Painting with pixels

I have had no time for blogging in the last while, so I’m going to show you what I used to do when I did have time… I sometimes freelance at agencies that book me in for weeks at a time, and then sometimes don’t have enough work to cover all 8 hours of the day. I can’t do a lot in these situations, because I’m almost always on computers with the bare minimum for my job, and I don’t carry all my other project files with me all the time. Dropbox is pretty useful in these situations.

Anyway, mostly I have Photoshop and the Internet. And a handy Wacom tablet, compliments of my WonderWoman.

That’s not may hand…

So I started a new Photoshop project, but I’m not sure if it qualifies as art. You see, I’m lazy when it comes to certain things like drawing from memory. Lazy or perhaps just not confident enough that it will turn out looking right, and then I will have wasted time on it, when what I actually want to do is play around with colours and shadows and lighting and all the other cool effects you add on once the basic structure looks good. Colouring in, really.

The question that keeps going through my head while I’m doing this is: “is it art?”

Here is my base picture. It almost looks like a painting already, which is what drew me to it in the first place.

I’ll be honest, I don’t even really know where I’m going with it. Nevertheless, I’ve started copying out the shapes and thinking about the colours. (Maybe this is what the comic book colour team does?)

My art education kicked in and prompted me to start at the back, so I could do layers towards the front. Then I realised this isn’t paint, and it would work better to start from the front, so that the shape panels wouldn’t block colour from behind.

At some point, while deciding how best to recreate the granite texture on the memorial stone in front, I decided that, to qualify as something that isn’t just a copy of the original, I would have to insert some traditional art. So I made the tentative decision to avoid the Photoshop Gradient tool, and, after using the Noise filter, I decided I wouldn’t use that again either.

Or the Bevel and Emboss, or Drop Shadow. Hmmm. My laziness safety switch just tripped.