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This week, I've decided to show a brief demo with a drawing I did just this past weekend for an art show submission. I fell in love with this little guy that I wanted to make a vector drawing of him.
Here is a quick glance at how I went from a physical drawing to a completely digital rendering:
My tool of choice for this project was the pen tool. It takes practice to know where the lines will go when creating the points. It also takes patience when adjusting the curves of the points after you've built your desired shape. If you're just starting out, use a simple drawing as reference. This painting was kept simple so I could make a lot of them in a short amount of time. The digital rendering of just this little guy took half a day! Drawing and painting by hand is much quicker for me than digital art is. But there is so much more control when working with a computer. Plus there is the "undo" command. I miss that when drawing with a pencil.
These steps are how I learned to draw digitally. I would use a reference photo I found online and trace it and try to recreate it. It took a lot of practice and an understanding about Adobe Illustrator to feel comfortable with how to layer elements. What my image doesn't show is the body was kept to the black outline only so I could trace the facial elements, like the eye and teeth. It's a lot of back and forth. Checking and rechecking how everything looks together. I ended up moving elements around, just the tiniest bit, to give more breathing room for the overall drawing. It isn't 100% identical to the original drawing. I found flaws and had a chance to adjust the vector to better suit the final product. Overall, I'm happy with both the original painting and the vector piece.
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My first art gallery show since college had its opening last Friday. Even now I still can't believe it happened. With the show up through December, I still feel like I still need to create more work for it. The work that is hanging is for sale, but I won't assume I'll make a sale on anything at this point. It was all very surreal during the last few weeks leading up to the opening night. Thankfully, with all the support from my friends, I didn't go completely insane during the final stretch before I had to hang my pieces.
I'm sharing the gallery show with a good friend, and phenomenal artist, Melissa McClanahan of Liminal Works. After I twisted her arm into showing together with me, we opened a bottle of wine and came up with our show title and theme. As we're both ladies, we decided to look at the subject of women in various points of transformation or times in life. Melissa went for a personal reflection and introspective view. Her pieces were women intertwined with nature or symbols of goddesses or animals. Her painterly approach worked perfectly with a metaphysical and more psychological perspective.
My style is much more graphical and on a satirical ilk. I pulled inspiration from propaganda posters of the World War II, with the message that women should be afraid in order to be safe. All the messages were engrained into my everyday behavior by the mature women and society in my youth. Now that I'm older, I don't believe a word of any of these archaic notions that women need to be alert 24/7. There has been a shift into active feminism and demand for gender equality. I wanted to shine a light on the not so distant past on how women where taught to behave and how maddening it really is. I'm not always out to make political statements, but I couldn't bring myself to be gentle with a message. Plus I'm a huge fan of making people laugh but then stop and feel bad for laughing. If nothing else, I hope to start a dialog.
It was a great labor of love for both of us. I know I want to have another show next year if possible. This might be a start of something dangerous!
If you're in the Cincinnati area, feel free to drop by the Sharonville Fine Arts Center during their gallery hours. The show is up all December.