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Submitted on
January 1, 2009
Image Size
1.7 MB


5,082 (1 today)
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Speak Visual - Nvidia Contest by ehaft Speak Visual - Nvidia Contest by ehaft
Contest Essay:

Traditional art, particularly pencil drawings, is something I was always capable of. I'm not spectacular, but I always had a knack for being able to do still life drawings. However, I never really enjoyed it. Every now and then I would get the urge to do a drawing and i'd do one, then not draw again for months, even years. It has always felt restrictive to me...always having a feeling of not being able to screw up. It's what turned me off to pencil drawing, and what made me never even give traditional painting a chance. I'm not saying traditional forms of drawing are like that for everybody, but it is for me.

Digital design is a different story. I was always fascinated by it. It's what drew me to video games (I am...or was, a huge video game buff), and eventually to web design, web graphics, and marketing materials, which is now my career.

I won't bore you with a timeline, so i'll sum this part up fast. About 4 months ago, I gave up all forms of video games and decided I would start using photoshop for fun again - something I hadn't done in many years. I made a design, I found deviantArt and posted it, and then started browsing.

I quickly realized that while I thought I was good, I really knew very little. Some of the art I saw on this site was INCREDIBLE. Digital Paintings? Let's just say the brush tool was something I thought was worthless, and basically never used.

Then began the search for any and all resources I could find. Instructional DVD's, free tutorials, speed painting videos, blogs that update daily with links to more resources - I have a list of sites that is almost overwhelming. I already owned a tablet but never really used it more than a couple of I dusted that off.

I'm now completely addicted to digital art - digital painting specifically.

Not looking at digital art in awe in the games I played and movies I watch, but creating it for myself. And what is truely addictive for me is the freedom it allows. If I mess up, I can always fix it. If something is shaped incorrectly, I can push and pull it until it looks right. I can recolor something in seconds, change day to night, erase without screwing up my paper, redo entire parts without having paint build up, and my palm doesn't smear my pencil. Everything that turned me off to traditional art is irrelevant in digital art. All the limitations I personally saw in traditional art that chained me down are gone. Designing digitally has breathed new life into my desire to create art for myself, and has allowed me to speak visually in a way that I once could only listen to. This image is my representation of my experience over the past four months.


-Photoshop, Wacom, GEForce 7950 GT
Add a Comment:
Nightmare-Insomnia Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009
It's very beautiful. I like the darkness and the face expression... Good work! Straight to my favourites! :]]
ehaft Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009
Thank you :)
JacobLarenArt Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Personally my vote would be for this piece in your category. It's the most evocative and interesting =]
ehaft Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009
Thank you :D. I can only hope...there's some other really crazy entries. I just wish the contest had come a month or two later as I feel I could have done a better job.
Dhuaine Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009
Well, that certainly explains a lot. You just can't screw up! :D
I don't know exactly what the contest is about, but this is a really powerful image (on close up). Unlike many logos incorporated into a more or less realistic painting, here it doesn't look 'off'. The feeling it gives is once again mystical and a bit foreboding... Great job. :D Good luck in the contest! :aww:
ehaft Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009
Thanks man :D
agorandy Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Very nice pic!
Shardshifter Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009
Thats quite a story you got there. And I can relate alot to it too, since I also went from simple pencil drawings to digital art. Except that I never really got that good at it; the "magic touch" and the accuracy I got with a real pencil is all lost when I work with a tablet :(
so I stick with handmade drawings that I may color iwth my tablet.
You on the other hand seem to have a real nack for digital art, this pice looks really cool, lots of little details and very realistic lightning. Gotta check out your other works too.
Shardshifter Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2009
Yeah your art is really high on contrast, which looks really good. I havent tried coloring which such contrast myself, mainly because I hardly have any pictures that arent simple character designs or illustrations. You inspiered me to try drawing something "deeper" though, sadly school leaves little time left. In fact, I should be studying right now!
Thanks for shown interesst, and keep up the good work =)
ehaft Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009
Hey I took a look at your gallery...and at least in my opinion I think the difference between some of your digital characters and your pencil drawings is the contrast you get. Something I try to do (although this depends on what style you're trying to achieve I guess) is keep darkening darks, lightening lights, making things pop, and imagining where your lightsource is coming from...getting it to a point where you could completely ditch any lineart and everything reads just as well. But starting with some pencil art is probably helpful regardless.
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