Friday, 28 October 2011

Step by Step

It all started with this pencil sketch inspired by a visit to a Nuclear Bunker in Prague and dressing up in military costumes and gas masks. I'd been wanting to practice different techniques with colouring so I sketched in a background and laid out the image as a page. 

This is about finished as far as pencils go for me. I never put in too much detail at the pencil stage and I should really be using this as a basis for a final pencil image but I'm lazy, most people would light box this and produced tighter pencils. Another reason is I can never replicate the energy of the pencils in the final image so I find that inking over a sketch can sometimes retain the looseness of the original pencils. 

I inked with a Pentel brush pen and a fine liner for some of the smaller detail, such as on the gas mask. This is by far the messiest inking I've ever done but I wanted to keep it messy and so inked it quite quickly. I think I'm always too precious at this stage. I put in most of the background detail at this stage too.

I scanned at 600dpi as a bitmap and then convert to CYMK. A friend told me to do this as you don't have to worry about adjusting levels like you would if it scanned in grey scale or colour. I would normally drop fill the various parts of the image, the coat, the mask, the wall and then go in after and add textures on separate layers. With this image I followed a friends advice and set my brush tool to 25% opacity and worked at creating textures straight away. I selected the areas by blocking them out before hand.

I used a normal soft edge brush and a 'spray can' style to achieve the textures on most of the surfaces and materials. This didn't take as much time as I thought and allows you to be a bit messier, loosening up is something I've been trying to work on.

After I had most of the colour down I added shadows. I used a series of dark blues and purples on a separate layer set to 'multiply'. Picking out where there should be shadows takes me a while and this stage that required a lot of time. I think I got it right...

After the shadows I tried adding some reflected highlights. Not sure how well this works...

Anyway, I'll work on it more and then put up the final image when it's done.