Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fast Typing

In high school, I took a typing class. Typing wasn't considered an essential skill, unless you wanted to be a secretary, author, or maybe a news reporter. At home we had a manual typewriter. My dad could type really fast on it. He learned in the Air Force, translating Morse Code.
Most of the machines in class were manual, I liked the smack the keys made as they hammered the letters against the paper.

In art school, I didn't need typing skills be a designer or illustrator. I left the typing to typesetters. When the Macintosh came along, I was grateful for my personal typing class.

Now I can type very easily, and reasonably quickly...maybe not as fast as this guy...

a picture of a guy typing fast

Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Self-Portait

Without the glasses.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Spring 2020

Cold and rain outside. A Saturday afternoon, in the spring. The bad weather certainly helps us all with social distancing. Here is a drawing of a bird. I hope you enjoy it!

A picture of a red bird

Friday, March 27, 2020

Honest Labor

Another drawing completed in Gimp, the open source photo editing software. I started with a rapid sketch in a sketchbook. I photographed it with my iphone, saved it to a pc, opened it in Gimp, and added a lot of rough coloring.

I like it!

Drawing of a trash pick-up truck

Alternative Tools in an Open Source World

I have known about Inkscape for years, but since I have always had a functioning version of Adobe Illustrator, I haven't bothered looking into it.

Through my (many, many) years of graphic design, I have had the opportunity to use a lot of illustration software. My first copy of Adobe Illustrator was version 2. It worked sluggishly on my first Mac LC. (anybody else remember that one?) The Mac LC was the cheapest color-capable Mac available at the time, and I was cheap, so it was a perfect choice. Other software I used over the years included, Macromedia Freehand and Corel Draw. Plus I drew things in Flash.

Previously I wrote about experimenting with Gimp while I stayed at home to avoid a virus. This time I used Inkscape. I was impressed with all the features available. I started by importing a line drawing and using the autotrace to convert it to vectors. That worked great, I was off to a good start. I then used layers to organize the colors. That also worked well but I wish there was a way to open each layer and see the sub-layers, like you can in Illustrator. There are a lot of filters available. I found the controls for those confusing, but I was able to find a helpful youtube video.

All in all, it was a successful experiment. My pc was pretty sluggish, but it did the job. Here is picture of a dog. As you can see, I have helpfully labeled it as a "dog."

A drawing of a dog

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Time On My Hands, With No Driver

Turns out I have some time on my hands, so I thought I would return to making some things to share on my blog.

I have an old pc at home, that is limping along. I originally got it so I could practice coding on a system similar to what I would be using at a new job I started a few years ago. The past few years have seen the rise of open source software. With that in mind, I have avoided loading anything on this machine except open source software. One of the things I have installed is Gimp. I have opened it a few times in the past, but never really used it extensively. I am so familiar with Photoshop that using something else is frustrating. But I thought I would try out Gimp to see if I could do something similar to what I have done before.

Embrace the frustration! Collect a new experience! Be a beginner!

I started with a sketch on newsprint, using a Sharpy marker. I scanned it, opened it in Gimp and finished the drawing shown here. The "B" on the left stands for "Big fella being driven by his chauffeur." I think it looks pretty good! And it was cheap!

Big fella with a driver