Monday, October 22, 2012

Process 2-Watercolor and Digital Paint

Okay, it's been awhile since I posted anything here and I do apologize. Between two new, non art related jobs that have me working anywhere from eight to 13 hour days between the two of them finding time, let alone energy to make art has been a challenge. So, while I've got a day off and some energy I decided to keep my promise to detail my other process when I'm not doing a pure digital painting.

This process I learned about while researching illustrators and I eventually got to speak to a man named Justin Gerard who taught me about the process. First of course I do several thumbnails and then pick one I like to work up into a finished piece. Here's the first thumbnail I chose.
Typically, I do a lot of  thumbnails (15-25)  and I've had this idea longer than most and it's gone through several thumbs in a few different iterations (so I think it's been closer to 35-50). The concept is a dragon charmer. Someone who's magical music is so entrancing dragons can't help but be mesmerized by it. I like using toned paper because it lets me get a rough idea of how light is going to fall and as I've said before, I think process is about idiot proofing as best as you can. After the thumbs I work out some of what I think will be problem areas for the piece. For this one, hands were going to be very important to get right. 
 So I sketched up some hands holding a flute (since I decided a flute was the instrument to go with here as kind of a call out to the Pied Piper). Once the preliminary sketches get done I usually move onto a more worked up thumbnail... that is unless I decide about half way through that I don't like the initial thumbnail after all. Yes that is exactly what happened here. 
Normally I have a big thing against centered compositions but there is a time and place for them and I felt like it might be possible to make it work here so I decided to get out of my compositional comfort zone and try it. So yes, now it's time for the big drawing. Once I get a solid drawing I do a solid drawing in pencil. Then I spray fix it to keep the drawing in tact and do a light sienna wash over it laying in some value guidelines. At this point it's pretty similar to the purely digital process mainly in that I only have to worry about a couple things at a time (in this case value and creating volumetric forms) and I can worry about color later. 

Here is the image as it stands now with the sienna values in place. This is typically the phase where I go, "Please don't let me screw this up. I could end up happy with this, please don't let me screw up!!!"
Water Color Underpainting

Next time: Full Water color and digital painting.