Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Well, lost the original article in the move over to a new host company, but that's my oversite. Forgot to do a fresh backup that day. Here's a reconstruction... sort of.

I wondered what I was going to do with the photo I posted previously. The koi fish pond was enticing, but I struggled a bit with how to approach it. I started the same routine, basic outline, rough out the fish, apply paint effect and started to laugh - this struck me that I was doing an adult version of paint-by-numbers.

I stood back a bit and decided to go for it started to go a bit more freehand. The righthand fin, er fin on the right side of the middle fish was done without outlines as well as much of the pattern on the fish. I was trying for a more flowing look. Right idea, but the blending is heavy handed. The paint effect is far too thick.  I'm struggling with blending brushes. I've got the weekend off so I'll poke around with them, try to set up a new grouping. I need to change effects.  The fish should look like it's water coloured, not so slathered on acrylics. Maybe turn off buildup. Hmm ... 

I'm also doing less detail on the overall outline. I'm looking for a more flowing feel to the background. Here it is in all it's glory:

 Digital art - Koi fish

I was going to delete the work and start fresh but decided "warts 'n all" was needed. Not happy with it in general, but the mouth and whisker is spot on. Really pleased with the sense of depth.  That's part of a problem I've had for decades when it comes to drawing. Even using pencil and paper, I often can't remember how I get a certain effect - I just wing it. I don't think through steps or think about what I'm drawing. I just start and enjoy. So ... this weekend I'm sitting down with my notebook and making notes on each brush (especially blending) and the effects. That's the only way I'll remember what they do. 

Then again, if all else fails, I can start a career as an adult colouring book maker.


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Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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