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.

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

test

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Commish w.i.p.

Working on something a bit different today! I’m just finishing up the hard lines on a commission for a friend of mine. She’ll be a sci-fi half-mech bad ass when she’s done.

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It’s aaaall about the details

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 @_@

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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|

Preview 4

I’m starting on inks! I’ve officially finished all twenty sketches and now it’s time to start completing them.

I love to read, but I’ll be the first to admit that despite that I’m not very well read. I’ve missed a lot of the classics and New York Times top 10 and Oprah’s Bookclub… To be honest I read way too many silly fantasy/sci-fi books! However, that doesn’t mean that I’ve missed all of the classics and “important” books, and I really have read a lot, but even so finding just twenty well written female characters to put into this collection was disappointingly, frustratingly, annoyingly difficult. Even with so many suggestions from people while I was working on these, it wasn’t easy!

I wasn’t just looking for strong characters, I definitely included some weak people on this list. What I was looking for were characters that were well written, well rounded, believable and not dependent on other characters to define them. That’s still a vague idea… I have characters from mythology on there too, and they don’t necessarily have full back stories or even a single clear version. Still, I was considerate in the names that I chose, and I’m happy with the result, I hope you guys are too.

Here’s another little preview of the line work I’m working on =)

preview4

Skull Man Progress 3

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Starting to work in some color/form now… I think I’ve decided to go with a little bit more of a painterly style, but with a very restricted color palette.

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Skull Man Progress 2

Part 1

Part 2

The line work is finally just about done! It’s been a while since I did anything so textural, so doing his guy’s hair and beard was pretty fun. The next step will be the smoke, then color… I’m still not sure how I want to color it. Either something flat and stark, or maybe more painterly… I’ll figure it out as I go.

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This guy’s got one helluvah jaw.

Skull Man Progress

Just about half way through inking that sketch from yesterday. After I get his neck and shoulders done, I still have to adjust the lines of his face a bit more, then his hair and beard, and then finish up the smoke lines.

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That blue line down the middle of his face is a just a ruler marker that I’m using to keep my center line straight.

Scarf – Lines

Inking (especially digitally, like this one) is always the most time consuming part of any piece for me. Each line has to be just right. I keep my left hand on CTRL-Z while I draw with my right so that I can quickly draw and delete, draw and delete, draw and delete… It gets to be second nature while drawing, I’ve actually caught myself reaching for CTRL-Z while sketching in my sketchbook… The average line in each of my drawings has been redrawn at least 3-4 times. If I’m really having a hard time on a certain area, I may go back into the sketch and either clear that area up or come up with something else all together. In fact, I did just that in several places in this image. It’s most obvious in the girl’s feet. I decided while inking that I didn’t like what I had sketched so I went back to that layer, erased what I had drawn and came up with a new design that was simpler and looked a lot better.

I constantly have to remind myself not to get too married to a sketch, or even to already inked lines. No matter how good it looks, it can always get better and going back into an image can save it!

I also realized at this point that I had no idea how I wanted to color it….