Monday, May 17, 2010

Sea Serpent Work-In-Progress

It's been a while since I posted here, so I thought I'd upload a lengthy work-in-progress to make up for lost time.

First step, pencils. This is how most of my illustrations start out. Pencil on paper. This one's based on a story I worked on a while ago. The age-old tale of a boy and his sea serpent.

Step two, I start blocking in the colors. Normally I'd have painted in the base colors of the grass, dock and house before doing any detail work, but I guess I got antsy and started messing with ripples on the water.

Step three, I finally get around to blocking in the grass and once again decide to detail it before working on the trees. I also threw some clouds in the sky. I think I even started adding texture to the sand. I realize now that, as an example of my usual workflow, this particular post is kind of atypical. So feel free to ignore everything I say.

Step four, the dock gets blocked in with a cool brown and the trees get their leaves. Also, the house gets color and as I play with the opacity of the pencil line I realize that, despite my intention to leave the linework in the final piece, I'm probably going to paint over it completely. So far this is a great example of how to not plan out an illustration.

Step five, the dock gets some texture and the main characters finally get their base colors. Now it's just a matter of texture and detail. And that's just brushing color on top of color, mixing as I go along.

Step six, final. Once again, deviating from what little blueprint I mentally sketched out for myself, I decide that the soft, pastel look I was planning is just a little too soft. So I intensify the contrast and brighten the colors just a little before calling it quits. You can click on any of the images in this post, but the final image is also viewable in my website gallery at a slightly larger size. Hope you like it. -v

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