago. Back then I had been paging through an old National Geographic Magazine and had come across a picture of a grizzled old man. I liked him and had drawn this characature of him. I had no use for the piece at the time but I knew that some day I would. Today was that day at last.

The drawing was not usable in it's current form. I had to cut and paste, and modify things quite a bit. I ended up redrawing him entirely, adding an open mouth and a hand with a bell. He got a powdered wig, a tri-cornered hat and a ruffled shirt to bring him back to merry olde England. Adding a barrel head as background and a scroll with the whiskey label tied things nicely into the pub decor. Suddenly I had an idea I liked. Looking at him kinda makes you want to plug your ears as you smile. :)

Now I'll present him to the owners of the pub and see if they agree.

-grampa dan