New Art: Stick Girl’s Epiphany

And that’s about as far as I could take her. if you’ve followed the development of this piece on my blog you know it was an exercise in technique, and based loosely on a tutorial. It’s evolved into something a bit more, and I’d consider it part of my portfolio. Along the way I discovered…

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WIP: Adding Texture

I’m not that big of a fan of photo-bashing. That’s a technique where you take photos and superimpose them on your digital painting in order to achieve textural effects. It can be a cheap cheat that looks cheesy, or it can be a sophisticated process that when done right can really add something. Here I’ve…

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WIP: Update on Stick Woman

She’s coming along. Since my last post I’ve painted some large branches in the middle background, and some lighting and shading. There’s lots more to do, including adding texture to the branches to make them more convincing. Near the end I paint over whatever I want, and however I want, but right now I’m working…

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WIP: Adding Local Color

It’s a bit muted right now because I haven’t added any lighting or shading. There’s only a line drawing, with flat color under it. I made it more complex by varying the colors of the sticks that make up our stick figure. That helps to delineate which sticks or branches are which. Incidentally, the ability…

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WIP: Line Drawing Phase

This is another exercise in lighting, shading, modeling, anatomy, perspective, work-flow, and when working from the imagination. I also intended it as a work of art, but working within certain parameters, and with a given objective in mind. My followers know I like to compare digital painting to MMA, in which case in order to…

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Practicing with Profile Sketches in Photoshop

Quietly, and virtually unrecognized by the art world at large, there’s a renaissance of figurative artwork being created on the computer. Rather unexpectedly, digital painting has revitalized the practice of traditional drawing and painting skills. It’s a bit like how people started writing letters again after the arrival of email, and subsequent to letter writing…

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New Art: Bat Girl Bites Back

This started out as an exercise in lighting, shading, and workflow, but it ended up being an artwork I’m proud of. A lot of the techniques and procedures I employed I got from a digital painting course by veteran Disney animator, Aaron Blaise. The initial drawing and the character design are all my own. If…

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WIP: The Eyes are Testing my Metal

The eyes have been really difficult. I changed the colors, the shape, added veins, a highlight, and ridges on the bottom lids. What makes them so hard is largely the ornate bat nose which bisects one eye. I want partially obscured eye’s pupil to show, but getting it to line up with the other eye…

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WIP: Adding Rim Lighting

The rim lighting is difficult for me, and almost seems perfunctory. It’s a sort of cheap trick often used in comics. But it is also a really effective way to articulate form in shadow, which works for this sort of subject. Note that I’m not an expert at this, I’m learning it as an exercise,…

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WIP: Adding Texture

This stage is all Photoshop. I’d almost consider it cheating if it weren’t such a pain in the ass to pull off; if I weren’t going to paint over it; if I hadn’t done everything by hand under it; and if this weren’t an exercise using professional digital painting for illustration techniques. Here, one has…

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WIP: Adding Rough Shading

The much more clever way to do shading is to make a 3D model, and then move the light around to find the perfect angle. But doing it the clumsy, old fashioned way is good practice, and this piece is just about honing my skills. The shading made the bat lady more 3D, but it…

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WIP: Adding local color

Think I’m gonna’ go for blue skin with pink details, yellow-orange irises, and a dark red/purple ball of the eye. It’s a bit saturated right now, but after I add modeling, lighting, shading, and texture, it should be pretty cool. The gif animation has nothing to do with it. It’s just a snappy way of…

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New Art: That Time Mr. Bat got the Human Flu.

Poor Mr. Bat. This was intended as a quick experiment in my ongoing exploration of digital impasto. To my knowledge I have the unique, and completely unrecognized distinction of being a pioneer in achieving digital impasto effects. I’ve used several different programs and combinations thereof to accomplish the results, and it’s usually not in a…

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New Art: Ant Man Goes AWOL

Finally completed, and it was as much of a battle creating him as he looks like he’s a veteran of. I used lots of new techniques which I’ve learned from professional illustrators, and incorporated into my own arsenal of digital and painting techniques. This is as far as I could take the image with my…

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WIP: Adding the Power of Rim Lighting

What a difference rim lighting can make in a hyper-realist image. This is the first time I’ve really attempted this technique, and it took a lot of tinkering to get a result I was satisfied with. Rim lighting is a technique illustrators and other artists borrow from cinema. You have your main light source —…

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Bubbly Monster Skin

In the continued creation of a hyper-realistic monster, I reached the stage where one overlays textures onto the body. For my fellow Photoshop nerds, you take a picture of a texture, put it on its own layer, lower the opacity to around 30%, and tweak out the exposure so the texture looks like it’s on…

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My Custom Psychedelic Flower Brush

If you know how to use brushes in Photoshop, this one’s ready to go. It’s just something I stumbled on while experimenting with all the different options and capacities of Photoshop’s extremely powerful brush machine. Making custom brushes is now part of my arsenal of available techniques, and it’s phenomenal what you can do with…

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