An image from start to “finish” onscreen.

Over the last few weeks I have been retreating to the attic and having fun with paint. Its an attempt to let loose from the confines of the computer and just get physical with making marks and letting go.  Yesterday I found myself back at the monitor with an image idea that had been bubbling away in the back of my head for the last few days.

I had the idea pretty clear in my head- at least, the main character of the idea was there. My initial thought was to grab my sketchbook and draw out some ideas for the composition and such, but something stopped me: I thought, if I can let go and work looser and without fear when I am painting and experimenting on the fly,  then surely the computer processes I use can be used to work “on the fly” as well…

It was impressive to me how hard I found it to throw caution to the wind and begin doodling straight onto the screen. I figured that if my intuitive knowledge of Photoshop was worth anything, then it would allow me to work freely and quickly to produce a result that at the start I could not see clearly. I had the idea and the comp in my head, but as soon as I started doodling (and it really was doodling as you can see!) I was jumping off into the unknown: the wacom tablet and pen distances you from your drawing – you feel much further away from what you are trying to make than you do when using brushes and fingers to push paint around on a canvas. If I had not spent any time trying new things with traditional media, this stark feeling of difference would not have been felt as keenly.

As I drew, I began to feel that drawing straight on screen offered a space for accident and looseness directly because of this distance, this lack of tactile control. Then I began to loosen up and relax, and my mind could begin to imagine “as it went along”. I stopped panicking about what was going to go into this image and just let the process of drawing and sliding across the slippy plastic surface of the wacom tablet bring things to mind….

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