Friday, November 12, 2010

Pomp, Circumstance and Process

A good friend of mine recently graduated with his doctorate (and here I sit drawing pictures). So I made him a graduation card. Just a simple image and a cute take on the old "caps in the air" tradition. Honestly, when I graduated, I held on to my cap and kept my head down. I was deathly afraid I'd get hit in the eye with the corner of someone's plummeting cap.

Ok, just a quick review of my steps. First up is the pencil drawing. I actually did it on textured watercolor paper just to see if it would give the sketch a rich, hand-drawn feel. I'm on the fence about the results. Next I painted in some very amorphous clouds. They didn't need to be too detailed so why waste the time? Next step, a textured brush in Photoshop and lots of layering of colors gives me the base for the cap and gown blues.

Again, more layering in of colors, this time the gold of the tassels and trim. I decide the original pencil sketch is tight enough to leave in the piece, so I don't paint over it completely. Next, I paint in the dog and, for all intents and purposes, the piece is done. I tweaked the contrast a bit to help things pop, but that's about it. At the last second, I decided to try out a different color combination and just hue-adjusted the blues to reds. I like them both. So as long as the dog doesn't come down and hit someone in the eye, everything's going according to plan. -v

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