Sometimes when things take a while to load on my computer I sketch, or more accurately, I doodle on scrap paper. The above doodle, I named George, and was done on a chewing gum wrapper. It's barely an inch and a half wide and not quite three inches long. I used an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie and did it freehand, no pencil sketching before inking. It's not supposed to be a masterpiece, just me killing time.
I decided to scan it, and play around with some graphics programs since it's been a while, and I'm a little out of practice. I like Paint.NET, and it's what I use most of the time. The first one is the original scan. The second one is with added color. The third version is the second with an effect called "Oil Painting" applied, but at this size you can't really tell much of a difference. The fourth one doesn't look that great on the blog, but using layers I changed the color of the shirt, and used a gradient effect.
On the fifth one I loaded the original into GIMP, and added a texture to George's face. Maybe he's a gargoyle? I then opened the file back into Paint.NET, and changed the shirt to green with a grayish gradient effect. It doesn't look that great on the blog. I'm thinking the graphic is just too small for the level of detail I was hoping for. It looks fine everywhere else but blogger! The sixth attempt is just an "Ink Sketch" effect, and isn't that great.
The seventh one is a "Halftone" effect which again would look better if the graphic was bigger. The last one is a "Matrice" effect, and is similar to an embossed effect.
I really do like the user-friendliness of Paint.NET, but GIMP has it's good points also, but the learning curve seems a bit steeper. I discovered some cool things on GIMP, which I'm sure others have discovered. Both are fairly forgiving of mistakes, which is very good. I also have Inkscape, but I've rarely used it, and need to experiment with it some more.
When I had finished a couple of the examples, I realised the sketch reminded me of a yearbook photo. George, senior at Dungeon High School, member of the Spikeball team, and voted most likely to get killed by an elf.