Saturday, April 16, 2016

My New Toy

For my birthday last week, Rohan decided to surprise me something absolutely extravagant: a Wacom Cintiq.

What is a Wacom Cintiq, you ask?

Basically, it's a huge (about the same size as a TV screen) tablet with an easel and a pen-cursor for the purpose of creating digital drawings and paintings. I've wanted one for a loooooong time. But didn't really feel like I deserved one since I'm not a real artist.

But my handsome husband felt otherwise. Because he's the sweetest like that.

Anyway, I finally set it up and created my very first digital painting today! I LOVED how quick and easy it was to make! (By "quick" and "easy," I mean it only took my about 6 hours.) This first endeavor is pretty rough and very simple, but I hope it will give all of you a smile!

Recognize these two?


Don't look TOO closely at his hand, 'cause it will start looking a bit warped under  close scrutiny! But still, considering I haven't actually sat down to an easel in nearly five years, I feel pretty good about this. Most basic drawing and painting techniques still apply, but the digital format allows for some pretty cool variations that make the whole process easier.

I'll probably add some cool details to this as I get more comfortable with these tools. Maybe some embroidered edging on shirt. And a starflower in her hair. We'll see . . . I'll post updates if I get around to them . . .

Anyway, I had a blast! And I can hardly wait to start my next painting!

EDIT:

I thought perhaps all of you would enjoy seeing a step-by-step of how I created this painting, since the process is, in some ways, more interesting than the result itself. And with digital painting it's SO easy to save the steps along the way! So here you go . . .

Step One: I roughly sketched my characters based on a photo reference. This sketch was done directly onto the screen (and you're seeing a refined version, rough though it is!). The original models had weird piercings, and the girl was not the right nationality, but those were simple enough fixes.



Step Two: I filled in very basic color blocking for hair and skin. Not really sure that this stage accomplished much other than just getting me comfortable with the characters, color schemes, and wielding my new tools! As you can see, I did not concern myself with "staying in the lines," but simply tidied up those edges later using my eraser tool.


Step Three: Feeling utterly intimidated (!), I decided to apply all the shadows and dimensions to their skin in shades of gray. This way, I could focus on getting the right depth and dimension without concerning myself just yet with actual skin tones. (When I painted in acrylics way back in the day, I would do this stage in shades of green.) I left the original sketch layer on through much of this stage, just to give me one more visual guideline.


Step Four: After a tea break to clear my head, I came back to tackle their hair. Which wasn't so bad as I thought it would be! I built up layers of shadows and highlights until I had something that looked pretty much hair-like! Around this stage, I removed the sketch layers and started working primarily without it, too. They look a bit sickly with their gray complexions, but otherwise, they're coming along pretty nicely!



Step Five: Working very quickly, I blocked in an abstract background and their clothes. My interest has always been faces, not clothing, so I kept their garments pretty minimal. I MIGHT go back in and add some interesting trimming and embroidery later, now that I'm more comfortable with the tools. We'll see.


Step Six: All that remained now was transforming those robotic complexions into flesh-and-blood! This stage took quite a lot of patience and fine-tuning (particularly on the hand!), but I did it by simply applying transparent "washes" of color, building up the layers until I achieved the effects I wanted. This is the same technique I used back when I did fine-art portraits (I was specifically trained in this technique by my college mentor, Professor Davis, who recognized my love of all things classical, and therefore trained me in this classical, Renaissance style). So yes, same technique, but digital! So much quicker, much easier, with more immediate results. What would ordinarily have taken me several days, I managed to do in about an hour and a half!


Ta da!

I hope you had fun seeing this step-by-step process. It probably wasn't the most efficient ever, since I'm still getting used to this equipment. But it was a ton of fun!

But people and faces have always been my comfort zone. Next, I plan to tackle a tree, which is much harder for me. All those textures? All those leaves? Eeeeek! I probably won't post any more paintings for a while until I have some good results again . . .

24 comments:

Skye Hoffert said...

This is gorgeous! Your a real artist in my book.

Becky said...

Anne Elisabeth, you are definitely a real artist. I would love to see updates and other projects as you are able. As Skye said, this is gorgeous.

Rebecca said...

This is absolutely exquisite, and if you're not an artist I don't know who is! I can't even begin to describe how much I adore that painting!

Deborah O'Carroll said...

AAAAHH THAT IS AWESOME! You're an amazing artist! And that on your FIRST TRY with new equipment?? o.o WOW. I hope to see more someday! Thanks for sharing! ^_^

Therru Ghibli said...

This is so amazing! I can't wait to see more!

Natasha H. said...

That is amazing! :)

Jenelle Hovde said...

Oh...I love this so much! Definitely want a Wacom! I do love oils. Wondered if it was tough to switch to digital versus holding a brush. Love to see more art :)

Savannah Perran said...

That picture is GORGEOUS, Anne Elisabeth! I love it, you did amazing! I definitely want to see more of your artwork :).

Jane said...

That is BEAUTIFUL! I just can't say how much I love it! It gives me tingles of greatness! :D

E.F.B. said...

0.0 Wow! So beautiful and super romantic! And also, eeeep! Eanrin and Imraldera! <33333

The Artist Librarian said...

Having had the opportunity to try out an Wacom Cintiq, I'm totally jealous! It looks like you'll totally make use of it. =) I took a digital painting class several years ago and keep meaning to practice so I can justify getting a better drawing tablet, but with school, it hasn't happened yet. You've inspired me to drag it out again this summer! (I hope at least). Can I ask what program you're using?

Sarah said...

This is lovely, Anne Elisabeth! You're so talented! And what an amazing gift from Rohan! :D

Jenelle said...

Beautiful! And thanks for sharing the steps! My husband has a small Wacom tablet that he uses for his digital stuff, and I know he likes it. (I enjoy the finished products, but have absolutely no skill in that realm whatsoever!)

You are definitely a "real" artist. :)

Hannah Carter said...

Anyone that can draw something as amazing as this is definitely a "real" artist in my book! :) This picture is absolutely wonderful! And I'd like to thank you for giving me a new lock screen of my favorite couple! :)

Jemma Tainsh said...

Amazing art work! I can't wait to see how you go with a tree :)

Allison Ruvidich said...

Okay, so this made me squee a little bit. ; D

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

Thank you for all the lovely and encouraging comments, everyone!

@The Artist Librarian -- I use Gimp, which is free but a surprisingly powerful tool. Not quite Adobe Photoshop, but a cost-efficient choice, and I'm liking the results. :)

The Artist Librarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Artist Librarian said...

I was hoping to get Photoshop at student price, but I think only the cloud version is offered now ... =/ I'll have to check out Gimp! I've seen people on Deviantart do pretty cool things with the program too. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOODNESS; SO GORGEOUS.

Lauren said...

Beautiful!

Sarah Bailey said...

My brother uses a cintiq and loves it. I use a wacom bamboo tablet for my digital art.

Faith Song said...

WOW, Anne Elisabeth. This is amazing. 0.0 What do you mean you're not a real artist? This is stunning. o.o

Faith said...

That is SO cool! what do you mean you're not a real artist?! thats real art right there. stunning!