Art it up! Open thread


So hey there readers! I know a lot of you do art, and sometimes post it in the comments, so why not an open thread where you can post it to your heart’s content.

Also I thought maybe we could talk a bit about the hardware and software and other resources/websites you all use and/or recommend for doing digital graphics and art.

Ok, I have an eensy teensy bit of an ulterior motive for that last bit. See, I would like to up my graphics game (and do some other computery art stuff too) and I thought you all might have some good recommendations. One basic thing I need is a drawing tablet. Any suggestions for decent ones that don’t cost too much?

And while I’m at it here are some other recent filter experiments of mine to accompany the kitty above.


84 replies on “Art it up! Open thread”

@dr. ej
An interesting hobby. Can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone engage with tv like that before. Then again I’ve stopped watching TV ever since I could watch tv ad free online so my perspective is a little skewed. True, we all have to acknowledge the unsavory parts of the media we love. Just from anime I can label things from inside the medium and outside the medium in terms of poor working conditions.

Speaking of tv shows, when I was looking for fan videos of Death Note relating to the new Netflix version of Death Note, I came across this.

I’m having a go at writing again, currently have a novel and two short stories in (slow) progress.


. Photoshop equivalent, but the UI isn’t the same.

Unfortunately not quite, but still good for 98% of what Photoshop does. For vector graphics, Inkscape is also FLOSS and quite good.


I’d actually read some general criticism of the show as a whole and I was curious. I’d seen some episodes, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the problematic aspects. I wanted to see how much was there. I had been watching the show without really thinking about it. TV is escapism and it can be OK to zone out for awhile, but I was curious how many problematic ideas I was absorbing because I wasn’t thinking about what I was watching.

There were many more problematic elements than I expected to find and it just made me think about how all that shit is getting into my brain because I wasn’t critically engaging with the media. I’ve spent a lot of time unlearning things that media and popular culture taught me, especially about relationships. Unfortunately, a lot of those harmful ideas were learned passively. Like I said, it’s fine to zone out sometimes, but we need to acknowledge and examine problematic elements if we want to change (both as individuals and as a culture). If I don’t continue to recognize and acknowledge these as serious issues, I could fall back into that old mindset and I definitely don’t want to do that.

Okay, post didn’t seem to work last time, lemme try this again:

This is the pre-production shots of what will be my own custom machine once I’m done with it. I suppose this counts more as crafts than art, but it will look purty once I’m done with it.

Well, I went ahead and ordered an Intuos tablet!

Other thoughts:

I’ve tried GIMP and found it a bit frustrating; I couldn’t figure out how to do a lot of stuff I wanted to do, and ended up using it only intermittently, and mainly for some of the specific effects provided by assorted plugins. I used PaintNet for awhile, now use a mix of online image manipulation/filtering tools plus Corel Paintship Pro, which is handy for a lot of stuff but missing some features I’d like. I used to use photoshop elements but the last time I looked into that there were a lot of complaints about weird glitches with the download version of the latest edition (I have no cd drive).

I definitely will try inkscape; I’ve been playing around with a few pretty stripped-down vector programs as well.

Has anyone tried art rage lite? It comes with the tablet.

I just drew a thing for a May Day flyer. I’m too tired to​ upload it right now.

I post my art on Instagram, @space_moggy.

@dlouwe, you have a really great voice. I don’t know that song at all and you made me like it 🙂

@LindsayIrene, I love the short stories. Disturbing and clever (and how I love the Victorian library …!)

@dr. ej, yes I fucking LOATHE the ignoring-boundaries-is-soooo-romantic trope and it’s practically everywhere. And it is a horrible message to drip into anybody’s mind. This is probably part of the reason I hardly ever relax-watch anything but detective/cop shows (which dog knows have got their own problems). Here’s a rec, though – Vera. Vera is a british cop show in which the eponymous protagonist is a roughly 60-year-old senior detective leading her own team of various other detectives, and she is great. There are very few (in fact there are essentially no) explosions, car-chases or shoot-outs – or titillating female corpses (no glamourising of victims at all, really) – and there are considerable numbers of people being people.
I hate Big Bang Theory, and yes I’ll cop to watching it when somebody (::glares at somebody::) puts it on. Sometimes funny, sure, and also classist, sexist and imo deeply nasty.
Sorry for the derail. Hey, I wrote a silly shaggy-dog story which is pretty short – 380 words – sorry I can’t link to it, but I could post it right here if that’s ok and if anyone likes?

I want to get into Blender, initially for 3D modelling, and later for animation. The learning curve is really tough! Fortunately, there are a lot of good Blender video tutorials available, but I seem to be at the point where I’m addicted to watching the tutorials, without actually producing anything…

Does nail art count? I dabble in that sometimes. I have a nasty nail polish addiction.

15 or so years ago, I was the PowerPoint queen at my workplace. In other words, the lowest-ranking employee – me – got stuck with translating everyone else’s presentations into PowerPoint.

I use an Intuos tablet for photo-editing and sometimes my own art, and it is very good. At first I was nervous because I would not actually be drawing on the screen but that turned out to be no problem at all.

Other programs I use: Photofiltre (free), for effects such as changing the hue a little or sepia-ising.

Good old Microsoft Paint, for cropping.

IconLover, for icons and cursors… and also cut-and-paste, at which it is better than Adobe Photoshop although slow for large objects, as it is designed for small ones.

Adobe Photoshop, very rarely.

Since this is an open thread (and probably soon to be buried under other threads):

As of several days ago the clinic in Montreal finally processed all of my paperwork and I’m currently slogging through time as I wait for an actual surgery date. (After which I’ll be slogging through more time as I wait for the actual surgery.)

Everyone’s art is amazing and I’m really enjoying this thread! There are so many talented Mammothers!!

I’m another crafter; knit, crochet, and jewelry making mainly. I’d like to get into sewing since I have a lot of fabric (from working at a fabric/craft store for ten years) but not a lot of skillz. I’ve been watching YT channels to get tips and inspiration. I’ve got some furniture I want to work on, too.

My main roadblock is the mess that is my house. I have too much stuff, Husbeast has too much stuff, I still have a lot of stuff from my dad’s house, we also have a non-negligible amount of Husbeast’s mother’s stuff as well. So, I have to move stuff whenever I want to do something other than needlecrafts. On a good day, I can get my kitchen in respectable shape and the laundry done.

Any one else use Daz Studio ? I ‘m a very casual user and not very good but I have posted a few of my renders online if any one is interested . and would like to see the works of other DAZ users as well.

@Brony, Social Justice Cenobite
Stories count as art. And if we’re extrapolating you could make the argument that long form posts about any subject counts as writing which in turn is an art.

How does one insert images into the comments here?

I also do music: some lo-fi covers at and I have some original music on Bandcamp as A Montreal Paul and the Socialistic Scientist Conspiracy.

Both my SoundCloud and Bandcamp page contain some of my visual art too,. so that’s a bonus.

I am very interested to read about the programs you are using. I use Pixlr and Picsart on my phone. The problem with the latter in particular is that you can get some cool effects but end up with an image that’s low resolution, so not recommended for professional or commercial images.

Shit does NOT work for me on my phone. SO goddamned frustrating!

Not a story, it’s an update on my project to make a tool for analyzing emotion in text. It touches on art where I get into what feeling is and how feelings connected to objects can changed and manipulated. It’s pretty relavent to what I’m doing (using [ ], { },(and angle brackets, they dissappear in the comment box), ** around parts of text to emphasize pieces of emotion and feeling of emotion). It’s a necessary first step to showing where conflicts in comments resemble meat space conflicts both physical and social.

I tend to see art in very broad terms that intersects with symbolism in general, and includes all sensory systems (imagine detecting Morse code through your gravity sensing systems).

I’ve seen writing sites that use algorithms to detect mood and tone in text, it’d be interesting to see your take on it from a sociological standpoint.

@Dave So I won’t suggest Gimp for you, then. 🙂 (I hear you about the problems figuring it out, though.)

Right now I’m painting a banner for one of the sponsors of our medieval group. It’s a local hot springs place so they submitted a fox (his wife) and a bear (the owner) relaxing in a cauldron with the company name in vaguely medieval lettering and part of the actual logo turned on its side to represent steam. 🙂

Edit: well, the pics aren’t showing up. *^&%* Facebook….

I realise I’m a bit late to the party but I have advanced a whole bunch technique-wise in the last few months so I wanna share!

so I finished this like five minutes ago and it’s just me playing with light and composition but I like it dagnabbit

but mostly I’ve been doing traditional art because of the nature of my Masters work so here’s a gif of that

Personally I’ve never really felt Photoshop can be beat for me, just for versatility, but I’m of the opinion that renting a program for $120 a year can straight up bite me when I’m in a tenuous financial position and need access to Photoshop to make money, so I’m very attached to my second-hand copy of CS6

Also I love my Wacom Bamboo. I have an A5 one and it’s super portable and so far I’ve managed not to break it for five years, which is pretty solid given how much travelling I do with it.

Finally, I can comment again! Due to the epic levels of WTFery posted on here lately and the recent volatile state of my hormones, I didn’t trust myself to comment without going afoul of the comments policy, so I hung back for a while.

Re: art-I can draw exactly two things, Bender from Futurama and the Pigeon from Mo Willems’ picture books; otherwise I could use a ruler and still draw a crooked line. I also don’t know much about tech. Thus, I will give absolutely zero helpful artistic advice and be treating this as I would any other open thread.

We’re currently looking for new furniture. Last week we were all in a furniture store looking at couches, but my dad started rambling and I got distracted and sat in a bucket chair (something like this: across the aisle.
Dad said “That makes you look like you’re in the bucket seat of a race car!” and I stood up, not wanting to look like a NASCAR driver. I have nothing against NASCAR-it’s just not my bag, and I didn’t think the chair looked NASCAR-ish at all.
I said “I don’t want to look like a NASCAR driver when all I did was sit down!” Not logical, but again, my hormones were in flux.
Dad’s response: “You don’t get to be picky because you’re wearing a Green Day t-shirt, and that’s not music.”
WTF?! How does his not liking certain music (in this case, Green Day) invalidate it as music, and how does my musical taste have anything to do with my ability to pick furniture? I had no clue how to even start with that one, so I huffed, gave him a lost look, and went to the back of the store near the mattresses, shortly followed by my mom.

about programs: I have used Gimp 2.6 for years but most of my art friends use PaintTool Sai. I recommend it too unless you want a free program. (gimp is free, also personally I like 2.6 more than 2.8)

As for my tablet I have a Wacom Bamboo (A5). Wacom is a very popular brand, but they’re also really good. They have tablets with pretty varying price range (from 100$ – 500$ I think), but even the cheapest options are of good quality and more than enough for casual arting.

I’m editing it. This is way too long and I wanted to sleep on it. I want to do a more thoughtful pass over it. Less “dump rough draft” and more emphasis on where it meets art.

The art part has to do with the fact that I’m trying to create something meant to change a persons feelings with respect to society. I’m breaking the rules when it comes to what we do with text by showing other people how they can rationally “break the rules” in arguments. The symbols/words that we use to communicate are what will change, reality will be what it is. I have the long term goal of changing how society talks about emotion and feeling so I’m trying to inject something into the culture that will force the process forward in a way that is beneficial to everyone.

A “meme” is art to me because it manipulates cognition and memory with media and social information. I’m trying to combine several sets of concepts together in a way that lets people functionally use what we know about how brains make minds in dismantling socially aggressive bigoted rhetoric.

(I’m also going to try to be more interactive. My life keeps getting more socially complicated but I have to be more overtly social at some point. I’m working on the medical part of my facility now. This place addresses “rehabilitation” very broadly. Traumatic brain injury, severe wound healing, age related breakdown…I don’t have to words yet. I’m walking the talk and it hurts. This is a job worth doing and my patients and co-workers are awesome, but it’s still intense and terrifying. I’m making lots of ways of interacting with people. I wish this was easier.)

There is a beautiful sense of depth in that. What kind of media?

I have the same problem. I need to eject about 50% of what is in my project/computer room. It’s as disorganized as I am. I suspect it’s mucking with my motivation somehow.

Got a link? I’m interested. It’s by education and circumstance that I can even try to do the same.

That right there is one of the things that has me editing and your comment sharpened what I was already about in a more relevant direction. I am keeping the problem biases of the modern culture of brain science in mind. It won’t be perfect but I’ve tried to keep it modifiable for that reason. Being inherently alterable is needed for bias to be dealt with.

Here is an interesting test case. I think the following links can be related to modern behavior in a socially responsible way and I clearly see my own bias when it comes to sensitivity to symbolism in research relating to myself.
540,000-Year-Old Shell Carvings May Be Human Ancestor’s Oldest Art
Positive selection on the human genome
I don’t want to leave religion and every other human culture out the assumptions going into something that I’m applying to american english text. And I don’t particularly care about the integrity of the english language when it comes to being inconsistent with reality. I’m more about hating the social effects of bullies and abusers and planing something at the interpersonal level that will be socially useful. But I want to make big picture connections with self interest like everyone else. It needs a leash.

I’ve also had the unique opportunity to consider
Children and adolescents with Tourette’s disorder in the USA versus Argentina: behavioral differences may reflect cultural factors.
I get make assumptions about myself and social bias and it’s been very useful in being careful about this. I assume that there are things in my head that are different from what is in the head of a person with TS from another culture. That’s on top of the inherently social nature of the shifted, flipped, enhanced, reversed and disembodied urges and sensations that we deal with as a group. I already knew I was the 1% when it came to feelings so I’m hopeful when it comes to bias and presentation. I assume that many other kinds of people will have equally different experiences that we have to take into account as a group.

Unbiased is not a thing so it’s not a goal. Rational, useful and appropriate bias in parallel with accuracy is the goal. Bigots can’t “win” in the sense that they seem to want to because it’s self-defeating and emphasizes short term, individual goals. We are individually far more different within our groups than we are with any difference between our groups that they focus on. I choose to believe that we can get our collective priorities and emphases where they need to be for all of us.

What are you subjects? The first one has a nice organic feel to it to me. I like how the browns blend.

… Okay, I don’t know if this counts (it’s just filter work and layer effects; for all my Photoshop skillz, I can barely draw a stick figure), but it looks too damn badass to not post somewhere:

Posing it up in my Power Armour. WHEE.

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