Oh my dear lord. I hated doing this, the drawing, position and proportions especially the face are terrible and I had to fight against not finishing it. The end result and the experience as ever are worth it. Far better to get this stuff done and move on to the next piece which of course will be so much better. I've learned how to at least fight through not finishing a picture. The image is part of a bigger project for an online game.
Paint practice! I've been taking a look at a paint tutorial by Marta Dahlig published by ImageFX. It's a good technique that involves starting with block, contour and gradual refinement with softer brushes. Don't know who the face is, just a study from a random pic of the internet. This took around 7-8 hours from simple pencil sketch. Still a bit flat in places but I've learned enough to move on.
It's been rather a long time that I uploaded something. Thought about Illustration Friday last night couldn't resist. Shades, the first thing that poped into my head. Probably playing to much Skyrim. Very rough and only about an hours work. Maybe I'll finish it who knows.
Ok here's the process I went through for this illustration. I'm following a fairly well worn route, that I've kind of researched and discovered.
First thing I normally do is a quick scribble, using the default brush in Photoshop, with Pen Pressure on my Wacom pad set to pressure only on all the default active settings. This seems to create a comfortable pencil mark. I choose a black brush, and usually choose a grey background the tone of this tends to dictate how dark or light I want the whole picture to be. In this case I knew the scene would be underwater, so took it from there. Sometimes as with 'Paisley' I'll try a number of thumbnail drawings and choose the best elements from all of them.
I'm practising my drawing a lot, still trying to get familiar with anatomy, observing stuff, It's always a challenge! The thing I like about Illustration Friday, is that I can try the first thing that springs to mind, and stay relaxed about what I want to do. Telling a story, evoking an idea is a good catalyst for trying other technical challenges such as foreshortening, figure work and so on.
Next I start to think about the over all palette, main colours, and the light source. The main light here is coming from the weird algae thing, green seemed a good idea, so went with that! I generally block colour straight over the pencil.
At this stage I make a judgement call on how to proceed. I decide that since I'm certain how the main light source will work, I'd think about the counter light coming from under the diver. This is exaggerated for effect, and probably wouldn't be that strong in reality. In addition I find this useful for discovering the general shapes and forms on the figure. I've also given some thought to the background, which is just sketched in, notice I try and continue some foreshortening for dramatic effect. Also I've started painting above the pencil layer, so that i can begin blocking it out. I like to leave some showing as this punches out some detail, and when your working quickly gives a good quick result.
Onto the main light source. I use the same default brush set to soft, choose a mid-to darker tone green, and start rendering the lit surfaces. I find using the brush quite big I can get a variety of marks which give a random natural appearance. My confidence is generally growing with this, it's fast encourages you to keep drawing, while painting, and is mostly an interesting and fun process. I also make a quick palette of the colours I'm using, and keep referring to these.
I've flipped the canvas, this often highlights problems with bad drawing, stuff that doesn't work, luckily, for once this looked OK, although had it been for a commission I would of probably spent more time improving the figure, hands and face. The face I struggled with, as it didn't seem to fit in the helmet properly, and so fiddled with it quite a bit longer than I'd of liked. I flip it back, and then flatten the layers out, and begin a new rendering layer on top.
I take a really bright saturated green, paint in the algae thing, a lot brighter than I would normally, and continue the effect across the figure, picking out certain detail on the way. I pay special attention to the helmet and face, certain to get the shapes right. I work up the background using the default brush set to hard edge, again quite big, random pressure and flick in simple shapes to create the effect of Kelp floating around. Oddly I don't spend much time on this, but seem to get a nice natural effect. This is typical for me and shows how on the one hand I need to keep observing and be technicly accurate, but also stay spontaneous and let randomness occur as much as possible.
The final details I add, last minute are additional lighting for the other green algae, small bolts on the helmet, a simple reflection on the visor, air bubbles, fish, and a few wrinkles on the hand, to make them look more like a rubber glove.
There's always more, and as ever decide to abandon the piece, feeling I've learned something from it. Hopefully I can keep improving!