Sunday, May 15, 2011

Off the Saddle Again!

That poor Acrylic canvas that I was so happily & diligently working on previous to this blog! 
 From Blog post "... and Buggy Makes Six"
It's been sitting against my sliding closet door now for two weeks - neglected. I'm now working on an assignment from a REAL boss with a real deadline (in reference to my blog entry "The Job Interview") to do illustrations for a video the company is developing. I'm very much enjoying this work, and the art director is absolutely the VERY best to work with!! I've been fortunate to have been doing a variety of consistent work for them for the past 3 years.

The following is one of the illustrations from this project, and this is typically how I've been creating most of my illustrations for the past couple of decades. I thought it would be fun to show this work in progress for those interested.

My tools of choice have been: An easy-click mechanical pencil with a twist eraser, Pantone and Prismacolor markers, Prismacolor pencils, and Photoshop.
 Here's my routine:

I start out by sketching on tracing paper using my mechanical pencil and kneaded (aka: NEEDED) eraser.

The finished pencil drawing. 

Once I'm happy with the sketch I scan it into Photoshop and print it out. Using a light board I carefully trace the image onto a piece of good illustration paper. My paper of preference is Border & Riley 32# for it's smoothness. I'm very picky about my marker colors not feathering and the colored pencil shading not having too much tooth to it (to help with that, I go over my shading with a Prismacolor blending pencil.)

I then take the finished pencil drawing and scan it into Photoshop where I manipulate the quality... getting rid of any smudges and background pixels. Once it's clear, I print it out onto another piece of illustration paper. Now I'm ready to color.

 The finished original color drawing.

First, I use my markers. I have large sheets of illustration paper where I've made a broad color strip of ea of my marker colors and their number (which I've placed with white tape onto each marker for identification). This speeds up the process of selecting the right colors. When I'm finished with the markers, the images are brought to life by adding highlights and shadows. This is where the Prismacolored pencils come in. The shading is my favorite part of the coloring process! 

Next, I scan in the finished color piece and do the fine tuning with Photoshop CS3. If it seems appropriate, I make a "path" of each character and copy/paste the images onto a blank "canvas" in this program. This makes it easier to put in the background ... which I usually create using the fantastic tools from Photoshop.

The finished piece. 

In this particular case, the art director wanted me to focus on the girl by fading the bike in the background - which is so easy to do in P.S.

When I'm working on the final pencil drawing this electric eraser removes mistakes cleanly and with ease!

 Lots of markers to choose from!

... and Prismacolored pencils inside a spinning holder organized by color schemes. I'm BIG on convenience!

To me it's essential to have a time sheet for all of my work - and I'm dedicated to marking down the time taken for each break. (Reviewing this, I've discovered how much I need to shorten those!!)

Stay tuned, another great assignment is coming up .... and hopefully I can squeeze in more painting of the canvas - the "boss" is breathing down my neck, and my grandbaby is getting bored with the blank wall above her crib - I can tell, she's pointing to it and waaaaa-ing! 


chris tugeau said...

sounds and looks JUST LIKE it. being your/ourselve(s) and sharing what we know... a privledge and a pleasure. good for you! chris

Lisa M Griffin said...

I love learning how other artists work, so thank you for sharing your process. Also like experimenting with paper, so I will have to look up the one you recommend.
Good luck on your assignment.

Anonymous said...

THX for sharing