Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Inktober 2016, First Ten Days

© 2016 David Opie 
© 2016 David Opie 
© 2016 David Opie
© 2016 David Opie 
© 2016 David
© 2016 David Opie
© 2016 David Opie
© 2016 David Opie
© 2016 David Opie
© 2016 David Opie

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Optimizing a Scan, Part 2: Color Adjustment

This is a continuation of an earlier post in which I mainly adjusted the tone. In this post I'll cover color adjustment.

I have the original painting on an easel right next to the monitor so that I can easily compare the two (A below).

A. I put the original on an easel next to my monitor so that I can compare the two.
Click on any image to enlarge.

I then adjust the color balance in the image. I usually do this for each major color in the illustration. For example: the green in the gator will be one Adjustment Layer, the green in the background will be another, and the blue in the sky will have its own adjustment. There are several different ways to select the areas: Magic Wand, Quick Selection tool, or Lasso. I usually start with the Wand of Magic (hold down the "Shift" key to add to your selection area). I also like to Feather my selection before I make any changes (make selection, right-click, or Refine Edge, Feather at 5 pixels). See B below for Refine Edge. Feathering fades the selection area, which will prevent harsh lines along the edge of the selection.

B. With an active selection area and selection tool, Refine Edge is accessible
in the Menu and by right-clicking.

In the example below (see C), I selected for the green in the gator, Feathered the selection, then activated a Color Balance Adjustment Layer. Notice that the selection is converted into a Layer Mask when I open up a new Adjustment Layer. Then I adjust the sliders to match the original art. I repeat this for each major color in the piece.

C. Select for a color, Feather, add Color Balance Adjustment Layer.
Notice that the selection converts into a Layer Mask. You can modify the
Mask by painting white for areas you want the adjustment to affect or
black to mask the effect. You can even paint gray for more subtle adjustments.

A quick note about calibrating your monitor: I find it absolutely necessary to use a third-party monitor calibrator. I use the SpyderPro, which I highly recommend.

Adjustment Layers are considered "non-destructive." You can change the settings of the Adjustment Layer without harming the pixels of the original scan. Double-click on the first icon of the Adjustment Layer to pop-up the Properties Panel and tweak your settings. Please see D below.

D. Double-click the first icon to open up the
Properties panel so that you can adjust your settings.

As a final step, I often create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer on the top to see if boosting the overall Saturation helps the image. If so, I'll keep it. If it doesn't make much difference, then I'll just undo it.

Monday, February 15, 2016

NY16 SCBWI Journal

The SCBWI Winter Conference just concluded. Here's a page from my sketchbook:

Just a note: I like to exaggerate proportions

Bill Joyce spoke on Friday at the Illustrator's Intensive and kicked off the main conference Saturday morning. I've always loved his books; they take you on grand adventures! 

One of my favorite quotes was when he was telling about his art school teachers trying to push him into abstract art. He said something to the effect of "I was into abstract art at age 3—I'm ready to move on."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Here's a bunch of sketchbook drawings. Done in a combo of ink, wash, and water-soluble colored pencil (over blue colored pencil).

©2016 David Opie
Click any image to enlarge. 
© 2016 David Opie

© 2016 David Opie

© 2016 David Opie

Monday, November 9, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015