My art style incorporates a high level of detail with a bright and vibrant colour scheme to create a variety of moods and atmospheres. Although I work almost exclusively digitally, my art always start life as a preliminary sketch drawn with a mechanical pencil and traditional wooden pencils (for shading) on bristol board.
This is not meant to be a tutorial as such, this page is here just to show you how of digital artwork from start to finish.
Step 1: Reference Photo
Most of the time, I get sent about three or four photos to choose from, (occasionally I'll only get sent the one) and using my over active imagination, I generally come up with a loose concept...
Step 2: Conception
Once I have a concept/theme or two, I usually get relay my ideas back to the model just to make sure that they are okay with it. Sometimes I put together a crappy little thumbnail sketch, mainly to help the model visualise my ideas ( I can see it all in my head, so I don't need to sketch it for myself)
Step 3: The Preliminary Drawing
Once I get the Go Ahead, I get started on the tight preliminary drawing. I'll print out the photo(s) that I have decided to work with, along with any other reference photos that I need (e.g. clothing, props, animals, butterfly wings etc.) to complete the piece I have in mind. I so sometimes also work with more than one photo of the same person for the same image (I might use part of a pose from one and part of a pose from another).
Usually I draw with a HB 0.5mm mechanical pencil on A3 (297mm x 420mm) Bristol Board (I just love the silky smooth texture of it... the pencil glides over it effortlessly). I use traditional wooden pencils (between 4B and 2H) for shading my drawing.
Step 4: Scanning Into Photoshop
Once the pencil drawing is finished, I take it over to my scanner, and scan it into photoshop, where I piece the image back together (I currently only have an A4 scanner, so I have to can my drawing in sections) and clean it up a bit (pencil erases really well off Bristol Board due to it's smooth surface).
Step 5: Creating Selections
My digital painting workflow, is similar to that of a traditional airbush artist, using masks and selections to keep my edges sharp and defined. I makes the selections using the "Pen Tool", and then save them for use later in the painting process.
Step 6: Base Colours
Once all of the selections that I need have been made, I start to add the flat base colours (Usually a midtone)to all the major areas of the panting (sometimes I change the colours later on if I'm not liking them). This is probably the quickest and easiest part of the process
Step 7: Painting the Main Subject
Now that the base colours are down, I start to build up the shading, adding more midtone shades, shadows on a "Multiply Layer" and highlights and glows on a "Screen Layer". I work mostly with a basic round brush, with the harness set to 30%, and the opacity set to between 30 and 50%. I have a bad habbit of using too many layers, I really need to cut down lol.
Step 8: Painting the Backdrops
I usually build up the backgroud at the same time that I work on the main subject(s), mainly to make sure that they compliment each other. I don't always paint the backdrops, sometimes I'll use a 3D rendering program to make one (usually Vue E'spirit), though i'm not great with that program, so my rendered backgrounds are usually quite basic.
Step 9: Final Detailing
Once the majority of the painting is done, I then add the final finishing touches, to bring the whole piece to life. Most people would think that this part of the process, it the most gratifying... But in fact, it's probably the longest, and most tedious part of the whole painting process.
Step 10: Finished Product
Ta-Daaaa =D... Here's the finished piece... Took me a while, but I was well worth it =)."Screenshots of the process will be available in the not too distant furture"