Monday, August 12, 2013

Maybe Mouser

Decided to work on different takes on the Mouser. For some reason I keep seeing him with a huge Jewish nose -- it gives the face a lot of character and a forward thrust, plus allows him to display his arrogance better. The noses resemble their swords, a long thin rapier for Mouser and a heavy thick broadsword for Faf. Is it just me, or is he starting to resemble Liev Schrieber a little?

Also, working in 3 tones like this (actually 4 here) allows me to work exactly the way I used to in my sketchbooks when I'd build up lines to various thicknesses and use the eraser just as much as the pencil - a drawing tool rather than just for corrections. Wow - if I approach it like this, then I can actually draw with a stylus! It's when you try to do the single-line stuff that's impossible. I like the way this technique resembles ink and wash.

And I love that what I end up with can serve as an underpainting...

Here's a modified version of it. Doesn't say Mouser to me at all, but I like it. Has a bit of a Shemp vibe to it somehow.

Very happy with how my technique has improved since the last one. It occurs to me I could go even farther - do it all on separate layers, one with a loose wild screwed-up scribble-sketch that you then trace (the good parts of) onto the next layer to begin the actual drawing. Separate layers for each tint and one for the background tint as well (not the BG layer though - I realized if it's on a layer rather than the BG itself, then you can adjust transparency to get just the tint you want).

Working 'blocky' with big brushes like this will dramatically speed up the whole process. Then you can just come in  and work the edges and whatever else is needed, but you've already got all the big decisions made.

In my epic conversation with Oldschooler via PM we've been discussing airbrushing t shirts, which has made me think back to those halcyon days. And I suddenly realized that when I first started doing T shirts I was at a point exactly like I am now with the tablet painting - taking forever to do everything in these weird roundabout complicated ways. I bought a few videotapes that demonstrated ways to approach the airbrushing process to simplify it and do it in an orderly intelligent manner. As soon as I had watched those tapes, my time immediately dropped from like 8 hours to more like 2 or 3 (for fairly simple shirts anyway, not the really complex portfolio pieces). Not up to pro standards obviously, but a huge stride in the direction, and the quality of them also improved drastically.

And I already know how to do the same for my painting - it's a matter of figuring out the design first through sketches (I'm seeing a combo of digital and paper sketches) to work out poses and composition, value plan, color comp. Import the final sketch and work it up just like above, the 3 tone on a toned ground system ala the great masters, ink wash style. This gives you everything you need - the 3 major tones of light and dark, composition, etc. Then it becomes your underpainting. Flatten it into one layer (not the BG) and start a-paintin' away overtop.

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