Saturday, March 6, 2010

Development of Character, or what is happening in my brain.

To future, not in the applied style of the story.

This Guy's more like it!

How the minister came to be.
I thought it might be of interest to some to lay bare a bit of my processes since method differs so much from artist to artist.
Like most, I do a lot of exploratory work in the beginning.
trying out different techniques in this faze and learning much
about these new digital tools in the process.
Once the character has been discovered, I then work in gradual steps to refine the visuals.
First a rough sketch which used to be done in pencil and then scanned into the machine.
Now I find it much more expedient to work directly from my Wacom Pad in Corel painter 11.
I still use the pencil brush tool in the rough sketch faze, usually with a burnt umber-ish color.
I then Refine the rough sketch further using the blending tool. my workhorse blender is the smooth tool. By playing with the bleed, re-saturation and opacity sliders, I push the pixels laid down in the initial sketch to a more finished point. Then I raise the drawing to a water color layer. I can then start to explore the color of the piece with a mid or half tones approximating local color.
I then pull out of my box of tricks, the old burn & dodge tools. these two tools not only allow the variation of value & tonal qualities, but they also do wonderful & unexpected things with color leading to all the happy accidents that I love. Then, more noodling with the blending tools to refine even further. To finnish, I then raise this stage to a water color layer and with a grayed, complementary color, plot out the shadows and refine those again with the smooth blending tool. add finishing details and then the piece is ready to incorporate into the panel, and then finally into the page.
Lulled into a vision, our protagonist is about to be rudely brought back into the real world.
More to come on both story development as well as GREW itself.


  1. Great description of your color process. Would be nice to catch you streaming some time.

  2. Thanks Jose! Wish I knew how! Believe it or not I'm still a digital green horn.

  3. NOT FOR THE WICKED! YES for the wicked! Love that image--and those age spots. And thanks too for taking time to walk us through your work--most insightful.

  4. Love to talk some theology with you (I think we are on the same wavelength). Really interesting!

  5. I'm with Jose, streaming would be cool to see! Sorry I can't give any help on how that's actually done, either. It was great to see your process more in depth. I'm still scanning in the initial sketch but I'm thinking that I need to take the leap and start sketching directly with the Wacom to save some time. Always learning and adjusting technique sure makes life interesting!

  6. Thanks Denver, but I'm afraid I'm a little camera shy. That's one thing that keeps me from drawing or painting in public. just can't seem to relax if someone is watching! Try more direct digital sketches, it's very freeing!