Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Little Process

For today, I thought it might be a nice treat to show off a little of my process. While the piece is still very much not done, I don't mind showing my collection of mistakes.

I tend start off in Photoshop to do my sketches and thumbnails. Lately, I've been going straight to digital though I do, occasionally, touch my pencil...all over...mmm... In these initial stages, the ease and power of Photoshops manipulation tools is great for quickly generating ideas, and playing around with layers generally leads to some surprising results.

After I get the sketch/lines set, I do a quick and "rough" (i.e. crappy) color pass. I should note, thought, that if I'm doing a piece for a client, I actually do color thumbnails before I start on the final. Nailing the color and values early saves a lot of time later. In this stage, Color Balance and Overlay layers are my bestest friends.

Eventually, when I get tired of Photoshop, I port the image over to Painter where I get down and dirty with rendering and design tweaks. This is also the time when I make a final descision on the painting style I'm going to use (acrylic v. wash v. oil). Lately, I've been really jiving with Painter's Oil Brushes, especially the smeary bristles. The main reason I use Painter for the actual render is that mimics traditional media so darn well (better than PS in my opinion), and actually allows me to go with an oil painter's approach without having to make a dozen new custom brushes.

When I eventually finish the painting to my satisfaction, I take back to PS for final tweaking. Again, Color Balance and Contrast becomes invaluable. I love Painter, but PS is so much better at image manipulation.

Once this is done, I sign it, send it, and immediately come to hate the finished piece. Seriously, I've never liked a single thing I've done once done. This is why I rely so much on external observations.

Tee hee.

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