Two of us are now drawing blogging and religious characters...
I am not one for pushing the 'blogging community' thing. I know there is one, and I have a good idea of the people who read this blog, though it clearly turns out to be far more people than I had thought. On this point, please cease commenting about Tia Douglass and associated persons - all has been said both ways and there is no more to add. I did just let a reasonable one through, but another I've stopped; so the best thing is to stop them from now on.
Via Facebook and a limited number of blogs there is a kind of inner circle of 'virtual relationships' and not all are of an overlapping religious persuasion. One that clearly is, by her own consistent writing, is Lesley Fellows. She produces so much material, daily, that the extent of the overlap is quite clear. I've spent half a lifetime 'reading between the lines' on preachers and the like saying one thing and meaning another, closer to my outlook in meaning, but Lesley doesn't leave much detective work. She still thinks I can be, well, "not quite menacing" with my comments to her material. I only wrote much of her material once, about a place where women ruled Catholic-Esoteric Churches, and this was after a request for suggestions.
Nevertheless, not quite menacing or not, there continues to be virtual contact down different wires, and one of these has been on the subject of drawing. I cartoon people, so I go for a likeness and try to suggest something additional through that effort. It was actually during a one to one text contact that Lesley ordered her graphics pad, and thus she can draw direct to the computer screen and in colour. We both use the same My Paint program - at the moment I think I smudge my colours a lot more, and the detail just goes on top. She is using it still more like a person does on a pad with a pencil or even colours on a painting. I've suggested some cheats that both assist and hold back, and also method. And now she has produced her first full drawing (of Anita). To appreciate it you have to download it from Facebook to get the finishing size. When on a blog it is best to click on the picture and then, when on its own, to Save As to the computer.
In the end the best use is to draw and let the drawing area expand outwards as it does with My Paint. The problem is that it always does, so at the final stages it keeps having to be cropped back. I do that with Irfan View and with MS Paint, using the .PNG solid background (no compression). I can even fiddle with Irfan View. One of the cheats, especially for learning a face, or when accuracy is paramount, is to use line detection on Irfan View, so it gives outlines to follow from a photograph. A lot of erasing may be needed, or smudging. The bigger the original the better, but it is difficult to keep an overall view (Irfan View does this).
It is best to get away from line detection, because going for features gets the character in a different and more sweeping pattern. I may do this with the photo occupying the left side of the screen and a section of the 'canvas' occupying the right side. Once a drawing is on its way, I use a lot of soft filling colours and smudge again and again. Detail comes back later. The use of E and erasing allows highlighting, with different qualities for each brush. Holding the pen clicker allows the picture to be moved around. It is a very intense use of the screen. Some 'nature' impersonating brushes are actually good for clothing - put them on and do a large brush (use F a few times) sweep of a smudge, and you get a quick way of adding texture. The charcoal is good for a final skin layer, including whiskers, and maybe a quick smudge for women.
Lesley added a picture made from dots (like in old newspapers) or her in the 1990s. Because it looked very different from others, I did do an edge detection for the face after softening and greying the image. But then I left it and went to a more recent photo to make sure it was 'her'. It looked from the hair and a strap that it was after swimming, so I made that assumption as I carried on drawing. The result is here, above. So far I have two virtual models I've done again and again, and that's Lesley (nineteen, before variations - where one picture has produced another with slight changes using it) and Rachel (eight).
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