Monday, January 30, 2012

Heffalumps and Woozles

Beware, Beware
Be a very wary bear!

I have had some requests to explain how I create me pieces and the answer is: "Depends". I change up what I do based on what type of piece I'm making. So I thought I would create one piece with two different methods to illustrate the methods I primarily work in. So this piece will be done in both watercolor and Photoshop. As you'll see they start the same but end differently.

I first start off with a sketch:

So here is my initial sketch. Why is it blue? Well I recently started using non-photo-blue sketch pencils. The main reasons being they are very light, easy to ink over, easy to erase, and do not show up on scans and photos. In fact just to get this pic to take I had to go over the lines extra heavy and take the picture with my Nikon (It refused to scan in).

Here is the same picture inked. I use Rapidograph pens typically but I picked up a .2 mm disposable and decided to try it with this one. They do pretty good but I found they aren't nearly as water proof as the Rapidograph.

This is where the methods diverge.

 In the watercolor I find it helpful to lay the shadow first. If I try to add the shadows after the color it tends to have very unnatural blotches.

In Photoshop this is the point I scan the picture in to the computer and redo the lines on a separate layer. It's a little tedious but I've found it to be the best way get clean lines.

The next step is the last step for the watercolor. I simply add the color after the shading has dried completely (so it wont bleed).

Continuing with the Photoshop I put the color on the bottom layers under the black so that the color and lines are clean.

The final step for the Photoshop is to add shading and Highlights. This was a quick rendering as I intended this piece for watercolor. But using more that one shading/highlight would deepen the detail. For a photo-realistic piece I will sometimes spend upwards of 4 hours just doing the shading.

So there you have it. One picture with two different methods. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The water color tends to be quicker and easier but it is far less forgiving. The Photoshop is time consuming but very forgiving. But that's pretty much it. No real "magic" just practice and time. Anyway I hope this answers the questions but if anyone has anymore don't hesitate to ask.

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