Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I went to the hospital last week and was diagnosed with something. It's not too bad and nothing to really worry about but the doctor prescribed some pills for me to take to make things all better. So, like I was told, I took the two pills once a day with a big glass of orange juice. The only problem was the side effects from the pills made me tired and manic all at once. Oh, and they also made my skin itch and squirm.

I was happy to get better but the feelings I had while taking the dose for three days straight didn't put me in the best mood to get any work done that I didn't have a deadline for. Tired and manic all at once is never a good place to be.

So, mostly I took naps, read a book, and watched movies. I did get some client work done but that's about it.

So, now you know why I've been quiet for the past few days.

But, I am alive and all is well and things are slowly getting back to normal. Today was a really good day and I got a lot of work done and I'm (excuse the pun) itching to do more!

So, back to business as usual!

One of the things I did before I went on the daily pill dose was a little paint texture experiment I've been thinking of for some time.

I've always loved the art of Drew Struzan. I love the way he designs a movie poster, renders his figures, and uses the paint texture of the illustration board to give every piece more detail.

After watching his How-To DVD and learning he simply gessoed a board to make it look like he used big, strong paint brush strokes on certain backgrounds I had an idea.

I rummaged through the house hoping I still had some unused gesso lying around. I thought I did but, if I did, I couldn't find where I had hidden it. So, it was on to Plan B.

I grabbed a gallon of some unused house paint we have stored in one of the back closets and ripped the backing cardboard off of one of my pads of illustration paper. I figured since this was just a test why waste a good piece of illustration board when the cardboard would work just fine. And, if I screwed it all up, so what...

Using the idea for doing a paint swirl like in the Indiana Jones poster above I painted house paint on the cardboard using an old brush and moved the paint into a swirl.

The only problem with doing this was having the patience to let the house paint dry. And, of course, the cardboard buckled as the moisture from the paint left it. I tried to flatten it by putting some heavy books on it but some of the cardboard actually separated from itself and left me with an odd shape in the middle of my swirl.

When the paint was finally dry I put the whole thing onto my scanner bed and scanned the piece. What I got was a great painted swirl effect I can now put onto any digital painting I do as an overlay.

I did a test of it here on a great sunset photo my Dad took from the island I grew up on back in Maine. If you click on the thumbnail and look for it you can see the subtle painted swirl effect that makes it look like the photo is actually a painting.

So, while it's not as elegant as what the master Drew Struzan can pull of it makes for a great new effect I can put into my toolbox for future pieces. Try doing that with a simple, off the shelf, Photoshop filter!


Manu Mane said...

Nice to read you again. Please, take care of yourself ;)

Sean Tiffany said...

Glad to be back...and I'm feeling better and better each day!