I’ve been spending time with a new tool, new software, & new possibilities.
A few weeks ago I splurged a bit and bought a new art creation tool. I had been curious about and itching to get my hands on a pen display tablet for some time. This curiosity came to a head a few weeks ago and I splurged for a Huion Kamvas Pro 16 Tablet.
For those who aren’t familiar with a pen display, it is a screen and stylus that is designed for digital art. The screen is simply a display similar to a standard computer monitor. The enhancement is that it works with a pressure-sensitive pen to provide a similar experience to traditional drawing. This is not a stand-alone device and must be connected to a computer in order to work. I use it with my laptop. The nice thing is that it can also be used as a second monitor.
As far as software is concerned, I tried both Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint. In the end, I settled on Clip Studio Paint due to its less complicated user interface and more economical price.
Below is a photo of the setup I used to create this drawing. I’m sure this setup will go thru some evolutionary changes as I spend more time with this process. You can see my laptop at the top of the photo. I pull up my reference on the laptop display. This arrangement lends itself to a comfortable work setup.
Clip Studio Paint comes with a good selection of creative tools right out of the box. For this drawing, I primarily used the pencil brushes that came with the software.
Now, I don’t anticipate that digital will become my prime focus. However, it does have advantages. I tend to think of digital as a multi-media sketchbook with endless pages. No worries if a sketch goes completely awry, you haven’t “wasted” any supplies. Just put it aside and start anew, no worries.
I will say that at this point, I still believe there isn’t a substitute for traditional tools. There just isn’t a substitute for the tactile feedback, the texture of the paper, and the tool in your hand.
Thanks for visiting, stay safe and healthy. – Mike
A had a little fun working in Procreate. This portrait was created on a gray background, I used simple strokes and crosshatching in both black and white to create the shadows and highlights. Its a simple technique that produces good results.
So far, traditional (pen & paper) techniques have been a direct transfer to digital media. I suppose this should be expected given the simple nature of my art. Sketches are just that, sketches, nothing too complicated. But, that’s what I enjoy.
I will probably begin to post more digital work in the future. I have recently acquired some new toys on the digital front. I hope to have some new work to share soon.
Thanks for reading and have a great day – Mike
Pen & Ink Style with Procreate?
I’ve been wanting to explore the inking brushes in Procreate, in particular, I have been wanting to create a drawing with the Ink Bleed Brush.
I have seen others use the Ink Bleed Brush within Procreate to create some very cool art. I have been wanting to create a pen & ink portrait in Procreate for a while now, so, I decided to give it a go with my latest sketch.
I received positive feedback with my last sketch where I tried to keep the style loose and minimal. I enjoyed sketching in that loose style and I also really enjoyed the process of determining what areas to include or exclude within the drawing. So I knew that I wanted to repeat that style with this sketch as well.
I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to comment!
Thanks for visiting – Mike
Keeping it quick & loose
This sketch was inspired by a Lee Jeffries portrait. I am a big fan of his work. I find his images so raw and powerful. I just can’t resist sketching them!
The goal with this sketch was just to keep it simple, try to capture the main features of the subject, and most of all keep the sketch loose.
I think I came closer with this one than I have with my previous attempts.
I believe trying to work a little quicker and more loosely will help me to produce more work, which equals more enjoyment. I am trying to teach myself to let go a bit.
I am still in the mindset that I need to keep my sketches neat and each one should be as good or better than the previous work. I am now beginning to see that this mindset can do more harm than good.
By thinking that each work should be as good as the previous works you put unnecessary pressure on yourself to produce quality work. This self-imposed pressure leads to a decrease in enjoyment. Sometimes you may completely psych yourself out to the point that you don’t even attempt a sketch because your worried your quality will suffer.
This is certainly not the way to maintain confidence, grow as an artist, or ensure that sketching remains an enjoyable activity.
I plan to produce more work like this, sketches that are loose and free.
Thanks for visiting – Mike
Thank you, Tarana for the inspiration.
This is Tarana, I found her inspiration photo on the app Sktchy. Her unique look and bold ear jewelry caught my eye.
This sketch was created in Procreate. I’m really enjoying sketching digitally, but, I’m going to have to force myself to put it down and spend some time with my traditional sketchbook and pencils.
The image below actually shows the completed sketch. I brought forward the blue undersketch and added blue highlights to her face. I am not sure if I like this version or the plain version above best, so I thought I would post both.
What about you, which do you prefer?
I hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks for visiting – Mike
Another Lee Jeffries inspired portrait
Continuing with the theme of my last portrait, here is another portrait featuring hands on the subject’s face.
This was drawn in Procreate and is based in a photograph by Lee Jeffries. I took a slightly different approach to the finished portrait this time by adding a touch of color.
I always start each Procreate piece with an undersketch. If I’m drawing a portrait that will be on a mid-tone or dark background I will usually create my undersketch with white lines. Then I can adjust the transparency of the undersketch layer so that the lines become faint, this becomes a guide while creating the main sketch. I took the same approach with this piece but, once the main sketch was complete I decided to bring the undersketch layer to the top and adjust the transparency once again for some visual interest. This effect is mainly apparent on the fingers. I liked the way that it loosened up the final presentation.
I hope everyone has a great Monday! Thanks for visiting – Mike
I’m really starting to get comfortable with Procreate…
This is Simon Pegg, English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. I came across a wonderful photo of him that I found intriguing. I decided to create his portrait digitally using Procreate. I apologize but I do not know the name of the photographer. So I am unable to provide photo credit.
Currently, I am alternating between traditional and digital means of sketching. The overall feel of digital sketching is very different. There is no permanence to any line or mark you make. If you don’t like the results you can simply hit the undo button. This is wonderful for experimentation but I think it can become a crutch quickly.
I believe I must continue to sketch traditionally in order to keep my skill level sharp. I think it is beneficial to the artist to work with a medium where there is some amount of permanence to each stroke made. Sure, you can always erase a pencil mark but if that mark is in an area of shading you can also destroy the good marks. So you have to be adaptive and that’s were finesse and technique come into play. The permanence forces one to deal with what is on the page.
I plan to continue with both forms of creation. I find both forms of creating extremely enjoyable and relaxing.
This sketch was created in Procreate, using the 6B pencil brush.
Thank for stopping by, I hope you have a great week – Mike
and what fun it is…
This is Jonathon, he is another face from my Sktchy Queue.
Jonothan has been in my queue for a very long time. He’s been waiting on me to purchase some black paper so I can create a proper sketch of this wonderful inspiration photo. I still haven’t purchased any black paper…but, if I sketch him digitally, I don’t have to.
I’ve been itching to create another digital portrait so, I thought this would be a great opportunity to capitalize on the ability to choose the background and media color.
This sketch was created in Procreate using the 6B pencil brush. I kept this sketch simple, more keeping with my usual style.
Thank for stopping by, I hope you have a great week – Mike
Thoughts on something new and exciting!
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough for my employer to provide me with a new iPad and Apple Pencil. I call already see the benefits of such a device in the workplace, but, I had to ask myself, why place limitations? These newly acquired accouterments of the modern age can be beneficial in my creative life as well!
I’ve heard nothing but good things about the app Procreate. So, I gladly forked over my $9.99 to give this a try. I figured at such a cheap price (less than most sketchbooks) why not give it a shot.
I experimented with it over the weekend and I must say, the experience is quite natural. Of course, with it being a new tool, I may have gone overboard a little experimenting with the different brushes and abilities.
I’m looking forward to adding this new medium into my regular weekly sketch practice. In no way do I plan to abandon real mark making on paper. But, I must say I can see this being extremely convenient and so unlimited in what you can create. The base version comes with a multitude of tools that mimic several mediums. Which, may lead to more creative works!
I created the sketch below using a reference image that I admittedly imported into Procreate and traced the primary facial features. I wanted to get a feel for the application before trying to establish facial features by eye. So, I may have cheated a bit on this one, but, just keep it between us, Thanks.
Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day! – Mike