Friday, October 9, 2015

Photoshop Painting Lamia Witch in a Tree.

Lamia Witch
Watch out for the Lamia Witch. I had a fun time making this for Halloween. I decided to create this piece in an extreme perspective to add interest to the painting. The parts of the body of this hideous witch appear dramatically closer to the viewer than the feet which appear in the background. The tree that the witch is crawling on is wide at the base but as it continues upward becomes thinner.

As always it is extremely important to start every painting with an under drawing to make everything cohesive and to fix any problems before you get to far into the painting itself.

For this painting I used a very limited pallet of color, because I wanted it to appear very dark I set the layer I was coloring on to Multiply instead of Overlay. Multiply is useful because it has the effect of making everything below it darker, yet it will not completely blot out what you have underneath. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Adding First Layer of Color to Under Drawing in Photoshop Painting

Alice in Wonderland Graphic Novel Page with First layer of Color
For those who have been reading my blog this is Part 2, of the post entitled How to Create an Under Drawing . Follow the link to see the post How to Create an Under Drawing Using Photoshop.

For those of you who may be familiar with traditional oil painting, you know the importance of laying down your first layer of paint. In Photoshop you can do the same thing; however, while laying down your first layer of paint in oil painting is generally just a light wash of a single dark color, in Photoshop I suggest laying out all of the colors that you are going to use for the final piece in detail as seen in the image above. 

After you have created your under drawing simply create a new layer above the under drawing and set the blending mode to Overlay. This will allow you to paint over your lines in the under drawing while maintaining some of the values and line work in your original under drawing. 

The purpose of laying out the colors in this fashion are two-fold:

1) In this stage you get to plan out which colors you are going to use, and see what looks good by blocking in colors. If you don't like the color, it's easy to just repaint over the color because you haven't invested much time into extremely detailed painting. 

2) As in traditional oil painting, it is wise to lay down a base color so that in the final piece no white "canvas" is showing through in the final piece. The same is true in digital painting. Laying down the color also saves you time in the long run because you don't need to paint every pixel of the piece if you already have color filling in all of the spaces. 

To be clear, in this stage of the painting you work generally filling in the biggest shapes rapidly with large brush sizes. Later when you are working on the details you can worry about getting everything perfect. 

After you complete this step the next and final step is to add in all of the fine details with smaller finer brushes.

Thank you for reading, please like this post and leave comments and questions for other artists.

Friday, October 2, 2015

How to create an Anthropomorphic Character, Digital Painting Photoshop

When creating an anthropomorphic character I find it extremely helpful to have a base character to start from. Such as Beauty Smith from the book White Fang by Jack London. As you can see I transformed this character in the book into an alligator person. 

While you may be an excellent artist, it is also always very important to find good source material. That is a reference which you can use to help you create a believable character. I've seen artist try to create their artwork of specific things from memory only, and usually it just doesn't turn out to look believable. 

When creating this digital painting, I actually went online and found real photographs of alligators, I found close up pictures of their scales and their eyes. However, this does not mean that I copied or plagiarized! Every good artist that I know makes sure to use reference material, however none of them copy their work directly. If I wanted to I could have easily just done a photorealistic painting of the same alligator that I found online. Now that would be plagiarism, but I didn't do that, I simply used the image of the alligator to get the form, texture, and shadows correct, everything else is my own invention. I did the same thing for the eyes.

Now some of you may be thinking: "But this isn't a photorealistic piece of artwork..." And that is true, and I take particular pride in that fact, because what good is an artist if the artist is simply creating photorealistic pieces when a camera or machine can do the same thing in mere seconds? The job of true artists is to add beauty and communicate their particular message to their audience, not simply to recreate the world as it is, but perhaps to reform the world into something better, or even as it should be. 

Reality is more malleable than we might tend to think. 

Excerpt from White Fang by Jack London (1876–1916):

This man was called "Beauty" by the other men of the fort. No one knew his first name, and in general he was known in the country as Beauty Smith. But he was anything save a beauty. To antithesis was due his naming. He was pre minently unbeautiful. Nature had been niggardly with him. He was a small man to begin with; and upon his meagre frame was deposited an even more strikingly meagre head. Its apex might be likened to a point. In fact, in his boyhood, before he had been named Beauty by his fellows, he had been called "Pinhead." 

Backward, from the apex, his head slanted down to his neck; and forward, it slanted uncompromisingly to meet a low and remarkably wide forehead. Beginning here, as though regretting her parsimony, Nature had spread his features with a lavish hand. His eyes were large, and between them was the distance of two eyes. His face, in relation to the rest of him, was prodigious. In order to discover the necessary area, Nature had given him an enormous prognathous jaw. It was wide and heavy, and protruded outward and down until it seemed to rest on his chest. Possibly this appearance was due to the weariness of the slender neck, unable properly to support so great a burden. 

This jaw gave the impression of ferocious determination. But something lacked. Perhaps it was from excess. Perhaps the jaw was too large. At any rate, it was a lie. Beauty Smith was known far and wide as the weakest of weak-kneed and snivelling cowards. To complete his description, his teeth were large and yellow, while the two eye-teeth, larger than their fellows, showed under his lean lips like fangs. His eyes were yellow and muddy, as though Nature had run short on pigments and squeezed together the dregs of all her tubes. It was the same with his hair, sparse and irregular of growth, muddy-yellow and dirty-yellow, rising on his head and sprouting out of his face in unexpected tufts and bunches, in appearance like clumped and wind-blown grain. 

In short, Beauty Smith was a monstrosity, and the blame of it lay elsewhere.