Rob Snow

Paper, Pencils and Pixels

The use of traditional drawing to a digital end.

As a long time traditionalist when it comes to art, and being born before the computer age. It has always been a passion to not only pick up a pencil, but to enjoy the woody fragrance and feel, before embarking on the process for creation. One thing that has been learnt over the years through this dedication to one of the simplest, yet most powerful of artistic tools, is that unless you set forth to master the great tool, you will fall short a great deal of times in the abilities of any form of creative tasking. As the computer age came into play and with a great aspect in creativity being turned to the powers of digital art, it has become apparent that the use of traditional and digital forms is never too often considered. One aspect I have learnt, is never move away from your roots. And even still today, I find myself sketching rough ideas, compositions and even final renders in pencil, to scan and complete in the computer environment of photoshop. Through my experience and skill development the aim of the talk and workshop is to shed a little light into the process I use to enable the traditional skills to flourish in a digital environment. The workshop will explore a method by which a quick, easy design can be created using traditional methods of sketching out design, composition and form, and then transferred into computer. Then using Photoshop and selective brushes, to create a well executed art form that will be as well made as if painted by hand. Due to the limitations of time in the workshop, the process will be best achieved following my process by which I accomplish the caricature series I have done. For the purposes of the workshop and to gauge people’s progress and creativity, it will be set that we follow the same caricature basis. The workshop will require you to have some A3 paper and at least one 3B pencil of good quality. Technical requirements will be a drawing tablet attached to your computer with the latest drivers (allowing pressure sensitive work) and Photoshop CC ideally (Photoshop CS5.5 min).


1 creative person, slightly matured
2 tablespoons aptitude
1 piece of aesthetic flavouring
6lbs hard work and sweat

4 ideas more than most salt of the earth to taste
Take a creative person and stir in some aptitude, thoroughly from the start. In time, mix in the aesthetic flavouring with the most appropriate tool at hand, and then, fold into the mix as much of the hard work and sweat that the mix can take. Sprinkle in the ideas; the more the better. And finally, as all is cooking, a pinch of ‘salt of the earth’ to give it the necessary character. Leave to cook over time and serve when required. Tasty treat in a tasteless world. Rob is a creative designer working in the fields of graphic design, illustration, web design and teaching. He works and lives in Greece, but was born in England and studied Media and Design at Degree and Masters levels. Rob loves to draw with pencil and converting the resulting images in the computer. He has been a freelance designer for 25 years and worked for small and large organisations alike. He also combines his practice of art as a University lecturer, where he teaches Creative/Lateral Thinking.

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