Writer and artist L.A. James has created Artistic Journeys: Insights from Digital Artists Around the World, a unique series of interviews with a range of digital artists, exploring their backgrounds and what makes them tick. The series will cover an artist a month through August 2020. I am honored to be the subject of this month’s interview. You can read the interview here.
Ever since releasing Emergence, I’ve been working on how to best employ it in my own art. Emergence brushes are designed to create a complex texture within each stroke. As a result, this complexity needs to be contrasted against simple shapes and line-work.
I have a long history of taking photographs of architectural elements utilizing a flat orthogonal point of view. Using such a photo as a starting point, I have been able to break the composition down into its simplified parts and fill the separate areas with Emergence brushwork. The idea is to create a balance between the source photo and its painted representation.
An interesting byproduct of this balance is an internal compositional flexibility making it easy to crop the image into further related compositions similar to a fractal.
I’m going to be printing the full image at a scale that enables the textural complexity to compete with the simplified shapes and lines.
After a couple of hiccups, Emergence 1.1 for Corel Painter is now live. Current users have been sent an update email with download instructions. If you are a current user do not receive an update email, email me and I’ll get it to you. Emergence 2020 is also now available for sale here.
This update includes a Workspace file for Painter 2020. It additionally includes a manual installation option that can be installed in Painter versions 2017-2020. This enables the ability to create and save Look files that binds both an Emergence brush and desired Paper grain into a single custom button for easy retrieval.
The manual installation option can be installed into any existing Painter workspace. Many users have asked for this capability so that Emergence can be installed into a user’s preferred workspace.
If you have Painter versions 2017 thru 2019, you must use the manual installation to replace the previous workspace file. Choose a preferred workspace and install Emergence 1.1 there. I will not be updating the 2017-19 Emergence workspaces; the manual installation is now the standard installation for older versions of Painter. I am doing this to reduce the updating process. It is simply too time-consuming to create multiple different workspace files for all versions of Painter.
There are new installation and Look management videos that demonstrate how to create your own library of Emergence brushes. Please take the time to watch and refer to these videos for customizing your installation of Emergence.
I’m pleased to announce that a Painter 20/20-compatible update for Emergence will be coming out this Friday, July 12. This update will feature the ability to install Emergence into any existing Painter Workspace, which has been the #1 user request.
Existing Emergence users will receive an email (using the email used for your purchase) with a download link for the update package. An Emergence 20/20 workspace will be included as an alternative method of installation, as well.
New purchases of Emergence will include the 20/20 update as part of the package.
Upon retirement, Brooklyn born & raised artist Mike Cetta immersed himself in photography, focusing on people and street scenes. Fast forward a few years when Mike encountered digital artist Tim Shelbourne and his school, The Artists’ Quarter. Mike says:
I knew immediately that this is what I was looking for: a way to paint using my photos as the reference images…I paint in a style that is true to how I experience the world around me.
Mike’s paintings exhibit a refined style that he has developed over the years. It’s an over-simplification to describe these works as cloned photos. Cloning techniques may act as a catalyst in Mike’s overall style, but it is merely a tool towards realizing a vision in the mind’s eye. Looking at Mike’s portfolio at his website, the last thing you’ll think of is cloning.
Mike has a particularly convincing way of relinquishing the photograph’s natural proclivity for fine detail and replacing it with simplified compositional blocks filled with painterly texture. Detail is minimized, with each stroke defining no more and no less required in support of the imagery.
Beyond the formal elements, Mike’s paintings provide an entree into real places populated by real people. The viewer can easily get caught up in the variously depicted human interactions and emotions. What Mike has accomplished is a pleasing balance between technique and subject.
Mike recently added Emergence to his painting toolbox. He finds Emergence’s textural brushstrokes fit right into to his stylistic workflow:
I used your brush at full size and with added paint no cloning....wonderful to use and it works just as well in cloning mode as it does with adding paint. I will definitely be integrating these into my workflow....you’re definitely on to something here and these feel like the most natural brushes I’ve ever used.
In the closeup detail below, you can see how Mike has utilized the random brushstrokes to apply an overall gesso’d surface to the brushwork. Additionally, by removing the curved horizontal lines normally created by lens distortion, Michael is further acknowledging the surface plane of the painting. The result is an interplay between the three-dimensionality of the subject and the flat surface of the digital canvas.
Looking to add some new spice to your digital paintings? You may be interested in Emergence, available here. If you are already using Emergence, send me a JPEG and a short description of your work and I’ll feature it here on the pixlblog.
Artist Linda Griffiths sent me this reworking of a photograph done with Emergence. The original photograph was taken by Dutch travel photographer Alfons Taekema. You can see the original photo here. Alfons’ photo is on the free photography site, Unsplash. I had not heard of Unsplash before Linda alerted me to it.
The premise is simple: Beautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.
In exchange for using the image, all the photographer asks for is credit. Once I started looking around the site, I was pleasantly lost in it for an hour. It is full of the kind of high quality photography that usually has strings attached to it. I highly recommend it if you’re in need of quality source photograph for a project.