This one had alot of steps, so I’m breaking it into 2 parts.

This half of the installment will focus on the figure.


I did all the linework in one step this time. Usually I use different layers for thicker and thinner lines, but I knew it was going to have a lot going on in the background. I decided to focus on using alot of solid black to push the figure farther into the foreground, and to keep the linework more simple.


I did the reds as their own step this time because I wanted to experiment with a limited color pallate.
Seeing the stark red made it easy to fill in the other colors without overpowering the red as the primary focus.


Solid coloring for the skin, paintbrush, and paintbucket.


Subtle shading on the face (click through to the full view on this one).


Some more extreme highlights and shading. Without the background in place it was hard to tell if replicating such directional looking light was going to work for or against me. It’s especially odd that I chose to do this in a shot that’s supposed to be outside, but I think it worked in my favor.


Details on the clothing and hair. I almost thought better of the skeleton on the hoodie because I’ve done alot of drawings playing with anatomy in the past, but I actually wear a skeleton hoodie all the time lately so I figured it was okay. I added highlights on the clothes to give them more shape, as they looked totally flat before (and I had used so much highlighting on the face that I had to make them match.
It was at this point that I also discovered that I had no hair & I remedied that.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about the background!

Collaboration with Erica Wells

The other day someone asked me if I ever do any non-digital work, and the answer is yes, but rarely.

I will typically only put down the Wacom in favor of a pen when I’m collaborating with a more traditional artist.
One such case in point is the above collabation with the amazingly awesome Erica Wells.

Erica is an illustrator and collage artist, who makes alot of artist books. The above image is from one of 2 artist books we worked on together. Each of us made a book and did drawings and collage on the pages, then swapped books and continued. We swapped books a bunch of times over the course of a few weeks. Sadly, we live in different cities now, so it’s not as easy to work on these days. I imagine great mail-art projects in the future, though!

Here is some more of her solo work:

Check out her flickr stream,
& her livejournal.

Here’s a closer look at the header image I designed for this website.


The full image. I had to change the aspect ratio for the version in the header…so this is closer to what I originally had in mind.


The little birds in the top corner are my favorite.


There’s alot of detail in the skirt and tights that just doesn’t come across in the smaller version.


& the feets. I’m still deciding about the noise/texture on the pavement. What do you guys think?

It’s about time I posted some art, right??
This is based off a polaroid by Marie Lodi.


Basic Outlines. I tried to put less detail into this step than I usually do, because polaroids have this gritty, simplistic quality that I wanted to come throught in my drawing.


More Detail. This was mostly filling in the detail on the floor. I was trying to keep it loose and not too precise, again, to emulate the polaroid.


Splatter & Drybrush Techniques. I’ve been experimenting alot with producing drybrush effects digitally through a conbination of using Photoshop brushes and also working on my drawings in Corel Painter. I’ll probably do a whole post about Painter at a leter date, so you guys can see in detail exactly what I’m talking about.


Rough Solid Color. I made this coloring really cool toned because I knew I’d be using a warm texture on top of the whole thing, and I didn’t want it to get too yellow. However, I almost gave up on coloring this drawing all together at this step because I was so unhappy with it.


Smooth Shading. You’ll notice I’m playing with smoth shading alot more lately. You can see some of it in the drawing at the top of the page (I’ll be doing a breakdown of that illustration later in the month!). This helped, but I still felt like the drawing had lost alot of the good qualities it had when it was just black and white.


Cell Shading! My Friend! This is what convinced me to keep coloring this. Perhaps I should play more with combining smooth and solid shading techniques.


Highlights & More Drybrush. You should probably click through to the larger version, because most of what I did in this step isn’t real visible in the small view.


Gradients. I was trying to simulate the flash in the original photo.


& we’re done! Here’s that warm texture I was talking about. It balanced out the cool shading pretty much like I thought it would. I ended up really, really happy with this, and I think I’m going to try to do more polaroid drawings as a series.

What do you guys think?