How can mak­ing ran­dom marks on the page cre­ate art? Ed Davies, US

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q&A -


Na­dia replies

The tech­nique you de­scribe is based on tap­ping into your sub­con­scious and gen­er­at­ing ran­dom shapes and lines, but I can’t teach you how to do this. In­stead, I’ll sug­gest that you use the free pro­gram Alchemy ( http://al.chemy.org). It was de­vel­oped with Andrew Jones to give artists a new ap­proach to sketch­ing.

Start by check­ing the box next to the line and use fol­low­ing modes: Speed Shapes, Pull Shapes, X Shapes and Type Shapes. Un­der Af­fect you’ll also find mir­ror­ing tools. Play around with the Trans­parency set­ting. If you’re hav­ing trou­ble pro­duc­ing some­thing use­ful, try to keep things sim­ple. Cre­ate one ran­dom blob and try to see some­thing in it. As soon as I pro­duce an in­ter­est­ing shape I switch to Pho­to­shop and work it up.

When your prob­lem ap­pears at the ren­der­ing stage, you might have to do some stud­ies first. I like to work with the Free­hand Lasso tool and Air­brush, and for de­tails I use tex­tured brushes to give it a charm with­out mak­ing it too clean. Use Pho­to­shop lay­ers with your early Alchemy pieces, so that you can amend your art if it’s not work­ing out for you.

Move away from your ini­tial sketch, cre­ate new lay­ers and sep­a­rate out your im­ages. Pro­duce as many as you can. There are no bad ideas, just un­formed ones. There are many ap­proaches to us­ing Alchemy, so it’s well worth do­ing a lit­tle on­line re­search to see how oth­ers fare with it.

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