Monday, November 25, 2013

"Robot" Process

For this illustration, I scanned a pencil drawing and dropped a scan of a watercolor wash underneath it. By setting the Layer Blending Mode of the drawing to Multiply, the white of the paper becomes transparent, so the Layers underneath show through and the pixels on that Layer are added to the tones of the Layers underneath. I then added tone to the background and figure by painting gray on Layers with the Blending Modes set to Multiply. Next, I used a textured Brush to block in the lighter areas (with the Layer Blending Mode set to Normal). Click on the images to enlarge.

Here's the finished "Evil Robot" illustration.

It all starts with a pencil drawing.
Watercolor texture.

A composite of the drawing and watercolor wash. I've
started adding tone by painting on Multiply Layers.
Painting in the tones of the robot on a Multiply Layer.

I've started blocking in the robot with opaque Layers
(Blending Mode set to Normal).
I wanted to use a limited color palette, so I created a Color Fill Layer and set the Blending Mode to Color (which tints all Layers underneath). Then I added another Layer with the Blending Mode set to Color and painted with a rusty brown just on the areas with the robot and the ground (to contrast with the cooler blue-green of the background). And above those Layers, I added details and highlights with my custom Brushes on Layers with the Blending Mode set to Normal (so that the pixels are opaque). Please see the Layer screen shot below. Click on the images to enlarge.

Here's where you find the Fill and Adjustment Layers.

When you set a Color Fill Layer's Blending Mode to
Color, then the tones are preserved but the color shifts.
I added the warmer tones by painting on another Color Layer.
The Layer set-up with Blending Modes listed. Click to enlarge.

Detail. Click to enlarge.

Detail. Click to enlarge.

I used two custom Brushes for this illustration (see below). The top one is based on a standard "Chalk" Photoshop Brush found in the Dry Media collection, but I used my own texture and tweaked the settings. For the bottom Brush, I spattered watercolor on paper, scanned it, tiled it, and attached it to a Brush (please see link below). I can adjust the Scale of the texture on the Brush Panel as I paint.

These are the two main Brushes that I used. I've indicated
where you can adjust the Scale of the texture. Click to enlarge.

Please click here to buy my Dry Media Brush collection.
Click here to buy my Wet Media Brush collection.
Click here to see my blog post Attaching a Texture to a Brush.


June said...

THANK YOU for explaining things so very well.
There is hope for me learning this stuff if I follow your direction :)

John Shelley said...

This is really useful Dave, I work in a completely different technique but am trying to expand my digital work, very clearly explained!

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

You taught me something I didn't know!! Must share with my students... Thanks so much! :) e

David Opie said...

June and John, I hope that are inspired to try a study using this approach--it's a lot of fun. And Elizabeth, I'm glad that you learned something from the post.

Moira Munro said...

Thanks Dave. I was completely unaware of these color layers

Anonymous said...

Very Nice Dave. I'll have to give it a try.