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.
Also… Some color tests for her hair. The blonde was a “oooh hell no.”
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.
A Redtail’s Dream. Gorgeous webcomic with a beautiful story! The author/artist is just finishing up her Indiegogo Campaign for the entire comic contained in a single hard cover volume as well as a fanart contest, and I couldn’t resist.
Still not quite finished with the inking, but a whole lot closer than before. I’ve filled in a lot of the decorative details in the interior and added some thick dark lines for contrast. On the close up below you can see more of the itty bitty design details, as well as some of the sketch lines. I still haven’t decided what to do with the beak…
Oh! I haven’t mentioned the background at all. You may have noticed the extremely boring looking circle around his head? While I was moving last month and unpacking all of my supplies I found a package of gold leaf. I’ve been dying to try it out, so it’s going to be a little bit of an experiment (I’ll be sweating bullets hoping I don’t mess the whole thing up…). The circle around his head and his eye will both be getting the gilding treatment…. we’ll see how it turns out…. fingers crossed….
Woops, I meant to take more progress photos but I got a little too into the inking and forgot… So here is the basic outline just about completed. There is still a lot of the interior detail to be filled in and the sketch hasn’t been erased at all so it looks pretty messy at this stage. If you look at the picture of the sketch that I posted earlier you’ll see that I changed a few of the details. I started inking the parts that I knew I was happy with first, to see how they looked, then went back into my sketch to adjust the parts I wasn’t happy with. I think I redid the designs in the neck five or six times before I was happy with it.
I’ve ignored the design on the wings and tail for now. I don’t know how much empty space I want to leave yet, and I won’t be able to get a good idea of that until I’m farther along in the inking. I also have only a vague idea for the background, but that doesn’t have to come until later.
I finally have my work table set up after moving, and it’s not 100% yet but usable space again! I decided to take a little time out and do a project for myself (rather than commissioned work) which I haven’t done in a long time. Having done lots of those decorative drawings in my sketchbook lately, I decided I’d like to try a really nice version for myself. I settled on doing a raven, ’cause they’re the coolest ever.
So unlike the ones in my sketchbook, I took the extra step of sketching in pencil first. When I sketch in pen it can get a little messy…
Oh! And I also started out by drawing a realistic raven from a photo, just to get the form right. I did him on a scrap of tracing paper that I had, then drew an enlarged version onto the bristol. I tweaked the drawing of the full-size version to make it more symmetrical, then started in on the interior details, still in pencil.
There’s just something about the mindlessness of decorative work that I love.
Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t quite a lot of thought going into the work. There needs to be concept, creativity, construction and… composition (that’s a lot of ‘C’s). The piece needs to be not just detailed, but attractive and balanced. However, there is a certain “zen” that goes with the type of concentration involved in the repetitiveness of decorative design. I can lose myself in it for hours, so I use it as a time-sucking tool! When I’m getting ready to go on long flights, part of my packing process is to start the outline idea of one or two decorative sketches. If I’m bored on the plane, there is nothing better than to loose myself in one. Here is one from my latest round trip flight.
Working up the inks for these Ladies of Lit and I’m focusing on putting tons of little unique details into each one… Mulan just haaad to have scaled armor @_@
I already have four inks done! Mulan will be the fifth. These are flying by, but that might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been doing all of my favorites first… I’m going to hit a bump soon, I’m braced for it. The good thing is I have plenty of projects going on right now to keep me busy. If I get stuck on one, I just move on to the next until I can come back to it with a fresh eye.
Between commissions to keep me from going completely broke, this Ladies of Lit project, my art book printing/preorders and moving to a different country next month… I’m a little on the busy side. But it’s Good busy, not Tear Your Hair Out busy, so there’s that.
Anybody know a nice place for rent in the Portland area..? x|