Monday, August 12, 2013

"Let's Go, Murray!" Process

This is the basic process that I used for the artwork for the app "Let's Go, Murray!" I am using Photoshop CS6. Each illustration took about a day-and-a-half of studio time to render (after scanning in the drawing). Click on any image to enlarge.

Pencil on paper, with blue pencil for underdrawing.
Scan drawing in RGB color mode. Cmd-U for Hue/Saturation, set to
Blues, move Lightness slider to the right, then do the same for Cyan.
This will drop out the blue pencil. Make sure to select Preview.

Drawing after Hue/Saturation adjustment. I also knock out the paper tone 
using Levels (cmd-L): Click the white Eye Dropper on the paper tone.

I set drawing Layer's Blending Mode to Multiply (see Layer
Panel a few images below). Underneath that Layer I added
a scan of sienna oil paint over gessoed board (and
wiped-out to bring out brush strokes). 

Shadow Layer, painted in a cool gray, Blending Mode set to
Multiply (which preserves texture of Layer underneath).
Lighter areas created by painting a light color on a Layer
with the Blending Mode set to Color Dodge.

Local color painted on a top Layer with Blending Mode
set to Color. This completes the "underpainting" part
of the process.

This is the Layer set-up for the "underpainting." The Blending
Modes that I used for the first few steps (Multiply, Color Dodge,
Color) will preserve the texture of the oil wipe-out scan that is
on the bottom ("Base Texture").

Now I'm adding opaque details on Layers set to Normal Blending Mode.

Here's the final. Click image to enlarge.

Final Layer set-up. I merged the Layers from the beginning
"underpainting"steps. Noticed the masked Layer of haze that
I created to give some atmospheric background. I lowered the
Opacity of that Layer.
Here are some of my favorite custom Brushes, created mainly
by attaching scanned textures to the Spatter Brush and then
making adjustments through the Brush Panel (F5). I generally
use these Brushes to paint opaquely on Layers set to Normal
(Blending Mode). I use the "Conté on watercolor paper" Brush
to smooth out focal points.
Click here to see a preview of "Let's Go, Murray!"


LuanneM said...

That is awesome, Dave! Congrats on the app! Love your illustrations and thank you for posting your method!!

john nez said...

Way cool! I guess that initial scan of the gessoed oil over board is key. I often use a base scan of textured gesso made with an old dry paintbrush. But I'll have to try one done with oil like in your setup.

I've never tried using a color dodge layer before. In trying it out I see it works better for me when I set reduce the layer opacity and brush opacity to about 37%. I usually just use the color dodge brush directly on the actual main scanned paint layer. But a new layer sounds easier to undo later.

I see Photoshop 6 has some layer features... none of which I've had time to even look at. I'll have to get around to that...



David Opie said...

John, using the oil on gessoed board was a breakthrough. I used water miscible oils, by the way. I have also used dry brush acrylics, but I like the oil because I could "wipe out" the paint with a rag to bring out the brush strokes.

Color Dodge gives a very strong effect, so I paint at 10% opacity or lighter.

And in CS6, you can "filter" Layers by type. I have yet to use that feature.

Thanks for stopping by!