Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Walrus" Process

Earlier this year I illustrated an educational reading book called Where's the Walrus? I did the final drawings in ink on cold press watercolor paper, and then painted them in watercolors. I scanned the painting, adjusted the scan in Photoshop, and digitally added more contrast and detail.

Here's the final image:

This is the final version. You can see that I increased
the contrast and added details (mainly on the walrus).
Click to enlarge.

Here's the painting before most of the digital manipulation:

The scan with some color correction. Click to enlarge.

I like to leave my raw scan on its own Layer and use Adjustment Layers (and Layer Masks to target the changes) to optimize the scan. To increase the shadows, I created a new Layer, set the Blending Mode to Multiply, and painted with a cool gray. I usually use a basic Spatter Brush for shadow areas. To lighten some areas, I painted on a Layer with the Blending Mode set to Lighten. You can also use Screen, if that gives you better results (try both to see). You also may want to lower the Layer Opacity to soften the effect. The final step is painting in highlights on a Normal (opaque) Layer with a textured Brush.

Here's my Layer set-up. I like to leave the scan on its own
Layer and make my adjustments on their own Layers.

Here's a detail. Click to enlarge.

I used to touch up watercolor paintings with Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils and Rembrandt soft pastels, and that was the look that I was going for with this project. I did almost all of my digital retouching with just one custom Brush (Dave's Big Texture Chalk). The Brush did a good job of mimicking pastels on textured watercolor paper.

I created the Brush so that the texture gets bigger as
the size of the Brush increases. Please see the right
sidebar for more info on my Brush Collections. 


Luanne said...

nice! thanks for the post, Dave!

Anni Matsick said...

Dramatic difference! Tks for sharing,Dave.