Thursday, June 28, 2012

Going all digital and regretting it.

This workflow experiment took ages and I blame that primarily on the all digital process I was trying out. Once in a while I start an illustration and it ends up being the longest, most frustrating journey to an okay result. A lot of big sighs and the occasional mental breakdown aside I documented the process for future generations.

So this is the original idea. A little girl finds her monster-dad hard at work on bills when she get out of bed for a glass of water. I skipped my usual thumb nailing on paper to find a composition and tried to go all digital.
I've decided to add more of an angle to the BG and start figuring out the attitudes and poses of the characters. I initially wanted a sort of muppet like design for the monster. I've got a PS vanishing point grid on top of everything here

I'm looking for a way to suggest the girls bedroom with light or a reflection in a window in the living room. Trying out some fur painting, not happy with it though. I don't really want a realistic fur render. Up to now I've done everything in grayscale. The idea was to get my values right and then add color with the color blending mode.
Adding color that way didn't really work for me so I just used my grey scale as a guide and repainted things. I rescaled and redrew the background elements. I also redesigned the monster, going for a more cartoony render style and ditching the white of the eyes. The pose is still awkward
Trying to place the girl in the BG a little better. Obviously not working out here. Adding a teapot. Getting rid of my table clutter.
Different pose for the girl, messing around with the color palette for the kitchen.
Still looking for a pose for the girl, more changes to the color palette, correcting the monster pose. Teapot disappears. Added in the living room BG. 

Started rendering the monster and changing the design again. Looking for better shapes on the head. Changed the girl again, different pose, different colors, different design. Finally satisfied with that. I also closed of the composition by lowering the shadow on the left.
Here I'm adding detail and I'm trying to make the monster's haircut have some depth without losing it's straightforward shape. I also added some eyeballs.

changed the position of the hand with the letter and added additional letters and bills.
 And here's the final result again.

I've added a little bit of a rimlight on the monster. Took out some tangents. Subtle textures to my big flat areas of color some kitchen clutter on the countertop. I desaturated the living room background, getting those blues closer to my color scheme. During the whole process I flip the illustration continually to check for wonkiness.

As frustrating as the process was, I think it turned out alright and I've learned some lessons. Thumb nailing on paper saves me a lot time and designing and redesigning things take a lot longer in PS than they do on paper. PS is great to scale or rearrange compositional elements but in this case I was better off making a final drawing on paper. Perhaps a cintiq would enable me to be more efficient in a digital only workflow.
Here's an animated gif

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FANART: Meera Reed Game of Thrones

Here's Meera Reed. She wasn't part of the second season but will supposedly show up next season.  I'm trying out a little bit of a different lighting set-up. She's supposed to come out of the shade. This series of character designs is almost at an end. Next up is Salladhor Saan, followed by Mance Rayder and then summer break.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Picture book illustration for Zonnekind.

Here's another illustration for Zonnekind. Art direction by Sien Trekker.