Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweating the Small Stuff

I did this piece as a flyer for a Sunday morning Bible study I led. Unfortunately, I didn't get it to the printer fast enough (Yet another lame attempt to fit the Illustration Friday meme. This week it's Fast).
Adobe Illustrator CS2
I really enjoy the look of super-tight comic book inking, say, along the lines of The Art of Comic Book Inking volumes 1 and 2 by Gary Martin. Some of the examples in those books stagger my mind as far as tightness, getting the perfect balance of light and dark, and making all the lines work so the image comes alive, not just putting down lines however you feel like it. Another awesome book about inking is Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill; a big tome of a book that's worth every hour to read it.

The figure came first; the background and text came later. First I sketched the figure in pencil, scanned it into Illustrator, then traced it with the pen tool. I did all the blacks first, working out shadows and forms until it stood alone as a solid black and white illustration. I then started applying flat colors: 4 shades for the armor, 3 shades for the gold-lighted glass (I didn't know how many layers of color I would use originally, that's just how it worked out).

All the little tapered lines are, for the most part, blended triangles, shaped to fit whatever form I needed. I'm not a big fan of outlines. I do wind up using them here and there, but I'm trying to get out of the habit. I try to think more in terms of light, shadow, and dimension, trying to figure out how to make 2D pop out like 3D. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Swim Against Death

Adobe Illustrator CS2
A moment frozen in time (Illustration Friday meme). I can't believe how long it's been since I posted last. For the most part I'm happy with how this turned out.

Close-up of chained swimmer.
I created the main body of the chains, turned it into a pattern brush, then drew them on a path with the brush tool. The bubbles are one bubble turned into a scatter brush and the path drawn with the brush tool.
Close-up of monster fish.
Used a bunch of different blends for the details on his face. I created the tentacle texture using the pencil tool with a thick stroke. I turned the stroke into outlines, copied and pasted a copy on top which I made lighter, and moved it around a little until it looked like raised ridges. I then masked them into the shape of the tentacles. Close-up of water bug master.
Used a water bug for reference, but changed things up a little. I wanted some sort of sci-fi device on the bug to indicate it's in control of the little robot creatures, but I don't like the thing I made. I'll have to come up with something better later.
Close-up of bubble woman.
The chain going around the bubble is four different brushes, a dark, middle, light, and green for behind the bubble. I cheesed how the the chain goes behind the bubble, so it doesn't really look right if you look too close, where it goes from gold to green. I'll fix that eventually. Also, sometimes a pattern on a path may look squished if your path is short, or look stretched out if your path stops just short of the pattern replicating.
There's way more detail on her than what I needed, since she's supposed to be somewhat in the background, but once I got started...