A life size drawing puppet looks very concerned by its close proximity to an open fire. A woman’s offer to put more wood on the fire doesn’t help ease the fire panic.

There have been a couple of changes in the last week. The main one being some new drawing software in the form of Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro. It was very reasonably priced, but being in Australia, I was stung with the typical 40% price gouge, also known as the Australia Tax. This is an inexplicable price increase ‘because they can’.

Anyway, it’s very nice software and has many helpful tools including perspective guides. The fire place, mantelpiece and chair in accompanying Fire Panic drawing were created using this tool. The lines aren’t straight because I drew over the guides roughly. This also explains the bulge in the mantelpiece.

The main difference in the work-flow process is that there was no working with vector line-art as such. Everything is anti-aliased so I wasn’t able to employ the usual automated flatting procedure. Had I have tried that, it would have resulted with little blocks of white attached to the lines, making them appear rough.

Another handy tool is the steady stroke feature. This applies a delayed drag to to the stoke which makes it more controllable at slower drawing speeds. Think of it like dragging a small weighted object on a string through fine sand. Ok, it’s nothing like that, but it’s the best analogy I can come up with at the moment.

I found the drawing process for Fire Panic took longer than usual because of all the new tools and techniques to figure out, but hopefully it’s going to make things easier in the long term.

There really wasn’t much thought involved in this drawing (as may be evident from the finished version). Often I will sit for some time, staring at a blank page or screen in search of an idea. This time it just occurred to me. Admittedly there is a drawing puppet on my desk and it may have had some influence on the subject matter. It was kind enough to pose for this illustration but wouldn’t have done so had it have known the fire panic its likeness would be encountering.

The other change for me was the switch from Windows XP to Linux on my laptop. It’s very foreign to me, but but so far so good.

It should be noted there are no small women, fireplaces or chairs on my desk.