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The Pixelmator Challenge: Alicia Vogel

I really love Pixelmator as a painting program.  It has Photoshop-like brushes and a Painter feel.  I popped a sketch I had started in Painter in and was able to fully block it out and have a decent detail pass in a matter of hours.  For me, its simplicity is a big plus. With Photoshop and Painter,  I get dazzled by all the options and end up forever tweaking all the tools. 

In the future I’m going to do all my pre-painting in Pixelmator and then tweak either in Photoshop or Painter.  I’ll see how December’s Al works with it.

It does lack the gazillion brushes that either program has, so I did have to rehash some old tricks back when Photoshop was 3.0.  But it’s just plain fun to work in.

I would say this piece took me around five hours, and it’s more than decent groundwork. I did a similiar type piece using a combination of Painter and Photoshop, and it took twice as long.  The traits that Pixelmator has in common with Photoshop and Painter combined with it’s simplicity makes it a joy to use and keeps me concentrated on the actual painting instead of being all fidgety with the brushes and options.  I also realized yesterday as I was putting some refining moves on it that the final results look like my non-digital acrylic paintings.

On the negative side, I really missed my palette knife tool.  And I couldn’t find a use for Pixelmator’s "starry" brush.

By Alicia Vogel

Al is a martial arts instructor who happens to also be a 6'4" armadillo. His day job is manager to the university internet cafe "Javadillos." ...Aikido Al is the nom de plume of Alicia Vogel. Born to a classical composer father and a singer/painter mother, it was foreordained that she would run towards the artistic side of life. This translated itself into a major in advertising design and sculpture, followed by graduate studies in digital art and graphics. With her master's degree in hand and a passion to fill empty spaces with cool looking stuff, she started a web comic about an Armadillo who taught Aikido in Japan, called Aikido Al. The comic ran for a year and a half. Alicia currently works as the Lab Manager for the University of Texas College of Communication, and as a freelance digital artist and cartoonist.