Archive for the 'General' Category

More Social Media, Exploring Pinterest

No stranger to social media, when I first heard about Pinterest I was not sure I wanted to take on yet another platform. After exploring, however, it actually seemed like fun.

Without a real strategy, I have been experimenting to see how it works. I have created several boards featuring images that relate to my online projects, but for the most part, I have been using it as more of a research storage space. Particularly useful as a reference is the “art of lettering” board. If you are doing Pinterest, please stop by my board!

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This vs. That, Problem Solved

I have always tried to keep this blog more instructional than controversial, so I have decided to tackle the controversies all at one time. For years, across blogs, news articles, LinkedIn groups and every where in between, we are constantly drawn into the confrontation of “this vs. that”. Shall I bait you? Here we go: Mac vs PC, traditional art vs digital art, brick & mortar stores vs online retail, Democrats vs Rebublicans, 3dStudio vs Lightwave, iPhone vs Android, and on and on, etc. etc…

The premise is that you must choose one or the other. My thinking process (I am a glass is full, solution for every problem guy), tells me that “this vs that” is not an exclusive answer. When I was a kid, my father was always teaching me things, of course I had no knowledge I was learning things until twenty years later. But, one time I was trying to do a project in the garage, and no matter what I did I just could not accomplish what I was trying to do. May Dad watched me do this for hours, and all of a sudden, he went to a tool box, carefully picked up a tool and handed it to me. “Try this,” he said. Miraculously, I did in two minutes, what I had not been able to accomplish with hours of frustrating labor. A man of many words, my Dad then simply said, “The right tool for the right job.”

For years those few, simple, brilliant words have resounded in my head when I am confronted with the “this vs that” question. Because my answer is, without further delay… wait for it…


If you follow my Dad’s advice, “The right tool for the right job”, all of the contestants in “this vs that” are merely tools to accomplish a goal. Each has their strong points and their weak points. The trick is knowing when to utilize each. At the end of the day, the accomplishment is what pays the bills, not whether a Mac or PC was used to get you there. (And for you die hards, I have both). Take stock of all of the tools available to you, and use the right tool for the right job!

Unfortunately my Dad passed away 23 years ago, and I miss him very much. But I would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank you Dad, for teaching me all of those great lessons, and Happy Father’s Day.”

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Fabulous Faces

Photography is an essential part of my design work. Occasionally something fun and unusual pops in front of the lens, and I thought I would share two of my favorites.

This alpaca walked right up to me, stopped chewing the grass in his mouth, and patiently waited for me to snap this shot.

Walking past a landscaped garden, I looked down and saw this little lizard’s face poking up through the skylight of his home.

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Art: Learn, Repeat, Internalize

When creating art with digital media, there are a lot of different skills to learn. It is important to learn all of the skills and concepts necessary for working with traditional media, such as composition, color, and so forth. Digital media also requires a working knowledge of painting software, computer systems, and print methods. Some of my discussions here involve traditional concepts, while others are purely digital.

It is important to keep in mind that the ColorSketches Tips are learning devices. Yes, they can be added to your growing list of art tools, but more importantly keep in mind that the challenge they solve can often be accomplished in multiple ways. Rather than just copying the routine, think about why it works, and see if you can expand upon the concepts in your own artwork. Always Learn, Repeat, and Internalize. Obtain and Learn new knowledge, Repeat it until it can be done without thinking. Then Internalize the concept – make it you own, apply your own twist to it, and use it to expand and create new concepts based on the fundamentals.

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Welcome to Social Marketing

Lately I have really been putting some effort into social marketing. I have always been a modest kind of guy. Do a great job in your work, maintain a professional courteous attitude, the client is always happy: these have always been the basis of my work ethic. Going to social sites and shouting – look at me, look at me – just did not seem, you know, dignified. After diving in and really figuring out how these things work, I could not have been more wrong.

There is a certain amount of “look at me” but there is really a lot more. I have connected with friends I have not seen in years, I know what relatives are up to, and I have made new friends of people I would otherwise never have met. I have increased my work productivity through new found knowledge, I have found new work and new clients, and I have improved communication with my existing clients.

Does it take some time, yes, but as with anything, a strategy for achieving set goals brings it all into perspective. Is it worth it? I would have to say resoundingly yes. The important thing to keep in mind: shouting me! me! is a small part of the effort. The real goal is to strengthen existing relationships and develop brand new ones.

Having said all of that, let’s talk about me! me! Here are some of my online links!

Hopefully you will enjoy meeting me, and you never know, it might be the start of something – social.

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Visit Me on Behance

I have recently joined the Behance Network which is a web community dedicated to creatives doing exciting work spanning all disciplines of art and design. I am thrilled to be part of it. It does create more exposure for my work, but, more importantly, I am finding the networking and resources with other artists to be both fun and informative.

Edward Sine on Behance

The above link will take you directly to my profile, but while you are there, spend some time looking at other artist’s work as well. You will find some mind blowing artwork, brilliant photography, and incredible graphic design from all over the world.

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The Newbie Axioms

One of the challenges I have run across when posting tutorials, is making the article valuable to all different skill levels. Posting a beginner topic is great for newbies, but may hold little interest for those more advanced. On the other hand, making the topic more advanced may baffle the beginners.

The other day, however, I gained a new perspective. Even though I consider myself an advanced user on certain things (Photoshop is my weapon of choice), I found myself a newbie in search of an answer to a basic question on something outside my realm of expertise. I took to the web, and found another newbie with my same question, asking for assistance on a blog forum. His question was met with, shall we say, less than a courteous response. That is when it dawned on me, there are at least two newbie axioms:

1. Every advanced user was once a newbie on the subject.
2 An advanced user in one area of expertise, can be a newbie in another.

So to you advanced users being asked for assistance from beginners, remember, you were a newbie once. Also, the newbie you address on your forum could be the expert on another. So be kind and patient when someone asks for your help. I guarantee it will be a rewarding experience for both of you.

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Reading Kindle Books on iPhone

Being an avid reader, I guess it was only a matter of time until I jumped into Kindle. I did not actually get a Kindle though, I have been using the Kindle for iPhone App. My first thought was that the iPhone screen was too small, but it really has been just fine. The text is easy to read, there is just not a lot of text on each page.

You can browse for books online at your computer and sync the books to the iPhone, or just download books right to the iPhone. I have ordered most of my book selections so far with iPhone, it is quick and painless. Now for the best part – there is a nice selection of free books. The free selections are mostly classics, but they are still very fun to read!

Well, you will have to excuse me, I am halfway through a Sherlock Holmes adventure…

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Transfer Info from Old to New Computer

This month I finally broke down and bought a new computer. That was the easy part. Transferring six years of essential information from my old computer was another story. I do, however, have some tips based on this interesting experence.

Create a spreadsheet of all login id and passwords. Keep it updated. On your new computer you will have to know every single one.

Create a spreadsheet with all software serial numbers. When reinstalling your software you will need every single one. To make it more fun, if any software is an upgrade, you will need the serial numbers from the current version and the previous one. Also review authorization procedures before starting this. Software from Adobe and Autodesk, for example, require you to transfer authorizations.

Email can be transferred by exporting from the old computer and importing on the new one. My email software, Microsoft Outlook, allows me to do this using a .pst file. You will also need to export browser favorites using the export and import procedure.

Save all preferences, if possible, from your software. For example, brushes, gradients, patterns, and style can all be saved from Photoshop and reloaded on your new computer.

If you are like me, and you have a tremendous amount of data files such as artwork, photos, Itunes, etc., an external hard drive will help you considerably. Copy all of that to the external on the old computer, and then just plug it into the new one. A simple trick, that took me a while to figure out, is that if you copy your iTunes Music Library.xml file from your old C Drive to the new C Drive, you can retain your library and playlists just the way they were before.

The most important thing: keep your old computer, plugged in, connected to the internet, and readily available. Two weeks after I started this process, I am still transferring vital tidbits from the old computer. Six years, in the computer world is a long time. You will not believe how much important “stuff” is stored there and taken for granted.

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Text Display with Cleartype

If you are not familiar with Cleartype, Microsoft has developed an option that greatly improves the display of onscreen text. It works best on LCD monitors, such as laptops and flat panel displays. It may also improve readability on CRT monitors. If you are using Windows XP, it may not be running on your computer.

You can use the online tuner to turn it on and adjust the display to your preference. To access the tuner go to the Microsoft website.

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To Blog or Not to Blog

Not too long ago, I thought it might be fun to start an online magazine (still working on it!), so I began a search for a content management system that would work for that purpose. I tried all of the main CMS options, and none seemed to do what I wanted. I finally ran across Movable Type which is fantastic, and is working out well for my needs on that project. But, during this evaluation process, I discovered WordPress, and it really caught my attention.

So while reading Andy Clarke’s new book about CSS, my enthusiasm to try some of his techniques found me in front of WordPress attempting a template design. Well, I am excited to say that setting up a blog was as simple as could be. In a very short time, I had it installed, a template created, and found myself looking at a “write post” screen. So without any intentions of really doing so, I find myself with my own blog.

I have to really give my recommendations for both Movable Type and WordPress. But if you are really just wanting to get a blog up and working without a lot of effort, WordPress is the real deal. Now I’m looking at the plugins and options that are available and my mind is racing with all of the possibilties . . .

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Welcome to ColorSketches

ColorSketches is currently an experiment into blogging, to delve into one of my favorite passions – the world of art. My name is Edward Sine and my main interest at present is digital art. Art that can be created in Photoshop, Painter, 3d Studio, or Lightwave. I like to study traditional art techniques such as oil painting, watercolor, or sketching and apply these techniques to digital media.

In future posts I hope to share some of the techniques and insights I have learned along the way. I also plan to share links to other relevant sites or, if I find some exciting work from another artist, I will point you in their direction.

If you can forgive at least some personal promotion, I would like to point you in the direction of my own personal portfolio I am also trying to develop an online magazine that builds on my philosophy that different design and artistic disciplines are all related and, in fact, tied together. The website, Art n Architecture, addresses the different yet related forms of Art, Architecture, Graphic Design, and Photography.

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