Vectober 5: Pencil

Still listening to Kobra and the Lotus’ “High Priestess” on repeat. Because it seems to be that kind of day.

This is a straight up photo trace because I didn’t wanna have to think about anything but the materials experiment. I am not entirely happy with the likeness (especially the nose, geeze)  but I spent a half hour on it and that’s enough, especially given that this particular tool was drawing a little bit offset from where I expected it to.

This “pencil” is actually a bristle brush, with some effects added:

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By applying these effects to the stroke of the path rather than the path, they’re processed after the bristle brush draws a bunch of translucent shapes based on my brush stroke. And this munging up of those shapes produces a halfway-decent procedural pencil stroke. I used it at a few different opacities and sizes but that’s basically it.

This one’s done on a lot fewer layers than normal; there’s a background layer with a few pale blurred shapes to simulate “slightly bent paper”, a layer for the signature, and the usual 5-25% hard/soft light layer with a mezzotinted rectangle for texture. All the “pencil” marks are on a single layer, because I felt it was important to simulate that part of working on paper.

Mostly this reminded me why I never use the bristle brushes. I can either hold my stylus straight up and down, or I can have the “paint” deposited a little below and to the right of where I expect it to go. It might be better if I was on a Surface (I miss the Surface, really wish I could’ve gotten it to actually work 100% with Illustrator) or a Cintiq, but I drew this standing at my desk, with the Intuos flat on it.


and here’s that selfie. Bags under my eyes and all.

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