Daily Doodle – Robot final

There are two versions of this painting, so make sure you see them both. This first version was what I ended up with after painting in Art Rage 3.0. I did the entire image using only the watercolor tool, and was very pleased with the results. However, I thought it lacked something, so I exported this image with its various layers as a Photoshop document, and did some more work in that program. Here’s the results of that…

This definitely gave the image some punch. I used a couple of iStock images I had on a resources disk from Photoshop Creative magazine; one image of tree branches in autumn and the other a circuit board. The first obviously went in the upper left corner of the pic. I ran it through the water color filter, then faded in the edges using the maple leaf brush in Photoshop, then added more maple leaves to work it into the background a bit more. The circuit board image I had to work on a bit more; inverting it, colorizing it, and again fading in the edges using a layer mask and a few textured brushes (the maple leaf and one of the oil brushes).

I also overlaid some texture photos, again from my Photoshop Creative resources disk. And you can see the final result.

I always say I plan to take more time to do art. It’s hard to find that time given my current workload. But playing in Art Rage made things rather simple; just a few minutes here, a few minutes there, and then about an hour this evening finishing up the effects and postwork. We’ll see if I can pull this off again in the near future.

Daily Doodle – More Robot

I’ve gotten a little farther with this since yesterday, and am pleased with how it’s going. I didn’t bother with a sketch before painting on this one. Just jumped right in with Art Rage’s water color brush tool. Keeping the different colors on separate layers helps keep things from getting muddy, I’ve noticed.

Will post more as this progresses.

Daily Doodle – Robot?

No idea where this one is going yet. I just decided to steal a few minutes this evening to open up Art Rage and play around a bit. I’ve been drawing various robots in my littlest sketch book the past few days, using a sanguine set of Faber Castell art pens, and decided to see what a robot done in water colors might look like. I have to say, I really like Art Rage’s water color tool. It does a very nice job of simulating the real thing.

Any way, I’ll post more of this as I get it done.

Just Doodling – Manga portrait

Someone on Twitter asked me about ArtRage 2.5. ArtRage is a terrific natural media graphics program from Ambient Design that only costs $25. It’s not as powerful as Photoshop, doesn’t handle photo editing or stuff like that, but if you want to draw and paint on the computer, ArtRage is the program to go for. Here’s a recent sample of work I’ve done.

This is nothing fancy, just a quick portrait done to give me a feel for how ArtRage might handle manga style artwork. My only real complaint is that the marker tool is not all that great for inking. I’d rather sketch an image in ArtRage, take it to Manga Studio for inking, and then bring it back into ArtRage for coloring and painting effects. Thought if I want something seriously polished, I might handle the last part in Photoshop.

But even so, this image was all done in ArtRage, and I think it turned out pretty well. So there ya go. ArtRage. (And version 3 comes out soon, with a new inking tool. Sounds promising to me!)

Just Doodling

I’m schlepping Princess to camp at a local museum all week. The place is just far enough away, and her time at camp just short enough, that there’s no point in me coming back home to do anything. So Pixie and I are spending the day hitting ALL the local museums and parks in that area. There are quite a few.

Yesterday, while Pixie ran amok in the Virginia Living Museum (where Princess’ camp is being held), I squeezed in a little doodle time, experimenting with a new tool in my art kit – a mechanical pencil with red lead. I just can’t drag myself to the computer anymore in the evenings to cartoon, so I am once again switching to doing things the old fashioned way, by hand. A friend suggested I use a mechanical pencil with red leads to do my sketching, then after inking and scanning in the artwork, I can just drop the red channel from the image, and voila! No erasing to do to clean up my artwork. This page has both red and blue pencil in it, and I can’t get rid of both (it doesn’t work that way), but I was able to experiment in Photoshop long enough to confirm that I can do what I want with the red pencil. So without further ado, here’s my random doodles with the fancy new mechanical red pencil!

When you click on the image above, you’ll get it in full size, which will be HUGE, but then you can see all the nifty detail. Yeah, I know, whatever. And yes, that is a talking toilet in the lower left corner. That was Princess’ suggestion to draw.

Deep Fried – A Holiday Self-Portrait


Yep, this is me. All frazzled and fried, just in time for the holidays.  And from what I hear, I ain’t the only one feeling like this.

It’s December 5th, and I have managed to buy a grand total of one, yes one, Christmas present.  That’s it!  Even though I put a little reminder in my calendar to start shopping waaaay back in October.  See, that’s how organized I am!

So the plan now is to drug— er, occupy the Pixie with some TV and then spend the morning knocking out a few blog posts.  After that, I’ll hit the online shops and do the Santa Mommy thing.  The Cynical Woman cartoon gets the rest of the day.  Tomorrow and Sunday are dedicated to my erotica podcast — I’ve got a story to finish for next month, plus recording to do for the next week’s episode.  Oh, and I did I mention I’ve invited the Princess’ little playmates over for an evening of pizza and mini-chick flicks?

No wonder I look like this!

From my sketchebook – Sirena


From one of the sketchbooks I carry around with me.  This was drawn with a mechanical pencil then inked with the Faber Castel manga pen set I bought recently.  I love working in shades of grey, especially with pen and ink.  I’m going to have to stock up on those pens since I think I may use them up pretty quickly.

I actually started drawing this one over a year ago, but then set that sketch book aside for a while and didn’t come back to it until recently.  I think the original inspiration may have come from “Bizenghast” but I don’t really recall now.  I just know I like drawing weird, creepy, flowing things, and I think this one certainly qualifies.  My five-year-old likes this one a lot.

Book Babe Day 3 & 4

I gave up on inking this drawing in Corel Photopaint. I thought I could get away with doing it, but when I hit the long lines in the dress, I had to quit. The digital tablet just isn’t steady enough to handle that kind of line work, at least not in my hands. Here’s as far as I got in Corel Photopaint.

The Book Babe, Day 3

This morning I brought the sketch (originally done in Corel Photopaint) into Macromedia Flash and started inking it there. The process is a little different, but the lines come out much smoother and I can do the accents better. Here’s the results so far.

The Book Babe, Day 4

You won’t really be able to see the difference until I’ve got the inking done and I delete the digital pencil layer.