Essential Snarry Reader Interview with Acid

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Essential Snarry Reader Interview with Acid
Interviewer: Aubrem
Interviewee: Acid
Date(s): March 9, 2002
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
External Links: interview is here; reference link
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In 2002, Acid was interviewed for The Essential Snarry Reader by Aubrem. The interview, somewhat more of a tutorial, includes many links to her art.


I tend try everything I can just to see if I can use a certain technique. I do a lot of mixed media work and in digital art's case, combine several programs to draw something.

In traditional art (No need to call me Sir, Professor, Snape and Harry) I combine a lot of materials at once (anything to get the intensity and brightness of the colors I need.) Usually I end up using color paper, ink, markers, watercolors, or acrylics to define the base colors of the image and afterwards use color pencils, ink, oil pastels, and whiteout for texturing and detail. Usually the materials for base colors produce dark and saturated tones, and the materials I use for texturing and detail afterwards produce very light, almost transparent tones on top of the base.

The trick to using various media like this in one painting is to remember what has to be used last and what the certain media is good for. Lighter oil pastels over a dark base color (acrylics, ink or markers) provide nice texturing for stone walls or grass, but trying to add anything else over the layer of oil pastels is nearly impossible, nothing sticks to them but whiteout. Lighter or darker hues of color pencils over saturated marker tones can define lights and shadows of the object well, but try using pencils to define base colors and markers to color in the shadows and it'll turn out either very blurry or very messy.

When I paint digitally (Take My Hand, Morsmordre, Expecto Patronum, Silence), I usually end up curled up in a comfortable chair with the laptop and a huge digital tablet over the right armrest blocking half of my keyboard space. It's a very relaxing working atmosphere. The pen for the tablet has a mind of its own, so usually every drawing session begins with me digging through everything in the room, trying to track down where I left it last time. It's always in some obvious place I forget to check. For something that I use more often than I use actual pens or pencils, it has a way of disappearing when I need it most.

My main painting program is OpenCanvas. I have at least three versions of it installed, but usually use a free clone of OpenCanvas 2.2 which was distributed over the web as a demo by Deleter CGIllust (you can still download it from their website: CGILLust). OpenCanvas is great for the oil painting effects and can produce very bright, shiny color. Its layer modes provide a lot of control over the lighting schemes.

A lot of digital images lack texturing because it's easy to produce an area of very flat and spotless color on the computer, while simulating the irregular watercolor or bumpy canvas texture is much harder. I use another free program called Project Dogwaffle to add more textures to the final image. It is not as bulky (and not to mention as expensive) as Painter and its collection of organic brushes is really nice.

Photoshop and ImageReady are the final couple of programs that I use to adjust contrast and saturation to the completed picture and add border effects. Since the picture is almost done, most of the techniques I use at this point are similar to photo editing.

Other programs in my CG collection include ArtRage (nice brushes, needs better canvas size/zoom controls), Corel Painter (too many tools, haven't found the ones I like yet), some 3D rendering software, Bryce (landscapes), Poser (anatomy/poses reference), Flash (for vector graphics and inking outlines, if needed), Pixia (one of the free CG packages from the web), and so on.

Now, it might sound funny after this long list of software, but tools really do not matter (except maybe in the digital tablet vs. the mouse argument because the precision really does help a lot). This is coming from someone who used enlarged mode of MS Paint for pixel art for two years before switching to oekaki-like web applets and only afterwards trying out other digital painting programs.