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Friday, September 12, 2014

Who needs a Radio!?



How's going everyone? I've been really good! I just finished another Salt Lake Comic Con  and have been super busy working with amazing clients and creating a ton of artwork! 

The new school year has started and I am finally in my last semester! For this final semester I needed one upper division art class so that I finally graduate. The opportunity arose to take an independent study digital painting class with Jim Madsen. If you don't know Jim's work follow the link and prepare to have your mind blown! He is an amazing artist and in the two short weeks I have been in his class I have learned a ton! 

For Jim's class, using the Illustration Friday topic, we are going to be producing one painting per week. This weeks topic was radio. I know some of you are thinking how does this painting relate to the topic. Well, I didn't want to simply illustrate a radio in the truest sense so I thought hey why not paint a singing mariachi riding a donkey on a road trip to San Diego. You know, using his "old school" radio.


As with most of my work it starts with the exploratory phase of drawing and sketching.  This is my favorite part of the process because it allows me to try out a bunch of ideas quickly with out any real consequences. Some ideas work and others don't. This was the ruff thumbnail sketch that I settled on.


Now that I have my Idea I tighten up my character sketch. I should note that I'm working 100% digital on this painting sketch and all. I use Adobe Photoshop and a Wacom Cintiq 24HD. I try to use the stock photoshop brushes as much as possible but, I love these pencil brushes from Frenden for sketching. They have a great texture and natural feel to them.


Next I quickly block in the background. I'm working in black and white first so I can get the values correct. I'll add color later. 


Now that the background is roughed in I turn that layer off and block in my two main characters. For this phase I take the value painting almost to a finished state. I want this value painting be pretty tight so I spend quite a bit of time working on the values and textures. This helps late on with the color glazing part of the painting. 


So the main characters and the backgrounds are ruffed in now comes the color part. If you spend your time getting the values right you can almost use any color pallet and it will work fine. I usually never work this saturated with my colors but, seeing as this is a desert scene I thought it would be a excellent opportunity to pay tribute to one of my favorite cartoons The Roadrunner and  Wile E.. Coyote! I decided that some intensive research is in order. So I watched a few episodes and looked up some reference and decided to go with a pastel color pallet for the background. Using new layer I set it to color and glaze over my value painting. I'm working pretty loose on the background leaving the edges soft. I also let the colors overlap to allow some blending. Once I'm happy with the colors I move on to painting the main characters. 


Using a method similar to the background, I use color, multiply and normal layers to glaze in the color and refine the illustration. This part takes a little longer but this is where the painting really comes together. Most artists will tell you that the most fun part of painting is the little details. I'm am no different. A lot of time has been wasted zoomed in painting stuff that no one but me will ever see, but hey thats the fun part. Right?


After the color is all done I add some subtle texture overlays and do a little color correction to help harmonize the painting. Overall I was happy with the illustration but, I thought something was missing from the painting so I decided to add a little desert bird to the scene to fill up some of the negative space and add a little more humor to the scene. As you can see the donkey is really happy to be on the long trip with his companions. 

Thanks for making through my last painting with me. Have a great weekend!

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