Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GIMP Fillerrr

Havent been able to update for a while now, currently on a skiing holiday at a resort called Levi in Lapland, Northern Finland. I was planning to make a piece for the blog in Inkscape for this entry, but I simply havent had the time. Next entry here will be a proper painting/drawing walkthrough again, like my Genesis post. Not sure if it will be a digital painting or traditional medium yet.

Since I dont have an art piece ready at the moment ill just talk about GIMP instead. Its the second piece of art software I use, along with OpenCanvas. GIMP is free, not quite as powerful as PS, but Its what I grew up using and im now so familiar with it that im having a hard time migrating over to PS. Its beautifully simple, just like Opencanvas, but serves a completely different purpose. Sure, GIMP can be used for digital painting, but the brush settings are very limited and youll be better off with basically anything else. 

Its better suited for photo editing and such. Only reason im trying to switch over to PS is because of PS's Free Transform tool, which is something I wish was implemented into every picture editing program out there. The fact that PS saves better colours is another reason. There is simply no way in GIMP to save as great looking pictures as you get in PS, even with maximum compression quality and whatnot; believe me, ive tried. The tools in PS are also higher quality, for example the gradient tool makes visibly cleaner results in PS.

Above you can see the GUI of GIMP. You can customize the floating windows pretty much anyway you want to; All the docks can be moved, merged, resized, pinned, saved, hidden etc.. I believe the picture above is running on some adaption of Linux, Ubuntu most likely. Its also not the most up to date version, but the GUI hasnt changed that much since. If youd want, you could organize the docks just like in PS, you can reskin the buttons too, if you want to. 

GIMP has a wide range of filters preinstalled, and you can find lots more on the internet. All around, its a nice package. And its free, no one really has the right to complain. I recommend everyone to rather get familiar with PS than GIMP, its a much more polished and overall more well rounded. But for me, GIMP will always have a special place in my heart.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


This is the wonderful piece of software I use when i draw. Its made by the Japanese company PortalGraphics.net, and was initally released as freeware, but the developement of that was discontinued and now they sell a commercial version (Relatively cheap!). They also offer a free Trial version on their website (http://www.portalgraphics.net/en/oc/).  Ill list some Pros and Cons, just what comes to my mind right now.


-Magnificent brush settings.
-Event history feature
-Great for drawing.


-Poor Transforming options.
-Bad filters.
-Layers can be glitchy at times.

Its very barebone, but at the same time it has a few excellent features, which make up for all the quirks.

Firstly, heres the brush dialogue. I grabbed this from the PGN website.

It has some presets from the start, (which i never use, I prefer the ones I made myself.) like water colour, Ink, Marker, etc. They show off the functionality of the brushes quite well. As a whole, it works very well. Now, Im not saying it's better than the PS Brushes, but personally I certainly prefer OC brushes, mainly because its intuitive and easy to use. It supports everything youll need for drawing.

The second main reason as to why i use OC is the Event system, which Ill talk about in a future blog entry.

Youre probably asking yourself; why would he use OpenCanvas and not Photoshop? Well, the answer is simple. I was never quite able to wrap my head around the interface of PS. I find it counter-intuitive. Brushes are complicated, and the brush interface is clunky. When I tried it, i wasnt really sure if it was glitching out on my tablet or if Im just stupid and was doing it wrong :P 

Since OpenCanvas is not suitable for regular photo-editing, I use Gimp for that. Im slowly starting to learn PS (Granted, its a much more powerful program, but i still hate that GUI, it just sends tons of bad vibes my way.). Ive been using Gimp for as long as I remember, basically its the first art-software I ever used (excluding Paint...), and it has sticked with me since the start.

And thats what software I use. Today i also downloaded Inkscape, which i had never used before, and it seems to be a very nice piece of freeware! Definitely going to check it out and try to see what it can do.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I am

With my second post, I find it appropriate to take the time to write something about myself, my art, and why i thought to make this blog in the first place.

I am a Swedish talking Finnish student. Im 17, I live in Vasa, which is on the west coast of Finland, and i go to Vasa Övningsskola Gymnasium. Ive been drawing for as long as I or any of my friends can remember. First, there were stickmen, then the stickmen were put into houses. I even remember giving special stickmen special aesthetic traits, and that was the beginning phase of my art. I still probably have those lying around somewhere.

Eventually it turned into depicting real 3-dimensional figures. I was young, and at that stage i was not very interested in this whole art thing, It was just a way to pass the time while we were at our summer cottage during the holidays. I remember the first shading i ever did was marking out the highlight areas. There were no shades of gray, just a line that went around the edges of the highlight. Then suddenly it came to me, like a revelation, that since I cannot make the highlights any lighter, as I drew on white paper, I need to make the surrounding areas darker. This was huge. How come I had never thought of this before?!

Needless to say, I was but a pup. I had really not thought of it before. And so eventually I started shading for real, and got pretty good at it. I guess you could say it turned into the winning point of my art, as I wasnt quite as experienced with drawing figure and forms, and I still think the shading is the most important part of my own drawings (In contrast to someone who draws comic-style drawings, which focus more on shapes and linework.).
Self portrait. The style is similar to that of Vector art.

So as i got better and better at drawing, I got more and more interested. I realized I have real talent, and in the 8th grade (Which was when i was around 13), I chose extra art classes in school. I actually managed to fool the school into giving me 2 extra art classes, instead of just 1, haha! Everyone was supposed to have 3 extra classes, and due to some special school arrangements for my class, we had to have one of them in another school. This meant i had 4 hours of art every week for 2 years instead of just 2. Ironically enough, I believe that most of my drawings ive ever done are to be found in old school notebooks, not in pieces ive drawn during art class. I simply loved to scribble in them while doing schoolwork, and i still do!

As my interest grew, so did my need for feedback. Started posting my art on Facebook, got lots of likes. After a while I figured I id also post in other places, so I started putting them on online forums. As I realized I cant be crowding up my friends facebook pages, and I my art was drowning on online forums, I thought Id make this little blog. Not sure how often ill be updating it, once a week atleast, I hope. Its not a blog for or about my personal life, and almost every post I make here will have something to do with art.

So please, always +1 or comment! Feedback is what keeps me going!

Friday, February 3, 2012


Hereby I make my first post. Blog name is still subject for change.

So here i will be posting everything i draw, starting off with this quick sketch. Total time ca. 45 minutes, used software called OpenCanvas. Ill explain what i think is important or might help.

Started out with lots of wide lines, sketching my way to a figure of some sort. Really had nothing in particular in mind with this , i just drew something. Used no construction lines or planning either, so i sorta got the proportions wrong which shows in the end result.

Kept putting more values in. I find the easiest way to shade is to simply start off from a darker colour/value and work your way up. In this one I felt id draw painterly, though, layering takes lots time. I.e. I picked colours directly from the painting and worked my way off that, as opposed to applying layer upon layer of slightly brighter colours.

Flipped the canvas and kept shading. Flipping it horizontally is a popular technique which can help you detect anomalies and such, and might give you an idea about how to go on about improving your piece.

Finished piece.
Reflipped it, made some final touches, and added the spotlight-ish background. Turned out pretty good, I think. Only real qualm i have with is the size of his nose and the shading around it. I tried to color it, too, but it didnt work out so i kept it greyscale.