For those who've been following my recent pictures, it should come as no shock that I've been spending the better part of the last two weeks learning Adobe Illustrator from Jeff Van West's Illustrator CS (HOT).
I like the HOT series a lot when it comes to learning a new piece of software, and since I haven't used Illustrator for several years, it certainly seems like I'm learning new software. The HOT series manages to do an effective job of teaching the basics while still teaching more advanced skills by the end of the book. You certainly don't finish as a master of Illustrator, but you have gone step-by-step through the creation of an impressive project.
As I started using masks in Photoshop, I realized I needed to build my skills working with the pen and it's associated tools, and there's no better place to do that then Illustrator, the place where I started learning computer art programs. Truthfully, though, I was drawn back to Illustrator CS 2 because the program upgraded their tracing program, one that was woefully inadequate until the latest upgrade.
I've never really learned to draw on the computer, though I can still sketch fairly well on paper. My strong point is probably painting, particularly watercolors because I've had the most practice and training there, though I haven't actually practiced the skills for years.
I'm not sure where this is all going, but I know that whatever I want to say is somehow tied to BOTH words and images, as I lack the skill necessary to really be effective in either. Where I may still be headed is Flash, an extraordinary tool for those proficient in it, one that, for me at least, offers a dramatic way to tie words and images together to deliver a powerful message.
As you can tell from the accompanying illustration, I'm about to take a few more baby steps in that direction.