Digital Oil

When I was a litte girl (About 8 year old) I ambitioned to be an oil painter. As I’ve said it a couple of time on various different sites, I could never stand the smell of oil. I did painted quite a few landscapes and still nature and whatnot, but I have to say after a while, I just gave up. The smell was unbearable and more often than not I always ended up throwing my insides as being exposed for a long time also made me sick  :/

I have to say that I took watercolor for this very reason. It was cleaner and easier to carry around and also you didn’t have to wait for it to dry (well at least not 8 weeks or more).  Nevertheless even when I have found joy in the water media I cannot deny I sometimes wish I had pursued my oily dreams -as corny as that sounds-. Life however did give me a pleasant surprise on this regard.

I don’t know how was it for other artists, but for me all the transition to computer was rather dreadful. I started experimenting with painter and learned over the years forcing myself to color. The first things I experimented on were my comics. I still have one of the very first pages I did, and even when it looks SO old I still feel proud whenever I see it.

Coloring this page was was one of those moments when you feel you are *actually* getting the hang of it. Painter has been ever since my favorite program for coloring because it is an excelent traditional emulator that can really help you out, if you are or want to do a smoothly transition from one media towards the other.

Nowadays I use photoshop more. Painter is a beautiful program, but it does take a lot of RAM and you need to be patience to get the things you want. It does shorten however, the hours you might spend on an illustration, but whatever minutes you’d save by working with this software, the time you’d take in PS will be simply less than half.

Anyway, the more I started using ps, the deeper I fell in love with computer coloring. You see, when you paint traditionally, everthing has to be planned thoroughly. I’m not saying that you won’t have to plan in a CG drawing, but there’s a wider range for mistakes. In traditional there isn’t. Either you make the most of your mistake, or you just simply start over (this is mostly true with watercolor).

Two years ago I found out through great artists at DA that you could emulate oil painting with CG techniques. O.k yes, this is like the most known fact, but I still was struggling not only with the concept of ‘uniqueness’ in one’s art but also with the whole ‘painting in computer’ process -I have to admit that to this day, it bothers me greatly the fact that my art stops being unique with the CTRL + C  command-.

Anyways, as months went, by I started to experiment more with PS, finding out that  if you were patience enough and savy with the program you could achieve incredible results. Of course Painter did have an actual wonderful oil emulator as well, but the problem was that you had to have more than 4 G in RAM to load it! Fancy that!  And more often than not some tools would slow down the computer making the whole painting process UN-BEA-RA-BLE! With PS however,  I found out that I could pile on layers without any kind of restriction and the program would still work just fine.

To this day I don’t consider myself very knowledgeable in computer graphics. I do know my way around  the program though, but I’m afraid I can’t quite yet achieve to draw what I have on my head :/ (then again, as I already stated, who does?).

This week was incredibly hectic and rather dissapointing, but I could sit down to work on a couple of illustrations in between assigments -I always work on several drawings. So when I get bored or just too fed up to work on the same drawing, I switch files and that is it- . I started to work on a portrait of a little girl. It’s a little bit sketchy and now that I’m looking at it a bit… crooked. but I was satisfied with the lace and the hair (I do love painting hair. It relaxes me somehow). I was aiming to paint something a bit more sober, since I’ve been watching lots of documentaries about England and found out that all the people dressed in black in portraits because they wanted to show how wealthy they were.

Black dye in clothing was very expensive and they showed to the person who saw the portrait, how rich and well off they were by the color of their garments. In the end,  I started piling on layers and ended up with this. I might go back and fix a bit the anatomy, which is, as I already said, a bit crooked as I didn’t use reference (and I should, using reference makes a difference). I was just very concentrated on the details. I always like to look at something drawn and go like “yes, that looks like lace, that looks like fabric and so forth”. So far I ended up being very satisfied with the results. Now I’m thinking on working on a full illustration. I might be able to accomplish my dream of being an oil painter after all. I guess no one would blame me since these is the modern era and like the saying goes “when in Rome, do what the Romans do”. I still need to think on what I’m going to paint, but so far, it looks rather promising. I bet the ‘printing’ part will be a bitch, hu?


Btw, I will be posting one week in spanish and one week in English. I did a test run (well, my friend Ada did a test run) and found out that you could post the same image twice). Still I don’t want to risk it. I might do two consecutive posts in Spanish, since the next 13 weeks are going to be very busy times on account of the broadcasting of the anime Saint Seiya Omega.  You guys are welcomed to leave comments! :D

One thought on “Digital Oil

  1. I’ve always been of the opinion that no matter how much you copypaste things, Art is always unique. Especially as I can’t, can’t, can’t imitate real textures in Photoshop -Painter is beyond me. I really like the effect of the dress, although I don’t care if they were wealthy… all that black doesn’t let you see a lot of detail.

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