A quick sketch of the Verdugo Mountains done in Photoshop, based on an iPhone picture snapped on my drive home from work. The day’s last direct light was hitting the tops of the Verdugo Mountains like a spotlight, and I wanted to try to replicate the change in contrast and hue where the shadow crept up the hill. Also interesting, the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance were getting some light spilled on them in a similar fashion, but the contrast and value were much lighter due to light scattering in atmosphere. Getting the value and contrast right gives them that feeling of distance, so thank you Photoshop for being able to tweak that without consequence until it looked right.
Bought a great set of “watercolor” brushes for Photoshop by Kyle T. Webster and was playing around with them. Still trying to get used to what they can do, but I like them for adding texture for naturalistic effects or to break up areas that would otherwise be too smooth and solid.
A couple watercolor sketches of hills in the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, near Antioch, CA. The Bay Area has many landscapes like this. My favorite part of the drive up from Los Angeles is a similar area on the 152 outside of Gilroy — especially in the spring when there’s been enough rain to turn everything bright green (not pictured).
Some old drawings from an uninstructed gesture drawing workshop at Nickelodeon. Piracy has become so sophisticated that most old-style buccaneers can’t find work in their trade, but Nick keeps a couple on the payroll for study of their costume and expression. With the emphasis placed on drawing squinty sneers and tattered rags, I gather that most animation is based on careful study of these fellows.
A pencil drawing of Thomas Eakins’ head from a photograph in A Drawing Manual by Thomas Eakins. Back when I had more time on my hands, I lived closer to The Beverly Hills Public Library and its amazing selection of art books. The Eakins book was based on lectures delivered at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the late 19th century and was largely a technical discussion of perspective with an interesting section about reflections on water. Unlike books on art technique of a similar vintage, there is no public-domain PDF available on the web — the Eakins book was published posthumously in 2005 based on an abandoned manuscript.
I think the bearded fellow is from the cover of a giant red Wrox tome called Professional XML. His question is a reminder that the joy in drawing is at least as much about the mental process and experience of making a drawing as it is about the finished product. Which is a good thing to remember when drawings are turning out the way I’d like them to.
The tree lobster, once thought to be extinct, lives only on a rocky outcropping in the Tazmanian Sea. Isolated from outside influence for hundreds of years, they have perfected a variety of delicious blended drinks unlike anything else in the world.
Some more Photoshop painting practice. I’ve been looking at a lot of bike parts lately, and the different materials and finishes of these stems seemed like good subjects for study of how light creates the impression of their surface qualities. After spending a bit of time on these, it was clear they would have benefited from more time spent on creating a solid drawing, but it was still worthwhile. There’s just something deeply satisfying about shiny things.
Had this interview with illustrator Claire Robertson on The Setup open in NetNewsWire when I was in the mood to put into practice some Photoshop painting techniques I’d been learning about over on Ctrl+Paint. The free Digital Painting 101 series and the $10 Basic Photoshop Rendering Series were full of clever techniques for working with layers and blending along with fundamental concepts of light and shadow.