sleepy-- it's the CHaracter Of the Week activity. it's on forum>activities>character of the week
it's my first time trying to submit something. the topic came out on tuesday morning (california time) this time it was sky fishermen--with the constraint that these guys would exhibit some kind of teamwork. everything else was just left open-ended.
this isn't the most creative entry, i'm sure, but who cares? it's just something new to try.
here's more progress, but i don't think i'm gonna submit it in the finals. just a warmup since i haven't tried this chow thing before. it does feel kind of retro. 3 fully rendered panels is just a little too much work right now with some of the extra things i have going on.
messing around with hybrid techniques. this is graphite on some kind of drafting mylar. i scan it in, darken the shadows and midtones. then turn it into a multiply layer and throw a gray tone behind it in photoshop. then in painter i use a top layer with a "glow" brush for the highlights, and airbrush and slightly texture out a layer underneath for the darks.
works much better than the damn prismacolor i was using. too damn waxy. it's like conte or crayola--can't push it around when you want to, and it builds up really thick. it does give beautiful blacks, but it can be a real bitch to get right.
i did this in about 15 minutes, and it seems about as fast as i can go. prismacolor wastes too much time for me.
i don't get any points for originality here, but i did figure out my workflow for doing these types of comps. the likenesses are a bit off, but i managed to finish the drawing and digital manipulation in about 3.5 hours, so it's reasonable. 8.5x11 is a little roughl for nailing a tight likeness with these awkward lighting conditions.
i'm new to these media myself, so i'm just gonna explain the whole thing. i'm working it like i would do an oil painting rubout:
i'm using some kind of drafting mylar or vellum. it is ultra-smooth, and takes a beating.
(another benefit is that it is infinitely eraseable--with an electric eraser, you can even erase sharpie marker! black prismacolor pencil and sharpie works really well if you're doing more comic book type illustration with spotted blacks. But trying to do anything subtle with prismacolor just annoys the hell out of me--too much waxy buildup.)
i might throw down a few construction lines for the heads, but not a whole lot. then, i use a staedtler lead holder with an HB(?) lead. i extend the lead out a bit and then lay down a kind of streaky wash of tone. then i just rub that down with my finger or a wad of paper towel. you could try brushing it with a VERY TINY amount of rubbing alcohol, but experiment first somewhere else.
i pick out the lights with a kneaded eraser the same way i would for an oil painting rubout. then it's just back and forth with pencil and smudging and eraser. the drawing is usually relatively light--photoshop/painter and multiply make it dark.
my experience with graphite is that most people make the mistake of modelling too much in the halftone areas. makes their work look muddy. now that i've kind of got this working scheme figured out, i don't worry about that because the toned background will serve as my halftones.
i learned this technique from my teacher mark westermoe back in 2004. this is from a series of illustrations i did for a japanese short story i translated.
i storyboarded the scene out, shot some photoreference, and then did about 23 paintings based on the story.
i'm now very, very quick at this. i can do a rubout portrait from life usually in about 2 hours very painterly. stuff from photos is about the same, depending on how intricate (smaller is tougher) and how tight i need to take it. this technique is now getting popular again, from what i hear, and i encourage you to play with it. but beware, there is a tough learning curve.
i chose this method because i was travelling a lot and could just roll up my canvas ans then tape it down to a board again. (note on that--after a while, it will crack the paint layer--beware!)
Wow, that is very nicely done. Do you think this method would work with acrylic paints? I know that if you rub with water, acrylics will kind of go away like with the oil study you did, just wanted to know if you had any experience with that technique using acrylics.
it won't work exactly the same, as far as i know. i've seen someone's work who does it in acryllic--google someone named peter drake, he has a demo online.
i think he uses several base coats of acryllic over a pretty heavily gessoed canvas. i think he uses a light burnt umber tone underneath a kind of burgundy/red. then he uses different grades of sandpaper to "rub out" lighter tones. in the end he uses glazes to bring out the colors.
once acryllic is really dry, i don't think it will rub off with water. so you might be able to do that when it's still pretty wet, but you will have to be really quick about it. you might be able to do a version of it is you mix in some "extender" or "retarder" with the paint wash you put down, but i usually paint differently in acryllics.