I’ve really made this blog quite bi-weekly haven’t I, things should pick up soon as I’ve got an algorithm to approach my blog, I just need to generate some content so I can actually talk about stuff.
Strangely, my week has started with me helping various individuals with certain errands; I tend to prioritize my friends higher than myself but my work is always at the top of the hierarchy.
I haven’t given up on Lucky You, the day I finish this is when I’ll stop; although I am neglecting possible ideas I’ve recently come up with, I should take the advice I learnt from watching a video featuring Stefan G. Bucher:
“When I get an idea I get it on to paper straight away,” Something I should learn to do really, luckily my ideas can linger in my mind for a good while before I forget them.
Anyway, in regards to the post title, let’s go through what I’ve done so far for Lucky You.
I’ve completed another 2 spreads (4 pages) and refined the text composition on the first 2 spreads so they’re consistent (I took the first week after DIY Cultures off to get some well-earned rest after really trying hard to put together some zines).
I think what’ll be interesting for you all to see is a little insight to how I work, because I think people learn a lot from how people work; for example there’s a series of video called “Walt Flanagan Draws” which is so great to watch how someone goes about drawing.
Here’s a little taste here:
So let’s start:
I’ll go through it shot by shot;
- As with every project, you should start with thumbnail sketches as it gives you an overall outlook to your project, I used to do these as Stickmen but I find it hard to divorce myself from my work so I tend to draw in what I want as rough as I can just so that I get a visual on my ideas. Circled in red is the spread I’m working on.
- Next I do a clean sketch/Manuscript of the spread I’m working on, I don’t draw the whole thing out since all I need to focus on is the main elements of the page, the background I can improvise and play around with.
- I make a new A4 Document on Photoshop and rotate it 90 degrees, import the sketch by scanning it (You can do this via Photoshop by going on File > Import but my Printer doesn’t seem to want to show itself on mine…). Once you have your sketch imported, change the layer mode to Multiply, this is so that you can see the sketch as you paint on different layers.
- For each section of the main element (which is Remi for this example), colouring in a base colour, it’s a good idea to get into using swatches so that you don’t have to keep using the eyedropper tool on your previous pieces to get the colours you need and it’s just an efficient way to control your workflow.
- My Digital Style is Cel-Shading, so I make sure I don’t use outlines but I bend the rules slightly; I only use outlines when 2 congested elements clash which confuse the overall section.
- Normally, I only have 1 level of shading, but because I’m trying to convey edge lighting on this piece I have to apply another layer of shading so that the information of the element makes sense; at the moment this looks confusing.
- For every piece of Work I make which are recurring, I always challenge myself and alter the focal element slightly, in turn it makes my work have more visual impact.
- With Remi complete, we move on to the background, I start with base colours for each major section of the background e.g. sky, ground, sea
- I have a custom Grass brush which I often use, but don’t try to paint anything individually (unless you’re really obsessed with detail) because who knows when you’ll finish one piece and believe me it’s not fun; always paint to suggest elements and detail in if it’s a major part of your piece. Because I’m working on a Children’s book, detail isn’t necessary.
- Use 2 separate layers to paint depth to elements, like with Grass; one layer in front Remi and one behind the main layout of grass.
- I realise that the ground looks relatively plain so I paint in some flowers around Remi, I only added some around Remi because flowers suggest innocence and tranquility.
- Now, to paint in trees which give forests their main characteristic, I put in the effort into painting these trees because compared to the ones I painted earlier, they look better; good in terms of my improvements but not so good because now they aren’t really consistent, but I can get away with this since trees have no set look to them.
- I’m not about to paint each and every individual tree so I paint a silhouette to suggest a dense number of trees in the background to make up the forest.
- At this point I can play around with the tree leaves; all this is semiotics, nothing is perfectly painted but there’s enough painted to suggest what I’m painting.
- The whole piece looks pretty good but I’m willing to add more depth to the piece with more suggestive painting.
- I don’t particularly like the colour of the sky being orange so I’ll paint over it with a red to give a nice Dawn atmosphere, the sun has to be placed exactly where I need it to otherwise all the shading I’ve done on Remi won’t make sense.
- I can say that the piece is complete, but I tend to use adjustment layers on my work so that I can make the piece more subtle.
- Finally, add some guides to where you’ll put your text and type on.
And that’s pretty much how I create every piece digitally on Photoshop, a simple but effective method:
Sketch, Manuscript, Scan, Import, Block in Base Colours, Shade, Background, Detail, Adjustment Layers
Hope this has been insightful for you and I’ll carry on working.
P.S. I’ll only post up odd pages after this, don’t want to share the whole story just yet.