It’s been a few days but I am still ‘arting’

I’ve been a little busy with a tattoo drawing, writing a novella for hopeful publication by the 15 of this month, and our group (family biker group, not art related).  I just have been so pressed to get things done that I have let this blog (and some housework, whoops) slide a little.

I’ll show what I have been working on.  I’ve been using Sketchbook Pro on the Wacom Cintiq Hybrid hooked up to my computer. Neither of these are affiliate links, I am just super pleased with their performances.

A friend of my husband’s wants a tattoo of something very specific.  I’m not going to get into exact specifics until I’m done and he’s approved the tattoo, but he’s an EMT and there is an ambulance involved.

So I took a few reference pictures from online, mixed and matched what I liked and tossed what I didn’t or extra clutter.  I drew the basics of what he wanted for myself to get an idea and got the go ahead:

Original layout.

Original layout.

Then I looked into what details I thought I could add in and tried to get more accurate spacing.

TattooforTannern_layout

The hard work came with the lines.  Working with a ruler, perspective, resizing etc.  I have to say this Wacom Cintiq Hybrid tablet is just plan out incredible.  It really frees up the artist to try for anything.

This was what I finished up with as far as just the ambulance and stretcher:

TattooforTannern_almostthere1The lights up top are not perfect.  I’ll have to fix those before I pass it on.

The damn diamond plate is my only sore spot.  Because this is for a tattoo, I had to get those perfect.  I’m not saying he’s going to find a tattoo artist that will do work that small, but who knows.  Because I wanted this perfect I *gagging* traced the damn diamond plate.  Now, I don’t care if other people trace shit, it’s just not something I want to do with artwork unless I am tracing something I drew onto a new piece of paper.  I have done it before and I don’t like that empty feeling I get.  So I detest doing it.

TattooforTannern_almostthere2

Still, that’s what I am up to now.  Sorry it’s been four days!

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Creepy Cracked Doll Head – Today’s Drawing on Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro

Oh my goodness, I had fun today once I got past my nerves with working on a somewhat new program. Sketchbook Pro (not an affiliate link, just sharing what I use!) is now a lot cooler!!  The old version was something I bought in July 2014 and was used to playing around with, but I went looking for some updates due to glitches.  That’s when I found out you had to have a subscription to get their new version.  But at $2.99 a month it isn’t bad and you can cancel anytime (I think a full year is $24, so that saves some dough, but I’m not at that point yet, we don’t really have the extra).  It’s less than my Netflix account and I was happy about that.

So I got it, watched some tutorials and went for it.

If I was being perfectly honest, past my nervousness with my Cintiq Companion Hybrid.  I’m still nervous with this Wacom powerhouse because I automatically compare everything I do to the amazing art that can be created on one of these.  I feel sometimes so undeserving of this amazing piece of equipment.

And that’s not right.  It’s like holding a canvas and thinking that you don’t deserve it because of what Rembrandt or Dali (or whatever your favorite painter is) created.  It’s like thinking you want to do a lying self portrait and saying, “No way, Abdi Farah did such an amazing job, what’s the damn point?”

Just so we’re clear, I am not comparing what I have done to these people, lol.

My stepdaughter years and years ago broke a doll that she got from the zoo.  I got one too, so I switched the faces and told her I’d fixed it.  I keep the doll head and it is:

Glued together doll head

Glued together doll head

I connected the Cintiq Hybrid to my Toshiba and loaded Sketchbook Pro.

Set up.

Set up.

I did a rough “pencil” sketch.  I used the awesome symmetry feature.  Never did that before!  It was so much fun!

"Pencil" sketch.

“Pencil” sketch.

I spent some more time working a little longer on the pencil sketch:

doll (6)

Finished with pencil sketch

I used the “ballpoint” option and penned in the solid outlines:

Ballpoint Pen Outline

Ballpoint Pen Outline

Then I just started adding the basic doll behind the cracks and creepiness.  Shading, color and highlights:

Color, shading and highlights

Color, shading and highlights

Then I started adding the personality behind the doll, the cracks:

Cracked doll face getting more details.

Cracked doll face getting more details.

Finally, I added the dirt, grime and glue that mar it’s face.  Also any little details that needed to be added.  The final piece on the Wacom:

Finalized version of the doll as seen on the Wacom.

Finalized version of the doll as seen on the Wacom.

And my final piece:

"Cracked Doll Head" by Rebecca Galardo

“Cracked Doll Head” by Rebecca Galardo

I hope you liked this sort of step by step drawing!  Feel free to leave suggestions or comments!

How I Draw on My Wacom Tablet

My Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid is amazing.  I am not much yet for hooking it up onto my computer, though I hope to soon be able to afford to purchase Corel Painter because the trial I had for a couple of days after I got the Cintiq was amazing.  I only had it for a few days because my computer died and it was months and months before we sent it into get fixed.  I can use Photoshop through it, but I just haven’t needed to.  This year I plan to get much, much more into my art 😀

I have had questions before as to how I draw on it.  So I figured while I took a little break from my writing, I’d show how I personally use it, though it differs from artist to artist.  If you’re looking for inspiration though, go to YouTube (this here is one of my favorites, even if it is an ad for the tablets).  There are so many amazing artists out there!

So here is what I do.  I had to find an image I had on both the Cintiq and the computer.  I use my monitor for the bigger view for more exact details and I use the little image on the Wacom for a smaller reference photo.  I didn’t always do this but wow, it was a great tip from another tablet artist.  I use the monitor image and the image on the Cintiq to create an initial sketch:

Initial Capture

Initial Capture

I switch to another “layer” to start a more serious outline of the subject, using the pen mode instead of the pencil (which I used to create the initial sketch.  Once I’ve got the outline, I hide the sketch. You can see the layers below.  In this image you can see the actual photograph and the sketch are both “hidden” so that I could concentrate on, I think, the drapes.  You can see they are hidden by the little X over the eyes.

All three layers.

All three layers.

I use mostly little image to fill in the big colors, and conversely the bigger image to fill in the little colors (the cat claws, eyes, etc).  This was just a quickie, so here’s what it looks like:

Fast Drawing

Fast Drawing

Nothing is perfect on it, but I wasn’t shooting for that in 20 minutes!  I just wanted to get an example out 😀  Here is a closer view:

"My Crazy Batman" by Rebecca Galardo

“My Crazy Batman” by Rebecca Galardo

Art as a Way of Expressing Intense Emotions – A Path to Healing

I’m obviously not a doctor of any sort.  I don’t write in depth on the subject of pain or intense depression with physical symptoms.  All I know is that in my life when I have felt the most depressed, worthless or helpless some form of art (be it writing, drawing, playing the guitar, painting, etc) has always, ALWAYS been a huge contributor to pull me out of that funk.  Movement (or exercise) and cleaning/organizing have contributed too.  I have never taken medication for depression (I did once have a prescription for anti-anxiety during a VERY rough patch but I didn’t end up taking all of those pills: they didn’t seem to help) but I definitely don’t imply that art is a replacement.  Speak to a doctor regarding these things.

I didn’t post anything yesterday.  While I didn’t start this blog with the intention of daily posts, I certainly wanted to post any day I had time and I did have the time yesterday.  I was just in a bad mood.

I am passionate about animals.  I always have been and I guess that passion and sensitivity isn’t going away.  I haven’t known a single other person in real life that gets so intensely involved, but through the Internet I have met a handful.

I’ve recently taken to a neighbor’s dog.  He got a dog he couldn’t handle.  Whether he got it or someone got it for him (which I believe might be the case) there was no research done into the type of dog that would be best for his family (PLEASE do a little research before you get a dog!  It takes maybe 15 to 30 minutes to look up bread types and the requirements for happy integration & now Animal Planet has an awesome BREED SELECTOR to help!!!).  She’s a very active and incredibly strong lab mix – and he’s in his 80s or 90s and is not really the active type.  I finally got the nerve up to go and talk to him about her spending time with my dogs so she’d have companionship.  She was kept in a large pen outside with nothing all day long.  He just didn’t know what to do and couldn’t physically handle her.  I wouldn’t demonize him ever, it was just a no win situation.  He said yes, happy that I was helping and asked me if I could “take the puppy out of her” so that she could be inside with him.  That warmed my heart!  It wasn’t long before my daily training/walk/playtime had become a real highlight of my day.  I imagined she’d be my running buddy once I got her to work well with leashes and that would be her daily exercise to get all that energy out.

Alas, to yesterday.  I go over and, despite my efforts to walk and train her, he’s gotten another dog, a smaller dog and it was already on its way.  He said he’ll be looking around trying to find someone to adopt her and he has a lady helping.  He told me she’d stay in her pen until they could find her a new home.  It made me sad to think this wouldn’t be her home, but it was okay.  He was getting a companion he could handle and she would find a new home.

My normal playtime routine went as usual and when I got her home the lady from the Humane Society was there to take her.  I was floored.  I thought she’d stay.  I thought I’d still have every day to help her with her behavior so that when we found a home she’d be ready.  And now she’s just being shipped off to the humane society??

I handed her over and left, already crying.  I just can’t take her with my three dogs and three cats.  One of the dogs is smaller than the cats and Ginger has never even seen a cat before!  I just can’t risk anyone getting hurt, including her.  And feeding the 12 animals I have at the moment is no small financial feat.

They have my number.  If worse comes to worse, I can foster until they find a home.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not devastated, mostly for Ginger who never did anything wrong and is now down her buddy and training partner, the only person she got attention from.

Clearly whatever pro-animal, anti-ditch-your-furry-family ads/shows/movies played in the eighties and nineties did their job well when it comes to me.

Now to the art.  I am doing the 100 Faces in 100 Days challenge.  It never said those faces have to be human.  So last night, while a live art class played in the background, I pulled up a picture I’d done of Ginger and took out my Wacom Cintiq.  I drew a light sketch to start off with.  It took about 15 minutes to get about right.

Capturing the Sketch

Capturing the Sketch

Because of the light, it’s hard to see the entire sketch.  So here it is:

Initial Sketch

Initial Sketch

Then I started adding little details, then got really into the eyes.

It's in the eyes.

It’s in the eyes.

I spent the rest of the time adding little details, doing her fur, more on the eyes and finally scribbled in color for my sleeve, jeans and background  I was up 30 minutes past my regular bedtime to finish this drawing.  2.5 hours.  I am not a fast artist at all, but I like the end result.

"Me and the Gingeroo" by Rebecca Galardo

“Me and the Gingeroo” by Rebecca Galardo

I think the eyes and tongue look the best from afar, but the overall picture isn’t bad.  It’s not perfect, something seems off proportionally, but that’s okay.

Here are some close ups:

Tongue

Tongue

Eye 1

Eye 1

Eye 2

Eye 2

While this artwork didn’t stop me from being upset at the thought of her in a kennel, it did help me feel better about the time I got to spend with her.  I know I’ll look back on this picture and remember a really happy, playful, sweet girl who just needed a better home.

My Bike and My Favorite Drawing

I currently have a secret project that I am undergoing.  It will be a gift for someone, something I hope will be very meaningful.  I’ve never done something of this magnitude.  I cannot get into too much detail here, but I can say that it will be a portrait of someone special.  So I will keep this blog updated on how I am coming along.

Speaking of meaningful gifts:

Today’s art piece is something a lot of people saw on Instagram and my personal Facebook page.  It’s of my very first motorcycle.  I haven’t even had him for a whole year just yet and I love him!  My husband bought me a Honda Shadow Spirit 750 in March of last year, just over 2 months after a bad motorcycle accident put him in the hospital for four days and has left him with a broken arm (if you’re interested and not squeamish, you can see his stitches here but if you’re not sure if you’re squeamish, don’t click) and a perpetually messed up thumb.  He’s all patched up, it’s been over a year since that accident and he rides (a different bike) every day.

I was in a bad mood that night and didn’t want to go out.  Then I didn’t want to go back outside once we reached the bar, but they were all supposedly going to see a friend’s new sissy bar on his bike but I didn’t want to because I was being a grumptard.  Finally I get up and go out and my husband immediately drops to one knee, holds out a jewelry box with a key and asks if I will ride with him.

Holy crap.

So here is a picture of my bike from that night:

My Bike.  My husband's on the right (facing the picture, left of my bike).

My Bike. My husband’s on the right (facing the picture, left of my bike).

Apparently our friend and mechanic – who bleeds on all of our bikes – rode the bike there, put the bow on for my husband and promptly stuck himself and bled on my bike.  Lol.  Good thing too, he needed to get that out of the way.

Now here is the drawing I did, on a Wacom Cintiq Tablet that my husband bought for me around the same time.

My Beautiful Guy

My Beautiful Guy

This is after some changes, obviously.  No saddle bags, a new bar bag, risers changed direction and no windshield to name those visible.  It’s not perfect but I LOVE this drawing.  I never did finish this but that’s okay.  I learned so much from it.  All the problems I can see with it are fine.  It was part of my growth as an artist.