Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Painting Progression - Part 2

Here's the continuation of my painting demo...

Next I use a bunch of scrunchy textured brushes in photoshop and add the colors. I do this on another layer so I don't mess up the black outlines. Some of the brushes I use I made by scanning in black blobs and others are brushes that came with photoshop that I tweaked a little bit.

Here it is partially colored in. I redid the fish bowl after this stage, the fish looked too muddy so I repainted them.

After a bunch more coloring and texturing - ta da! Here's the final product...

Painting Progression

I like seeing how other artists work, so I thought I'd share one of my pieces and show how I do my photoshop scratch board paintings.

Once I had a watercolorist say to me, "Oh, you work on a computer. Don't you just press a button to tell the computer what sort of picture you want it to make?" "Uh, yeah... sure... I just press that button and out pops a picture." Even when I tried to explain to him that it wasn't that easy, I don't think he believed me. There must be secret button that I wasn't telling him about. In reality, Photoshop isn't that much different than traditional painting but there are a few advantages. One, I don't get my clothes dirty. Two, I don't run on of paint (a good thing since the nearest decent art supply is 45 minutes away) And three, I have that most wonderful invention in the history of the human race - the undo button. Let's face it, wouldn't it be nice if everything we did had an undo button!

All my work starts with a pencil sketch (usually a bunch). I not very good at drawing on the computer. This particular sketch is pretty rough. Usually they are more finished than this before I start the final.

Next I scan the pencil drawing into photoshop. Then it's time to start "scratching" the black lines. This is all done in the photoshop.

I set the pencil sketch's layer to 'multiply' and work in blue on a lower layer. I use blue so the pencil lines stand out and I can see what I'm doing. Then I use a fat paint brush to lay down areas of blue and use the eraser tool to remove sections. It's pretty much the same as using a regular old scratch board, except I don't get little black bits all over the place.

Once all the 'scrathing' is done I change the blue to black and delete the pencil layer and I have something like this...

Then I start adding the colors. I usually do a small color study with my initial color ideas. Usually I stick pretty close to it. But this time - well, it was pretty ugly. At least I knew what colors NOT to use.

Hmmm, I think I'll have to finish this in another post. Blogger won't let me add another photo.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Illustration Friday - Invention

As I watched my fish swimming around in their aquarium I wondered if they ever got bored of being in the same place day in and day out. What if they wanted to see the world and decided to do something about it. Although I image they would need some help building their fishmobile invention - I'm not sure how handy fish are with tools. Maybe the cat was in on it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Illustration Friday - Thanksgiving

"Over the turnpike and through the tolls to Grandmother's house we go!"

This is a greeting card I did a while back for Great Arrow Graphics. It looks better in real life with gold metallic ink. Great Arrow has a great line of cards of hand silk screened cards, check 'em out at

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Illustration Friday - Clear

"Estelle looked everywhere for her glasses. She couldn't see clearly without them. Where could they be?"

Sorry, I only have time for a line drawing this week. Maybe I'll get a chance later this week to finish this.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Illustration Friday - Smoke

I've been reading a book with my daughter called "Dragon's Breath" in which the dragons have to eat hot peppers to get their fire breath.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Awards

Yay for Aflie!

I was just told that "May I Please Have a Cookie?" was chosen as an honor book for the Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Awards in the "easy fiction" category. This award is given out by the Maryland Library Association to outstanding books for beginning and reluctant readers published in 2005.

For more information about the Blue Crab Award go to the Maryland Library Association's website