Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

A little more than a doodle, but a doodle just the same.

A little more than a doodle, but a doodle just the same.

Finally back for another Saturday doodle and it being the day that it is the doodle fits the theme.  I limited myself to black and orange, and I’m not 100% happy with the moon, but it is what it is.  I even messed around with some layering and putting in a border.

Trick or treat!

Two Wallpapers

So, last weekend I didn’t post any doodles.  The reason for that is I went to go see a movie at the theater (and actually pay!) and then spent most of the day running around shopping.  In the previous week, my wife’s cell phone broke, and while we were discussing what we should do about it my cell phone broke.  My wife could conceivably live without her cell phone, but I rely on mine so that I’m reachable for work stuff.  We ended up at the local Best Buy, and they happened to be running a special on Palm Pre phones: $149.  Well, we already happen to be Sprint customers and both of use are out of our contracts so we get the full sign up discount.  We just couldn’t pass it up.

Love the phones.  They are fantastic, especially for me.  I’ve got it connected to my Google mail and calendar accounts as well as my work Exchange server, I can see both calendars at the same time but not sync them, so my work never knows about my personal appointments and I don’t have to clutter my personal calendar with work junk.  Sure, the Pre is a little lite on applications thus far, but eventually that will change.  Besides, while the iPhone has a million apps, most of them are crap anyways.  Yeah, that’s a real application.  But the Pre’s got the web, which gets to most things, and its got a Twitter app and a couple of movie time apps and other basics.

Anyway, this week I spent a little time messing around and making myself some wallpapers for the phone.  I mean, I’m not 17, so pictures of hot chicks, which is what 99% of wallpapers for phones are, aren’t what I’m looking for, and besides, I like making my own stuff.  Some of my experiments were complete crap, so I won’t post those, but I will post two that I am happy with.  The first is a cut version of a previous doodle, the castle and the moon:

The Castle and Moon wallpaper version

The Castle and Moon wallpaper version

After doing that one, I spent a while messing around with Gimp and various brushes.  So, while not a traditional freehand doodle, here is the best of the bunch, and the only one I felt worth sharing.

City with Symbols

City with Symbols

Clearly, I like black and white since I’ve been in more of a “sketchy” mood lately.  The whole thing was done with a city brush, a couple of mystic symbol brushes and some blood spatter and gunshots brushes.  Here it looks sort of bland, but I dig the way it looks on the phone where it takes over the screen with the icon bar overlay at the  bottom.

Anyhow, I’m sure to make some more wallpapers, and I’ll continue to share them.

A Silhouette, an Eye and a Monster Face

This morning I spent some time doodling a few things that just didn’t work out.  I wandered away for a while and decided to be less focused and just play around.  You can’t really tell, but I was messing with the blur and smudge tools to get a better feel of how they work.

A Heroic Silhouette

A Heroic Silhouette

An Eye

An Eye

A Monster Face

A Monster Face

This is how I spend my Saturday mornings…

Moon over a Castle

This morning’s doodle was my attempt at drawing in the negative.  I wanted to do an image set at night, but I didn’t want to draw in white on a black background, so I doodled with black on white and when I got the image to where I wanted it, I inverted the colors.  It came out well enough that I didn’t bother doing any touch ups after the invert.

Moon over a Castle

Moon over a Castle

Of course, my edge bleed to white works less well with this theme’s image border, but if not for that, I like the effect of the uneven edge like perhaps looking through a window in winter.

A Guy with Glasses

I’m a doodler.  At work, when I’m on the phone or thinking about programming solutions, I’ll grab a pad or a stack of post-its and a pen and doodle.  I used to do it during boring meetings, but I don’t have those anymore (one of the joys of working for a small company).  That said, I’ve had a Wacom Bamboo tablet for some time now and put it to very little use.  Having learned to make graphics using Paint Shop Pro (versions 4 thru 7, before they got bought by Corel and all the program controls changed), I’ve never been comfortable with the way that programs like Photoshop and GIMP do things, so whenever I needed a new image for my website, or even work, I’d often try to use some other program and then run back to PSP once I got frustrated.

So, in a concerted effort to learn GIMP, use my tablet, and doodle more than just randomly, I’ve decided to dedicate Saturdays at the blog to posting doodles I’ve made n GIMP with the tablet.  I’ll try to post at least one image per week, but we’ll see how that goes.  Without further ado…

A Guy with Glasses

A Guy with Glasses

As you can see, my hand with the Wacom stylus is a bit shaky.  I’m just not used to drawing with one hand while watching the screen, translating movements out of site to movements on the screen.  I suspect I’ll get better, because I do actually have quite a fair bit of hand-eye coordination.  But just like perfecting a no-look baseball catch as a kid, it’ll take some practice.

Another thing I’ll be working on as I do this is repetition.  I’ve always wanted to draw cartoons, and I’ve been told that, at least with pencil and paper, I’m not a bad artist.  The one thing I can’t do is repeat an image, or draw a similar image with slight changes.  You know, like a character from frame to frame with movement.  They always end up distorted, with different shaped heads or different proportioned bodies.  If anyone knows of exercises they’d recommend for improving drawing consistency, I’d appreciate hearing about them.

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