Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million

On Stippling...

So Catie asked me, "why stippling?"

Folks have this idea that stippling is painstaking, painful and tedious, but really, it's not. And it's almost magically flexible.

With crosshatching, for example, you have to KNOW how dark an area you are aiming for, which direction(s) you're going to put your hatching, and exactly where it's going to end. Otherwise, they aren't spaced evenly, they don't have a good uniform width, and they look messy. With dots, you put some down, but they aren't quite right - big deal! You can 'erase' any line simply by adding more shading in that area. You can change the boundaries of a shaded area at anytime, seamlessly, without having to go back and use white-out, or painstakingly extend careful little hatch lines. Dotting is *easy*. Too light? Add more dots. Too dark? Make the area around it darker. It's correctible, adjustable, I can add fiddly little details as I think of them, and fix things that I didn't notice were wrong.

Like on Atlantis - I had some perspective lines on the underside of that... ruin-thingy that were just *wrong*, and I didn't notice how wrong until I'd inked them in and photographed it. So I just made that area darker, and the wrong lines faded away into nothing.

I can also multi-task like a madwoman while stippling. Not anything that uses my hands, of course, but I can 'watch' TV (not rivetting TV that requires eyes, but there's not a lot of that available anyway...), and this weekend I mentally figured out a solution to a web problem, unravelled a massive fanfiction plot block, gave myself several peptalks, composed a few letters that I still need to type, and worked on the press release I want to get out by Feb. I can't do that with other kinds of inking - it requires too much concentration. Dots... they're just dots. Fill in the blanks, look for white bits and stab the pen at them. Tedious, maybe, but the progress is so real and so easy that I don't feel bored, and letting my brain wander isn't so devastating to the final product.

I think it's weird that people think I'm patient to do stippling. Getting that much detail and shading with any other method would take *more* patience and more planning (which I'm not real hot at. Larry Elmore told me to work on that, years ago, and I know I need to.).

So there you have it. That's why I stipple.

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