Recently I came across the website of artist Goro Fujita, who does really appealing artwork that frequently features robots. His site also has some tutorial videos. I watched these and thought to myself, Hey, that could work. I haven’t really tried to do digital art since the days of DeluxePaint II, and I was struck that someone could do such beautiful, natural-looking artwork entirely on a computer. (I’ve been thinking about teaching myself to paint or something, and I was just in the university art store the other day looking at supplies, but I quickly realized that even if I had the time, space, and/or energy to set up an easel, clean brushes, etc., there’s no way I could even afford the paint.) Goro apparently uses some fancy gizmo that lets you draw directly on the screen. That looks awesome, but at $1000 or so is way out of my price range, but the same company makes much, much cheaper versions for hobbyists. The cheaper version doesn’t let you draw directly on the screen, but it does let you wield a pressure-sensitive stylus. I decided to splurge and get myself one.
During the time it took for the thing to arrive by mail, I poked around and watched a bunch of other tutorial videos on YouTube, and I learned about such paint-program functions as “layers.” Well, the tablet finally arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, I spent all evening trying to get Photoshop Elements (which came with the tablet) to work with my computer. Finally I gave up and installed a different piece of bonus software, Corel Painter Essentials. I fiddled around with it for half an hour or so before heading off to bed.
This morning I got up and started painting. Here’s the first piece I produced with my new drawing tablet. I call it Arr, This Island Be Aptly Named:
I can’t believe how well it turned out for my first attempt. Seriously, if you have any interest in drawing whatsoever you should really think about getting one of these tablets. (I ordered the medium white Wacom Bamboo Fun.)
Here’s the development process for this image:
I just started fooling around, having no inkling that I would be spending all day on this piece. I wanted to do something dynamic and aggressive, where an arm was reaching out toward you or something. After I drew the sword, I decided to make him a pirate:
I started shading and doing some details. At this point, I was imagining that he was climbing over the rail of a ship and was about to go all Napoleanic on someone’s ass.
And then it was just a matter of figuring out some of the different tools and doing a lot more detailing.