Sunday, January 11, 2009

Digital Sketchbook

In addition to my feeble attempts at oil painting, I also work as an illustrator for a game company. I do mostly pen and ink illustrations for medieval fantasy role playing games. It is called Harn and produced by Columbia Games.
One of the great time savers for this kind of work has been the use of Photoshop and my Wacom Tablet, which makes it very easy to fix and adjust work after it is scanned in the computer. I have not been able to move full on into the digital realm, as it just does not feel as natural to me, and I am still new at it.
A few months ago my lovely wife Laura bought a Ninteno DS, a hand held game that you see kids playing everywhere. I have played some of the games and most are mind numbingly boring. I am pretty sure these games actually destroy brain cells. It would be better for children to just stare out the window and day dream. I once sadly watched a child play a game that has you pet a virtual dog with the stylus. Anyway, my wife bought it when she found out they have a game that helps you learn French. I am not sure how much it helps, but she has fun- or at least she used to till I found a way to take it away from her.
I recently discovered that you can buy a game cartridge that allows you to load programs onto it. One such program is a freebie which is like a slimmed down version of Photoshop, called Colors. I am thinking that this would be a great thing for artists to have in their pocket throughout the day. I have been doing small digital paintings on this thing ever since.
Note, that now my wife and I are fighting over a video game console.
As I try to stay busy, I have been trying to use all of my free time reading or drawing. Now that I have a little digital color sketchbook, I can draw anywhere.

So without further adu, I present my new series of digital paintings:
Views of my Bathroom

In the winter it gets cold in our house, so there is a heater that looks like a robot next to the sink in our bathroom.

Another view from my spot of the paper on the radiator. It is interesting how warm the incadecant light can be, making the white toilet paper almost orange.

I think I got the hang of the program. This is of course the soap dispenser on the bathroom sink. It took me about an hour. I am pretty proud of the sparkle on the hot water handle.

Just for fun I did a fast morning sketch of my shadow on the wall. I still have bed head here.

I actually stood up for this one. It is also in our bathroom, of some stuff Laura has arranged on the medicine cabinet. I have been trying to decide if this would make a good painting, and this 15 minute sketch was too see how it might work. I am still undecided, and may have to try some other arrangements.
One cool feature is that it also saves every stroke, so you can watch the drawing as a video. Once I figure out how to make the file size small enough, I will post some of them here.

Here is another that I started this morning, though it is not quite done.

Now if Laura and I can figure out how to share this toy.


BeatricCaldwell said...

Only when you admit that the DS was purchased to play Nintendogs and The Sims 2 can the real healing begin.

Do you feel more comfortable in Photoshop now?

Richard J. Luschek II said...

I think it is helping with my photoshop painting. I have never found digital painting to be very intuitive, but I am getting there.
I wondered about the Nintendogs thing.
Since you have twisted my arm, I do enjoy the game Assassin's Creed, but that is mostly for the medieval experience that helps me with my illustration.

Anonymous said...

I really want to know the name of this series


Karen Sempsrott said...

Hey Richard, for the videos, try BLIP.TV. It's free, and it might just work. Blip will convert your video to a Flash video, but you can still get the wmv file. Also, you could just embed a link to the video on Blip.

Shealladh said...

Interesting to see more digital tools going portable.

I found ArtRage 2 and seem reasonable to sketch while on those bus trips and train while studying.

Would be nice to see more available or your opinion/comparison to Colours Richard?

BTW, was chatting with Jeremy Baker about the illustrations in the new Harn modules, I hate them and miss your drawings.

Traditional is better imho!
You're an inspiration, so thank you heaps.