Digital Dreaming

All sorts of things are evolving around here. I've shared a little bit about the evolution of a particular sketch over on the Sketchbook Challenge today. Just a nonsense sketchbook page--created the same way I create everything: one step at a time. I have never been a highly intentional artist. Sitting down and sketching out a whole concept seems exhausting to me. By the time I'd get around to the finished piece, I'd be bored silly. Who can't *appreciate* those brave souls who actually know what they're doing before they start? I'm just not among them.

Recently I was fortunate enough to acquire a Wacom Cintiq digital tablet. I've enjoyed my Wacom Intuous tablet tremendously and this seemed like the next step. I can now draw directly onto the screen with a digital pen/paintbrush! With Corel Painter 12, it feels as real as painting on paper. I continue to be amazed at how the physical world principles of art supplies translate into this brave new world. The paint stays "wet" until I dry it and different media will smear or interact, based on the previous media used. A pen drawing remains intact when painted over with watercolors; but switching to acrylics will cover that layer. This real world reaction makes it much easier to paint and draw intuitively. Less software, more art.

So that brings me to my current work space--the digital studio. It looks much like the old studio. A cup of coffee at the ready, and even a paper sketchbook. My canvas is a tablet, my pen has no ink, and my trusty pc serves as the palette; offering up limitless colors and textures. Just think! No running to the craft store for a color I don't have. I can change paper surfaces with the flick of my mouse. Lest you think its toooooo easy now, the ideas still have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, from my restless mind. Ouch.

 For now, as I ponder the meaning of a virtual sketchbook, I will bring these pixels into the physical realm by printing them and incorporating them into a hands-on book. Perhaps I can combine the best of both worlds...painting with a digital pen, then stitching with a sewing machine. That is, until I hear of a digital sewing machine (you're my eyes and ears on this one). But this year is about understanding the meaning of art when it touches technology. I want to explore the universal truths about creating. I suspect that the medium is irrelevant and that we will still have much to share together. At least I hope so. The work of our hands is the work of our hands. It's all good.

I am not alone. Bill is transforming his music studio into a kicked up high-tech mobile space. Instead of a music stand with sheet music, he's scrolling his notes on a pc. Ain't it cool?

Oh, and some things will always remain constant. Fish break!


  1. Great pieces!! The technology is amazing, isn't it? I've just started experimenting with digital techniques, too. I've been doodling, stencilling, painting, and collaging in Photoshop Elements. I've got a lot to learn, but I'm really enjoying it! I look forward to reading more about your work.

  2. Anonymous1/11/2012

    Your work is beautiful! My daughter says that I should get a Wacom Cintiq.... I had a fiddle with her Bamboo(?) tablet, but was disappointed with the registration. Does what you draw on the Cintiq correspond spatially to what comes out on the computer screen?? Would be great if it did, as I am in the process of translating digital works into stitched works.

  3. I'd like to know what printer you use to print out what you see on your monitor....I've not been able to get anything near what I want.....I love color and have been disappointed in printers (that I can afford) I've also taken files to various print places and still can't get what I want. I have a wacom tablet and paint shop pro and love making digital art....just can't get it printed so I can hang on my walls.

  4. The pen on the screen is completely accurate. It's incredible. The only issue I have is occasional lag if my drawing gets too complex and my computer power can't keep up with it. You do the actual drawing/painting right on the Cintiq--not on a separate screen. That's what I love about it. You can calibrate it easily too.

    As for printing--I'm not there yet. I just got a great book from the library: Digital Collage and Painting by Bloom. It profiles many artists and gives the specifics about what software, devices, scanners, printers and paper they use. I see a lot of Epson Stylus Photo printers listed. To give accurate color, you have to purchase a special software or have your monitor and printer synced professionally. Otherwise you just do the best you can. There is so much to learn!

  5. You are a very lucky & talented girl, especially with that Wacom Cintiq. I use to have one in the California studio but now in my Colorado home studio, it is just me & the intus 4. I miss the Cintiq...but I did just upgraded to Painter 12!