Thursday, March 27, 2014

Digital Drawing: Using it as a design tool.

​I've been playing around with Sketchclub on my Ipad using it more like a giant box of crayons than a serious art making tool. When I've used a photo as a base, I feel I'm just cheating or copying.

Maybe, I'm missing the point, here. 

I love my sketchbooks.  I have several around at all times ready to catch thoughts or inspirations.  Inside my big, classic black sketch book lie ideas and designs for almost all my sculpture, masks, and ceramics.  I know the app I'm using is called Sketchclub, but I've never thought of it as a replacement or substitute for my time-honored sketchbook.  But this week, I decided to see if this new technology could give me a new way to work on designs and ideas.

I have to first, thank Terry Howard Grant's( weekly digital drawing days for encouragement, inspiration and helpful information.  Terry and her friend, June, have been exploring a wide variety of techniques and tools as well as using photographs in their drawings.  

With their ideas about using photographs as a layer in mind, I took pictures of two recent masks after they came out of bisque firing.

I imported the photo to Sketchclub as one layer.  I opened up another layer and started playing with painting a base color over the mask.  When I was happy how that looked, I opened up another layer and began to add detail colors.   I only used about three layers and kept my ideas simple but I'm sure you could add more layers to get a more painterly effect.

Here's what the masks looked like after some digital sketching and painting.  

Here's what the masks looked like after underglazing and firing them in the kiln.

Using my digital photograph saved me the step of drawing out my masks, so I could move right into color and design.  I just thought of it as play, at first, but found when I got into the studio to underglaze the masks, the digital drawings could be opened on my Ipad on my countertop for reference while I worked.  I really enjoyed having a design roadmap right there in front of me.  

Maybe, it's not about screens over sketchpads, pens over photography or play over work.

Maybe it's really about using whatever tool works in the moment to explore new ideas, sketch out color and design and find the inspiration that leads to a new piece of art.


Vicki Miller said...

I totally agree, susan. In the beginning, I was a bit iffy about using m photos as a base, but I have since decided that it is too good a design tool to be precious about it. It is really helping me get my designs worked out, and with mine, the sketching beforehand really nuts out all the problems before it happens.

Susan Gallacher-Turner said...

I have played with this one mask even more due to a problem I have to fix and I love this digital sketching.
It gives me so much freedom to try out ideas, erase, start over, save or not and by adding layers, I can play and easily take away or add. It's amazing!

Another blog is already planned to show even more experiments with this mask.

So glad you stopped by and look forward to sharing this journey with you!