Digital life drawing practice

Spent 4 hours on saturday 11th October 2014 down at Leith School of Art (LSoA) drawing Michael. this was done on the Wacom Cintiq Hybrid using Artflow. What I like about artflow is that it works very smoothly with high resolution images (up to 4096 by 4096) and has some nice brush categories.

Overall really enjoyable – only downside with artflow is that I can’t record it as a video yet!

After first session (45 mins)

focus on roughing out shapes and trying to keep things nice and loose

Michael 01 1024

After second session (45 mins)

Trying to get the tonal balance closer and get a bit of detail in the face

Michael 02 1024

After third session (45 mins)

Bringing through the form and looking for warm and cool in the flesh

Michael 03 1024w

After final session (45 mins)

trying to tighten things up without becoming too detailed

Michael final 1024w


LSoA Practice

Good to be back

sat_20th_04 Sat_20th_05  sat20th_01

It is very nice to be back doing some digital life drawing down at Leith School of Art. this was the first time using a combination of the Wacom Cintiq hybrid and Corel mobile painting program. The first three images above were 15 minute sketches. the one below was a 45 minute sketch. Will hopefully be going back to this next week. for a much longer session.


Older Digital Painting – Part 4

So this set of digital painting images is a slightly different set – I was playing around with the snap-art plug in for Photoshop that I sometimes use. The idea was to get a sense of what an image might look like when painted, and to use it as part of the workflow to refine the digital image and composition first. Because you can save the settings in snap-art, you can easily go back and edit the original image in various ways and then quickly “re-paint” to see if the idea works better.









Not Digital Painting

So technically these are not #digitalPainting works in the strict sense, but more an exploration of how another digital tool can be used as part of the overall workflow. At this point I started to explore changes in format and spent a bit more time in #Photoshop first, and going back and forward:

digital painting using snap art



Next one is an intentionally erotic and provocative image – but I really like the composition, lighting and colour – I can see this making a bigger painting



Comparing “Digital Painting” with “Real” Art

So at this point, I found I had got a lot out of the experimenting, so I thought I would see how the snap art digital painting compared to a real painting:

Snap art:



Real Oil Painting 48″ by 24″


This is really interesting looking back at it. I spent quite a long time doing preliminary studies before doing the main painting to explore and find ideas. I could probably have done that in a fraction of the time using snap art in the workflow. I have drifted away from using snap art again, but looking back at these, I can see that I can make better use of it before starting another image.

Older Digital Painting – Part 3

Back to reviewing the digital painting I have done this year. This #digitalPainting was to play with texture and digital tools but also to bring a slightly surreal element with digital tools. It again plays with the concept of multiple views using mirrors, but also with multiple time elements which was interesting.

109b Josie Standing

Digital Painting of Josie standing in front of mirror


110 Digital Painting of Bees in the Garden


Not my usual figurative subject, but wanted a little bit of a change. Again playing with texture and colour. Trying to keep some interest in the darks, a theme that returns increasingly in future paintings.


111 Digital Painting of Josie sitting by mirror


Obviously didn’t get far with this one. Started with very loose textured photo clone & then recovered some detail, before starting to introduce some colour. Some nice colours emerging, but felt that this was immediately too photographic.


113 Josie Sitting – abstract

blog_113_ Digital Painting of Josie Sitting - abstract

Having fairly quickly abandoned the previous digital painting, I decided to start a similar one in a much more abstract way. It then gradually began to be refined. This is already several stages on. Again I am trying to keep the dark colours “light” and interesting, equivalent to the traditional technique of keeping dark colour very thin and translucent so that they don’t go “dead” on the painting.

blog_113_ Digital Painting of Josie Sitting - refined

I worked on this one for quite a bit longer, and looking back now, this was one of the stronger pieces from the year. I am quite pleased with the general feel – nice balance between neutrals and colours and a better sense of abstract versus realism.

Older Digital Painting – Part 2

Continuing the review of my older work digital painting work. I have been surprised already how useful this has been – reminding myself of some good work done previously as well as many lessons learnt and then forgotten.

digital painting of Josie sitting

104 Digital Painting of Josie sitting

This was an attempt to a digital painting focussing on tonal work. I wanted to simplify things a little and just play with tone and texture. In the end I think there are some nice elements of painting interacting with the texture, but I am not sure that overall it doesn’t just look very much like the texture is embossed again. Some bits were photo cloned back in, and ultimately look a bit clumsy. Too much of a different language I think.

digital painting of Josie with flower

106 Digital Painting of Josie holding flowers

A bit like the earlier flowers painting in the previous post, some of the drawing doesn’t sit well – too crisp and not a consistent language, but there are a few bits where the tools are starting to react better with the texture. I think that a consistent theme that is emerging is the balance of drawing versus texture. The stronger the texture the less detailed the drawing can be, or at least the harder it becomes to impose the drawing effectively. Also feeling that there isn’t enough abstract elements here.

digital painting of Josie standing on mirror

107 Digital Painting of Josie reflected in the mirror

This ended up being one of a number of sketches based on this pose. I really like the long format – created from multiple photos stitched together. The tools and the textures are starting to work more effectively I think.

Digital Painting of Josie sitting with flowers

108 Josie sitting with flowers

It is a bit of a cheesy theme for a #digitalPainting I will grant you, but again wanted to play with level of detail and balance of texture. I think some of the abstract work is quite nice and some of the looser painting like the little pictures in the background is quite effective. I do like my mirrors but here I don’t think the reflection of the face works.


Older Digital Painting – Part 1

I thought I would go back and review all the digital painting #digitalPainting work I have done over the last couple of years and do a little bit of introspection. Have I learned anything or made progress? Did I achieve what I was trying to do? Are there good ideas that I have subsequently lost again? All part of the learning process. Of course, your thoughts are most welcome too …

digital painting 1

Drawing 100 – A digital painting  in Comic page style

The first one, above was an attempt to think about a digital painting using traditional painting techniques, but in a comic book style. Looking back at this, although I didn’t get very far, I like the idea, and it fits with my theme that I did for an end-of-year show about telling the story of working with a model. I like some of the colours that were starting to come through – the blues and browns and pinks working nicely together. As in many of the earlier works, the texture does start to “fight” a bit with the image.

digital painting of flowers

Drawing 101 – A digital painting of flowers

Some nice colours, particularly in the greys, but feels a little disconnected between foreground and background. Drawing is too sharp in the wrong areas (e.g. dark leaf in background)

digital painting of shower

102 Digital Painting of Josie in the shower

Although she was just washing herself I liked the edgy eroticism of this one. I like some of the colours, particularly in the body, although I think the form has been lost a lot. Some of the edge work is a little too sharp in the worng places, but overall there is a better sense of the painting and the texture both existing. Funny how looking back stuff seems better than you remember 🙂

digital painting of Josie in mirror

103 – Digital Painting of Josie in the mirror

Based on the last one, I think I decided to do a bit more with the drawing (tracing) which has worked in some ways, but I think has too much sharp defined edges for what I am trying to do. Also struggling with the sense of scale between the details (e.g. fingers and toes) versus the texture scale. Also the texture looks a little more embossed and it doesn’t look like the digital tools have interacted with it at all. I do still like the theatrical two point lighting – good form reveal and makes for interesting shapes. Still a strong part of my work.

Do let me know what you think – all comments welcome.


Digital Life Drawing on iPad

3 hours of digital Life Drawing and #digitalPainting compressed  into 90 seconds. (Or maybe I just work this fast 🙂 )

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Digital Life Drawing on the iPad

Having been working on the PC recently to do more digital texture work, which is making good progress thanks to upgrading to Corel X13, I though I would go back and do a little digital life drawing on the #iPad and see whether it could still fit into the workflow or not.

So far things are looking positive

Working Method

I started with a scanned texture, but this time spent a lot more time working on creating the initial background image working purely digitally to get:

starting background image for digital life drawing iPad work

starting background image for digital life drawing iPad work

The digital tools now allow me to work with the texture digitally as well as simply painting using it:

background image for digital life drawing iPad work

background image for digital life drawing iPad work

Digital Life Drawing Results

This is the result after 3 hours work.

Digital life drawing created on iPad with PreCreate and Jot touch 4

Digital life drawing created on iPad with PreCreate and Jot touch 4

The next steps will be to work on this on the PC to bring back the texture & play around with it. The pose will be repeated this weekend, so I may well continue working on it too. I will post that later, but let me know what you think. Do you like the little videos? happy to do more …

Today’s Digital Painting of Fingers and Toes

digital painting of hands and feet

Digital Painting of Hands and Feet

For today’s digital painting I wanted to change the perspective and do a more close up image. The idea was to allow me to try and get a better blend of abstract and detail work. I think this is a little soft on the drawing (didn’t do any pre-drawing for this one, but overall, reasonably pleased with it.

I think the next step will be to start the next digital painting with a purely abstract background and build it up from there.

Do let me know what you think – I always appreciate the comments.

Cockenzie Power Station

Went for a walk down the beach yesterday and took a few shots with the new camera. Decided to have a play with a landscape image. still work in progress. The original image



Started with some abstract work:



A couple of hours work:



Not getting enough texture into it, so starting to work more heavily into the bottom part:



Let me know what you think


Drawing Courses Now Available

The Basement Picasso Basic Drawing Course and Intermediate drawing course are now available. The Intermediate drawing course includes 16 videos to go along with the PDF, all of which have been made available for free. I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to send the link on to your friends.