Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Dr Awsome says Welcome to my first entry of a blog which will be a simple diary, illustrations from my files, new pictures, whatever you find. This entry however is about a method of making pictures from nothing. Using the computer. Examples will pop up from time to time. They are quite large files at a resolution of 300dpi, please ask if would like to download anything.

What am I doing here? Well, my daughter Penny told me to open a blog, and she is a Life Coach so you do what she says. But I did want to stick my pictures before an audience wider than my 12 cats and two daughters, promote their method of production and get some feedback

If, like me, you cannot draw, but want to, or have a tendency to artist's block, try this little routine. Learn a simple drawing programme or grab a pencil or fine fibre-tip and make some abstract shapes or any kind of attempt to produce a composition without too much mental effort other than relaxing the hand and mind (Penny, are you listening?) Carry on, don't judge what you are doing, if something appears a bit like it means something try and nudge it in that direction. Stop when you think it's a good time to do so. Tip. Do this while talking on the phone, watching the TV or doing anything that keeps your mind of what a struggling artist you are. The divided attention really does subdue natural censorship which stops the inner artist following its instincts.

Next, (scan the drawing in), add colour if you want, keep on at the sketch until it is a picture. Crop what you have with the aim of getting it to look balanced and 'correct'.

That's it. I'm serious - during edits, (changes and saves)the picture tells you what it is, and you go along with it - if something seems wrong, change it. Don't ask questions. Look for balance, cut out distractions, (or put them in, whatever) slowly impose your will on the design. I know, you try to draw a tree and it looks like a shaving brush (see how old I am). This way you see something that suggests 'tree' and you 'clone' it into a forest (Photoshop is fantastic for developing these pictures) Be positive, confident, and deliberate without looking for 'meaning' or imagining criticism from others.

Probably whatever you do very quickly will be rubbish - if not, you ARE an artist, and don't need my advice. Cropping - making the picture 'fit' may be the most important single thing you do, but let the picture seem to extend outside the frame. Our brain extrapolates any image outside the frame, It can seem comfortable, uncomfortable, try and see which, and do what you decide.

We started by saying 'don't think too much what you are doing'. That's only to begin the process, like me you may not know how to make a good picture, but if you listen to your feelings at all the decision points what you produce may well be interesting.

You know what? Some people go on expensive art courses and come out so impressed by the work of geniuses whose names they remember for years that they never again pick up the brush.

I started with Microsoft 'Draw' and Adobe Photoshop three years ago when I got my first computer. These tools allow you to do things you never knew were possible. Try.

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