Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ninja Mountain Podcast #5 - Process talk

This week we talk process! How we do what we do when we do it. As usual, we can't stay entirely on topic so expect a lot of chat about what goes on in those feverish little brains of ours.

Get it on iTunes!

As always please feel free to let us know what you think. :)

The Notes!
Adobe Photoshop
Corel Painter
The ubiquitous Artrage


Rodney Matthews

Patrick Woodroffe
John Howe
Jim Steranko
McHugh's blog

Frazetta books on

What Jon painted instead of concentrating on the show...


Cacodaemonia said...

As always, I enjoyed the show, guys! I thought it was interesting to see where your working methods are similar as well as where they diverge.

Have any of you tried out Alchemy ( I just downloaded it a few days ago, and it's a neat tool for generating ideas. I think it might be useful for other listeners, as well. :)


ATOM said...

Excellent podcast! I was very interested to hear how you guys tackle various art pieces.And I read you on collapsing layers as you go!Its a flippin nightmare otherwise.I think everyone who uses Corel Painter, jiggles between it and Photoshop. Its really interesting to hear that I too have subconsciously adopted a lot of these little ways myself already.Its reasuring to know I'm not doing things in a crazy fashion! Maybe there's hope for me yet! Thanks again guys,

Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks Chelsea and Atom!It's always good to know what other people are up to; I think the more we learn about this stuff the more it becomes apparent that there's never a right and wrong way to do things, as long as you get to a good result! (Just talked to one artist I like a lot yesterday who told me he only uses ONE brush to color with!)

I've never tried Alchemy - I'll have to take a look.


Cacodaemonia said...

ONE brush?? Damn, that's crazy.

I'm curious to know what you guys think about Alchemy if you get the chance to use it. :)

Meredith said...

Pretty often I scan sketches and adjust them by mirroring or doing a color sketch before painting with traditional media. That way I know what my color scheme is and don't waste time guessing where I'm going while painting.

Or I scan and touch up the sketch, print it out so I can transfer the drawing.

I would enjoy digital but since I sell a lot of originals rather than illustration it isn't worth it for me.

Kat said...

Ok, haven't finished this episode yet so if you already answered this question I'm going to feel really stupid, BUT, what "brushes" do you guys prefer to use in Photoshop and at what settings? 90% opacity, 50%, wet brush, dry brush, marker brush, do you like using any of the "effects" such as pinch, liquify, gausien blur, etc?

Thanks guys for another great show. Looking forward to the next one.


Ninja Mountain said...

Meredith - thanks for commenting! You're right about digital vs. traditional in terms of saleability. If you're selling a lot of originals then real paint is probably the way to go. :)

Cacadaemonia - still haven't tried Alchemy! D'oh! And the crazy one-brush guy? VERY successful, and he makes very beautiful artwork that's critically acclaimed. Maybe the REST of us are doing it wrong...? :)


Ninja Mountain said...

Hi Kat! I think the thing is we ALL use different brushes... the trick being to find the ones that fit our particular styles the best. It takes a while! ;)

Personally, I use about 20 different brushes 95% of the time: an array of captured brush shapes with different randomized attributes. Also, I use just plain round brushes a lot. I use a round with pen pressure controlling size only, and another round with pressure controlling opacity only, and use them in different situations. (I like to keep it simple). I never turn on the Airbrush option.

When using these brushes, I control the opacity as I go with the number keys, the size with the brackets, and the softness with shift-brackets. I use my left hand for that on the keyboard and I don't even have to look down anymore...

But again, that's just me! :) Your mileage may differ.


Ninja Mountain said...

Kat - again just for me, I use a lot of filters, but only once in a while. Probably the one I use most often is Noise, and Median, and definitely Motion Blur which can be used for many things.

Liquify is good for some effects, like smoke of course. And a lot of the "Artistic" filters can be used to start a good texture.

Mostly, though, I use the filters in combination, and usually as a basis for stuff I paint on top. That way the never (well, hardly ever) scream "filter!" :)


Andrew said...

Another great podcast.

I have one question for you, which you might want to discuss.

Has the recession impacted on the Freelance Artist market do you think? and have you noticed any impact yourselves?


Ninja Mountain said...

Thanks Andrew!

Yeah, unfortunately that's a really good question. We should definitely bring it up soon. Luckily, I think we're all finding work right now, though maybe not quite as much as a year ago. We'll make sure to discuss that at some point.


Ninja Mountain said...

Chelsea - I tried Alchemy this morning and I have to say I just don't get it. That isn't how I work or think at all, and I don't want to invest the time to figure out how to adjust my thinking to it.

However, I'll bet Jon will like this! :) He loves the challenge of randomness. I'll ask the other guys if they've tried it. Thanks for suggesting it.


Cacodaemonia said...

Patrick - Yeah, I understand what you mean about the randomness of Alchemy. I don't know if it will prove useful to me, but I do enjoy the challenge of working within the limits of the program to come up with sketch ideas. I hope Jon likes it. :)

Jon said...

Hey Chelsea - I'm just trying out Alchemy right now. I'm liking it a lot. And this might sound like a negative, whereas I mean it as a postive, I'm having to work quite hard to think how I would incorporate this into my processes. Which is a good feeling for me.

Cacodaemonia said...

Cool, I'm glad you're intrigued by it, Jon. :) If you come up with anything worth showing off, drop a link somewhere, huh?

Margaret said...

I agree...there is something wrong with the color blue. There should be some kind of investigation into the problem.

Thanks for the fantastic show and for bringing up the "blue" issue. I think it deserves more discussion.

Ninja Mountain said...

I hope Jon stops by to comment on this - I love blue. It's so... big! :)

Thanks a lot for listening, Margaret!


Margaret said...

Maybe blue's "bigness" is its problem... ;-) I remember some teacher saying in some art class that purples and blues were "fugitive," "unstable," and that they just spread themselves into everything they came into contact with...pretty nasty description, if you ask me.
That statement may have affected me for life...cannot even eat blue ice cream or popsicles. Oh well.
btw... ninja is the only podcast I listen to several is really dense... in a good way.

Ninja Mountain said...

Hi Margaret!
Yes, many blues are more fugitive than optimal, and will fade over time. But a lot of them aren't too! :)

I find that blue can be interesting in that it doesn't take much to tip it over to "greenish" or "purple". Unlike green, for instance, which always looks green -- Even when it isn't, as when you put down dirty yellow against a reddish background - that looks very green! Your eye wants to see green, it seems. But with blue, the eye wants to move it towards its neighbors.

Does that make sense? Ramblings of an artist who thinks too much, maybe.

Anyway, thanks for the repeated listens! Glad you're getting a lot out of it.