Digital Stimuli

Unique challenges for painters in the very early days of Realism.
Unique challenges for painters in the very early days of Realism.

After conceiving this image in my mind, and subsequently spending all day on it, I posted an unfinished version on my facebook page and realized that it was the birthday of my all-time favorite cartoonist, Dr. Seuss. I guess I’m clearly influenced by his whimsy and I guess I share his interest in trying to create characters which no one has quite seen before. Maybe I’m just lazy and would rather make up critters, rather than learn exactly how a hoof looks in full gallop. No matter,  I can live with it. If I want realism, I defer to my camera; when I want whimsy, there’s no limits to what one can create, especially in the digital realm.

The first drawing I created with my digital pen took about  2 minutes of scribbling. Later I spent hours getting the feel and orientation of the stylus pad and coordinating my eyes with real-time results on the monitor. This new drawing has about 12 hours invested. I’m sure the time it takes to do similarly involved drawings in the future will lesson some, but I doubt by much. I find there’s no time-savings with this digital medium, except with the coloring process; with the obvious advantages of Photoshop and the limitless volume of colors,

I never run out of paint or canvas; and luckily for me, ideas. What a lovely combination with which to indulge myself.

Detail © David Wesley Vaughan

I’ll never forsake the graphite and ink of old; or drawing what I see from the window of a warm cafe’ with hot coffee and my smudged-to-all-ends journal; but this new-to-me approach to doodling or making detailed drawings entirely via this digital medium, is consuming. I might find the only worry I’ll have next time I decide to sketch in public, is not spilling my Americano on my laptop.

Appropriately resembling what now looks to me like a primordial creature still in its embryonic sack, is my first use of the digital stylus. I love drawing with all sorts of mediums, pencils and pens are a fetish of mine as I find myself scouring odd stationery stores for the perfect, smudge free device or one with the best feel. Finally, after years of avoiding the digital alternatives such as this inexpensive MTE-450A model by Bamboo, I’m a fan.