I've been casually attending the Julian Ashton Art School for a few years. They're a real institution in Sydney and are one of the few places you can still go to get a really good grounding in traditional drawing. I thought it would be interesting to bring my digital drawing gear in and try some painting. While it feels a little incongruous setting up your cables and keyboard in a room of oil painters I was surprised how natural it felt once I got going. Julian Ashton's is sometimes accused of being a bit stuck in the past but to their credit everyone was very supportive and only really cared about the end result as opposed to how I got there.
David Briggs' class often starts with an exhausting series of one minute poses. They're a great way to get your hand in gear and warm up. the fun thing about working digitally here was doing them all across the one canvas. Scale was tricky though. I was constantly zooming and starting the figures at the wrong scale and having to reposition on the page.
So here is the long pose I spend a couple classes on. Starting with a quick underdrawing I tried to move to painting as soon as possible. I'm so familiar with line that I find I fall back on it too much if I have the framework there. To get the tone right is apparently the trickiest thing so David suggested I work greyscale to begin. Using the below gradient I tried to match all the tones across the figure and ensure an even light. once the black and white figure was looking ok I moved on to colour by just multiplying my layer in photoshop and painting broad strokes of colour underneath. After that it was a process of building up detail and trying to nail down the right colours. I used a basic flat brush to keep my mind focused on colour. I find a nice swish brush can make you get a bit lost in the look of the strokes and lose sight of whether they are correct or not.
Working from a live model doesn't allow for the kind of reliable colour reference you might get working from a photograph but I think the end result is always livelier.
So here it is! about 4 hours work all up. It's my first try at this so I'm pretty happy with this result though it has a long way to go. The digital approach was much faster and more convenient than messing about with oil paints but one day I'm sure I'll have to bite the bullet and start painting properly.
I've got a lot to learn about colour and the traditional process of having to physically mix and create each colour seems a better way to really make the colours stick in your mind.
Alternatively I love the digital ability to pick apart the image and be a bit more adventurous without the fear of having to backtrack or start again on canvas. Anyway lots of fun and hopefully more of this to come!
P.s. I'm using Adobe Photoshop on a Wacom MobileStudio Pro