The struggle…

The life of an artist; the constant balancing of normalcy and creative abnormality. A search for peace within constant flux of organized madness and disorganized bliss. To tidy up the scattered supplies strewn about your living quarters, or to stroll freely amongst the cramped creative battlegrounds we despise and prize. Who’s to say? I say yes to all of it.

Now about this whole online thing.

I’ve been around. Wait… I’ve been around the webs. Yes, and I have at times expressed my feelings on the beloved social media of this technological age. That thing which so many prize as utmost and divine. I feel…uhh…less fuzzy about it shall we say. Yet here I am.

I realize some people are quite adept at maintaining a cohesive online semblance of self. This can be quite tedious and tiresome in my honest opinion. I much prefer utilizing life and it’s creative freedoms to their fullest extents, and then repeating that again the following day…and repeating repeatedly. This however does not bode well with online representation, nor simply sharing for that matter. Which I quite like actually; sharing that is.

Anyhoo. I apologize for not sharing more.

We can all make excuses for what we wish to become better at, aspects we wish to change or improve upon. Yet in the end thats all they really are…excuses right? But not really. It’s important to remember that we are all people, all unique, with different lives, dreams and issues to tackle. Everyone needs a little support at times. Perhaps the real truth is that we can all do a little bit more to help eachother. Yes.

At this point in time you may perhaps be asking yourself, “Did I come here to read this blog post just to be lectured..ridiculed?” No. Of course you didn’t.

How about rattled, inspired, shook. Enticed even. #motivated ?

My bottom line here if there ever was one, is simple. I will try to share more of what I create. I will try harder to inspire myself and hopefully inspire others. All I would ask in return is the same. Share. Give freely and passionately that which we all crave and desire. Inspiration. Motivation. Creativity.

It can be a harsh and unforgiving place out there. We all approach it differently, handle it individually, and react to it uniquely. That is what makes it so great I suppose. People, and art.

Take care till next time!

The Joys of Live Streaming!

Hiya all, welcome back! So I’ve been wanting to add some live streaming videos to the mix on my You Tube channel. I thought it would be nice to share some work in progress such as sketches, digital paintings, etc. With the intention of hopping online and sharing a little more frequently; I was very hopeful. Little did I know all the issues I would have once I’d gone live. Arrrrgh!

The frustration began as soon as the stream started. I had opened a blank document in Photoshop, ready to create. Upon placing pen to tablet however, I immediately noticed significant pen tablet lag. I would touch the pen to surface and try to draw a line in the same fashion I always do…but the line would not immediately be drawn. A split second later the line would appear about half way into the pen stroke. This made drawing anything look as though… I was using a tightly clenched crayon while drawing with my toes. Enormously frustrating you can imagine.

I attempted decreasing the resolution of the PS document; thinking maybe smaller file size requirements would help. This didn’t seem to help at all. I had recently checked my connection speed and RAM as well. Truth is, I’m not really sure at this time if the lag I was experiencing was due to a tablet error, Photoshop virtual memory issues, network nonsense…or my PC itself!

Fact is, my PC never gives me problems otherwise really. I use Photoshop regularly without issue. I also do video post production for my channel using Adobe Premier and Affter Effects with no problems. And anyone who has worked with those softwares know they can be very demanding on RAM and PC performance in general. So what could have happened?

Perhaps some other software was hindering me. Well let’s see…I was only running a short looping audio track on Windows Media Player during the stream. Internet Explorer was the only browser I had running, and that was to control the stream. I was using Google Hangouts as the means…hmmm. Maybe there’s a better solution to live streaming that’s not so demanding on my PC.

I guess the next step would be to test the memory allocations for everything again and run some scans on my PC’s performance as a pre-emptive strike before I stream again. At the moment I will just have to stick to desktop recording via offline; if I want to share digital works in progress. Altogether quite dissapointing I will say, but I will look into the issue and report back with my ‘findings’. Lol.

So if anyone else has had any similar problems live streaming like this, leave some comments. Perhaps you streamed some drawing in Photoshop or some other software and had similar issues…or no issue. Share your experiences with using Google hangouts or just streaming your art in general. We all would like to hear!

Until next time, take care!

Just Draw! Episode 2 On You Tube Now

Hiya Everyone! So ya know that popcorn graphic I plopped in the ol “Free Assets” page the other day….here’s why I created it. My latest episode of  “JustDraw!” is finally live on You Tube. Here’s a brief synopsis:

“I attempt to pay a brief ‘illustrated’ tribute to the recently founded Studio Ponoc and their new anime masterpiece: “Mary and the Witch’s Flower”. I sketch, ink, and paint a still image inspired by the movie and you get to watch every brush stroke. (Sped up of course.)”

So you can watch the video right here if you like! :

 

I hope you enjoy, like comment and subscribe!

Thanks everyone and I’ll see ya next time!

Just a shout out…and update!

StillHiya everyone!

Just wanted to take a moment to mention a few things. First of all, I am still wrapping up the next episode of Just Draw! for the new channel on You Tube. I want to make sure I am releasing high quality videos that are informative and engaging, as well as fun to watch. (In case you missed last week’s episode, here’s a link.)  Just Draw! Episode 1 

Also, in case you haven’t heard, the next episode will be based on the theme of anime art… a topic very special to me. I’ll talk briefly about the inspiration for the illustration I create, and show a compilation of the creation process from start to finish. You’ll get to see the blank paper get all filled up with graphite, ink and paint! (Perhaps a little extra bonus at the end too.)

Secondly, a big shout out of thanks to everyone recently following me on Twitter, You Tube, Subscribing to me here… and everywhere else I share my art! I am very thankful that you all are finding value in my content and are appreciative of art as much as I am. I really do believe that sharing the creation process of art has a way of inspiring and motivating people’s inner creativity.

So again, thanks for joining me on these adventures… you’ll be hearing more from me very soon. Take care!

-RJR Design-

Flower - Watercolor, Acrylic, and Pen on Paper- WIP

Artist

 

We all share an inherent need to express and to understand. These are all common traits we struggle with independently. Often times I am amazed at how life and art mirror each other, and how difficult to understand they both can be. Within this concept exists a philosophy: that life is art…and we are the artists.

“The Artist”

Some say it is better to understand one’s self, in order to better understand others. The truth of this rests in our ability to accomplish such a feat. Art is similar in this regard, existing as expression of self that not everyone comes to grasp. True comprehension and appreciation may however be obtained through the many trials and tribulations of life, where we find our capability and capacity for understanding. Perhaps only after overcoming these obstacles as only life can introduce, can we truly begin to acknowledge who we are as people; or as artists.

If someone were to ask of your true personality, a wise reply might be; “Well that is for you to experience, and not for me to describe.” Again, art is similar. Having said this also brings another correlation: that while it may be easy to interact with others in attempts to “know” them; understanding who they are remains complex. Thus, life’s experiences add hesitation and weariness in our ability to fully understand others…or their art.

At times the doubts we hold on to can be a hindrance to our remaining open-mindedness, as well as our innate ability to share. At times this may be considered a worthy protective mechanism. Once making it past any defenses, the discovery of your inner true self will be trustworthy and pure in expression. For example, striving to help others when possible or simply doing what is right when no reward is sought; is a true insight to character.

When you pursue your goals with the greatest enthusiasm while holding on to the feeling that anything is attainable, people may think you are crazy. Yet you can disagree in a respectful manner and justify your reasoning later with positive and creative action. Meanwhile we hold closely in great confidence those who appeal to our devotions in life and to our art. It is true that many times the paths we have chosen lead us to walk alone; yet we must pursue that trail because it leads us to what we desire most. Solitude can be lonely in physical sense, yet liberating and expansive for creative expression, heart and mind.

Following the paths we have chosen speaks clearly to who we are and what we do. We are the unchanged, yet ever changing; alone, yet not lonesome. Creators of new worlds and destroyers of old, versatile in our abilities to recreate ourselves endlessly. To fulfill our ultimate desires we create wonder and enchantment through that which we love. The imaginative innovators and focused idealists, seeking realization of our dreams in efforts to adapt and learn; on this great journey of self-discovery. Our lives are art, and we are all artists.

-RJR-

 

Tattoo Concepts

Here is a short video sample uploaded to the RJR Design You Tube channel that illustrates digitally drawing concepts for tattoo art. The roughing out of the concept was done in Photoshop using simple overlay layers, masks, and of course my Wacom Tablet.

The video is very short but made more enjoyable by the great music of Kevin MacLeod over at Incompetech. Enjoy!

PaintsChainer: Testrun Two

After my initial experience with PaintsChainer, ( Autocolor Your Manga? ); I was compelled to run some more trials. This time I tried two versions of my image: the initial sketch and then a conversion to dark lines similar to inked appearance. This will be a fast moving article wasting no time displaying the results. So let’s get on with it.

I started with a pencil sketch upload to PaintsChainer.

fightsketch_rjrdesign

Immediately after upload, the colorizing process began before I even clicked the button. Perhaps elements of color are assigned according to gradients of the scan. Not quite sure.

a

After adding my color sample overlay, some bright colors were bleeding from the image…

c

I also quickly converted my sketch to line art to see the results on darker lines.fightsketch_lineart_rjrdesigne

Applying new color samples over the darker lined image, the resulting autocoloring was noticeably smoother. The color picks also stayed within their chosen zones better as well.

df

Just for fun I applied the original darkened line art as an overlay to the autocolored image. Once again we can see how the PaintsChainer tool provides interesting and useful results.

g

If you still haven’t tried out PaintsChainer then what are you waiting for?

Auto Color your Manga?

Jumping right into things; the other day I heard about the release of an interesting piece of art software called PaintsChainer. Released from manga software developer Taizan. The program was created to automatically color line art drawings by utilizing color choices set by the user. I had to try it.

First off I headed to paintschainer.preferred.tech. The interface was simple. Click the ‘Choose File’ icon, locate your line art image from your computer, and upload. Initially there was an error created stating an image size limit was exceeded. This was because I chose a high DPI scan of my drawing, so I formatted a smaller resolution image and re-uploaded without error. The image below shows a screenshot of my image uploaded onto the PaintsChainer site.

1

Next I used the application’s simple tools to paint color selections over my drawing. There are pencil/ brush tools that allow you to select the size of the brushes, also an eraser and a undo button. The colors are selected from a simple color picker pop up box. As you can see in the image below I quickly applied color samples to various areas of my image using my pen tablet. I was obviously aiming for speed whilst doing this stage. 😉

2

The next step is the most intriguing one, it’s what happens when you press the colorize button. Your image is wondrously transformed to a fully colorized output image, as you can see below. While color has been applied, it appears to have done so in a strange manner. Some of the color information has been disregarded,  or completely blended out. This is especially noticeable in the background of the image, where some patterning seems to have been applied. There also appears to be a random coloring element in the characters right eye.

Again, the color sampling step for this test was carries out extremely fast; so we cannot denounce the capability of PaintsChainer. We must acknowledge multiple positive qualities which have presented themselves here. Such as how the shading of my drawing has carried over quite nicely into the colorized result. Also notice how the hair has been colored rather well, providing areas of lights and darks which give the feel of a natural light. The overall image is softly colored and pastel in nature. Its apparent there are most likely much greater results attainable when more time is put into the color sampling phase.

paintchainer

Make sure to head over to PaintsChainer and try this out for yourself. Have fun and take care until next time.