Instant Ramen Sketchbook is the collection of my artwork. The name itself is derived from one of my favorite all-time foods as well as the analogy I often use in reference to my process. I am a digital painter and I liken the use of tablets and digital media to the preparation of ramen noodles. (This is, of course, not intended at all as a sleight against my traditional media-using peers who stand by scanners-- after all, I used them myself back in the day!)
What do you use to make this?
I own two Wacom Intuos3 tablets, though most often I use my 9x12" tablet on my primary machine (a self-built Windows 8 box). Unless otherwise noted, everything here is done from start to finish in Corel Painter.
What's your training? How did you learn how to do this?
I had been drawing off-and-on until late high school, when I became a cartoonist for the school newspaper. Though I did go to college as a studio art major (drawing/painting focus), for the most part I am self-taught. Art classes were mainly to fill in the technical gaps, but the real meat-and-potatoes aspect of my ability is pretty much a giant ball of accumulated tricks and practices I picked up over time.
I have actually had people ask me if my pieces are physical, real-world paintings that I merely photographed. Flattering, of course, but hardly reflective of the reality-- these are not canvas paintings, but done directly in a digital format.
Why Painter and not Photoshop/(other software package)?
Don't get me wrong-- I like Photoshop as much as the next guy. It's just that as a tool for digital painting, it doesn't quite cut it for the way I work. Having used Photoshop in the past (almost always in places where Painter is not available, such as my college's digital media lab), I found it much too clean, too "perfect" and it didn't quite reflect... me. I realize, of course, that one could replicate Painter's brushes in Photoshop, but by now I'm far too accustomed to Painter and how unabashed and natural it is (or at least, as much as it can be for software).
This "digital painting" stuff sounds neat. How do I get into it?
If you're a newbie (or even if you aren't), learn traditional media first-- color theory, basic design, basic drawing and painting at least. A lot of the techniques and minutiae of it actually translate very well into digital painting (the only real difference is the input method).
And then... just play. Fiddle with the subtools like you're a kid who happened to find a box full of tools and media. I can't put into words how you eventually, by virtue of sheer experimentation, figure out how to translate and apply the foundations in a digital format. On top of that, just like everything else, the process that unfolds is uniquely yours-- sure, there may be overlaps with others, but there is always SOMETHING that you do that is specific to you.
Hell, I've been doing this for years and I STILL have little lightbulb-y moments here and there.
Dude, do you take commissions? I want some of this.
Yes! It's called "Gourmet Ramen" and you'll want to look over here for details on buying some. Alternatively, I take donations over Paypal-- redeemable towards Gourmet Ramen commissions, of course.
Finally... what kind of ramen DO you like?
I am a lifelong addict of the one true noodle: chicken-flavored Top Ramen! Yummy!
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