The sky is underpainted now. Next I have to pack for a trip to Toronto and The Hammer (Hamilton) for a friend's wedding, so that might be it for art this week.
I'm also going to drop off a painting at a gallery and pick up a pile of panels, so it's a work trip too. Being an artist isn't all painting, there are many other small business hats you have to wear too. Delivery guy, accountant, marketing maven, etc. Hard to do everything effectively.
Here's the completed steamship painting. I'm currently calling it "departed", although my titles have been known to change frequently.
It's a little more somber and subdued than I originally intended. That probably has something to do with the fact that I started it the week Jack Layton died. That kind of made it my memorial to Layton, although it's not really about him or his death.
Yesterday I found ArtRage, a digital painting program and used it to colour this robot drawing.
(I've been trying to find replacements for Photoshop, which is very expensive to buy new.)
I was looking at GIMP, which is a free open source program. I really didn't like GIMP very much and found it really frustrating to work with. It has a lot of the features of Photoshop, but I got too frustrated trying to figure out how to use it.
Then I found ArtRage, and the demo worked well enough that I bought it. ($59 compared to PS's $799)
The ArtRage app and UI is designed well and if you're used to colouring in Photoshop, then it all translates really well. You can paint in layers, and as you can see, you get a really nice effect with the oil brushes. Next I'll have to try out the inking and the watercolours.
It does have some drawbacks and isn't really a Photoshop replacement. It can't open more than one painting at a time, it's doesn't have Photoshop's gradient tool, and it can't record actions and apply them to a folder full of images ( very handy for resizing your digital photos for web uploading ), and importantly for my photo documentation of my paintings, it can't correct lens distortion. However, what it does do, it does well, and it's well worth the purchase price.
Now I just have to find something that can open the NEF files from the Nikon and do batch resizing on them and also allow me to correct lens distortion, and stitch together composite shots of paintings, then I'll be all good. Yikes, I might just have to buy Photoshop anyway...
I'm trying out GIMP on my new computer (the 6 year old PC is too bogged down to really use anymore, I've found I spend way too much time playing solitaire while I wait for Photoshop to do things. )
I did this doodle the other day, and thought that it would be a good test bed for trying to figure out how to colour and work with digital images with GIMP.
So far, I'm finding it pretty frustrating. I know Photoshop was really frustrating when I was still trying to figure it out, but I really don't want to spend days figuring out GIMP. For example, in PS, you can increase or decrease the size of whatever tool you're working with using the '[' and ']' keys. It's really important to be able to adjust your tool, whether that's the brush or the eraser, while still looking at your drawing. If you have to go futzing through a menu, that's way too many clicks and now you're off the drawing and you'll forget what you were doing. You can set up keyboard shortcut preferences with GIMP, but that's complicated and I still haven't figured out how to get that working for the brushes or eraser yet. And I'm even reading the instructions! (rare I know)
However, I'm still trying because new Photoshop is so bloody expensive. Then again, if it saves me days of learning, then just maybe it'll be worth it to just buy it. And of course the new Photoshop has some shiny bells and whistles. Ooooh, shiny...
Anyway, here's the robot drawing that I'd really like to colour: