Digital art – Tree vs. Clevedon

On Easter Sunday I went to Clevedon with friends.  It felt like the first sunny day of the year, and was warm enough to sit outside to eat our lunch.  Although I did leave my coat, scarf and hat on.

Walking along the sea front I saw a gorgeous tree, swept back from years of assault from the sea winds.  I thought it would make a good subject for a painting, so snapped a few pictures on my phone:

I’d just bought a Sensu brush stylus for my iPad and wanted to try it out.  I’d asked my art teacher Will for advice on how to get started with digital art, and he suggested loading in a picture as a background layer, and then paint over the top of it.

The app I use, Procreate, allows multiple layers, and also setting the transparency, so I made good use of this so I could paint each layer in turn, with transparency set on the intermediate layers so I could see the original scene.  Once finished I could delete the background photo, and change all layer transparencies back to opaque.

Here’s the result:

I’m reasonably pleased with it, although I did find it frustrating trying to learn all the different brush tools in Procreate, and not being able to get them to do what I wanted.

Also, the iPad has its pros and cons for digital art.  One the positive side it’s fun, you can use multiple layers and undo, which makes it easier to play around with different effects without committing yourself.  On the negative side, you can only draw with something finger-sized (even if it’s a brush or stylus), so for detail work you have to zoom in on the picture, but then you can’t see much of the canvas for context.