Reply To: PTO Digital painting course

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Craig Warner

Hey Arjun

I’m doing digital — I bought and fell in love with an iPad pro, which is what re-introduced me to drawing, simply because it’s so easy to retract a bad mark, and there’s no clean up. Now I want to try real pencils too. For my first drawing, I limited myself to the pencil tools in Autodesk Sketchbook — nobody mentions this software, but it’s great, subtle, full of real-feeling pencils and grown-up customisation possibilities (some sketch programs are really for kids, and frankly Photoshop Sketch doesn’t have a whole lot of options, unless I’ve missed something under the hood). The other great software is Concepts — it’s mind-blowingly great and exciting, but there’s one big big problem — no blend tools. I’ve asked about this and they say they are a vector software and blending tools don’t go well with vectors (if at all). The blending tools in Autodesk Sketchbook are like using your fingers. They’re incredibly realistic.

I’d love any tuition on digital — but for now, I need tuition on how to make a face look human. Until this morning I was using raisins for the eyes and a carrot for the nose. So my focus is on that.

The only other thing I’ll say is that digital offers workflow possibilities that real drawing doesn’t — obviously. I restricted myself to pencils and blenders but I also allowed myself to select a section and move it, if I found that an ear was a bit too low. I thought that wasn’t really cheating because if you were Matisse you’d just cut it out with a pair of scissors and tape it in the new place anyway.

I have also always used colour to smudge and create excitement and hide the fact that I can’t draw. I have some paintings in the house that actually make me look like I’m better than I am, simply because there’s something exciting going on (lots of red!). So the last thing I want to do is dive in and make something amazing using the possibilities of digital, and hide the fact that I couldn’t create a likeness if I wanted to. For someone as vain as me, it was pretty hard to upload that awful drawing, but I really do want to learn how to do it, and that’s the only way.

And this is really a cool site, given that there’s a real, committed teacher who helps us.

Cheerio from England