Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Essay & Lesson—2 Electronic sketches


A Digital Drawing.  Buy an electronic graphics tablet and pen.  (I have a Wacom.)  Buy a graphics software program.  (I have Adobe Photoshop.)  Read the instructions to open a new file window (in which you will draw) and view your tools.  Without reading further instructions, try out tools in your new file window and see what happens.  Try your mouse and your electronic pen.  Try various commands you find in your menus.  Let an image develop in your file window.  It can be abstract or representational.  It might be a mess.  That's OK.  If it's ugly, that's good!  Good or bad doesn't matter, but meaning is interesting.  What does it mean?  When did meaning come?  

For example, "Animals" was one of the first electronic sketches I made by trial and error, learning a lot with no meaning in mind.  But as the image developed it suggested a scary clash of animals.  So I brought that out.

A Digital Collage—Your Drawing plus a Found Object.  Find a flat object—e.g., a magazine page, a dish, a glove—that relates in some way to your digital drawing.  Buy a scanner or a digital camera.  Read the directions to scan your object or download a photograph of it into your computer and open it up in a file in your graphics program.  This is your collage background.  Open the file containing your digital drawing.  Find your move tool and use it to move (drag) your drawing from its file window to the file window containing your background object.  Now your drawing is a transparent layer on top of your background object.  Edit your drawing to work compositionally with your object.  What does your collage mean to you?  Give it a descriptive title. 
For example, I thought of my sketch "Animals" as an unfortunate stain—a besmirching.  So I found a commercial doily I owned and scanned it into my computer.  I opened "Animals" and dragged it onto the scanned image of my doily.  Then, with my electronic pen, I erased a lot of the grey surrounding the animals and rotated them to fit in the curve of my doily.  I named my collage "Splotch".  My digital collage was my guide for the painted and stitched version of "Splotch".