Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trying Something Different

Recently, I've been working on a personal project of sorts. I don't want to get into too many of the details right now because it's a bit of a surprise for a select few individuals. Basically, for this project I had to do a bunch of fantasy based illustrations. I decided to take the opportunity to experiment a bit with some techniques I've been wanting to try.

Generally, the work I do mostly consists of very cartoony illustrations done digitally. For these Illustrations I wanted to create a marriage of digital and traditional mediums. On top of that I wanted to take the opportunity to practice my inking with a more semi realistic style. I've drawn in this style before but I haven't done it very often using actual brush and ink. (or in this case, an amazing Pentel Brush pen).

My plan was to give the colors a painted quality. I've seen a lot of other artist do this using a flat painted texture and overlaying it on the colors in Photoshop. When done properly, that method can work quite well, but you can still tell that that painted texture was added later. I decided to do something similar but instead create a painted texture exclusively for each illustration.

Oddly enough, I was somewhat inspired by the recent work that KC Green was doing on his webcomic Gun Show. Apparently he used an ink wash to create the gray tones on his comic then inked the line art over that. I thought it gave it a very nice classic illustrated look. I'm not quite as brave as Mr. Green so rather than do it all on one sheet of paper, I traced my line art on to another piece of paper and used a charcoal gray water color to create the gray tones.

Once I had both images scanned in I combined them in photoshop, keeping each one on it's own separate layer. I made sure to set the layer blending options to Multiply that way the white areas would be transparent so my colors would show through. When adding the color I used some of the texture and scattering options on the Photoshop brushes to maintain the painted look. For the most part, the coloring stage was rather quick since most of the work had been done by creating the water color shades before hand.

In the end, I learned some new things about inking, painting, and digital coloring techniques. And I wound up with about 2 or 3 portfolio worthy illustrations.

After the surprise is revealed, I will do another post featuring all 7 Illustrations that I created for this project.

Update 12/29/10: Check out the rest of the illustrations here:

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