The tablet made all the difference. I was doing collages before but couldn't call them paintings. I use the Intuos 4 and so far have not explored the many options that it offers. Still, the desire to have the tactile physicality of a brush will always be there. I use it just for painting and not for drawing. So far, for me, there is no digital substitute for pencil and paper and I see no need for one. True, the cats will carry a pencil away in their mouths but there's little harm that can be done to them or the work. (It always baffles me, do my cats live such boring lives that EVERYTHING I do is that fascinating for them?) I make a sketch on paper and scan it into the computer.
I thought I would share what went into this latest piece:
The inspiration for Cattyland is the board game, Candyland. Being food obsessed, it was my favorite game as a child. Over the years I have seen incarnations of the board illustrated in a way that I find so inferior to the original. I am old school when it comes to cute. I just don't understand what passes for cute these days. I didn't even when I was a kid. I always loved Hugh Harmon and Rudolph Ising cartoons, and found the Muppets gross. (I know - sacrilege!) I like the way our readers were illustrated in the 1950s and I certainly prefer the version of Candyland that I played with as a child. In looking for the different boards I found this fabulous history, complete with slide show. There has been a different board each decade. Check it out:
This is the board I grew up with, so it is my favorite.
I wanted to make it for cats so each area was re-created with a cat theme. The peppermint stick forest replaced by "Catnip Fields" etc. All "lands" were done as separate illustrations. I start with a sketch and scan it into the computer.
|color gets added in layers|
Then I start painting over it using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop elements. No waiting for paint to dry, just start a new layer!
|The most important stop for feline players|
In total, there were ten illustrations combined. Although each one was flattened, it ate up lots of memory. My computer coughed and wheezed through this and in the end, the final piece was nearly 700 MB. I got to the point where I just had to stop because my computer was crying.
And all combined, it looks like this:
This and others are available as part of a line I am offering for purchase to help raise funds and awareness for animal rescue. For more info click here