Pencil Drawings (now in color)
Though I don't get to do it much these days because of the inked style of Mouse Guard, I also like to do rendered drawings in pencil. Frequently I would also color or tint these drawings in photoshop.
In this example of Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser, I merely tinted the linework on my greyscale drawing using the color balance tool. I also adjusted the levels (the control over what pixes are black, white, and middle tone) and cleaned up or enhanced the highlights.
On this Hellboy piece I also tinted the linework. Because this was drawn on toned paper, the paper also took the tint instead or remaining white like above. Because I started this drawing as a simple sketch, the area on the left was just scribbled in and not completed by hand. I finished that area using the burn tool. The additional highlights were added using the dodge tool.
These two examples are excellent ways of quickly touching up a pencil drawing and adding some quick color. I find that sketches can get polished up to 'finished-drawing' status quickly using this method.
The Joker piece on the left is an example of a more painterly approach to coloring pencil drawings. Once scanned, The pencil artwork was on a top layer set to multiply and then tinted. On layers below, I used various photoshop brushes to digitally paint the tones. I was aiming for a gritty and chaotic look for the Crown Prince of Crime in Gotham, so I didn't worry that the colors didn't strictly adhere to the lines.
This last example (of Red Cap) is a mix of the styles above with an added twist. Besides tinting the artwork and adding painted colors beneath, I also scanned a swatch of painted watercolor paper. With my pencil art and color layers set to 'multiply' the scanned watercolored background is also visible.
I find that playing with pencil drawings in photoshop helps me figure out ways I can make my work better in the future. It's a quick way of seeing if my rendered areas need more or less contrast, if color helps or hurts the lines, or to play with color in ways I wouldn't normally.
This week's piece is a digital painting from Kyle Galbraith. You can check out more of his work at his DeviantArt site here. Thanks Kyle!
If you want your Mouse Guard fan art displayed on the blog (sculpture, painting, drawing, etc.) send an e-mail to ericebon (at) hotmail (dot) com.