Saturday, May 1, 2010

From start to finish

I thought I'd document the creation of a finished piece that I blogged about previously. It wound up being an excellent example of how happy accidents can conspire to make art better. (WARNING: Photoshop jargon ahead)

So after the last post, I attempted to clean up the lineart for the robot and insert him into the drawing. But I was very unhappy with how it was turning out. I decided that the old design of the robot was just to simple to mesh well with the intricacy of the rest of the piece. So I went back to the drawing board, re-designed the robot, and then put him into the drawing. And lo! It worked! Adding the myself and the margarita glass was quite easy after that.

So, the finished lineart of the piece:


I knew that I wanted the piece to be colored, but that I wanted something that was deliberately non-realistic. I had a vague notion that I wanted to do flat colors with a washed out color palette, so I started coloring. Several hours later, I had this:



It was a good start, but the coloring didn't look quite finished. It looked too much like a coloring book, and didn't convey the dream-like quality that I was aiming for. I wanted to add some grungy textures underneath the color layer on a low opacity, to try to give it a foggy feel.

So I dug up some textures (parchment, rust, and daguerreotype) and set out to make a texture layer. My goal was to create the texture layer UNDER the color layer at a low opacity, then set the color layer over it to multiply so that the texture would be seen faintly through the color layer. But instead, I wound up moving the texture layer OVER the color layer and wound up with this:



This was awesome! I knew right away that this was closer to what I had been looking for. It captured very well the feeling of unreality that I wanted to convey. But I thought it might have been closer to black and white movie than to "dream-like". And I'll admit that after all that time spent painstakingly coloring in the color layer, I didn't want to just toss it out the window. So I set the color layer over the textures at 50% opacity with the blending set to overlay, which resulted in this:



Now I was stuck. Both the colored and non-colored versions were awesome! After a while, I came to the conclusion that the colored version was closer to what I had wanted. So I decided to make one last change and call it done; I had wanted the robot to be holding a light-pole, but it just looked like a metal bar of some sort. So I added a lamp, tweaked the blending a little bit to make sure there wasn't anything it was missing, and then saved this version:



This turned out to be so successful that I decided I definitely want to make a series of it. And since my dreams are so bizarre, if I start recording my dreams again I will have no shortage of material!

It's going to be tough deciding which of my dreams to illustrate next. I've had a list of dreams that I've wanted to do this for for a long time. We'll see what happens when I start doing sketches for the next one.

2 comments:

amb said...

Does this dream of margarita craving robots mean you're going through Amigos withdrawal? ;)

wundergeek said...

Very possibly!