Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Scintillating Cintiq

The main theme of our lives yesterday was Kelly's first day of school, but interwoven with that was Kirk anxiously awaiting a computer order coming from UPS. He is upgrading his computer, passing his old but faster/more powerful desktop to me and in the usual trickle-down Kelly will get my current desktop with its better graphics card. For the last year I have done most of my work using my Compaq laptop and a portable tablet and drive. I got my first computer, a Mac, in 1994 (and met Kirk on AOL in 1995 using said Mac). Since then I have had at least five computers, not counting any I've used at work. I switched to PC after my 2nd Mac, a clone, made me mad enough to never go back. now as a die-hard PC user I really hate those Mac vs. PC commercials - makes me want to strangle that smug hoodie-wearing Apple guy.

Anyway, I found out around 6pm, when UPS finally came, why Kirk was so anxious - it seems there was a big surprise there for me: the coveted, wished for, drooled over, schemed for and ultimately given-up-on Cintiq 12wx. Kirk tells me that when he was ordering his new computer components that he accidentally left open a link I had sent him with a Cintiq demo and that Beebers, our Head Cat, in collusion with Itty Bitty, used auto-fill on his computer to buy it for me. As we all know cats are not as cognizant of the budget limitations in a household and should be prevented from ordering whatever they like. I recall a situation Steve Martin described when his cat ordered a bunch of cat toys and the resultant cat spit meant they could not be returned for credit. But I digress. I have a Cintiq.
I. Have. A. Cintiq.

I am in love! OMG, this thing is better than sliced bread, electric blankets and rice pudding put together. Here is my first drawing on the cintiq:


It is a sketch of Beebers using a Cintiq, which allows you to draw directly on the screen, like a real media paper pad. I opened that sketch in Illustrator and did this to it:

That was fun. Then I decided to "paint" it in PhotoShop and vectorize it in Illustrator with color, something I don't usually do:

Three very different looks...the possibilities stretching ahead are endless. No more scanning everything and then cleaning it up in the computer using a "blind" tablet (not to complain, I adore both my Intuos3 tablets). The Cintiq is going to revolutionize my workflow. Here's another sketch I quickly produced in Photoshop last night:
All of these sketches were done low resolution and very quickly, in between cooking pizza for Kelly, installing a Spongebob game on her "new" computer, and talking on the phone with my Auntie RaRa. I'm thinking it's time to start that German Shephard in Lederhosen drawing I've been meaning to do do. Kirk wants me to do a drawing of Barack Obama as Barackus Obama modeled after Mr. T on A-Team. He didn't care for the first one I did at his request (not buff enough I guess):



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