Art Progress

A lot to talk about this week. I’ve been getting back into art in a big way.

There’s been some hesitance in how I approach this. I’ve tried many times in the past to get “back” into art, but I often get discouraged and sidetracked. After all, I’m not doing art for profit.

I think that’s been a huge barrier in the past. There’s the idea that if I enjoy something, it must be something I need to make a career out of. That’s great if you start at a young age…like 12 years old. But if your 20 or 30 years old, it really doesn’t make sense. I would look at my sketches, think “It’s a waste of time, I need to focus on my Navy career”, and simply give up.

I’m not in that particular predicament anymore. I’m in a career I enjoy, and while I’m constantly challenged and learning new things with my new job…I feel there’s always room for growth. The question is more along the lines of how do I want to grow? I’ve considered several approaches, programming, computer sciences, music, but I’ve always had a passion for art. I just never could financially justify getting into it as you can only do so much with some pencils and a sketchbook, and a digital setup is very expensive.

So last week I came up with a plan. I was already halfway there with the computer setup. I have a great computer, Photoshop (trial edition), and an art tablet. I just needed to expand. I picked up the cheapest 27-inch monitor I could find and tweaked my workspace so I could work and not feel so cramped. Then last night I picked up a Wacom Intuos Pro Medium tablet; because as I soon found out, it’s hard to draw on a 27-inch screen on a tiny tablet.

Drawing digitally isn’t easy, I found out last week that drawing manga is very difficult. Not impossible by any means, but getting lines look right and not sketchy on Photoshop/Manga Studio is an exercise of tedium and constantly hitting Ctrl-Z. While watching various live-streamers and instructional videos on YouTube, I have worked on tweaking my line-work to look less sloppy. As a result, I’ve found I’m better at digital painting more than I am doing line-work, so I’ll continue to tweak over the next few weeks on the right style.

But art isn’t all about drawing digitally. You have to start from the foundations. I’ve been doing a lot of offline sketches and drills as a part of some instructional videos I found via ctrlpaint.com. Much of it is review from my art classes in high school, but other stuff is like “Ah hah! So that’s why we draw in this way!!!”. It’s an excellent resource and I recommend anyone who is even considering digital art take a look at the site.

Other than that, it’s been a slow week. I’ve played a bit of Fallout 4 (which is a fantastic game), but been mostly in design-mode so I haven’t devoted that much time to it. The stuff that happened in Paris yesterday sucks, but I posted my thoughts about it on Facebook.

That’s about it. Not going to be posting any art examples. I’m not a big fan of showing my sketches since my scribbles, random ovals, eyeballs, or whatever I decide to draw in the spur of the moment isn’t really something I can publish just yet.

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