Udemy.com was having a sale on online courses, so I signed up for a Digital Painting course. Buying this course finally gave me the motivation necessary to figure out why I was so dissatisfied with my previous efforts at drawing on my Surface Pro 4.
It turns out that my dissatisfaction had nothing to due with my skill or my software. It turns out my problems were due to a bad driver for the pen that prevented the pressure sensitivity from working properly. Apparently, if you want to use the pen to draw you need to install the latest WinTab drivers. They are not installed by default and therefore not updated when you check for updates.
With the technical challenges behind me. I began the course. The first exercise was a painting of an eye. I followed along as the video instructor told me what to do. It was a little weird trying to draw something without a reference, but I dutifully repeated the steps described and learned some basics of tools and layers and drawing tricks along the way. I was pretty satisfied with the results. I looked at the supporting Facebook page and saw that pretty much everyone was able to produce a confidence building eye.
I was pumped to move forward and learn more. The next lessons delved into the basics of drawing, starting with the fundamentals and then moving into perspective. I am already familiar with these things, having taken basic and advanced drawing classes decades ago in high school and college.
I intend to go through all of the basic lessons as a refresher, but I really wanted to paint something else now. And so I began a self portrait. The complete image is posted at the top of this post, but I always like the behind the scenes view too, so I posted the layers of the portrait below. Overall, I was pleased with the experience. The expression is a little somber, but that is to be expected given the social distancing and the fact that I had a tooth extracted that morning.