Not long ago I talked about the Vectornator app and how I wanted to see if we’d get along OK once I began working with it. There’s good news to report: I drew some trees! And not only did I draw them but also successfully turned them into a much larger image (as a transparency) so they could be uploaded to my Redbubble shop for printing on various products – clothing, prints, cases, bags, clocks, comforters, shower curtains, etc.
This is a major step forward for me because now I can create work that’s not stuck in one size. That’s because vector images can be enlarged without losing resolution. What this means is that I can make not only new patterns and abstract images that’ll be size-adjustable but also new faces, too! YAY!!!
The image above began life as a 1024x1024px svg image. Once I finished drawing it I converted it to a 4000x4000px png to upload for the Redbubble products test. I could’ve made it larger (big enough to suit the largest allowable product image size) but didn’t need to for the test. More good news: my tipsy little trees worked great.
Today I created my first from-the-ground-up image using the Pixelmator Pro program. First, I did a simple (but colorful) digital painting. Then I started clicking on the various tools that Pixelmator Pro offers. Wow! They are numerous and powerful.
Several years ago my work was being “stolen” (ripped off, infringed upon, misappropriated, orphaned, and then sold by others) with such frequency that I nearly stopped making anything new. Then I had the “brilliant” idea of incorporating my name into the work. The image above is an early example. Can’t miss that name! But why is it there? Because I considered it an organic watermark, so fundamental to the composition that it would destroy the work if removed. I’d solved the problem!
The faces I made that way were immediate failures. “Why’s your name there? Take it out and maybe I’ll buy it!” – that was what I heard from one potential customer. “Get famous, then I’ll want to look at your name.” – another comment.
My name didn’t do well as a copyright identifier, either. “Where’s the copyright symbol? Either it’s a copyright mark or it isn’t. This way’s just stupid.” Yes, OK. Got it.
I still struggle with copyright issues but I’ve given up on this particular idea. Someday I may try to rework the images but until then they act as salient reminders of how very ridiculous some ideas can be when implemented by the wrong people. I couldn’t pull it off. The work was – simply – not strong enough.
Three days ago I downloaded a 15-day free trial of Pixelmator Pro. Because of a leg injury I can’t sit at a computer for more than a few minutes at a time, so I’ve been trying to explore (and learn how to use) Pixelmator Pro fast.
My first quickety-split discovery was how to resize an image for web use. Excellent!
The second thing I found – and figured out how to use – was a set of editing tools that included the usual curves and slides. What surprised me was the fascinating array of presets that can also be adjusted. It’s this set of tools that enabled me to make the first photo, above, from the second. Quick clicks, easy slides: big changes.
Even though Pixelmator Pro isn’t Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (which I’ve used for years) I’m loving it so far. But I need it to work well when I create digital mixed media multi-layered images, so tomorrow I’ll try to make and edit layers.
Last night I downloaded a tiny but powerful app called iPastels (see link below). It’s PASTELS! Really – it looks like pastels. I don’t know much about how pastels behave but I think that iPastels does a good job of creating the same kind of experience. There’s a free version (which is what I got) and an upgrade. If the app works on desktop, too, and if there’s a way to make larger canvases, then I may pay the $4.99 for the upgrade. Maybe, maybe.
Anyway…the weird image above is my initial test of the tools. Here’s the second test:
Haaaaa! I tried to do a little landscapey thing, with evergreen trees and a stream, but (1) I don’t especially enjoy doing landscapes and (2) no matter how hard I try to do other things, faces always show up. And then (3) I got aggravated with myself for allowing yet another face to plunk itself down in the middle of a landscape, which made me overwhelm the poor app with too many clicks and strokes too fast. It froze. No wonder! When it unfroze I started writing on the canvas, complaining about the freeze. Oooof.