Myth for Illustration Friday

jungle_md_WEB

Joseph Campbell’s books, the Power of Myth and The Hero With A Thousand Faces come to mind  from this weeks prompt from Illustration Friday.  I strongly believe we all follow the the path of the archetype hero.  We walk the stages of the myth story as described by Campbell. Whether it be the stage of leaving home to begin a quest or meeting the trickster that will divert us from our adventure, our life paths seem to be headed towards a goal. We illustrators draw these stages over and over again in hopes of helpings our viewers to get closer to their goals.

At the present I think I am at the end a conflict stage in my quest.  It’s been a year of struggles. Only now am I becoming more aware of the treasures I have gain from walking my path.

I began this piece last June when summer vacation began.  Freed from the responsibilities of teaching high school students, I had time to sit down and draw.  I started out doing the deletion technique on bristol board using ground graphite.  I attacked that sheet of bristol board. What started out as a giant scribble transformed into a jungle of vines entangling my hero; stopping him, holding him and not letting him move forward.  I think my subconscious was trying to work out my real life frustrations. I had been dealing with the death of my mother and the tasks of taking care of my 87 year old father. And like my hero, stuck and not moving forward, I had to learn to pause, breathe and just let go of trying to hold it all together. When I did, things began to settle down and I could handle things much better.

Isn’t it always that way with a tangle? You can’t fight it into order, you got to let go first.

Once the pencil drawing was done, I let it sit for a few months. Only last Friday when I learned that myth was the Illustration Friday prompt, did I look at it again. To finish it off, I scanned it into PhotoShop and with my new Wacom tablet started adding color. I’m still amazed at the fine quality of line and control the Wacom stylus gives me. I would have been fearful of trying to add color to the graphite drawing, but on the computer I stay tangle free. My quest is complete.

Myth for Illustration Friday

Another PhotoShop Edit

Final16X20webThough I’ve been working with PhotoShop for a long while, I’m still amazed with what you can do with it.  I generally use it for painting original drawings, but lately I’ve been using it to photo editing.  This time my niece-in-law ask me to update a cherished photo of her mom and dad for a Christmas gift.  The original image was so dark and dead looking, but PhotoShop brought it back to life.  That program and my Wacom tablet are just too cool with work.  So much room for creativity!Scan

Another PhotoShop Edit

Fun with Photo Editing

I’ve been having quite some fun with my new WACOM tablet.  It is making editing so much easier.  It’s like having my hands back on a brush. I knew the limitations of working with a mouse, yet I didn’t realize how much more control a tablet would actually give me.  Navigation within a document is so much easier. There’s some quirky things I’ve got to get use to.  It’ just a matter of rethinking how I do certain commands and setting up the tablet to  match the way I would use key commands.  It’ll take some time, but OH! the results I’ll get

Here I’ve used the tablet to do some photo editing. I couldn’t have done such a great job layering the textures or bringing out the details on the hair if I had to still rely on the mouse.  Now I wish I had bought a tablet sooner.

Fun with Photo Editing

Whiskers

Well,as you can see, I don’t know cat anatomy that well.  I’m more of a dog person. The prompt for Illustration Friday, though, was “whiskers.”  That makes me think more of cats.  Anyway, I just got a new digital Wacom tablet and this is the second image that I’ve painted with it.  Needless to say, I’m as happy as a cat with a ball of yarn.

Whiskers