Monday, September 29, 2014

Landscape Studies

Just some landscape studies I did in preparation of what might be an alien landscape in a new illustration that I'm working on. The first is after a painting by David Drummond and the other two are from photographs of the Grand Canyon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Experiments with Corel Painter

I've seen some illustrators use a combination of Corel Painter and Photoshop with exceptional skill, so I downloaded a free trial of Corel to see if I could incorporate its tools in a similar way. I proceeded to make a little sketch to test out the brushes and their various "sliders".

There are some things that I like and things that I don't like. Of the few weaknesses in the program, I think there are some that I can get used to. For example, increasing and decreasing the brush size takes forever when using the shortcut keys, so I found it easier to go up to the size slider and drag it. Now, the good thing about the added hurdle to changing brush size is that it forces me to continue painting with the same size brush. This is a good thing if you are going for an effect with expressive brush strokes. One thing that is less beneficial are phantom brush strokes that appear out of nowhere while you're painting. Not the end of the world, but they can be annoying, especially if you don't notice them until later.

The strength of the program as many know is its ability to simulate traditional media. For me, it's not so much it looking like traditional media as behaving like traditional media that I enjoy. I love the way the oil brush settings smear your previous brush strokes with each new stroke, preventing the straight-edged overlaps you often see in digital paintings made with Photoshop.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hide your Dwarven kids. Hide your Dwarf Wife.

The Tomato Wyrm Project continues. I have a couple shots that give you an idea of how I went about adding color on this one. 

Here is my finished grayscale painting. I rendered it pretty tightly this time before moving to color.

With green being the primary color for my wyrm, I used it as the base color. I put it on a gradient map on an adjustment layer that sits on top of my grayscale rendering. The gradient map ranges from dark brown to green to white, which gives you a much more natural range of colors as the values change. If you look closely, you can see brown in the darkest occlusion shadows. No ugly gray values here!

The additional colors were added on new layers, which vary in layer mode (overlay, multiply, and color mode). Multiple layers tends to get things messy, so once I was happy with the colors, I merged everything and did a little bit of painting clean-up. I went with a more modest color scheme than my original plan involving stripes and eyespots. It just was too much. The gradual shifts in color do a much better job of showcasing the Tomato Wyrms lovely lumps.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jelly Sketches

Some delightful jellyfish in pencil and gouache. There are some really freakish ones out there...