July 30, 2009

Further Progression

Okay, it's been a while since my last post. Thought I should touch base. Right off the bat I want to say that the lack of new art over the past 2 weeks is not due to my not drawing. If anyone is here looking for tips on how to get better/get into the "biz" the first thing I would say to them is DO NOT STOP DRAWING.... It's possible I would include some expletives in there if I were saying it in person, but you get the idea. This is a mistake that I made many many years ago, in my late teens/early twenties, and it's set my life back a great deal.

Now, as I said, it's not that I'm not drawing, but what I've been working on for the last few weeks has been work conceived of by Jordan, and I don't want to be posting anything without his permission (which I may get very soon, I must admit I haven't asked yet). As such, what you get to see today is a little bit of the work I've done on my rendition of the Fantastic Four since my last post.

This is the piece after I took some time to lay down flats. Flatting is a process used by digital artists to aid them in their ability to manipulate their work. It's something I picked up from the tutorials at They've got some great stuff there, I highly recommend the vids. Anyways, flatting can essentially be boiled down to laying in flat colors for each part of the piece, anything that is supposed to be the same color gets flatted with one base tone. Now DART (Digital Art Tutorials) recommends not using the color that you are planning to use in the final piece. Instead it's suggested that you use a variety of de-saturated colors. Honestly I don't really understand the reasoning behind this. The purpose of flats is to allow the artist to go into a work with the color wand and select an area based on its color (heads up, if you're flatting with the colors that you intend to use on the final piece, copy your layer and keep it separate and safe, otherwise all the time you spent flatting will be wasted). This allows you a few different options in terms of editing (such as changing colors after you've worked into the piece, or adding effects that are contained to certain areas, etc). Alright, that's it for the "teaching", now to what I've accomplished.

Testing a couple color variations while flatting.

Once I have a layer with my flats, I make a new layer on top and go in working on highlights and shadows. This process can be relatively fast, or it can take a long ass time, it all depends on the lvl of detail you're looking to achieve. Note that I broke my rule early on, my flats have a rendered skull in the background. Technically this was a whoops on my part, but I'm not overly concerned by it as I'm looking to give the skull a very different flavor. Hopefully it can handle looking more painterly while the rest of the image is clean.

Starting to add shadows and highlights. Right now I'm keeping the lighting very soft, with little color variation. Later on I may feel the need to change that, but I want to get a handle on the design side of things first, then I can try to kick it up a notch.

And that's it for me kiddies. I'm off to bed, but I'll be back next week!

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