Prior to my wife lovingly strong-arming me into the digital art world, I had been tentatively dipping my toes into those waters for several years. Like many, I had started out by doing traditional graphite or charcoal drawings and then scanning them and trying to color them digitally. This process was clunky for a lot of reasons, but a major road block for me had been trying to do all that Photoshop coloring and whatnot with a mouse rather than a stylus. At one point I tried to incorporate another traditional aspect one of my college professors, illustrator and teacher Bob Selby, had mentioned in order to smooth out that creative process, which was, in his case, to take his drawings and photo copy them several times. He’d then mount the paper to a heavy paper or board to paint on. Because he copied the image several times, he was free to experiment with different painting styles or color schemes. This was really the analogue, less efficient version of what Photoshop and other digital art software can do these days. Anywhat, being that one of my old hang ups (who am I kidding, it’s a current hang up, too) to adding color to drawings was always my fear of losing or screwing up the drawing. I have always been much more comfortable drawing than painting, working in black and white and greyscale than color. I gave this method a try, but with a few digital tweaks. I’d make the traditional drawing, scan and print it, mount the paper, paint it as far as my skills could get me, rescan it and add some special effects, finishing touches, tweaks, and bells and whistles in Photoshop. Quite an involved and burdensome process that took a lot of extra time, a process that with the right tools, I can now do completely digitally in less time and with better results. The only downside for me is that I don’t get as dirty (I like being covered in graphite and paint…don’t judge).
Anywho, back around 2004, after having our first son the prior year and still a year away from our second son, I was trying to spend some time in the studio (which was a challenge as a stay-at-home dad). I took a few older drawings as well as made some newer ones and gave this method a shot.