And so, she began her epic journey to become... an artist.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I've been wanting to take serious measures to improve my art skills for some time now. Unfortunately, due to the pressures of a large student project, portfolio, and finding a job, I never really found the time to spend on self-improvement (heck, I was lucky to get 5 hours of sleep and two meals a day.)

However, last week I was temporarily "let go" from my job while we awaited word from the client of the project I was working on. "Well," I thought to myself, "what do I do now?"

During the previous weekend, my father and I went to the Kimball art museum in Dallas to see the Impressionists exhibition. I marveled at the use of color. So deeply I wished to master this element of art, to truly understand the futility of the color peach when painting a human subject, or green when painting the grass. My first couple of days were spent solely looking for photographic reference of anything and everything, with a particular focus on landscapes (during different seasons and different times of day), and people of various skin types.

The first night I attempted a quick paint, I used Photoshop, and kept my time to an hour or less. I made two attempts on the same photo, and was deeply dissatisfied with both.

I found that I struggled a great deal with Photoshop's brushes. I wanted something that felt more like using real medium. Trying to get anything to blend in Photoshop was a real chore for me. Apparently, there are ways to make custom brushes in Photoshop that act more like real medium brushes, but it requires a lot of fiddling. I'll have to try making some later.

The next night, a made another attempt, this time in Painter. I was much, much happier with my results. I felt much more like I was practicing in art than struggling with a program. I wasn't quite as happy with the next attempt, but never the less, I DID feel I was coming to a better understanding of color in human skin and hair.

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