Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getting Back to Zero

I was only able to spend a few minutes with the Cintq last night, but the time was wonderfully spent, of course.

I worked on character sketches for a potential series with the working title ‘Lil’ Monsters’. I’m still experimenting with the graphic style of the characters, and the Cintiq gives me the opportunity to get in and be as detailed as I need to be.

I enjoy being able to sketch extremely light strokes, barely 10% or 15% gray. In ‘real life’ I have a pretty heavy hand, and have a hard time getting really gentle tone on the paper. The Cintiq allows me to compensate for that with a simple adjustment of the hardness of the brush, or the opacity of the brush, or the size of the brush, or a myriad of other helpful tools I haven’t even discovered yet.

I have always appreciated using a digital tool like Photoshop for drawing because of the ability to ‘get back to zero’. I can draw a line and erase right back to the pure white of the ‘paper’, as if there had been no line there at all. I find that this is somewhat of a confidence builder, as I’m not constantly reminded of the ‘bad lines’ as I’m working! The Cintiq makes it exceptionally easy to swap back and forth between the brush tool and the eraser – I’m almost to the point where it’s subconscious. I get that way with short cut keys. I use them so frequently that if I were forced to slow down and explain what I was doing, it would completely throw me off! I don’t think ‘command + z’ anymore; it’s just a roll of the wrist between the thumb and the forefinger.

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