Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lord of Ash* - Pencil Sketch - ArtFlow - Flame Painter Pro 3 and Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

Lord of Ash* pencil sketch, later rendered using ArtFlow for Android. The flame effect was created using Flame Painter Pro and the composite work was completed using Clip Studio Pro 5. This is an experiment in using Flame Painter Pro a bit more extensively than the previous test. Flame Painter performed admirably. I was able to draw really great flame effects with varying degrees of intensity using the pressure sensitivity of the SurfaceBook pen. The UI still doesn't scale so the menus are ridiculously small. Escape Motions has to fix this soon. But other than that,  good stuff. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Yoga Tiger Pose - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

Jeez, this one was tough. Painting with watercolor can be peaceful because of the lack of control that's sometimes present. You go with the flow and let the water and paint do what they will.  Watercolor painting can be maddening at times because of the lack of control that's sometimes present. You try to go with the flow but the water and paint takes you in directions you didn't want to go. I like the challenge of watercolor so I'll tackle more pieces like this until I can come to grips with the watercolor brushes a bit more. The original photo this is based on was from a story that appeared on Huffington Post about Black yoga practitioners.  I've never felt the desire to practice it, but a lot of the poses are good for study and practice. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sketches, Sketches, Sketches - Rebelle/Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

05/31/2016 - Rebelle Practice. 

ChickWonder - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

I know I should use the other tools in Rebelle but I like the watercolor brush a lot. Don't judge me. I decided to make a new avatar for another friend since the last one I made was "okay." Working with watercolors even in a digital environment can be really tricky. Sometimes, you feel like you have total control over the piece. Other times, it feels like you have absolutely no control and if it works out, then it's a series of happy mistakes. It's that dynamic that attracted me to watercolors so many years ago. It's amazing that Rebelle can actually reproduce that feeling. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Landscape Test 02 - Rebelle/Watercolor Brushes - SurfaceBook

Feeling confident after completing the portrait and my friend really liking it, I decided to tackle another landscape in Rebelle using the watercolor brushes. I chose a location in a story I wrote some time ago to see how well I could visualize it with the application using a medium that can be hard to control. It worked out really well. One of my aunts who was an accomplished painter, told me many years ago that my drawings are good, but I need to paint more. It's more expressive. I heard her but was focused on getting the cross hatching/facets technique right so I put painting on the back burner. But now that I have the digital tools that allow for more painting techniques, I'll be painting a lot more often going forward. Unfortunately, Aunt Doris passed away a few years ago so she'll never see the progress, but I never forgot what she said to me. I'm very happy with Rebelle and think I will make it a daily driver after seeing the results of the three days of testing the application. Thumbs up, 5*, buy it now recommendation. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Watercolor Portrait Practice - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

Rebelle is awesome. The watercolor brush amazes me constantly. I don't think I can go back to ArtRage for more traditional projects after using Rebelle for a couple of days. I'm going to seriously think on that. For this piece, I used the watercolor brush only. No filters, no effects, no trickery. Just the brush and going back to traditional watercolor basics I haven't used in so many years. That's the beauty of Rebelle. You can really dig into traditional techniques with little to no compromises but still take advantage of working digitally. THAT, my friends, is what digital illustration is supposed to be about.  I love this program!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Landscape Test_01 - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This is the first landscape created in a series of tests for Rebelle. After spending a few hours with it, the application is WTF good. Yeah yeah yeah, the issues I mentioned in the previous post can be annoying at times. But once you get into the flow of actually working, Rebelle sings. I can't stress enough how incredible the watercolor brush and parameters are in this application. I had an absolute blast creating this piece even though it's not very complicated. It's the fact that the digital paint acts like real paint to such a degree that I have to unlearn what I learned using the watercolor brush in ArtRage 4. I'm going to spend the next few days really digging into Rebelle to see how far I can push it. Bear with me as I explore. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rebelle and Flame Painter Pro 3 on a SurfaceBook. The Good, the Bad.

As the last revisit turned out so well, I decided to try another. This time, I'm trying out Flame Painter Pro and Rebelle for the first time in combination with Clip Studio Pro 5 with the Bladesman.* 
I used Clip Studio Pro 5 to apply the colors and clean up some of the lines. But I used Flame Painter Pro to create the fire emitting from the blade. I started small to test how easily it would be to export projects from Flame Maker Pro and import them into Clip Studio. The's incredibly easy. No problems there and with great results. 

Unfortunately I did run into some problems with Rebelle and Flame Painter Pro. Flame Painter Pro is not coded to scale with devices using HD screens. In other words, the UI for the application appears incredibly small, as seen below. It makes it almost impossible to work with the application. That's sad considering Flame Painter Pro gives some pretty amazing effects with the ability to customize parameters and output as .svg files or raster. I've tried all of the custom brushes and adjusted parameters and colors to see a bit of what's possible. I was able to make plasma effects, various fire effects, magical effects, space effects, effects that would work great for titles and animations (that's where AmberLight, the third application in the bundle I purchased comes in. More on that later). Flame Painter Pro is awesome and I do recommend it for anyone looking for high quality effects for their illustrations based on procedural algorithms. To understand what that means, watch THIS 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Stormy Weather - ArtFlow/Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

This started as an old sketch completed using ArtFlow for Android. But +Stephen Gomez in the Artist on Google+ community posted a Storm that's really good. Good style with good line quality with nice texture and roughness. It inspired me to revisit my own sketch of Storm and render it in Clip Studio Pro 5. I couldn't sleep last  night so I worked on it at 2 in the morning until the time of this post. I'll try to finish it later today or tomorrow.  Whenever the inspiration grabs me again. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Big Tree - Watercolor Experimentation - ArtRage 4.5 - SurfaceBook

This is an experiment to see if the ArtRage 4 Watercolor brush tests I tooled with last week paid off. There were a lot of aspects to love about completing this piece but there is one problem that could be major going forward. I've come to realize that one of big problems with ArtRage is the lack of custom brushes that simulate different real world brushes (fan brush, detail, round, etc),  not just the medium. I can see why Painter by Corel  is better in some ways. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Portrait series "A-B-Z" - Clip Studio Pro - SurfaceBook

Portrait of a friend that moved away almost a year ago :-( I used an old technique in Clip Studio Pro to render the skin tones. I also used some of the techniques I used in the 30 minute speed painting to cut down on rendering time which saved me a couple of hours. I haven't used this particular technique in a year or so and always wanted to revisit it with SFW (Safe for Work) images as opposed to smut. Clip Studio Pro performed admirably on the SurfaceBook for this piece. Fast, stable and the tools did exactly what I expected them to do. This is becoming my go-to application for many things. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Speed Painting - ArtRage 4 - Surface Pro 3

Similar to the speed rendering I posted recently, I completed this in 30 minutes or so. I decided not to use pastels in ArtRage 4 but went with watercolors instead. As I mentioned in the previous post, ArtRage 4 is simply better at simulating various canvas and traditional mediums. The ability to change canvas styles easily on the fly helps out a lot in getting the right texture and feel for a piece. This is a rough sketch and yet the differences shown through immediately. I completely this while talking to my father and he was amazed at how the virtual paint reacted to the digital canvas. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ambush at the Twisted Fairy Revisited WIP - Krita/Sketchbook Pro 7 - Surface Pro 3

I started working on this in Krita many months ago. It was one of the first projects I attempted on the Surface Pro 3. Krita was good for a time. But I've grown to dislike the interface even though the application itself is capable. So I stripped out the original color set, killed the background but kept the line art and imported it into Sketchbook Pro 7. I created a new color set for this version in Sketchbook Pro 7 based on Copic but kept the line quality as is. The final step will be to build a new background for this that's a bit more elaborate than the original. 

Photos - Nexus 6p/Photo Director 7 on a Surface Book.

A few shots I captured last month using my Nexus 6P.