I decided it’s about time I finally sit down and learn how to use Layers in Photoshop. By the Gods I am going to learn how, because up until now, everything I’ve ever done on a digital piece has been strictly by mouse alone! It isn’t that I don’t know HOW Layers work… I get the gist of how it works like acetate. I remember Wookie showing me how to use layers while I was at his place one time, but being able to remember every step of how to choose what action from what file to be able to do things like select all of your black lines and copy and paste them on a new transparent layer, so that when you do new layers the color will show through… that was what my biggest issue was with trying to remember how to do all of those steps to get to what I wanted. O.x
So I finally spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon, just sitting down and fiddling with layers in Photoshop. AND, I think I finally got it!! So yesterday I did three things that I don’t usually do at all. I drew up a picture of a simple sitting fox, just by using the Wacom tablet that fiskblack got me for my birthday in July (thank you hon!! I promise I’ll get really good at it!). Still trying to get the hang of using a tablet, especially drawing up a sketch from scratch. I still need quite a bit of practice. I also used different layers to color and shade individual areas on the fox.
Then I went all out and decided to try doing a full background. Nothing fancy. Just a large rock behind the fox, some grass, the fox’s shadow, and a sky. It’s kind of boring looking, but it was mostly just a test to see if I could pull off something that was half decent looking. I’ve got character design and layout down fine, but I want to actually sit down and do some studying on background layouts, because I’ve never been good at creating full backgrounds, and I feel that I could really use the practice. The piece itself isn’t done yet, but when it is, and whenever I can figure out how to get my FTP thingy working again, I’ll post it up on LJ for you people out there to critique. :-P
So, where did this sudden inspiration come from? Just from going through other artists’ works, and admiring and appreciating the works of others. I know a lot of artists who will get really down when they see work that is “better” than their own, and they’ll kick themselves and convince themselves that their art sucks. I find that I’m the opposite way. Looking at other artists’ works actually gets me motivated to want to draw more, and better myself! I look at artists like evana_love, xxbalaaxx, and tania (just to name a few who’s works I really love) who can produce animated film quality digital works, and my jaw just drops in awe, and I WISH that my digital stuff could be that good one of these days.
But I also consider that another artists’ work isn’t necessarily “better” than my own, but simply the result of a lot more devoted time, practice, and experience. Not to mention difference in style. I look at works of xxbalaaxx for example, and see that two years ago, her digital works were about the same quality as mine is now. Even looking back at my OWN work from two years ago, I can see the proportion errors, and other mistakes that I’ve improved on a significant amount with time. So, this fact alone keeps me optimistic that as long as I keep working hard, I just MAY one day be able to produce works of digital art that are just as good as some of these other artists. :)
A lot of other artists are also able to whip out a TON more art than I do on a regular basis, so they’ve had a lot more practice. If I could produce drawings as quickly and as regularly as some of my other friends do, like huskie666, or frisket17, then I could get a lot better, quicker. But as it stands now, work at the vet clinic and finishing commissions take up most of my time, and leaves me with a lot less time to get my own personal practice art done. And it’s not that I don’t like my art as it is now. I’m fairly skilled with color pencils, but I’d like to be able to improve in different medias, (even been interested in experimenting with markers…) which is one of the reasons why I’ve stopped taking on digital commissions (for now) until I feel that I’m good enough, I guess, to be able to offer folks much better quality work for their money.
But also, mostly, just because I’d like to be able to produce pieces of art for myself, that I’m happy with. I’d like to be able to actually get what I see in my head out onto paper, and have it look like what I had always imagined. That would be really nice. :) *wags*