Friday, September 18, 2009
In Progress Screen Shot: Digital Coloring
Shading Stage: Digital
Original Graphite Drawing, 8.5" x 17"
I've been working on this one for over a year. It keeps getting pushed aside due to other obligations or other (paying) projects but I keep at it with stolen chunks of time...30 minutes here or 2 hrs there (seems like a lot of my favorite pieces are finished this way).
I love these characters and have big dreams for these little guys. They're a great blend of some of my favorite childhood influences (The Gummi Bears the Saturday morning cartoon series, Winnie the Pooh illustrations and animations) and some of my grown-up observations about how our individual quirks effect our childhood and family experiences.
I've included some shots of different stages of my digital coloring process:
The original drawing was intentionally rendered lighter. I've found that the contrast gradually increases as I work on my illustrations and the lighter I can keep the drawing in the beginning, the less I have to beck peddle while I work on it digitally.
The shading stage is the first step after scanning the drawing. It's done by creating two layers; the first, is a duplicate of the original drawing and the second, which is a darker version of the original. I 'll use a soft eraser tool with a 15% to 30% opacity and erase sections (shadows) of the top, lighter layer and expose the darker layer below it.
The coloring stage works much like the shading stage except I'll change the color of the bottom layer instead of the value. I then merge the layers and repeat the process over and over again until everything is roughly the color I want it to be.
As I 'm erasing I will create silhouettes of the various erased sections and save them as separate layers. I'll use these layers later on in the process to create selections that will allow me to tweak specific areas until I have the color and value that are appropriate for the final art.
Some effects, such as highlights or reflective light are done as direct digital paintings and simply sit over top of the colored drawing layer.
I like how this characters guarded nature comes through in the sketch. However, now that I look at them together, in the digitally colored version her expression seems a bit too suspicious. In addition, the wisps of hair at her ears are too dense... perhaps I'll go back into this one later on.
That's better... updated version Sept 28th.