Today’s Art (10th April 2019)

Well, today’s digitally-edited drawing is another sunset picture (based on this photo I took last May), although it ended up going in a much more stylised 1980s-style and less realistic direction than some of my recent art has.

As usual, this drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Westbrook – Sunset Palace” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (8th April 2019)

Well, today’s digitally-edited drawing is the fourth (and final) one in my recent “Westbrook Sunset” series (you can find the previous three drawings here, here and here) and it was based on part of this photo I took last April.

I also used a lot of artistic licence with this one. In addition to leaving out some complex tree branches (for practical reasons), I also tried to give this picture slightly more of a “1990 cartoon” look (since the area really hasn’t changed that much since the ’90s) in addition to using things like film grain effects, subtle colours etc.. to give it an ominous atmosphere that was inspired by parts of the classic horror game “Silent Hill 3“.

As usual, this drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Westbrook – Embers Of The Day” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (7th April 2019)

This is another digitally-edited drawing (based on this photo of a sunset I took last April). Like with the previous couple of drawings (which can be seen here and here), I’ve tried to make this one look more realistic by digitally sampling some of the colours from the original photo (although I ended up altering the saturation levels slightly).

Unfortunately though, trees really don’t turn out that well in this type of art – so, this digitally-edited drawing didn’t end up looking quite as good as I’d hoped.

As usual, this drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Westbrook – Dusk” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (6th April 2019)

Well, I was still in the mood for making digitally-edited drawings, and this one is based on another photo I took of a sunset last April. Like with yesterday’s art, I’ve also been experimenting with directly sampling the colours in the artwork from the photo (although I tweaked the saturation levels slightly, so the colours are technically different from the photo).

As usual, this drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Westbrook – Fire In The Sky” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (5th April 2019)

Well, I wanted to try something different with today’s artwork. This is a digitally-edited drawing (based on this photo of a sunset that I took last April) but, unlike some of the digitally-edited drawings I’ve made, I wanted to make this one look a bit more realistic by sampling the colours directly from the photo (if you look at the bottom right-hand corner of this “Work In Progress” version of the picture, you can see small segments of the photo that were used for colour sampling).

Surprisingly, this turned out better than I’d expected – even if the sky looks slightly different to the photo and the houses ended up being blue instead of grey/magnolia (this happened in the photo for similar reasons to the famous “what colour is the dress?” optical illusion from a few years ago. But, I decided to keep the houses blue in the finished painting since they contrasted well with the sky).

As usual, this drawing is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Westbrook – Sleeping Sun” By C. A. Brown

How To Find “New” Art Techniques – A Ramble

A few days before I wrote this article, I ended up making a digitally-edited drawing (based on a photo I took last April) that looked significantly more realistic than most of my art does. Here’s a preview of the picture:

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size artwork will be posted here on the 5th April.

One of the interesting things about making this picture was that none of the techniques I used to make it were really “new” to me. Yet, they produced a piece of art that was totally different to anything I’d made before.

I already knew how to take interesting-looking photos, I already knew how to draw from photos by sight, I already knew how to directly sample colours using image editing programs, I already knew how to mask off areas by selecting them, I already knew how to use digital airbrush tools etc… Yet, I’d somehow never thought of combining these skills with each other before I made this picture.

Here’s a (slightly simplified) chart to show you what I mean:

(Note: To view full size image, click on it and then select “View Full Size” below the image). This chart doesn’t show every step, but it shows how combining skills you already know can result in new techniques etc..

So, one of the best ways to find “new” art techniques is simply to look at all of the techniques that you already know and to try combining them in different ways.

But, although this is something that can be done consciously and deliberately, the best examples of it just tend to appear when you are reasonably confident with the techniques that you already know. When you instinctively know how and why a particular technique “works”, then finding ways to combine it with other things you know well will seem a lot more natural and intuitive.

For example, I suddenly thought of the mixture of techniques I showed you earlier because I thought it would save time. It didn’t save much time, but it did result in more realistic-looking art. So, yes, these things don’t always happen completely deliberately.

Plus, of course, you can keep adding other techniques to the mix too. For example, here’s a preview of the digitally-edited drawing (based on this photo I took last April) that I made the day after the one I showed you earlier. It uses the same mixture of techniques I’ve already mentioned….

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size artwork will be posted here on the 5th April.

…But, if you look closely at the trees and buildings, you’ll see that there is some very slightly more dramatic lighting. Here’s a close-up to show you what I mean:

Notice how the light seems to be filtering through the trees and buildings in a slightly hazy “lens flare”-like way.

How did I do this? Simple. I just used a technique that I’d used in digitally-edited paintings before (but hadn’t thought to use in the previous picture).

More specifically, once I’d worked out what colour the light was, I used a very large digital airbrush (applied lightly) to create the impression of a lens flare. And this technique was something I originally discovered when trying to find quicker/easier alternatives to using the digital lighting effects in an open source program called “GIMP 2.8. 22” – and I worked it out because I was quite familiar with how the program’s airbrush feature worked.

So, the general lesson here is that if you learn an artistic skill or technique to the point where it almost seems instinctive, then finding new ways to combine it with other techniques will become a lot easier and more intuitive. In other words, skills build more skills.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂