Mid-way through the Chains of Durandal project, I was given this assignment, which required a ghostly figure. I've actually had art directors in the past describe such looks as "Particle Effects," which is videogame jargon for procedurally rendered special effects like glows, sparklies, and similar that make your ultra magic combo look awesome. This art director didn't use the term, but it's what was going to be depicted. I knew off the bat that this would be problematic as a painting--painting things with ghostly transparencies and glows is fine, but if there was going to be a chain of adjustments (more/less transparent, more/less glow, change color of glow, etc.) then painting it would be fruitless--you can't make those sorts of paint adjustments easily, if at all, without repainting entirely. So this was an occasion where I decided to go mostly digital.
(L:) Figure study, 12x9" charcoal
I still started traditionally, however. Drawing in real media is still for me much better than drawing digitally. Perhaps because I don't yet work on a Cintiq, but rather on a standard tablet still.
I cobbled together a digital sketch, including the cave this poltergeist was emerging from and got approval. From there, this one took a different tact. Taking the shapes of the cave from my digital sketch, I next combed through my catalog of paintings to find ones in which I had painted stone or rocks or the like. I then cannibalized the texture, sampling it to create these new rocks. I did it by reducing the source images to grayscale since they originated from different pieces with different color schemes. Then I sampled them in, and overlaid color digitally on top to re-color them. The result is much more of a hybrid, where the background is one sense still hand-painted, while being entirely digitally generated. Some digital overpainting went on top of that. And yes, it was much faster to do. I then overlaid the scan of the drawing and began blending it into the painting by erasing out, partially erasing out, and painting back in as needed.
Here, then, is a final illustration that doesn't physically exist. And I was correct in my assumptions: upon submitting the final, I was indeed asked to make tweaks to the transparency and glowy aspects. Had I painted it all, I would have had to do that rework digitally anyway. Since the charcoal drawing was its own layer from the beginning, the requested changes were much, much faster to do. The foremost rock is its own layer, too.
Though only the charcoal drawing is available, both can still be seen larger here.
1 day ago