I'm not very happy with this one, but here 'tiz.
I liked the quirkiness of my first version of this painting in it's rough-hewn and incomplete state (below.) I took the head and torso of the woman from one of my freelance roughs and built around that on the fly.
I was pretending that I was working for one of the old pulps. The editors had just gotten a good story for the next issue, and they needed the cover ready today! So, I spent five or six hours painting it during the past week's minor allotment of free time. I spent a lot longer trying to come up with a design for the cover text and logo.
Never one to let a sleeping dog finish his nap, I decided to work this painting over while experimenting with an eye toward imitating some techniques I've seen in the work of other digital artists.
I'm fond of a few home-made photoshop brushes that give me a faux pastel quality, and I've been using them at work and for my recent personal projects, but I feel that I'm relying on them too much and I want to learn more.
So, recently I've noticed artists who make good use of the smearing tool, a method I have overlooked/avoided thus far. With real-world art-- analog, whatever we call it now-- I don't really care for the look of smeared art; where you take your finger, or a stump and push lead/charcoal/whatever around. As a young artists I did a lot of smearing because it was an easy way to get a cool and smooth gradation when I was drawing floating eyeballs on my folders in high school. After I passed through that stage I found that I felt better about my work when it didn't have those smeary-spots and the accompanying difference in texture from the rest of the work; and my fingers weren't so dirty all the time.
I've tried smearing stuff in photoshop in the past but I never cared for the look of it; it seems as obvious in digital art as it is in analogue. So I put that away and never even thought about using it. But now, I've learned, you can make and use brushes to smear stuff. Ah. Okay, now I see how you can use it. And the finger-painting tool is handy, too.
With this new information I created a flurry of brushes for painting and blending, and it has been a week and a half of tedious trial and error, of painting and repainting and I've gotten to the point where I'm sick of looking at this thing and I want it to end. So I'm ending it. All that work to finish something that ends up unfinished.
I came close to solving a style or two that I tried to imitate and although I didn't quite get what I wanted I think I am learning how to go about getting it. Not so great to look at but working on it has taught me a few things; now the trick is not forgetting those things before I get around to trying it again!