This is a culmination of my too many interests. It's is an in-between place. It's more focused than my Myspace blog, but less so than my author blog. Here you can find artwork, photography, writing, poetry, book covers, manga and pointless videos. All of these things mesh together to become a reflection of their creator in an in-between place colored like shadows and flavored like frappuccinos and chocolate. It's one heck of a world.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to Draw with No Money and No Talent - Part 5


Time once more to work on our lovely art. So far we have learned about licensing, found our reference image, constructed a lightbox, "drew" our image, scanned it and started coloring it. Today, we're going to do some more coloring.
First, open paintbrush and open your picture. As you may notice your custom colors are no longer in the the color pallet. Yes, this is an annoying pain in the butt, but it's life.  If you wrote the numbers down then just copy them from your paper and enter them into the color dialog box (go to color – edit colors – define custom colors). If you didn't write them down then use the two selectors to choose colors that are as close as possible

Now we're going to start shading. – Let's start with the flower. In the photo, the flower is yellow and purple, but I'm leaving out the yellow and instead making a lighter salmon color to replace it. To do this I need to be in the edit colors pallet again. Copy the base colors over three times each by typing in the RGB (red Green Blue) numbers in the text boxes.


Now select one of the base colors for your flower and use the selector to make it darker, aka for the shadowed areas of the flower. When you're done click "Add to custom colors":

Do this again with a second thumbnail of the flower color – only LIGHTEN it instead so that we get the color of the highlights – aka where the light is shining on it the brightest:


You will have to enter and exit the edit colors dialog three times in order to get all three of the flower shades into the color pallet. Remember, whatever color you have selected in the color pallet will be replaced by the custom color upon exiting the dialog box.


You can do either light or dark "shading" first – I usually start with dark, myself.  Either way, choose your color and then pick the paintbrush tool. I am again using the middle size, but use whichever size you are comfortable with


Remember those weird, sketchy lines I said were going to be used as references and shading lines? Now's the time to start using those. We're going to be covering them up now to create large areas to shade in. if your lines aren't perfect then don't worry about it, just keep working at it until the OUTSIDE edge is smooth – the inside line is not important.


When each section is done use the flood fill tool to color it in:


Continue to do this for the entire flower – using both your reference picture and your sketch lines as guides.(I have resized this just to show you the entire flower at once – you don't want to resize it yet)


If you would like to see what your whole image looks like at any time WITHOUT resizing it, simply SAVE it and then go to the folder you have the file saved in. Right click on the image name and choose OPEN WITH and then choose WINDOWS PICTURE AND FAX VIEWER.  However, you can NOT refresh this, so to see it again after you've made changes you must CLOSE the viewer window and reopen it by right clicking etc.
Now we will do the same shading with the light color (again I have resized this just to show you the entire flower at once):


As you are doing this, though, you may find that you need to zoom-in in order to "seal" your lines – I had to with the petal on the far right. To do this go to view – zoom – custom and then whatever % you want – and then go back by choosing view – zoom – normal size


This looks good – but it looks pretty blocky, so what are we gonna do about that!?!  Well, if you want a very blocky image you can just color over the black lines and forget it– but I don't wanna do that – so let's get more detailed with our shading – add some more depth ;)
Start by selecting another color we're not using in the color pallet:


and then go back to our color dialog box. Choose the darkest flower color and make it even darker (I also moved the "rainbow" selector a little towards purple to change it just slightly)


Hit okay and exit out. Use the paintbrush and flood fill to add the darker color along the bottom like so :


Repeat this again with an even darker color


Now we need to get rid of the black sketchy lines – or leave them if you like them I guess, LOL! I am taking them out though, by using the floodfill to take out the big ones:


But what if this happens?


Then hit undo and use the paint brush to separate the sketch lines from the outline:


When you're finished, use the paint brush to take out any remaining little black blops:


So, we're all done with the pretty flower…..


But that's not quite what you had in mind, is it? Well, why don't we blur the edges a little bit?
But there's no blur tool! How can we do that!!?!?!
Manually my friends. Manually. All the blur tool does is mix the pixels up, so to speak, so we're gonna use the airbrush to do that same thing…. Trust me.It's a trick I devised WAY back in 2000 before I had paint shop pro.
Choose the airbrush tool:

Select the largest setting


Then use it to "blend" the color in. Make it thicker towards the edges and thinner as you move into the color next to it by leaving more and more space between where you apply the airbrush to create a gradient effect:


A more detailed explanation

: the FASTER you move the airbrush tool while holding down the mouse button, the more space between each brush, hence the thinner or less dense it is, conversely, the SLOWER you move it, the thicker or more dense the color will be. You can also do this one click at a time – think like an ink stamper. This makes for a very controlled brush but it also makes for HOURS of work. Trust me, click and drag. And if you don't like what you lay down hit UNDO – but remember to do it quickly because you only get THREE.
Make sure to do this on BOTH sides of the colored section:


When you get done it should look something like this:


So, what now? Well, we do that with each color – applying the airbrush tool wherever the colors meet one another – so long as they are NOT separated by a black line! This means we will use the colors on both sides of the line where they meet – for instance:


*jeaopardy music plays as we go to work*

*Buzzer sounds*

And our flower is all done!


Pretty spiffy, huh?

So, now just do the exact same thing with the lily pads – leave the water as we are gonna do something slightly different with it.  HINT: The lily pads went MUCH faster than the flower did as they are mainly broad, open spaces and didn't require as much one click shading to keep from overlapping lines. However, if you're just too sick of this to keep going then take a break and do the lily pads tomorrow.

Either way, when you do the lily pads, I used the photo as a vague reference and mainly just made up some of the shading. Remember to first lay down broad blocks of color and then to go in and do your airbrushing on the edges.  Also, when shading, always go dark to darker to darkest – especially on the places where the lily pad is bent (aka the top of the lily pad on the left).  
When I got done this is what I have


And just in case you're wondering, this is what it looks like in paint brush – I realize I haven't shown that yet – here it is:


So we're ready for the water – assuming you aren't worn out from all of the rest of it! No, you look pretty tired, so you know what? We'll finish this up tomorrow! Go take a break and have some ice cream- you deserve it ;)


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