Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recent Works

I haven't been really doing my big Van Gogh portrait lately. I've been busy, also procrastinating, and I have to find the right way to really portray Vincent's face how I would like to.

Although, this doesn't mean that I've not been doing art. I have been doing a lot of art things lately--if you haven't noticed the new header graphic and snazzy new link-buttons! If you don't remember, or haven't been here before, the three-panel scene of the mountains were freshly installed early this morning (around 1:30 am).

This also included the buttons on my other blog, Seattle Whispers. You know, I'm just gonna put them here anyway.

I knew I wanted something to jazz up my blogs, and I decided personalized buttons is a good (relatively easy) first step. I tweaked around a bit on what I wanted them to look like, and then used GIMP [free version of Adobe Photoshop] and my Genius tablet to create them.

If enough people are interested in the steps (and ask me or show interest), I will put up a blog for the blow-by-blow and techniques I used. Show interest by commenting here or emailing. Or asking me if you know me.


For the three-panel-buttons you see above, I created a single image with black bars where I was going to crop, and then saved each cropped version as its own file. So, I had essentially my Full Image, then Crop 1, Crop 2, Crop 3. Getting them in this order, all lined up with no spaces was a little harder.

Essentially, it all came down to how I uploaded each image, tweaking the border-pixel size, and a little bit of frustration. At first I loaded them to be aligned as to the left, center, and to the right. When all three images were up, there was a lot of space. To cut a long story short (and if you're trying to do something similar like this), when uploading the images, select the alignment value "None." This allows you to stack them together like above.


My very latest art piece might be the hardest to spot: The picture on my "About Me" link. Yeah, its digital now.

Nothing too flashy or complicated on this one. I just took the JPEG image, and plugged it into Inkscape [a free vector-imaging* program] where I then essentially traced outlines** of the jacket and my face. Almost everything else was freehand and referenced instead of traced outright.

Alright, hopefully that satisfies a few peoples' appetites for at least a few days. I know it's been lacking, but I'm trying to update more often.

Happy New Year (!) if I don't write again before Thursday.

* - Vector images use different algorithms to store and show curved lines. Bitmaps (like JPEGs, etc.) use squares to show curves. Vectors use real, mathematical curves.

** - This technique is called 'rotoscoping'. Traditionally, animators would trace shapes from real-life film so they could draw movements that looked real (Like for Snow White and the original Star Wars trilogy). The technique still survives in some form today.

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