Virtually an Actual Drawing


Well, this piece is the first attempt at using the Wacom Tablet to create my line. Notice the variations in line thickness! I am completely impressed with the tool, and am convinced I’ll be able to create my entire graphic novel this way. Which means quicker transitions from scene to scene. I’ll be able to go back and edit so much easier than scanning from paper. The pen control is quite effective, though it’s strange to be able to edit the equivalent of ink line. I predict that my process will change somewhat because I’m used to having to live with whatever I put down. That used to encourage a kind of forgiving approach to my drawing and helped develop a style which left the disproportions in place that were more the error of my hand than my eye. This will not be the case with the tablet, so my style will be effected unless I create drills for myself where I refuse to edit. I can smooth out and brush errors and keep tweaking the line until it’s perfect. It will take some practice to learn to allow more accidents so that the human touch is evident. 

this swimmer eluded me for a while. It was difficult to find the right emotional quality of a faceless character drawn like an instructional diagram. She didn’t want to emerge as more than that for quite a while until I played with these layered mushroom shapes behind her and added the tumbling red ellipse as a kind of heart symbol. The caption reminds me of a feeling so fragile that the image of a heart sort of tumbling along with this swimmer felt appropriate. What is nice, is that I’d forgotten this would be the caption until after I’d come up with this image. Serendipitous associations such as this help me know it’s a finished piece.

I was talking to a friend the other day who was turning me onto an illustrator she liked. it was excellent work and she said, “he’s doing something different than you, I mean, he’s making actual drawings.” She expressed the same confusion I feel around this approach of work digitally. Are they really drawings? She meant that the guy was working on paper, and I understood she was just trying to specify the format, but I find it interesting that I’ll probably never see that guys work on paper, or it’s very unlikely. However, I’ll see it virtually and probably show other people his work that way. In addition, I may never see it at the scale intended, which leaves open another strange potential with this format: optional scales, leaving more up to the viewer. On some level, working right on the screen skips a step, while it also neglects the sheer pleasure and texture of wet media, it allows me to produce more often and in more environments. I can always work up a piece if I want to and I expect I often will, but I still feel confused about this myself. I love working with wet ink on paper, there’s nothing like it, but if my work will be reproduced anyway, for many projects I might as well work directly in the digital mode.


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