Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Digital Mid-Century Modern

This is still in progress, but I might as well show it here anyway. It's one of my typical geometric abstractions, but it's done in Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, on my RCA Bizmac with all those rows of blinking lights. (It is 1956, after all. So modern!) The digital medium allows me to do things which would be time-consuming and messy in the physical world of paint, such as transparent color overlays and smooth blends. And even better, it allows me to "take back" things I don't like, at least up to a point.

The main problem with doing the geometrics in digital media is a simple one which I cannot figure out. It seems strange that this ultra-basic art move is so difficult in digital media. That is, "coloring in" a pre-existing space. This geometric style formula depends on adding color to the spaces made by intersecting lines. In the "real world" I do that with pencil or brush. In the digital world I am required to use a rather imprecise tool, an "edge-finder," to select that space before I can add color to it. There is a "fill" tool in Photoshop which will do this, but only in simple spaces and on one isolated layer. It gets complicated. Other than that, I can reproduce one of my airbrush pieces quite conveniently in a few hours, with no drips or goo or long waits for paint to dry.

What's left to do on this piece? I need to add some brighter colors. Right now it's kind of dark. The point of these geometrics is to be visible even in a dark convention showroom. I need bright color contrast to do that. So what you see now is not what you will get. But I will save this version anyway, and finish it on another copy. That's another thing you don't usually get to do with "traditional" paintings, though you do get a "state proof" with an etching or print. I'm still debating whether a digital painting saves me time and effort.

Untitled as yet art with catalog number 980D is Photoshop, equivalent of 14" x 11", May 2010.

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