This started off as an experiment in trying to maximize digital impasto, which is something I’ve been messing around with for a long time. But I’ve always done it in Photoshop, and this time I used Painter 2015 (a trial version) and PS together. This experiment turned into a nightmare struggle with crashing programs and corrupted files, and a steep learning curve with all the brushes and controls in painter. Sometimes it was going magically, and sometimes it flopped and its eyes glazed over. Finally, I think I brought it back to life.
What we’ve got here looks like a Van Gogh/Picasso hybrid, done by a schizophrenic inebriated on Absinthe. To me that’s a good thing, except maybe the schizophrenic part, which I only include because it reminds me of those famous cat paintings that were on the cover of a Psychology text when I was in Jr. College. You know, this guy below:
I did the impasto well, but I made a miscalculation. I made the image too big in relation to the strokes, in which case you can only see them clearly when you are zoomed in. I originally envisioned the strokes being much larger in relation to the image, but since I work as large as I can get away with (large image files use lots of RAM), they became smaller relative to the subject. It’s still successful, but not what I set out to do. So, I may do another attempt, keeping in mind that the strokes should be very conspicuous even when zoomed out.
So, let’s get onto the whole surface texture part of the equation. Some curmudgeonly types espouse the opinion that digital art should not imitate painting. The other day I was at a flower festival, and there were a bunch of oil paintings of the flowers, and because I was in the process of working on this, I leaned close to study their paint texture. They didn’t look as good as my digital surface, which probably has a lot to do with me spending a lot more time on that surface textural beauty than they did. Those paintings were undoubtedly done in a factory sort of setting, and from the looks of them not necessarily by trained artists. Whatever the medium, surface detail and texture is something I like, so strive to create in my art. And, this one also straddles figuration and abstraction, which is something I sometimes do. That’s how it gets that crazy, vaguely Picasso-esque look. I’m planning another image using many of these same techniques, since I had to learn a P-in-the-A program just to make this one. Whether it’s your cup of Absinthe or not, I’ve never really seen anything quite like this, including the digital impasto. Hope you enjoy it, and give it more than a few seconds to sink in. There’s a lot going on with color, texture, movement, space and depth. At least have a gander at that psychedelic claw.
Also, please try to keep in mind that this is best viewed as a large, high quality print! That’s the only way to see the whole thing AND the details. This was done high rez, and I wasn’t crashing my computer for nothing. I want my images to print out large, and look awesome up close. Below you can see what it looks like at actual pixels.
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