Saturday, December 17, 2011

Brian the dog (Thing-a-week)

I painted this in the summer, on a lark. I spotted some Facebook photos my uncle had posted of my cousin's puppy - a Golden-Doodle named Brian - and thought I'd practice my pet portraiture.

My uncle really liked the piece and bought it as a wedding gift for my cousin and her husband.

I haven't painted any others, since, but when I'm back from my African adventure, I think I'll paint my mother-in-law's beagles. And, of course, I've always got some pet models at home...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fecund (Thing-a-week)

I'm writing this from the past - which is not nearly as cool as the future, but until someone invents a time machine, this will have to do.

This little ditty (can I call a digital sketch a 'ditty'?) was created from scratch (that is, not based on a paper-and-ink sketch) using Sketchbook Pro. I used the mirror function to create a perfectly symmetrical image. It's a pretty handy tool, I must say. And, thanks to my new drawing tablet, and the neat pen and brush settings in this program, this piece has a hand-drawn feel to it. It doesn't look like a digital sketch, which is kind of neat.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tech-crazy Cait (belated Thing-a-week)

So, I've been real trigger-happy with the technology purchases lately. In the last few weeks, I bought a wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, Sketchbook Pro 2011, and the Wacom Airbrush Pen. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales killed my restraint!

But I've been putting these tools to good use - especially Sketchbook Pro. What a well-designed, agile program for making digital art. I think this could quickly replace Photoshop in my illustration toolbox. Like Photoshop, you can work in layers, choose a range of brushes (not as extensive, admittedly, but the layout is much easier), and even save files as .PSD, if you want to move a document into Photoshop for final touches. 

But Sketchbook Pro has some neat things that Photoshop doesn't seem to (at least, in CS3, which is rather outdated now, I realize). If you'd like something to be symmetrical, there's a mirror effect you can choose where you draw/paint one side of the image, and it automatically copies what you're doing on the other side. Saves a lot of time.

This program is also a lightweight and loads up fast. It doesn't bog down my computer, allowing me to run other programs without any issues. 

I've only been playing with it for a few days, so I'm sure there will be some drawbacks. Doesn't seem like you can make your own brushes, for instance. But, so far, at least for the kind of digital art I'm making, this software floats my artistic boat.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

An illustration first (Thing-a-week)

Today, I present to you, a couple of drawings I made for a new role-playing game called Victoria, created by Edmontonian, Daniel Hodges. I also drew some plan views, but I'm especially proud of these drawings, especially the warehouse:

While I've done quite a bit of editorial illustration, drawing images for a role-playing game was brand-new to me. Thankfully, Daniel was easy to work with and offered me a lot of guidance. He gave me quite a lot of creative freedom, but had a vision for the game, which he communicated clearly. 

I'm hoping to post a few belated Thing-a-week projects before I leave for South Africa this week. While I've been making art, I've really fallen behind with the blogging. But I have some good reasons! After getting home from Europe in October, I was inundated with work (a good problem to have, admittedly), but also various life stuff (bronchitis, sick dog, house-related woes, etc.). While other people were celebrating Movember and starting their Christmas shopping, I was chained to my computer.

Anyway, a few belated Thing-a-week installments are forthcoming - and I'll also post some S. Africa photos while I'm gone. Looks like there's a good chance I'll be doing a safari excursion near Durban and perhaps even seeing some penguins near Capetown! Imagine: penguins! I'll have to bring my sketchbook.

As usual, Mike Kendrick is posting super-neato stuff on his blog,, so I'd strongly advise you to check it out. He's also started a Facebook fan page, so send a 'like' his way!