Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Photo of the Day : Some Illustrations

a digital illustration of a camp scene from a photograph I took
Early last week I received a package in the mail, as I often do. This one had my new Wacom Large Intuos Pro tablet.  I've been lucky enough to have a drawing tablet since 2009 but this one is a significant upgrade.  So here's a look at some of the illustrations I've made so far, and the photo this illustration is based off of.

If you're not familiar with drawing tablets, they are a sort of digital paper you can work on with a stylus.  So maybe now in the day of touch screen watches, phones, vehicle consoles,  these don't sound so cool, but they really are.   For anyone who ever spent a portion of their child hood drawing (who didn't?) interfacing with a computer through a drawing tablet will bring back some old muscle memory - when was the last time YOU drew something on paper?

As you can imagine, the list of applications can go on. With my old tablet, it wasn't a Wacom, nor was it very big - so I couldn't draw with it the way I would a sheet of paper. But it was fantastic for applying  finely detailed adjustments to photos.  

I've been spending some of my free time this last week just drawing away and getting a feel for it again. 

About the Camping Scene Above


As I mentioned, this was taken from a photograph. It's not a filter - a filter on a photo will return the same results if you repeat the process on the same photo.  This is a method I used to trace a photograph keeping only the details I wanted, and removing what I didn't want, need, or care to draw. If I were to start from scratch each time, even following the same method, I'd finish off at a somewhat similar looking, but still totally unique result. 

The original was taken last year in 2014 at Kekuli Bluffs (I think…) outside of Vernon, BC, Canada and overlooking the beautiful Kalamalka Lake --yup, that was a challenging name to grasp my first time too - hence Kal Tire and not Kalamalka Tire. lol. 

Some More Illustrations


The Bow River in Banff Alberta, another Digital Wacom Illustration

The Bow River Through Banff Illustration

This is what I drew immediately preceding the camp scene. Another one of my photos, traced by hand into this illustration.  The main difference of course, is the colour, and I applied a frame within the image itself, by making it look scribbled around the edges. 
I like it a lot, but I wasn't overly impressed with the level of detail in the shading, or the smoothness I got in the colouring.  Which is why with the next one - the monochrome camping scene - I wanted to focus only on the details i wanted, and leave colour out of it. 
The photo was taken last September while driving from Kelowna to Ontario for my most recent cross-country move. I almost always stop at this viewpoint, it rarely disappoints. 

A self portrait turned illustration
This one is different from the above in that it is done on white, but is still a trace. One of the first I tried with my new Wacom. It's finished in the way that I won't be working on it anymore, but the way I left it isn't how I intended for it to be 'completed'. This was mostly me getting the feel of the controls, manipulating the brush, opacity and diameter on the fly.

still a few more Wacom Illustrations to look at ...


Nemo's Grumpy Dad. 

Here's another, sad looking clown fish - not so much Nemo as he is Nemo's grumpy dad… anyways.. this one also came from a photo, but instead of tracing, was side by side drawing - explains his certain… 'je ne sais quois' maybe.. 

The above illustrations have all been traced, or referenced from original photos. The below are all drawn without references of any kind. 

Banners - clip-art-y banners. I needed something linear and straight forward to test out some shading techniques on. Some sketched banners are the result.   Actually you'd be surprised, the clip-art-selling business is remarkably similar to the photo-selling business. 

The drawings'  subjects get a little mundane, but like some photographer's "project 365" or whatever, where they take a photo a day - I am telling myself to do at least one drawing a day.  I don't need a project 365 to take a photo a day - I tend to do it whether I think about it or not. 

testing my shading skills, and different opacity controls. 
first of many food items to come. 

there's just something about drawing a wedge of swiss...


landscapes are hard.

The precursor to the method I used in the first two illustrations of this post.

yes, just an onion.