I’m having some new kinds of fun, y’all. Several of you have inquired about my media and techniques in some of the more recent illustrations and images here, and it’s technology that’s getting me revved up these days. Who knew? I’m so dull-witted in electronic terms and yet here I am having a heyday with my new techie toys.
My dearest bought me a an iPad Air in January. I uploaded a handful of free drawing/art programs right away and have been playing with them all since. It’s fun to see what each offers in terms of virtual tools and media and techniques, how I can use them individually, what can be done by moving an image from one program to another in order to further manipulate it and alter its dependence on the potential of the first program in which it was developed. If that makes sense.
I am a newbie at this stuff. It’s kind of amazing to think that some of the early adopters have been at least beta testing this kind of thing for several decades already; me, I’m nearly always well behind the curve. But I’m having a great time drawing curves and any other thing I can think of at the moment as I get underway and strive to catch up a little.
Certainly one of the aspects of this techno-approach to drawing, painting or whatever one ought to call it is its wonderful malleability. I love that I can not only delete and erase marks without too much fuss and mess with my virtual erasers but also by removing entire layers. Even better is the ability to trade the order and placement of layers, so that I can begin with the top, outlined image and, like a kid with a coloring book, fill in the shapes and blanks with all sorts of color and texture, then move the layers around until I go from the upside-down or inside-out look of such operations to something that is closer to my original intent.
Best of all is that I am finding that digital media are just as serendipitous and cagey as concrete media: I’m just as unlikely to know from the beginning what the end result of my noodling and doodling is going to look like or what the final image(s) will be as I ever was when sitting down with pencil and paper. I don’t expect I’ll give up concrete media either, for that matter, because sometimes one just has to get grubby with silvery-grey graphite dust from elbow to fingertips in order to feel that Art is being made, but it sure does make it fun to gallop around this new frontier of mine with stylus in hand, too.