Fun on a bun!
Sorry about the gap guys, I’ve been really busy with all the work I picked up from the bodybuilding show I attended. Add to that the gymwear and logos and…well, let’s say doing all that and working a full time job has left me short on time!
As you can see from the above photo, I pretty much got everything the way I wanted in the photo. Now I merge all my shading layers down into one layer. Then, using the lasso tool, I outlined all my skin tones. Finally, I use Ctrl+U to get my saturation tool to adjust skin color. Make sure you select the colorize box!
Little by little, select and isolate the colors needed to create the look you want.
Next, I began to add facial highlights. I’m going to be honest; If this picture were going for more realism, I wouldn’t use these at ALL. I mean, there’s no truly white areas on your body, right? (sorry vampires)
This step is optional, changing the line colors. I don’t always do it, but sometimes it works really well. Others…well, that’s what Ctrl+Z is for. Plus in the side by side comparison the image seems a little wide.
I added a background gradient, then erased a strip out of it. I’m not going to get too fancy with it. Besides, its a poster so I could put a year calendar, a memo spot or anything she wants there.
Hope you guys enjoyed the basic premise! Of course the hair will be done on the finished piece, but now you know how it’ll happen. Good luck and have fun!
In this portion there’s quite a bit more than there was in the last. Deep breath? Here we go!
We begin by cleaning up some of our brush work in the midtone layer. The first setup was the old squinty eye, where are my shadows technique. Now you refine all of that effort and create a new skin layer.
See the fuzzy coloring in the corner? Well, sometimes I need a color that isn’t exactly in my palette, that has to be a middle selection of two choices. At that point I take a simple brush, lower the hardness to zero and the opacity to the 50’s. Then I use my darkest and lightest colors of choice and blend them together until I get a fair range. That way I can select from this choice or even save the selection I make to the palette. It gives me a good inbetween color.
Anyway, once that’s done, I lower the opacity even more. Usually 36% works pretty well, depending on how slowly I want to blend in. I use this layer to begin blending the different values together. I can’t really tell you HOW to do this; everyone has their own level of ability. Still you can see the results it produces.
Here you can see a close up of me using this technique on the arm, as well as my brush settings. Pay attention to your blended edges!
A detail of the picture was bothering me. Her shoulder was sticking out and because the shirt is a little large on her, she had a Quasimodo look to her. This girl is way too cute for that! Luckily I had more than one photo of her. Remember, reference material is important! I used to believe that “real” artists didn’t need any of that crap, that it was like cheating. So the lesson here is don’t be a dumbass like I was!
As you can see, by redrawing the area she looks a little more balanced. What you’re creating involves a process and sometimes it will evolve in ways you didn’t expect. Be open to correcting flaws and reverse and flip your image sometimes. It’ll help you correct issues and notice errors. Like leaving out the linework for her blouse! Oops!
Luckily I have a quick fix for that. After opening a new project, you can go file>place and set the image the lines are in on its own layer. From here choose your selection tool and using your shift key, slowly click on the design and transfer it into a selection. When you have as much as you want, create another layer over the image. If it won’t let you, don’t forget to right-click the image layer and rasterize it. Once you have a new layer select it and , using a brush color and size of your choosing, fill in the selection. Copy or Ctrl+C the layer.
Now return to the original project. After creating another layer under the linework, paste or Ctrl+V the selection onto this layer. I used the move tool to align it, as well as a second layer to cover the area under her arm. I merged them by right-clicking the layer and selecting merge layers FOR THOSE TWO ONLY. I decided to leave the line levels darker than the surrounding line work. Lowering the opacity would have matched it perfectly, but I want the clothing to have a different texture from the person. So I merged it with the linework and locked that layer.
Since I’m starting to get ” how to” questions, I hope these pic that I’ve made will help. For shading I never use the dodge or burn tool, preferring instead to use smudging. With about 52% opacity on the tool I get a fairly sketchy look. To me it feels more like actual drawing that way. I used to until recently lay down the mid tone first, then add the shadow or highlight later. nowadays I start from the darkest. I do this by squinting at my subject and dividing the lighting into three layers.
when I need an inbetween color I take my brush tool reduce its hardness to zero, opacity to 34% and slowly add a bit of each color until I get the one I need. Its hard to explain, but if you look at my piece called Baklumps you should see an example of the technique in the corner of that pic.