Animals

Krita Is Kinda Awesome

The other night I was wandering aimlessly through internetland and stumbled across something called KRITA. On a whim, I downloaded it to the Surface Pro 4 tablet I was using and began experimenting with it. I was shocked with the results.

First of all, let me say I know next to nothing about KRITA… except that it’s awesome and it’s FREE! It is a digital painting program that looks, feels and functions like Photoshop… and did I mention it was absolutely free?!

I loaded up one of my little sermon note sketches and began testing the brush engine. It responded like a trooper. This is NOT just another simple little drawing app, this is a full blown digital painting program. If you know your way around Photoshop it’s pretty easy to pick up. If not, there would probably be a bit of a learning curve to it, but well worth the effort.

It worked great on a PC and it probably would work fine on a MAC (like I said, I know next to nothing about it) so if you’re looking for a good digital painting program (or a substitute for Photoshop because you can’t afford it) you might want to give this a test drive. What have you got to lose… IT’S FREE!

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Frogtographer

Summer has arrived and I’ve somehow been moved out of my nice, air conditioned studio and into the bug infested, hot outdoors to battle carpenter bees, mow the yard, trim the trees, haul mulch around, dig holes in the ground, plant stuff, seal the deck, paint the front porch, refinish rocking chairs…

…so far, not exactly the summertime of fun and leisure that I had envisioned during the winter.

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My Six Step Process

For those of you curious about the process I go through in creating digital art, I’ve boiled it down into a two minute video showing the six basic steps I go through on most jobs.

I posted the video on YouTube and you will most definitely get into trouble there if you use music on your video without having permission from the artist to do so… but I was in a really big hurry to slap this blog post out and get back to real work, so I decided NOT to go through all the legal mumbo-jumbo to acquire song rights. I threw caution to the wind, found a song in my iTunes library and plugged it into my video. It just so happens that the song was created by my youngest son, Pete, in his basement recording studio.

I hope he doesn’t find out because I’d hate to have to get all lawyered up because of this.

Fine French Cuisine

The bell rang in the diner. I sat my spatula down, wiped my greasy hands on my apron and picked up the servers ticket… it was for an order of my world famous, piping hot French Flies. I filled the order, shoved it into the kitchen window and out to my customer. Later that night when I was cleaning up, I found this one last, little French Fly laying on the counter.

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Surface Pro 4 Pen

I just spent a great week with my Oklahoma kids helping them move into a fabulous new house. I flew out last Thursday (which was my birthday) and I killed time on the flight once again with my Surface Pro 4 tablet. This happy little redheaded birthday cat magically appeared beneath my Surface Pro Pen on the plane.

I’ve had some questions about how well the pen that comes with the tablet works. Everyone has their own unique process for creating digital artwork (so there’s not really an absolute answer that can be made) but I’ve found the pen works great for the way I personally create pictures. It comes out of the box with the HB nib (which I found perfectly acceptable) but in Denver I picked up the four pen nib set ($10.00 – cheap) and switched to the 2H nib because I have grown accustom to the slick feel of working on a Wacom Cintiq. If you prefer the “drag” of a real pencil, you can step all the way down to a B pencil lead feel. I’m very happy with this product.

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My Surface Pro 4 Review

Several years ago I did a job for Mission Hockey and as part of the payment process I received a bunch of their latest hockey gear. For some reason my wife is not fond of this sort of compensation package (she seems to be a big fan of hard cold cash) but I loved it …and I’m STILL using those Mission hockey gloves!

I just finished another job that had a unique payout at the end. This time I got one of those new Surface Pro 4 Tablets. For years I’ve been looking for SOMETHING PORTABLE that I can digitally paint with and the Surface Pro 4 claims it can fill that bill… so I gave it a test drive to see.

Because I use an older version of Photoshop (CS6) I had to jump through a couple of hoops, but basically got it loaded onto the tablet with no problem. The Surface Pro 4 comes ready to use out of the box with a pen and screen sensitivity, so using the 8 megapixel camera on the device, I snapped a picture of a crumpled up sermon note that was in the trash can, opened it in Photoshop and got busy. To make a long story short, it worked great. (I write really short reviews) I can now sit in front of the tv with a full blown version of Photoshop on my lap and make goofy pictures with it. I’m really impressed…

…and oh, did I mention it’s also a pretty slick little gaming computer. It runs Steam games really well to boot.

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