Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Art Process

Once in a while I get asked what my process is to my artwork. Today, I'll answer that question. I have several steps that I use to put my artwork together. Sometimes I work on a Wacom tablet, but my true love is pencil to paper. I'm going to use a pic I was just working on for a special prize set to go with my board game. This will be the art for the Horseman of Apocalypse called, Plague (or Pestilence if you must).

First I start with pencils. I just use a number 2 and sketch away with basic shapes and refinement.  I work on paper that's at least 50 lb weight. That means it's sturdy and less likely to crumple when I erase pencil marks. I do have a tendency to use what's on sale if what I really want is too expensive. Hey, artists have a budget after all. I don't get into a lot of ultra small details at this level because my hands simply can't do it. On today's pic, I was having an exceptionally good day. Any other time and smaller details get added digitally.

Next is inking (photo above) This is the hardest part for me. I have to ink when my tremors are at their calmest. That's usually first thing in the morning because I haven't done anything to tax myself yet. For new readers; I have MS and my work is part of overcoming that. I have a cup with more than one set of drafting pens in it. I use several tip sizes to preserve the detail I'm aiming for. Even so, some errors will have to correct in the digital step.

Digital. I take the photo that you see from the ink step and load it up in Photoshop. I crop the image and use a layer called 'threshold' to instantly make it digital black and white. At this point, I can use tricks to zoom in on lines and correct them or make sure they are all connected where I want. I can add small details (see if you can spot the changes) that my hands weren't letting me do before. Once I have all the lines fixed and have added details I want, I get to my favorite part.





That would be coloring. I use the filler tool for the flats and then brushes for all the other details. I can zoom in and add all sorts of neat details like bloodshot eyes. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not the most tech savvy guy. I still don't know a lot of tricks and even videos don't help with my specific programs as much as I'd hope. But I'm learning and that's what is important.

Now that you see Plague in color, you might be wondering what he's holding. Well, it's not his sneezy cloth. It's the Scarf of Pestilence. The nasty looking end can give you any disease while the clean end can cure any ailment. On second thought, maybe that's how he fuels the thing. Nah. Hope you enjoyed the simple breakdown. I have more drawing to do!
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