Alias's Exposé Yourself Contest
Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 4 (April 2004)

Alias's Exposé Yourself Contest

Bugatti SUV (Second place, design) By Benny Assefa, East Lansing, Michigan. "I love the loose yet commanding drawing style," comments judge Gray Holland, "and it shows great control of the tool and free expression of the idea."

Workstation (design) By Sergio Gedanke, New York. Holland: "This drawing really walks around the concept: articulation, call outs, materials...all of which are illustrated with a natural feel."

Lithic (Third place, illustration) By Mark Behm, Danbury, Connecticut. "This image stood out with its exaggerated form, rendering, and subtle use of reflective light," says Keown.

Concept Sketch (Third place, design). By Scott Chin, Toronto, Canada. "This well thought-out surface illustration contains powerful line work with shading," says Holland.

Original James Bond (Second place, illustration) By Blake Loosli, West Jordan, Utah. "The skin tone, color, and composition give this image a traditional feel," says Keown.

Robot (Grand prize, design) By Vince Galante, Orland Park, Illinois. "This image contains great detail, powerful shading, and a nice focus and composition," says Holland.

When artists started dropping their pencils and paintbrushes in favor of digital tools, they opened themselves up to a new range of capabilities, which in turn, led to new artistic possibilities. But there was one caveat: They had to forsake the intuitive creation methodology they had honed over the years using their basic, analog tools. Then, with the release of tablet-based PCs and software, artists were finally free to enjoy the benefits of both the digital and traditional worlds.

Recently, Alias Systems recognized the creative works of tablet-using artists with its Exposé Yourself contest, also sponsored by Microsoft, Acer, Wacom, PC Mall, and Intel. For three months, artists, illustrators, and designers using Alias's SketchBook Pro sketching tool for Microsoft and Wacom tablets submitted entries for the design or illustration categories. The digital works were then posted on-line and judged by comic book artist Dale Keown and Gray Holland, founder of the industrial design firm Alchemy Labs, both of whom based their decisions on the art's originality and the use of color, layers, brushes, and backgrounds.

"The winning entries had a natural feel, displaying an impressive sense of weight, dimension, and atmosphere," says Keown, who judged the illustration category. "It would be difficult to distinguish them from works created with traditional tools, such as markers and pencils."

Steve Maric, Alias marketing manager, concurs. "SketchBook Pro was developed to mirror the appearance of traditional artists' tools. The winning entries showcase this feature by rivaling the results of pencils and paintbrushes on paper."

A selection of the winning images is featured on these two pages. All the submissions can be seen at —Karen Moltenbrey