Process: Photo to Illustration

I had the pleasure of doing a very fun Pin Up commission just recently and I thought it might be fun to show the basic process, step by step.

Unlike many of my commissions, I began right off the bat with a very clear idea of what was wanted since I was to be working from a photograph and the direction of “baking”, so the sketch process was much shorter than normal. Usually I’d play around with several poses and ideas before settling on one or two that I like, but this one came together right away.

So, with permission, here is the photo reference I was sent. It’s been modified to protect the client’s identity, but you can see how I got to the pose in the sketch.

MWPhoto

MW1

The sketch is basically the same as the photo, but with a few liberties taken for the sake of balance and composition. I use photo references often in my work, but it’s always important to remember that photos distort and flatten. If you draw an image directly from a photo, that distortion shows and the drawing will look awkward.

From the sketch I move on to the hard lines, using a simple Hard Round Brush set to pen pressure sensitivity, 10-15px. To make the process easier later on I draw the lines for different pieces of the image on different layers. All lines of skin are on one layer, apron and shoes on another, as well as hair. I knew already that the dress would be transparent, and to create that effect I would need to treat those lines differently, so they are on their own layer as well.

MW2

With the lines approved, I move on to the colors. I won’t go too much into detail with that process for this round, since I don’t have any in-between shots. That and I’ve already mentioned the color process in a few other posts. So I’ll keep it simple, here’s the first draft of the colors.

MW3

Then come a few last tweaks and revisions, and the final version.

MWFinal

Ta-dah! So like I said, this one was a lot of fun. Hopefully I’ll be doing some more of these soon =)

If you’re interested in commissions, you can always contact me for a quote or idea at Kirkpatrickm7@gmail.com

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Liiiiiiines

The last few days I’ve uploaded the w.i.p.s of the pin up I was working on, today I’ll go a little more into how I did the line work for her. To be clear this is all, head to toe, created using Photoshop CS6. First off, brushes! I used only two for this piece. The sketching and hard lines are all created using just the basic preset Hard Round Pressure Size brush with the opacity set to 100% for the final hard lines and somewhere around 30% for sketching. This isn’t a perfect brush but it has worked very nicely for me so far. It feels closest to a pen to me which is always my preference.

I won’t go into much detail on the second brush since the interior coloring, but it is a pretty fun custom brush I created for myself using clouds. It has a nice soft quality but leaves some of that fun texture.

Now that that’s explained, next up comes the color picking. For my inking I tend to lean towards a soft ruddy black, but if left that way it gives the piece a flat and stark look. That can be a really nice effect, but I wanted to keep this one looking soft. So below are a couple of screen shots showing how I chose the colors, taking from the base skin and hair colors and bringing them down to a much darker color for the lines. Lighter for the skin than the hair to keep it a bit softer.

Screen-Shot-2013-12-20-at-12.21.33-AM

Screen-Shot-2013-12-20-at-12.23.50-AM

 

Also… Some color tests for her hair. The blonde was a “oooh hell no.”

test

and here are the colors

Yesterday I said I would go more in depth into the colors, especially of the lines, but I realized after I posted that that I couldn’t really show how or why I colored the lines the way I did until I showed ALL of the color work… right. So here she is, all done except for a few little tweaks I still need to make.

Tail_Art2_3

So tomorrow I’ll actually explain a bit more about the line coloring.

 

Line work’s all done

So I’ve finished up the line art from yesterday’s sketch, and instead of just showing the final look all together I want to show the way I use layers on line art. I have the line art on four different layers which you can see when I hide them in the screenshots:

Hair –

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 11.49.35 PM

Skin/Body –

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 11.49.39 PM

Swimsuit –

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 11.49.52 PM

Face and extra swimsuit Lines –

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 11.49.55 PM

I do this because of the coloring stage later. It’s not completely necessary, but I’ve found that it helps me be a lot more accurate and efficient when I want to adjust the color of the lines in the coloring stage. Black, or nearly black lines can be nice and crisp, but for this image I wanted a much softer effect so I’ve used darker versions of the colors of each area to ink with (ie: her hair color will be a maroony-red so I used a much dark version of that for the lines of the hair). I’ve actually already adjusted the coloration of the lines above but it will be hard to see until there is full color along with it (which I’ll be posting tomorrow).

I might go more in depth into this tomorrow now that I think about it…

Working on a new project!

I’ve been ignoring my poor blog lately so it’s time for some more updating. I have a new project for the new year!

There is an enormous aviation industry here in Portland both commercial and private, and since I’ve been here I’ve been approached by several private owners to do some nose or tail art for them. One of my biggest inspirations is old school cheesecake Pin Up art, so this is feeling very “full circle” for me! There are a lot of details still to work through, but I’ve already started beefing up my portfolio a bit, so here’s one of the first girls in progress.

Tail_Art2_1

 

I’ll post more of her as I work a bit more.

Art Book Pre-Orders are OPEN!

2013PreOrder

The book is a little over 100 pages in full print quality color and contains over 50 illustrations on top of sketches, W.I.P.’s, and private works I’ve never published before. There is also a step by step digital art tutorial (with lots of pictures and screenshots of course) and the entire Chinese Zodiac series with their personality characteristics, dates and compatibility! YAH it’s jam packed.

For the pre-order ONLY, these books are available for $25 with no s/h fees.

I’m also offering a limited number of Special Order packages, limited because I only have 20 books of Nix Nought Nothing left in stock! The Specials will include a signed copy of the new Art of Bix707 book, a signed Nix Nought Nothing Pin Up book and each order will come with an original sketch.

The Limited Special is available for $60 *until my supply of NNN books runs out* first come, first served.

To Pre-Order:

Send your payment via Paypal to Bix707[at]hotmail.com ($25 for the single book, or $60 for the Limited Special) and make sure you include your shipping address and name. If you would like to order multiples, please contact me via note or e-mail first.

I will be closing preorders at the end of June. Once orders are closed, I’ll order the books from the printers and they should arrive at the end of July.

DO NOT order this if you need the books before the end of July.

Thank you guys!!! =D As always, questions or comments please contact me~~

Folly Preview

I don’t remember if I mentioned this here or not… I was accepted, as of the new year, as a new member of the group Girls Drawin Girls! They’re an amazingly talented group of women with gorgeous work and some very impressive resumes. I’m still trying to get over the intimidation o_o

So here’s a preview of my latest piece. If you’d like to see the rest of it, check it out on the GDG Blog.

FollyPreview

 

Seahorse Mermaid

As of the 2013 year I was accepted into a group called Girls Drawing Girls, and while it was discontinued for a while they’ve started doing Weekly Themes again. This week’s theme was Mermaids! I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and just happened to stumble across the History Channel’s documentary about the first footage of Giant Squid…! That, and having just finished up my sea-themed mural… I’ve got oceans on the brain, so this just happened to be the perfect theme.

My first thought was to do a cute retro style pin up mermaid, like the ones in Disney’s Peter Pan. I love how they look (and I may still draw one…) but then I read another chapter of my book and they were talking about the deep deep sea and bio luminescence. I started thinking of a creature that could live in the deep lightless ocean, rather than a bright happy lagoon. And suddenly she went technicolor!!

Mermaid

 

I was going to give her bright blue eyes to match her fins… but she looked so sweet. With the yellow eyes she looked just a bit more predatory. Like she’s cute… but she might bite your arm off.

Mermaid2