Daddy Daughter Digital Drawing Time: Kid Flash!
As a family our home life and nighttime rituals tend to fluctuate pretty often. For maybe a month straight we’ll all play UNO before kiddo goes to bed, then for no reason we’ll drop it entirely and play one of our dice games for a few weeks. Kiddo and I were doing Daddy Daughter Digital Drawing Time at least once a week for months, then out of nowhere we stopped. No idea why. It certainly wasn’t on purpose.
Last night she asked me, mere moments before bedtime (which has been moved up almost 2 hours earlier in anticipation of school starting next week) if she could “draw on my monitor.” DDDDT takes about 20 minutes if we rush it, so I told her “tomorrow night for sure.” Since I’m leaving for Canada tomorrow afternoon, I had to make sure that I remembered our drawing date and didn’t disappoint her.
Tonight she decided to go back to drawing through the catalog of Tiny Titans characters and picked Kid Flash as our subject. I decided to offer her a new challenge and asked her to “pencil” (albeit digitally) before she “inked.” As you can see from the images above, she did the pencils just fine, but when it came time to ink she started paying WAY TOO MUCH attention to perfectly tracing her pencil lines which lead to extremely slow and meticulous pen movements and jagged, wavering lines. I hadn’t thought about how much of a distraction inking over pencils might be for her. I eventually turned the pencil layer off and she allowed herself to ease up on the inking quite a bit. I’m trying to teach her the benefit of fast, confident pen strokes.
I was really impressed that she “turned” the subjects head to the bit and decided to draw the previously unseen earpiece. That shows she’s thinking about the thing she’s actually drawing as opposed to cloning what she sees in the reference image. She was pretty happy with the results and I was happy for the time we spent together making art.
Daddy/ Daughter Digital Drawing Time careens into the present at breakneck speeds! This time, Kiddo decided to draw Beast Boy. I was so used to his black and purple Teen Titans costume that I had to look up his Wiki article to find out what this red and white nonsense was all about. Turns out the black and purple was from his days with the Doom Patrol (which does NOT sound like a super HERO team), and the red and white is actually his customary ensemble. This has been your Beast Boy costume trivia moment of the day.
This was our last Daddy Daughter Digital Drawing Time before I fly out to Chicago for C2E2. Our subject was Aqualad. I think his non-standard pose presented some challenges for the kiddo. She said the squiggles on his shirt were probably “because it was all wet.” She also told me the B in “By Lily” was a “Fancy B.” So Godspeed, you Fancy B’s.
Tonight’s Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time is brought to you once again by the Tiny Titans. Our subject this evening was Starfire.
After kiddo finished the outline of the head I decided to switch my Wacom Cintiq 21UX stylus to control the brush diameter with pressure sensitivity. I turned this feature off a few DDDDT’s back when it seemed to be posing some confusion for the Kiddo. This time around I think she really started to get the hang of it, especially during coloring. She was seeing the pen respond to her touch and using it to allow herself to color larger areas and get fine detail without switching brush sizes.
She colored most of the character (on a layer beneath the inks) by hand. I showed her which button in the Cintiq i had set up to call the color picker. She was getting tired of me choosing the colors for her. She wants to do EVERYTHING herself.
For the hair I showed her how to using the magic wand (marching ants) to select inside the area to be colored, then execute a preprogrammed macro of mine that expands the area by 2 px and fills with the foreground color. She thought this was a cool trick.
About halfway through she told me, “Daddy, I’m pretty much an expert at drawing.” At this rate, Kiddo, I have no doubts whatsoever.
It’s Wonder Girl! Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time brings us our 5th Tiny Titan. Kiddo said her favorite part was Wonder Girl’s magic jump rope.
Daddy Daughter Digital Drawing Time has yielded yet another Tiny Titan! This time the kiddo drew Robin.
[Photoshop CS5, Wacom Cintiq 21UX]
Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time has yielded yet another Tiny Titan. This time it’s Batgirl.
My favorite part about this process is getting to share something I love with my daughter and seeing her enthusiasm grow for it each day. She takes instruction incredibly well, but I’m working hard not to “correct” every little thing she does. I’m not trying to clone myself. I want her to make her own art mistakes and develop her own style, but I LOVE sharing tips and tricks with her that took me years if not decades to learn. I talk her through the construction of the characters using basic shapes one day and the next day she is pointing out the shapes that make up our next subject. I am teaching her how to look at something and break it apart into replicable lines. I’ve always thought the main difference in being able to draw and being able to draw well (besides practice) was knowing how to look at things properly. When you can see a thing for it’s component parts, as well as for the whole you can break it down in your mind into easily drawable chunks.
Batgirl was a particular challenge compared to the previous DDDDT subjects since the reference image she chose has Batgirl in a non-standard pose. She struggled a bit with the arms since she is used to drawing them at the sides of the body, but I was very proud of how she thought through the lines and how the intersected and overlapped with each other. By the time this kid is 10 she’s going to be able to draw like I was when I was 20. Excited proud dad is pretty exited and proud.
I’ve always felt jilted that my parents didn’t have any particular skills or interests that they could pass down to me. Or rather that they WANTED to pass down to me. My father just wasn’t interested in me at all and my mother was preoccupied with all the things people get preoccupied with. I’ve always felt that people are truly defined by their hobbies and interests. What’s the one thing you would do if you never had to worry about money again? That’s you. That’s what you have to offer. As a parent I feel like it’s my obligation and privilege to share the things I love with my daughter.
I’m sure some day her interests will diverge completely from mine. I don’t expect her to be an artist or musician. I just want her to know what I think is important. I want her to see the way in which I enjoy the things I enjoy. I want her to know what it is to love an activity, a place, a group, a shared idea, so that when she starts trying to figure out who she wants to be she will have an easier time than I did. Though, if in the end she decides she wants to make comics… I can’t say that will bother me.
Daddy/Daughter Digital Drawing Time has yielded yet another Tiny Titan. This time my kiddo (5 yrs old) tackled Speedy. She told me, “You should probably show this to all your friends because it looks pretty great.” Done and done.
If you missed her first attempt, here’s Raven.
Kiddo’s first fan art. My 5 year old daughter drew Raven from Tiny Titans. Proud dad is proud.