The message from Mars

A middle-aged man sits in an office. He’s dressed in a button up white shirt with the collar undone and the necktie loosened. Upon his desk are large amounts of papers and dossiers spreads out in an unorganised fashion. In the middle of his office is a large monitor with a matching keyboard set.

The gentleman reaches over to the screen and presses his finger on the glass. An audible blip sounds and the begins to speak towards the screen.

“On this warm and humid July 14th summer day of 2024, we at NASA received the most particular message from space. We believe it to be the message from our lost manned missing to Mars. We lost contact with that the during their approach and thought them to have perished. Our engineers are still trying to authenticate the message, but it did come in on our secured NASA frequency channel.”

For a moment he pauses and reaches for a stack of paper on his desk. He raises the sheets to his gaze and looks at the words on the page.

“This is the transcript of the message.”

Again he pauses and looks at the camera in the monitor.

“If this message is indeed from our Orion team it will have the largest impact on human civilisation to date.”

He averts his gaze from the camera and focuses back to the pages in his hand. He murmurs to himself a bit “… can this truly be?” and shakes the pages a bit.

“The message is a single line but carries the weight of the world. This one single line is…”

He clears his throat and reads:

“We are not alone, and they are coming.”

A look of despair appears on his face as he lowers the papers and sets them on his desk. He reaches for a glass of gin from atop one of the piles of dossiers and drinks before ending the recording.

Digital Art

For the longest time, I’ve stayed with the traditional mediums for my art. I like the direct pencil to paper feel and that I can see exactly what I’m producing while I draw. I like the fact that I can shade my lines to create a different boldness to my lines or correct my lines as I sketch.

I never had this same experience when I tried to do digital art many years ago with the use of a mouse and a desktop program. It was always bold lines with little control or fluidity. Even recently I decided to flirt with the idea of digital sketching on my tablet and a stylus but the tablet I own doesn’t have the pen to tablet recognition others do, and I find drawing on it do have a mild delay and no shading possibility.

While that has been my experience, I can say I have been envious of other artists I see and follow on social media that can produce stunning works using digital means.

I’ve recently been more engaged in doing art and feel that I could also benefit from adapting to digital but that I have to find the proper way of doing so. I did some research and discovered that the reason for my poor prior experiences is due to the hardware at my disposal. For true sketch input, I need a device that can recognise pressure input. This led me to explore Wacom tablets.

This past weekend I purchased an Intuos tablet and am now exploring its abilities. Thus far I can attest a big difference compared to how the pen to draw output worked on my tablet. The responsiveness and pressure recognition is fantastic. I press more on the stylus and my lines get bolder and thicker.

The tablet came with some software, but I’ve been playing more with Sketchbook Pro per a friend’s recommendation. Its UI is nice, clean, simple but yet still very functional. It didn’t take me long to spend $35 to subscribe to the Pro version to unlock, among other features, layers.

My ultimate goal is to do rough sketches on paper, scan and import into Sketchbook, and then do digital inking and colouring.

Ultimately this post is simply a way to express my appreciation to my discovery of using Wacom tablets and the opportunities this will give in growing my artwork.

To top this post off here’s a video of a quick Popeye doodle I did yesterday