Sorry for the rant, but what is art? While the question is simple, it’s loaded with multiple answers depending on who you ask. A poet would spout some rhyming lyrics, a writer would spin a narrative to captivate the reader, or an artist will create a piece of art. My preference is to weave narratives, but a part of me yearns to produce wonderful pictures. Specifically, I want to pluck the characters running about my mind and give them new life for the world to see.

To further that goal, I’ve picked up some classes on Udemy.. While I have watched the vast majority of the videos and the core concepts make tremendous sense, my ability to draw realistic people (or objects) is still amateurish. The biggest takeaway from those courses is with the proper understanding of the rules anyone can produce quality artwork. With that said, I’m not discounting talent. There are natural artists in the world, and they’re capable of making truly amazing pieces of art. However, someone blessed with buckets of artistic skill but doesn’t put in the work will always be bested by a talentless individual who dedicates themselves to their chosen craft.

Every time the sun comes up, I’m searching for opportunities to practice. Some days, I can find those precious minutes, others the skills are pushed to the wayside. And of course, as a digital packrat, I prefer crafting my art (written word or picture) on the screen over traditionally. An organized chaos is only the first of many advantages when working digitally. Despite being a developer (and network administrator) in my day job, I’ve had no real reason to explore the features of applications like Photoshop, Krita, or Gimp. The lack of official training has never frightened me away from poking around an application to figure things out by trial and error.

Fire Swipe

The above image was one of the first random doodles I ever created. I used Krita, and even now, I couldn’t tell you how I stumbled upon the picture. But the doodling brought about something that I think is cool.

Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of time in a day. As a result, some things get the short end of the stick, and much to my dismay, my drawing falls through my fingers, though I’m hoping to change that. This past weekend, I opened my digital art application and made some doodles. These pictures serve two purposes, the first the abstract nature of them allows my creativity to spiral out in another direction, and that’s never a bad idea. And second, I’ll delve into the ins and outs of Photoshop-like applications.

Flowing Goo

The above is one doodle I whipped up over the weekend. Making it was a blast, but the real reason I created the picture was to explore a couple utilities of the program. Thankfully, every piece of art software has a ton of tools to work with (which means tones of deep tunnels to scrutinize). They also are chasing after the single gold standard, Photoshop. So even though I’m studying a specific application, the knowledge gained will travel to about 80ish percent of other applications.

After rejuvenating myself with my doodles, I’m challenging myself to make one to two doodles a week. Besides learning my chosen piece of software, I think I’ve figured out my problem. I need to build up my drawing muscles. I am pretty sure that is my biggest hurdle, though it’s possible I’m merely fooling myself. Only time will tell. Over the next few weeks, I am going to figure out where the best place for these doodles will be, but that’s a problem I’m happy to have.