Some people make their digital paintings in very logical stages. That has tended to not be me, except on some occasion. I’m, or have been, much more the artist that just starts experimenting, sees what happens, and rides the wave in. But, uh, to get to some next level shit, sometimes an artist has to learn some new skills, adapt, incorporate, and then level up. I really can’t remember the last time I made a line drawing as a study.
Doing the line drawing was interesting, though, because you get into all the curves and the relation between them. There’s an elegance to it that’s immediately apparent, like a visual math or music. This is, incidentally, an example of what I call “visual language”. And, by the way, it kinda’ sucks doing a drawing like that with a crappy drawing tablet in my lap. Drawing some curves at some angles was really difficult, where I could painlessly do that on paper. Before people get excited and tell me that’s why digital art sucks and will never be able to compete with whatever amateur crap done on loincloth, you can get graphic tablets that allow you to draw directly on your image. A little out of my price range at the moment. I have the cheapest Wacom tablet that will function adequately. But, it’s gloriously possible.
A strong reason for going digital is I can add color UNDER the drawing.
I learned these smart techniques from doing digital painting courses from and for illustrators (yes, I went to grad school, but there I mostly learned how to discuss social justice). To go with an analogy, this is like a rock guitarist taking a classical acoustic guitar class and learning to read music (if he, or she couldn’t already). That monster has me written all over it, though. And the drawing style goes all the way back to my teens.
The color study is on a boring, neutral background, which tends to deaden it — for now! — because white is just too bright. If you can make something look decent on hideous neautral grey, you are on your way. I wanted him (I think) to be some blue-greys, with shades of red and green. Orange irises and blue eyelids seemed kinda’ cool. He looks like an ant-man, with octopus-tentacle tendencies. Hmmm. His gums might need to be more pink.
He’s a bit cartoony right now, but eventually the line drawing will disappear, after I add shading and lighting. And there will be a background. Not sure if it will be natural, a city, or industrial, but it won’t be in focus, and it will most likely be lighter than the monster.
No, goddammit, it’s not a self portrait after I get the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (a.k.a the “Wu-flu”), which is fast heading my way. However, our beloved hero of 20th century figurative painting, Francis Bacon, once said that all paintings are self-portraits in that they represent how we choose to present ourselves to the world. That’s some deeper fodder, and true, but since most of the time we are hopeless literalists, it’s not supposed to have anything to do with me. I may be old-ish, but I’m not THAT ugly.
Let’s see if I can pull this off, and make him realistic, not un-disgusting, and with some humanity about him, despite his monstrosity.