Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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.


Ginger*:)* said...

Jenn this is amazing. And I am saving this lesson and looking forward to the next. You are wonderful to share the process, but I have to tell you, your talent is what makes this such a great illustration.

J. E. Morris said...

You're sweet Ginger - thanks!

Adrian said...

Hi Jenn. Have to admit, somehow I followed Ginger's website to yours and ended up seeing your process. But I loved it, great to see! I look forward to seeing the end of your post (or did you finish it and I lose track?). You have some beautiful images on your blog!


Jen Niles said...

As a self-taught artist, I can say...this information is like GOLD! Thank you so very much for being generous enough to share it!!

-Jen Niles

iantie said...

Hi Jenn, i so happen to passby your blog. And I didn't know photoshop can do such great work, or woops! Should i say it is you that make such great works ;) your images are beautiful and looks great!