Thursday, June 30, 2016

ArtRage Palette Knife Experimentation WIP - SurfaceBook

06302016 - It seems I'm experiencing a bit of burn out lately. But I was able to focus enough to start working on this project. I'm using the palette knife again but in a different way to produce this. Because of the burn out, I'm not sure when it'll be done but I'm trying to get it together by the end of the day. If not...well...I'll give it a go tomorrow. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Photographer Portrait - Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

"Shon Tenaj" This is a portrait of a really good photographer I met on G+. She posted some nice selfies so I asked if I could draw one. I kinda needed the practice since I'd been painting for the last few weeks and I didn't have anything new to draw from other people I know. Well, with the exception of a couple of photos someone sent me but due to the untrustworthy nature of the sender I decided it best if I don't touch those. But Shon came through with perfect timing. This was technically a speed drawing because I did it in a few hours. I remember when these used to take three days. How times have changed.

I drew with light again on a black canvas except this time, I didn't use any textures. I wanted clean lines with no assist from a textured canvas. I think I'll continue to use that set up with cross hatching and facets until it doesn't make my brain hurt anymore. Working on white canvas and drawing with dark lines is so much more work because we tend to add shadows, only to add more light too, but that's how many of us learned. Whereas here, I'm only adding light at varying degrees. I still haven't completely broken out of the habit of working backwards, on white canvas drawing with black line but I'm better than I used to be. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Head in the Clouds - Rebelle/Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

06282016 Update. To be honest I actually ran out of steam with this piece. I'm going to stop working on it for now and maybe come back to it in a month or so. I think I waited too long to come back to it. Now my mind is on other things. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cityscape Practice using Rebelle/Watercolor Brushes - SurfaceBook

I started this a few weeks ago but never got back to it. I looked at it recently and realized I'm probably never going to finish it. I'll try more cityscapes later because it was fun to do but this particle piece has run its course. I did learn a lot from it though. 

ArtRage 4 palette knife practice - SurfaceBook

The one thing I'm coming to realize about using the palette knife in Art Rage 4 is that it's really fun to start a painting and progress to a certain extent but really hard to finish. I'm lacking the understanding of how to go from the middle progression of a piece to what I consider to be finished. There are aspects of this that I like but others that I'm not fond of. I'll keep at it until the light bulb turns on and I finally "get it."

Flame Painter testing

It's really easy to sketch in Flame Painter Pro 3 and get interesting results because of the great brushes in the application. I can't stress that enough. Settings can be adjusted for pressure, speed and other parameters to suit your tastes. This was a really quick sketch I completed while sitting in a park just before coming home yesterday. Disconnect the tablet from the SurfaceBook keyboard and sketch. I'll try more of these throughout the week. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Stormy Weather - Clip Studio Pro 5/Flame Painter Pro 3/ArtFlow - SurfaceBook

This started out as a really quick sketch of Storm from the Claremont/Silverstri era of the X-Men before "The Fall of the Mutants (what we should have got instead of Age of Apocalypse). I always liked the way Mark Silvestri drew Storm and the rest of the X-Men, more so than Jim Lee and some others that have illustrated that book over the years. Art Adams did a great job with them too. But Silverstri's Storm from that era was one of my favorites even though he did make her look like a Barbie with a tan at times. This is one of the reasons I tried to emphasize Storm's Black features. Make no mistake, Storm is Black, has Black parents. I had no desire to give her White features. Hell no she shouldn't look like Halle Berry which is a terrible choice of casting for Storm.

Friday, June 10, 2016

"BlueHouseFireEnvy" - Amberlight 2/Power Director 14 Ultra - Surface Pro 3/SurfaceBook

"Fire Dance" - Still frame from the animation "BlueHouseFireEnvy."

After finishing "Walk in the Light" I tried my hand at another animation project using Amberlight 2. This time I used both Surface Pro devices to cut down on rendering time. I used the Pro 3 to do the final edits and output and it performed admirably. I used an old House song for the music. Something I wrote on the XP-50 many years ago after purchasing the House expansion card. "House XP Entro" is literally the first song I wrote using that card on the XP-50. Just as the last project, this was a lot of fun and once getting over the learning curve of Amberlight 2, very easy to do. Some still frames from the project are after the jump. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Walk In the Light" - Amber Light 2 Animation/Power Director 14 Ultra - SurfaceBook

This is the final version of the animation "Walk in the Light." Amber Light 2 is really easy to work with. The wait time for the rendering takes a bit of patience but other than that, getting quality results is pretty straight forward. I did the composite work, edits, some additional effects work and HD output using Power Director 14 Ultra. The song, "Listen" is very old. I wrote and produced that on an expanded XP-50 many years ago, not too long after I graduated from college. I'm happy with the final results of the project and look forward to working with Amber Light 2 again to see what else I can do with it. it's not perfect, but for what it was designed to do, it's damn good. 

More sketches (5 to 10 seconds each) using Flame Painter Pro 3 - SurfaceBook

Flame Painter Pro 3 is proving to be a really good application to sketch in. The way the brushes react and flow makes it very relaxing. Some of the broader strokes create some really interesting lines and effects with various brushes. I was able to easily get out ideas for poses working this way. I created quite a few of these pieces earlier this morning. The others are posted after the jump.

Amber Light Experimentation - SurfaceBook

The Blues. I've been working with Rebelle and Flame Painter Pro so much that I neglected Amber Light 3 which is part of the Escape Motions bundle I purchased a few weeks ago. The best way I could describe it at this point is, it's a bit like Flame Painter Pro except it animates. If you want really trippy psychedelic colors, vectors and motion for animation, film projects or even gifs, this is a good application to have. There is a bit of a learning curve but it's not too bad as it took me only 30 minutes or so of tooling around before I got the basics of it. Render times vary depending on the level of quality you want and animations are all based on key framing with some really nice algorithms going on for the effects.  You can also import images to a second layer to create nice composites. I've only been using Amber Light for a few hours so this isn't an example of the full potential of the application. It's more of a first step.  More samples are after the jump.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Landscape Sketch_02 with Video - ArtRage/Power Director 14 Ultra - SurfaceBook

This is the first test of using scripts in ArtRage. Forgive me in advance for the zoomed in nature of the first part of the video. After I completed the script, I recorded it using Power Director 14 Ultra's screen recording application. I was then able to produce and output the video using the full video editor of Power Director. This was a really fun project to complete through and through. The SurfaceBook performed admirably without a hitch.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

ArtRage Landscape Sketch_01- SurfaceBook

After using Rebelle for the last three weeks, I went back to ArtRage to see how it would feel. Although I really love the watercolors and acrylics in Rebelle, ArtRage is a better application overall. You don't realize how much you miss canvas rotation, pinch, zoom and move from the touch screen and selection tools until you don't have them. Rebelle has so much potential, but going back to ArtRage even for this really simple quickie shows how much Rebelle is lacking. In short, buy both if you can but if you had to choose one, ArtRage is the more complete package. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Zen Stuffs - Weird things I made in Flame Painter - SurfaceBook

During the time I spent sketching, I used some of the other brushes and color schemes to loosely sketch out things that came to mind. Again, it was really relaxing because of how the application works. The lines are very smooth as the Surface Pen glides across the screen. Very Zen like, hence the name. Similar to the Sketch post, I'll be adding more to this throughout the month. 

Sketches Sketches Sketches - 0616

To start this section, I decided to use Flame Painter Pro 3 again. While working with it yesterday, I noticed that sketching with the application can be really relaxing because of how the brushes react to pressure and speed. Everything you see here are a series of really fast, loose sketches of 5 seconds to 10 seconds. I decided to try some gestures to see how Flame Painter would translate the strokes. The line quality is phenomenal even though really fine control can take some tweaking of select brushes. For idea sketches though, it's a great experience. It's also a good way to loosen up before working on other projects or to produce a few quick drawings just before bed (as I did this morning). I'll be adding many more of these throughout the month. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Who is the Kianara? - Rebelle/Flame Painter Pro 3/ Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

This piece was the test pig for many things. 1) I have to rebuild my watercolor painting process in Rebelle because a few key things are missing in the application that makes more ambitious projects a pain in the ass to do. 2) I wanted to use Flame Painter Pro 3 more because it has a lot of potential. 3) Two stories I wrote some years ago had a bridge that was never fully fleshed out but I'm in the process of doing it now. This image is a scene from a part of that bridge. Although this image may look simple, a lot of testing was involved. "Who is the Kianara?" Good question, "What" would be a better question though, followed by "why" and THEN "who."

Funky Garden Sketch Idea - Flame Painter Pro 3/Clip Studio Pro 5 - SurfaceBook

This is a test of an idea I had in mind for a scene. Flame Painter Pro 3 is weird but it's damn good. I'm going blind using it though because the developer, Escape Motions still hasn't updated the UI to scale for HD screens. So the menus and toolbars are all incredibly small on my SurfaceBook. That's one of the reasons I used Clip Studio Pro 5 with this and other projects. The second I can export the project to Clip Studio, I do it. It's surprising considering it's 2016 and HD screens have been a standard for years. How could any developer NOT support UI that scales?