More Doodling Adding Photoshop

Yesterday's post discussed Doodling. On occasion I will doodle odd people. I just make up these characters. They have no relevance to reality or anyone real. And they usually just begin with a few scribbly lines that sort of find themselves forming faces. They aren't perfect and are flawed in strange ways, but it is relaxing to play around and let these characters develop. When I'm drawing from life I will draw several versions and take reference photos to check for accuracy, but this is doodling, not portraiture.

The bottom image is scanned from my sketchbook. I use Derwent graphic pencils and kneaded erasers to smudge, erase, and 'play' with the lines. I happened to be in a pensive mood the day I drew this. It was the last day before classes were to begin again after holiday and I was feeling a bit like the students do - where did the time go?

In the next image up I added some layers of color in Photoshop using various blend modes for each color. The pencil sketch layer blend mode was multiply so I could add others under it for the 'painted' effect.

The next image up has additional filters added to the existing colored version. Each image from there uses the same composite image with other filters. Some contain multiple filters in order to achieve the look.

This gives us a variety of images with an unlimited range of use. For illustrations I can freehand draw my characters, scan them, and create any variety of moods, settings, styles for posters, etc within Photoshop and Illustrator. Utilizing all the tools helps us find the perfect methods to keep our work fresh.

Just wanted to share other methods of "doodling" with technology with you.
This image can also be seen on Illustration Friday under "Focused"



Does our doodling, and more importantly, what we doodle say anything about us? I was started down this path of doodle contemplation by James Gurney and his wife's random doodle. On his blog he has posted a widget where you can cast your vote as to what you doodle.

I think it depends on my mood as to what kinds of things I
doodle. I find myself in faculty meetings doodling images that relate to the presenter's subject or a random phrase that catches my fancy and begs to be visualized. If I'm at home with some free time on my hands (a rare bird indeed) and trying to decide whether to draw, knit, sew, paint, or do some creative Photoshop or Illustration work, I tend to doodle weird things. Maybe it is my way of attempting to focus my mind. Sometimes it works.

Time magazine has a study posted that doodling actually aids us in paying attention during meetings and lectures. Good news for me.

NPR also questions,
"Bored? Try Doodling" Seems we doodlers are in good company. NPR also quotes from the same study by Jackie Andrade, a professor of psychology at the University of Plymouth.

Wired among others got in on the doodling study.

My included doodles on this post are just a sampling. I also doodle a lot of trees.
Trees and natural objects make me feel good. I cannot explain it any better than that and even though I push my students to defend choices in their art and design with more than a "I like it, it makes me feel good" defense, I believe what you doodle should be nurturing to you if you need it. Trees are my nurturing imagery.

What do you doodle? Do your doodles involve exotic escapes? faces? robots? Have fun and always be creative!


Shining & Wishcasting

Wynken, Blynken & Nod, Watercolor/Pen&Ink by Sandra VanWinkle 1995

I love my reader lists. During the week I don't get much of a chance to keep up, so on weekends I make up for lost time. I just discovered through The Wright Stuff blog that another blogger was asking the question "How Do You Want to Shine?"

Well, that gives us something to think about doesn't it? In my previous post today I mentioned a few of the careers or avocations that I would like to have or do. But shining. That's something else.

Wishcasting. I've been sitting here reading and wishing I had taken a few more plunges, leapt over a few taller buildings or just ignored the wicked little voice inside my head that kept saying "Art isn't a real career. If you love it this much, it can't be work. You have to make a living, get over it."

How do I want to Shine? I want to be truer to myself as an artist. I want to shine in the field I've always longed to be part of. I want to create works that are interesting. I want to create works that start dialogues and stir emotions- good or bad - within viewers. I want to get up every morning and shine at focusing my art and my life in directions that I want to go. Not directions I have to go.

I wouldn't change a moment of my life to this point, but now I want to take what I've learned, what I've experienced and allow myself the luxury of creating art. I want to shine as an artist who is true to all her selves - woman, mother, teacher, artist, without one sacrificed for the other. I want to shine at "casting my net and be never afraid".

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish,--
Never afraid are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
And Nod.
-excerpted from
"Wynken, Blynken, & Nod by Eugene Field (1889)

Design, Illustration & the Making of Fantasy

Every day I teach creativity. And every day I assure students that every aspect of what they learn, whether it is theory of design, art history, typography, or proper ways to do thumbnail sketches, storyboards and applications in software, can be utilized in a wide variety of careers.

When I was their age I wanted to be a photojournalist and travel the world for great magazines like National Geographic, The Smithsonian, or Life. Before that I wanted to be a naturalist and go about through jungles and arctic regions studying and illustrating flora and fauna in great sketch books which would be coveted by all the museums of the world.

Now, I teach my students to have faith and believe in their dreams and to learn everything, absolutely everything, they can about art and the importance of craftsmanship. I teach them traditional tools and methods as well as new digital technologies for creating their concepts.

Did I get to travel the world? Did I ever illustrate those unique insects or that perfect blossom? Well, I have illustrated insects and blossoms, but like Dorothy I did it all in my own backyard. But you know what? I'm still dreaming about it.

In the meantime, this video shows how important our creative fields are, not only to entertainment, but to help us connect with one another, to creatively problem solve and work collaboratively as a team.

Oh! and any film makers out there who are looking for a hardworking artist with wanderlust - you can contact me here.

Be Happy and Always Be Creative!

Mort Drucker

Reading my Google Reader feeds. One of the blogs I follow is Gurney's Journey. James Gurney is an artist that I admire a lot. He gave us "Dinotopia" and continues to create wonderful illustrations of beasts and fauna that no longer (or never did) exist.

This was on his blog and I wanted to share it with you. Most of us know Mort Drucker's work in Mad Magazine. My high-school students will be creating Mad Magazine "covers" soon that will star our administrative faculty. The principals are all excited about participating in this parody. I will share those with you when they are finished.

For now enjoy the master at work.

Take care and Be Creative!