(Had to change the title - I was probably scaring off people with my strange sense of humor . This one is just boring enough ...)
Yup, I won the lottery! Well, at least, I feel like I have. If you've seen my latest post, you know I got extremely - one might say undeservedly - lucky this year for my birthday, when I received the biggest honkin' pen display I've ever seen, just because I put it on my wishlist; of course, I wanted it, but that's the sort of thing you put on your wishlist to be funny, mostly, even if it's true, and to make all the other stuff on the list seem pretty reasonable in comparison. I'm pretty well set, now, for the next few years - I really don't need anything else after this .
Except for advice. I'm really out of practice with drawing, because I've spent the last few years doing everything on the computer, mostly in 3D, and even though I've had a couple different tablets, I've never done much of anything with them because I could never properly coordinate the movement of my hand down on the desk with the cursor up on the screen, even though I did that just fine with the mouse; the ironic thing is that I'm left-handed, and I use the mouse with my right hand - but I couldn't coordinate my left hand with a pen!
Now that's not an issue (or an excuse!) - the tip of my pen is right there where I'm drawing, the stroke keeps up with my hand, and I can work it pretty much full-size. And, strangely, I'm already finding out a lot of things about the software I already had, just because now I'm looking for ways it can use the pen, as opposed to a mouse - I had no idea I could do these kinds of strokes in CorelDraw! It's synergy, ah tellz ya!
So now, for those of you who use tablets on a regular basis, and especially for those fortunate enough to have something like a Cintiq, I'm looking for advice. What are the best programs, and maybe more importantly, what are the best learning resources, to make the most of my goals and desires?
Despite what one sees in my gallery, Star Trek is not my greatest artistic love - that would be split between cars and women . Over the years, I've been able to do some decent work with women in Poser, but now it's time to add back to my repertoire the ability to draw one (don't get me started on painting, yet - that wasn't even a skill I had before the computer . Although I have to say that Poser has built up more of an eye for lighting, form and color than I ever had before, since those are what you have left when you take lines out of the mix). And I'm hoping to flesh out (no pun intended) my body of work (another unintended pun ) with both realistic and cartoon-ish (not manga - more like folks like Dean Yeagle) styles. Maybe even comics, if I can come up with a decent story, and also get a feel for drawing multiple-figure poses from my head (as opposed to pin-ups, which is most of what I ever used to draw). To this last point, I also picked up Manga Studio EX 4 on the Black Friday sale for 90% off! And I'm especially intrigued by its ability to import and render 3D objects, including the filetypes I use in Poser - I don't know yet whether I want to use figures from Poser, at least not for more than just generating poses over which I can draw, but it ought to really help with backgrounds and props. Despite what I've said, who wants to bet the first comic isn't Trek-related?
Cars. Ahhh, cars - I love those big gleaming hunks of metal, glass and rubber! Always have! I wanted to be a car designer when I was younger, and now that I'm well over the threshold of my semicentennial, that still hasn't changed. This is where I probably need the most advice: what is the best program to use for this (within rea$on), and where are the best places to learn technique, style, and digital workflow?
The Cintiq came with a software bundle that included Autodesk's Sketchbook Express. I've been looking at Sketchbook Pro 6, which is very reasonable - is it worth the additional cost over Express? Are there good places for tutorials online, especially relating to auto design and illustration? Another obvious question is: who here, on DeviantArt, would you recommend to watch and learn from (or hell, just admire for his or her talent and brilliance )? My own mental references for technique and style are Syd Mead (of course!), Ralph McQuarrie, Scott Robertson, Chip Foose, Harald Belker, Daniel Simon - mostly technical and futuristic artists, not to mention cinematic concept artists - though in Foose's case, a hot rod guy (the other side of my automotive fixation - Chip's probably the most artistic of the hands-on car builders, with an Art Center background like the majority of my other role models).
I also want to try my hand at concept art - with my eye on folks like (again!) Ralph McQuarrie, Syd (again, too!), Doug Chiang, Feng Zhu, Steve Burg, Ryan Church - I find more reference for this, what with magazines like ImagineFX out there, which is a fantastic resource, IMHO. I have to develop more of an eye for scenes, for sure, rather than just the focal object, and I want to start out trying techniques like speed painting, something to loosen up my art - one of my best friends told me, not necessarily complimentarily but critically in the best sense, that I never sketch, that everything I do is a finished drawing, and he was right. Most of the work that I've done in Poser over the years has been the result of serendipity, rather than planning or a realized vision, and I need to cultivate that approach in drawing, as well, to allow myself to 'play' and to find things in the art that maybe aren't what I had planned, or are more emotional rather than technical. Again, any advice or experience is appreciated.
It's all coming together, I think - now, I just need to learn the best way to exploit it .