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Copper Knot Experiment Continues




Copper Knot WIP

There’s a painting I’ve been wanting to re-do for a while now.  I started the original because I had a lot of leftover orange paint from a previous painting.  What a terrible reason to start a painting!  Anyway, I’d been wanting to do something with a knot that I’ve been toying with for years.  (I was playing with it in 2013.)  I wanted to make the knot the star of the show rather than it being used to frame or decorate something.  I ended up with something a bit seventies; somebody even called it “funky”.

justknotpaintingEver since I finished the painting, I’ve been wanting to paint out the orange ring.  Also, I had wanted the central knot to look 3D but it never happened.  On the plus side, I like the colours in the outer stripes, they remind me of ice cream somehow.  So, what have I been up to.  Well, rather than slap some more paint over the top I thought I’d try out some ideas in Manga Studio.  Here’s pretty much the original colour scheme but with a 3D knot using my newly-acquired skills at imitating old copper.justknotorigcoloursAnd here’s where I’ve tried to limit the colour palette slightly and add some texture.

justknotsnewcoloursIt’s still looking a little too funky for my taste so I’m going to keep experimenting.  I’ll probably do a cut-down digital version composed mainly of the copper knot.

Two Bikes Two Lights

I’ve just finished making a digital version of my painting Two Bikes Two Lights.

Here is the original sketch I did years ago:

bikesketchsmallI originally did two versions in acrylic paint, one with this colour scheme:

TwoBikesTwoLights BYsmallAnd one with this colour scheme:

TwoBikesTwoLights GsmallNow that I have a digital version of the design it’s really easy to change the colour scheme.  I’ve added quite a few versions to my DeviantArt Gallery where you can download them for free, or pay to have them printed.  I’m planning to order one as a present so I will let you know what the print quality is like in a future post.

Imitation Copper

Today I’ve been trying to follow the instructions on painting copper in the “Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop”.  Here’s what I’ve managed to get so far using Manga Studio:

copperI’m happy with the top half, not so happy with the bottom part, but I’m tired now so I’m going to leave it for another day.


Just playing with layers and gradations in Manga Studio. Inspired by the view from the bathtub this morning. 🙂 skylight

Transparent Pixels

PPonyTransSmlThis is really a note-to-self that may be of interest to other Manga Studio users.  I spent hours trying to figure something out that turned out to be really, really simple.  I hope I save someone (including my forgetful self in the future) hours of hair-pulling.

The way to preserve transparent pixels (such as those around the horse on the left) when saving to an output file is to use the PNG file format.  That’s it.  No mucking about with alpha channels and other such mysterious things that come up when you search for information on the Internet.

Taking a Moment to Just Breathe

liffe is good SMALL

Pony’s Progress

As you may have seen in my last post I’ve been working on a digital version of my purple pony drawing.  I spent a long time trying to create the same kind of background I used before but I didn’t like how it was turning out.

PPonyProgress3smallI decided to try a more simple background.

PPonyJustFlowerssmallThen I decided to add some clouds.

PPonyFlwrCloudsmallThe horse is wrapped up as a present for a friend who was born in the Year of the Horse.

Eau de Colleen

I drew this piece for my blogging friend Colleen.  She’s a talented photographer with a kind heart.  She wants to visit Ireland, land of her ancestors, but she can’t because the trip could kill her.  She suffers from a condition that could creep up on any one of us.  In fact, more Americans are diagnosed with it than with diabetes.  If you want to know what it is, and how to prevent it, then you’d better check out Colleen’s blog.
I drew this piece in Manga Studio on a drawing tablet called the Cintiq Companion.  Even though it’s digital art I wanted it to look hand-drawn so I avoided using the graphics design tools like grids and rulers.  I must admit to doing plenty of cutting and pasting on the flower grid pattern, fifth up on the right, though. I really enjoyed doing this piece and I’m starting to get better at using layers in Manga Studio.

By the way, if you want to know why the piece says “Eau de Colleen” then you need to check out this post.

More Manga Studio Messing

I recently fell out with Manga Studio but not before I’d ordered “Mastering Manga Studio 5” by Liz Staley.  Thanks to this book I’m starting to forgive and forget.  To be honest, it’s probably not even Manga Studio’s fault.  I think my laptop just isn’t powerful enough to do the things I want to do.  Anyway, I’ve been playing with fonts today and turning photos into black-and-white pictures.


You might remember this picture from my post on Irish roundtowers.

The font is “Beyond Wonderland” from