I just realized that I’ve been here before. My website is unbuilt and I’m wallowing in frustration with the tools I bought to build it. It will probably turn out, but for now the sky over my domain is dark with regard to fenimorecentral.com and I feel like a volcano ready to erupt.
Here’s a little background as to why I believe this torment will pass:
My parents favored me as a boy with the gift of Oil pastels – greasy little stubs of color that just made a mess when I tried to draw with them. After a few frustrations I left them untouched in a box. Time passed and I brought them out again for a project in art class. I did a copy of a Breck Hair Shampoo ad model also. They began to work, sorta kinda.
Without training or experience, they were nothing. Years later I saw what Degas and Cassatt did with them and decided they were actually a legitimate tool if I could figure them out. Today after much experience, I believe I can make world class art using oil pastels. I should prove this.
The same learning process played out when I got photoshop. For the first year or two, all it did was anger me. There I would be, ready to make something happen, and the tool I wanted to use was nothing but a maddening obstacle.
I avoided photoshop until I devised a plan to get some value for my money. It all started with a car website that I wanted to contribute to. The publisher of the site encouraged contributions, so I offered art. He wanted cartoons, but I wasn’t a cartoonist.
After considering it, I concluded that the difference between not being a cartoonist and being one was becoming one. So I sketched out the first concept in pencil and submitted it.
The next month was the beginning of the new year and I wanted to capitalize on a mixture of the standard elements of the season. It’s cliche to want to lose weight and make a resolve to start in January. It just happens that the car that is the darling of that website is a Lotus. Colin Chapman, who was the brains behind Lotus believed in making his cars effective and simple and then, “add lightness”. So I built a cartoon combining those themes.
The first cartoons were all drawn on paper with graphite pencils.
Wanting to dress them up, I opted to color them. My plan was to photograph the cartoon and apply fill using an application that came with my camera since photoshop was complicated. Slowly, I opted to try photoshop again because it seemed to have a better range of tools.
At first, I only had to know how to use the paint can tool for fills and be able to select the colors. One complication was that the lighting was never good enough when I took the picture with the camera, so the fill was invariably irregular.
Since the fill also seeped in to places where it didn’t belong, I had to learn how to use other tools to contain it. magically, photoshop began to be useful. Within months, I was doing the cartoon totally from scratch on my cintiq using photoshop.
Here is a progression
pencil with photoshop
pencil with photo shop