July 18th, 2011

status, with thoughts on visual processing

I'll be posting a refined version of my Shine On sketch shortly after I finish this status post. It hasn't changed dramatically from the rough version, even after all the time I spent on it, and I realized that there are actually two reasons I've been struggling with it.

The first, as mentioned in previous posts, is that I am very sensitive to changes in air pressure; in my weather induced fog, I kept second guessing myself: sharpening edges and darkening shadows only to hit cmd-Z and undo it again, trying to find the right balance of detail and softness to avoid losing the compositional focus and sense of depth that I had established. The second reason has to do with visual processing.

Those of you who have worked with Photoshop and similar tools will probably know that while it can give precise colour values for each pixel of an image and be used to manipulate them in a variety of ways, it is less good at identifying what those pixels represent. In other words, even with a top quality, high resolution photo, you can't tell it, for example, to 'select all trees'. Each new version of the program gets a little bit better at performing this sort of task, it's not always reliable, and takes a fair amount of processing power. Seeing can be a bit like that for me. My eyes can take in visual information well enough (better still if I have my glasses on :P) but I don't necessarily understand what I'm looking at. When there's a lot of detail, like in a forest, my initial perception is something like the 'scribbly foliage' I had in my first sketch, and it takes conscious effort to go from there to really seeing trees, ferns, leaves, etc. and I can only really focus on a little at a time. It should come as no surprise that what I find difficult to observe, I also find difficult to draw, so it's no wonder I have so much trouble with scenery!

In other news...I returned from my break on a Thursday, so I decided to extend the latest 'week' until yesterday. In light of the extra days, and the number of comments I've received since then (over 90!) there are two free icon winners this time. Congratulations to rix_scaedu and [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith!

This is already one of the longest status posts I've ever written, but I would like to mention that the crowdfunding community is being featured in the LJ Spotlight this week, and there are already a number of interesting new posts up there today :) I'll be participating in discussions there throughout the week, and I am writing a post about my Story Sketches project that will go up on Friday. Come discover new projects, promote your own, and ask any questions you might have!

Art from this week:
diapering dragons (cleaned up sketch)
shine on (rough sketch)
icon post updated

Tips: $30.50


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.

story sketch: shine on [update: 07-18-2011]

This sketch is based on [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's poem shine on about Shahana, the world-weary paladin, and Ari, the peasant girl who became her apprentice and travelling companion when a raid on her village left her with no better options. Shahana has found a fallen star and speaks of her goddess Gailah, weakened in an attack by priests of a rival god, but does not concede defeat, using the light of the star as a symbol of the resolute faith by which Gailah's followers will one day prevail.

cleaned up sketch:


rough sketch:

This picture is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, and may be freely used under the terms of that license with a link back to mikaspace.net Please see terms of use for details.
Creative Commons License


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Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments are welcome either here or there.