The other day I was asked about my process for “Giant Pacific Octopus,” a printed digital painting hanging in an exhibit. It has been in several shows over the past few years (Illustrating Nature, Santa Cruz; “A Closer Look at Wild Things,” Santa Cruz; 2011 GNSI Annual Exhibit in Olympia, WA; and this month at the Finley Center, Santa Rosa).
One day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I stood with my nose to the glass looking at the octopus’ tentacles, as it rested on the other side of the glass. I sketched. After an hour passed, she let go of the glass, (looked at me, I think) and I kept sketching. I scanned a black ink sketch, done from these studies, to form the base “layer” of my digital painting. Many hours and Photoshop layers later, using a pressure sensitive “brush” at different opacities, the octopus was finished.