The Human Fly, stages of development

Update [11/12/13 12:00 a.m., Thailand]: Now I’m starting to get into it. I didn’t really like the more technical phases of getting the perspective right, and establishing a range of values. But it was a necessary step. Now I can work more intuitively, which I can see is what I really like. My imagination or subconscious is the real artist, and the rational part of me just sets up the stage for it to perform in. I almost thought I wasn’t going to be able to pull this off while working on this yesterday, but now it’s back on track and picking up speed. But I’m not done with the shading yet, and I may run into some trouble when I go to put it in color.

Update [11/12/13 1:26 a.m., Thailand]: I’m learning how to do this as I go along, because I’ve never attempted anything quite like this before. I have my own styles that I’ve created through trial and error, but this is more academic, and I’m going about it more like I’d write a research paper. Here, I’m assigning values to each object. This is a step I’ve never done before, and the way I decided to do it is also a method I haven’t seen before in PS. The idea here is that before one moves to adding color, one should establish the values (range of light to dark). I decided to do this in a blatant way, by using 20 grey color swatches between white and black. You can see those at the bottom of the image. Through some prediction and experimentation, I decide with greys I want to use. But, I’m not really doing highlights or shadows at this point. That’s next. Here it’s just composing values, which in PS can be separated from color, which is a little bit of technology that makes this intermediate stage possible.

Update [11/9/13 9:15 p.m., Thailand]: Finished the line drawing stage. Added a door around the window on the right, and put a transportation pod in it. Added an emergency light above the door and put a handle on it. Added a microscope on the table. I finalized the perspective I want, and made it consistent. This is all drawn on a  tablet, which is not so easy. But I got a new tablet a couple days ago (the smallest and cheapest Wacom variety), and it’s much better than my 7-8 year old one. Also been working a lot with exploring the different brush options in PS, and tweaking them out. Just this afternoon I finally found a combination I find “natural” to work with, and sometimes it truly is just like drawing with pencil or charcoal on paper. I’m going to try to finish the color stages in the next week.

Update [11/5/13 2:29 p.m., Thailand]: Still working on the perspective, and using a couple different techniques. Looks better, but accidentally hit a key stroke combination that sandwiched visible layers while I was in “paths” view, so I didn’t notice, and so now I have to re-do this morning’s work. I’m really liking this piece. The props are partially from original series Outer Limits, and partially from my imagination. On one level it has a retro-futuristic-sci-fi feel that links me to my childhood.

Update [11/4/13 2:00 a.m., Thailand]: I’m trying to get the perspective correct. Also added more cabinets in the back, changed the table to rectilinear, moved the microscope onto a surface on the right, and reworked the Human Fly’s proboscis…

Update [11/2 12:30 p.m.]. Ran across my original sketch, and decided to rename the images with numbers for the order of the stages, and put captions.

Update [11/2/13]: Now I’m putting the most recent versions in the front of the gallery. Added some background elements. It’s lab equipment traced from various screenshots I took from original Outer Limits TV series. They are all on their own layers, so I can move them around to get hte composition I want. I used Outer Limits equipment because I wanted that period feel.

I’m trying out adding stages as they develop in a gallery/slideshow. Looks pretty good. The human fly’s arms got a lot skinnier, and now he’s picking up some pizza, pouring a drink out of a bottle, and has a much larger suction-tube mouth. I’ll add another stage when it has metamorphosed significantly.

Also, the reason it’s flipped horizontally in the last image is it’s really good if you are an artist to work this way. Sometimes we build up distortions that we don’t notice, and then if we flip the image around they become obvious. So, I like to switch back and forth. In the end the image will usually look good either way it’s flipped.

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