Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Illustration: Autumn + process

My new illustration for the year!!! Titled: Autumn!!! This is also my first assignment in the illustration major using some cool new techniques, tips and tricks in Photoshop that I never knew! (Even though I've been using it for 7 years...shame shame...) So today, I'm gonna do something a little different. I'll be showing you the stage by stage process!

Sketches and Idea Stage: First off, I started with a concept of a singer on stage like a rocker. The sketches didn't work for me mostly because the concept wasn't strong enough. So I scrapped the sketches and went back to the drawing board. I knew I wanted to do a piece on music but I didn't know how I can push the idea or take it to a stronger concept. After looking through tonnes of images online (yes... TONNES) I decided to do music + autumn. Once the concept/idea is decided, the rest is merely sketches and thumbnails till I get that unique "look" I wanted. As I'm a traditional animator, I drew in blue pencil mostly. 

Blue pencil on 11 X 17 paper. 

Preparing the Illustration Stage: This is one of the most boring and tedious stage of the painting. I lay in flat colors making sure that each of the individual elements of the drawing is clean. I usually try to make it fun by laying down random colors because 1) You might come into happy accidents in terms of color palette 2) You don't want to get stuck on a certain pre-conceived color palette so early 3) Its fast.


Painting Stage 1: Once the colors are flat, I'll start painting. Normally, the fisrt thing I do is add a few shadows and color lights on my illustration. Once that is done (almost always haphazardly) I start toying with the background. When I think I've done enough, I usually lay the image overnight and get a fresh look at it the next day. As you can see on Color test 2, the color palette of the illustration is more cohesive now. I actually went through 3 sets of color adjustment to get to this stage. Normally when I reach this stage, I'll stall another day and take it to friends or professors for critique.

Color test 1.

Color test 2.

Painting Stage 2: As seen previously, the illustration at this point is too jarring and the colors are fighting with each other. Basically, there's no focus. With the help of my Professors, Prof Dove from Sequential Art and Prof John Foerster from the illustration department, I changed the layout of the illustration cropping in to give the piece more drama. See how clean it is in this version? Always seek help whenever you CAN!!! Once that is done, I continue to paint on it.

Image Cropped.

Critique Stage: The best thing that I got from this class is honest feedback. Prof John Foerster has device a great way for critique and what we all did is open our illustrations and leave some space for our peers to write comments on our work. So during class, everyone walked around looking at each other's illustration and started writing in honest feedbacks. 

Our class critique.

Final Stage: Once the critique is done, I read through the comments and decided to tweak some of the things that my peers pointed out. (^__^)

Final piece: Autumn

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