Tablet Sketching

"Sketchpad" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“Sketchpad” Cedar Park, 2019

I’m still trying to sort out in my mind the advantages or disadvantages of digital sketching vs. analog sketching (or even if it’s important to know what they are), but I do know that in the realm of digital sketching, the iPad/tablet experience is way better (for me) than using my Wacom digitizer on the desktop computer.

Basically it comes down to how intuitive and natural it feels. And the ease of use is a huge advantage that the iPad has. When I want to sketch, it literally takes seconds to be drawing on the iPad. In contrast, with the computer, I have to start the software, then File, New, enter in the dimensions, look at the wonky interface and try to remember the keyboard shortcuts. That’s a lot of brain activity even before I start pushing pixels! Plus, I have to be sitting at the desk in the home office. With the iPad, I can sketch anywhere.

Of course, I’m just a hobbyist so I have different needs than a professional illustrator, but for what I am doing, the simplicity of Procreate and the iPad is just perfect. I still think iOS is weird, but once I am in Procreate, it’s a lot like just drawing in a sketchbook. In fact, I renamed my iPad to “Barron’s Sketchpad” since that is pretty much why I bought it.

Anyway, below is one of my latest sketches, and below that is the timelapse video of my sketching process. It’s so fun!

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Timelapse Mirrors My Drawings Through the Years

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I hope you bear with me while I share lots of sketching posts. I’m keeping up with my daily habits, and sketching is one of them. Tonight while was looking at the timelapse video that Procreate made, I noticed an interesting progression as I refined the drawing.

At the beginning of the video, the sketch looked like the artwork that I used to make in college and right after I graduated. I was really into Japanese ukiyo-e art at the time, so that’s where I got most of my influence. That was around 1990:

"Circa 1990"

Then I noticed the drawing went through a couple other phases, which are reflected in my more recent sketchbook drawings from a couple years ago:

"Circa 2017"

And then it progressed to the style that I have been kind of stuck at since late last year:

"Circa 2018"

Finally, we end up with today’s evolution:

"Circa 2019"

These days I am looking towards my favorite illustrators, so of course, I try to emulate them. I love Eguchi Hisashi‘s work, so I take many cues from his work. Also, Ilya Kuvshinov is awesome, and I recently discovered Aka, whose work blows me away.

As I continue to practice, I’m excited to see at what pace I can continue to improve. It’s a fun hobby, and so satisfying. And it makes me look at other illustrations and art in a different way as I try to decipher how artists draw different facial features, the color palettes they use, and the way they draw lines and blocks of solid color. It’s fascinating.

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

I Don’t Know When I’m Done with a Sketch

"iPad Sketch" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“iPad Sketch” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’ve been using the iPad and Procreate for my sketching this past month and I love it. I can make edits easily and can pick up where I left off immediately. And that convenience means that I can make adjustments to a previous sketch at any time in the future. Not only can I do that, but I can create duplicates of the drawing and try different things. Digital drawing is so great!

But that got me wondering about when to call something “finished”. On a few of my sketches, I think I am done, so I share the image on the blog, ArtStation, Flickr, and Instagram, but later I figure out a new way to do something or notice a part of the sketch that I can do better, so I’ll go back and make the changes. I guess it’s like George Lucas going back and re-editing his Star Wars movies many years down the line.

So with the knowledge that I will most likely make changes to existing artwork, I don’t know if I can ever call a drawing “finished”.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my digital art can constantly evolve, and those moments in time when a drawing is shared are just milestones in something’s existence. So, as I improve in my drawing and become more proficient with my tools, I definitely want to re-visit my earlier sketches and make them better, and won’t feel guilty about doing that. I suppose making a snapshot of earlier “versions” is maybe something that should be more intentional. By snapshot, that could simply be exporting a jpg and saving it with a unique name.

Who knows… I may end up with several version of the same drawing, but Monet completed over 250 paintings of water lilies, so I guess it’s okay. 😄

Here’s a sketch that I worked on tonight. I’m happy how it turned out and was ready to share on Instagram, but I can see a few things I want to update or try. For instance, I’d like to see if adding a sleeve instead of her bare arm would look nice, and maybe try adjusting the position of the eyes. If you have good eyes, you might notice that the first photo in this post has some differences in the drawing as well! I took that photo thinking I was done, but then the mouth and nose looked a little too simple and primitive so I had to edit them. But anyway, here’s a snapshot of the progress:

"Sketch 2019-02-24"
“Sketch 2019-02-24”

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

When is Your Creative Window?

"Working Outdoors" Austin, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/400 sec, ISO100
“Working Outdoors” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Ever since high school (oh so many years ago) I’ve been creating visually. Back then, it was drawing and painting, which I continued until I graduated from college with an art degree. When I started working, I shifted to a digital medium and graphic design, and that is pretty much what I continue to do, quite happily.

But only within the past few years have I realized that I am way more productive in the mornings – the window of heightened creativity starts from when I arrive at work and lasts for maybe four hours or so, sometimes less, but rarely more. With that newly-found knowledge, I’ve been able to do better work, more efficiently than before. So when I have a particularly challenging project, I’ll block off the morning so I can concentrate.

It’s really a waste of time to be stuck in meetings during this morning window. In fact, I’ll bring my laptop and work on projects during those morning meetings if I need to, and I don’t feel guilty about doing that. It’s for the good of the team, and honestly, my strengths are not planning meetings or analyzing metrics. (Some of my co-workers are excellent at that sort of thing, so I’ll let the experts have their time)

It seems silly that my younger self used to think that creativity (at least my own) happens at the same level at all times of the day. It actually can come to me in the afternoon or evenings as well, but I’d say that the mornings are the time I can actually count on and plan for. But once those four hours are over, it’s pretty much gone for the rest of the work day, and I’ll shift to tasks that require less creativity, or at least more formulaic problem-solving.

It’s kind of interesting to be working on a project and then feel the creative juices start to dry up. It makes me wonder what chemicals in the brain are being depleted. Some days, it seems like my window is open for a shorter amount of time, but I haven’t thought about if I was working more intensely or not. I’ll try to note that in the future.

Anyway, I’m sure other creative-type people have creative windows too, but maybe some can go 24/7?! I wonder how that works? 😄

I hope you had a nice Monday!

またね〜

Tonight’s Sketch

"2019.02.06 Sketch"
“2019.02.06 Sketch”

Having a ton of fun with Procreate and the iPad! I think I am improving… little by little. At any rate, I am enjoying the process. 😀

Here’s the time-lapse video:

And here’s a little different version of a previous sketch:

"Dark Portrait"
“Dark Portrait”