Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Little Red Riding Hood Process (Snapshot 1)

Prior to going digital, I was sort of a "proper" painter - that is to say I used paints and brushes to knock up a colour illustration. As satisfying as this was, I was absolutely foaming at the mouth to get hold of a Mac, dive into Photoshop and splash about in all those lovely flat colours and gradients... Mmm! It seemed exotic and modern. I wanted modern.

I even did a spot of "proper" painting to kick things off when I finally arrived in the brave new digital age, until discovering to my wonder and delight the joys of masks,filters and blending modes, and the unexpected new colours and visual fireworks that five minutes of casual messing about with these functions can kick up. I forgot all about "proper" painting pretty bloody quickly.

Anyway, I noticed a couple of obvious and important things recently. Firstly, there are a load of artists out there producing beautiful "proper" - and distinctive - painted work in Photoshop. Secondly, far too much of my own digital output, bold and colourful as it may have been, has been a tad sterile. I'm talking about drawings produced as a halfhearted framework for gratuitous Photoshoppery.. a lazy approach to texture and values.. and in some cases a mind boggling skyscraper of Nothing sat there in the layers palette - you know, all "opacity this" and "colour burn" that, over and over again, somehow failing to achieve half as much as it should do on account of the lack of substance underpinning it.

Ha, look at the silly illustrator beating himself up. So! The idea with this new pic is to paint it "properly" in Photoshop. And then, and only then, to crack open a bottle of wine and unleash a few choice effects on it for the sheer entertainment of seeing what happens.

'Got stuck straight in with a palette of Flesh tones for Little Red, painted heartily on a single layer. Decided I'd maybe compromised the purity of the original drawing and set the opacity down to about %50 for the time being... which is sort of cheating but hey.

As ever, I'm going to have to watch my monster, that wolf. He should absolutely be a bit primal and terrifying, but this has to appeal to publishers too...

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