At the beginning of the year, I signed up for a Digital Painting class. As I mentioned, I picked up a Wacom tablet over the holidays and wanted to learn how to use it. The class itself is fairly short — a mere 7 weeks — and the focus has been pretty narrow. Our primary exercise in class has been to create a portrait from photo reference. For my part, there’s been a bunch of stuff that’s new to me. I mean, heck, I’ve never really used Photoshop before January, although I’ve done very basic image manipulation with Gimp.
So. New tablet. New Photoshop. Recall that the very first thing I drew with my tablet looked like this:
I’m currently on vacation. Which, y’know, is pretty awesome. I spent a coupl’a days in do-nothing mode, sitting on my couch and watching movies. Which is about all that I’m capable of when work has drained me somewhat.
But now I’m in pet-project mode: I want to focus on something interesting. My pet project has been about going digital on the cartooning stuff. None of the instructors I’ve had have been terribly positive about computer-based art. Anthony (my primary instructor during my cartooning programme at George Brown) didn’t quite poo-poo digital art, but fundamentally believed that one had to learn how to draw using traditional tools before learning digital art. He also felt that most of the computer-produced art that he’d seen was very flat and lacked expressiveness.
Ty hasn’t taught us anything related to computers — he seems to draw and ink using traditional media, but he uses tools that Anthony would have turned his nose up at (markers! Pen brushes! Oh noes!) Ty also seemed to think that it was pointless to learn hand-lettering because nobody hand-letters these days. (I notice that Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? seems computer-lettered, whereas Fun Home looked hand-lettered). And Ty’s Bun Toons often include digital colouring and probably a bunch of other computer tweaks. So he seems more pragmatic about the use of computers than Anthony ever did.