Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Final Digital Painting

Last post showed the process I have been exploring... now I have completed the work. Notice the color shift, the use of advancing and receding colors. Yellow light pushes through the cracks in the wreck as a wisp of blue smoke drifts by. The Truck has been refined and the hills on the left have been shaped  and textured with a beach added.

I hope you like this work. It speaks of the end of the age of fossil fuels.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Art of Digital Painting

I am in the process of working on a new digital mat painting, I must admit that it is an exciting adventure, the only thing that is missing is the smell of oil paint for which I am nostalgic.

The digital world has changed contemporary painting dramatically. The romance is gone now, along with the loft studio in a romantic location, replaced by the cubical in an office or the hip workplace of a game company or movie production house. Long gone now are the smells of paint and turpentine, mixing colors to an exact consistency of transparency and liquidity. The chemistry of the medium... working with pigments, linseed oil, varnish and wax are fading into the world of the past and being replaced by the all mighty pixel. Sad to see it all go after a life well lived as a classic artist working in the tradition of paint.

Now, not being someone who would simply give up or be left behind by the dramatic technological advances of a new culture, I have chosen to embraced the pixel. I have seen the light of it's power and learned to mold it into the expression of my classical training. I am using the application Adobe Photoshop which is a powerful tool of pixel expression, one that has become the studio of today. The flexibility of the software and the tools of execution have over the past years become infinitely more sensitive and expressive, the addition of a Wacom tablet has added the feel of actually holding a tool that comes close to a brush. Digital photographic imagery offers a unique and time saving quality to the expression of digital painting by allowing paint and photo to become fused in a dance of brush strokes and the imagination.

Many will argue that using photos is cheating because the color pallet, perspective and proportion are already part of a photograph. But I take issue with this. As I do this work I am discovering that the challenge is in the unification of elements with over-painting and mixing photo parts and paint strokes into an evolved image that is not painted or photographic. The reward of this work is in the ability to try many approaches to solutions without damaging the work. The traditional painter does not have an undo for a poorly made mark, but the digital artist can add and subtract at will, color changes are a snap, as are scale and proportional adjustments. The ability to perfect forms, colors and even atmospheric changes in a dramatic way are now easy and possible. I am a believer in the outcome of expression as well as the journey one takes to get there. Pixel painting will never be the same as the real thing but it is highly likely the results will be better!
The starting image

Here now is what I have in process I say in process because changes are inevitable and easy to make, one digital painting provides the basis for an entire series of works and the evolution of an idea to it's finite resolution.
Stage 2

stage 3
This is the current stage of development at this time.