The other day I saw a tweet by Ryan McLeod asking an easy way to create what he called deliciously fat gradients.
In this case study today we present the workflow of Jill Tovey, a fashion illustrator from the UK. Jill will show us how to create an amazing digital painting design using Photoshop and Corel Painter. For more information visit Jill's website at http://www.jilltovey.com/about.html
I have been lucky enough to have my work showcased in various places such as Camden's Proud Galleries, MTV, Computer Arts & Digit Magazine and at Brighton's Hip Hop Festival. As well as being published in a book that showcased global illustration, I've also been nominated for some awards and was a finalist last year for Britvic's Drench Art Award (ooh get me!). Most of my work is mixed media, I use Corel Painter, Photoshop as well as lots of different paints, scans and textures - mostly just playing until I have something I feel happy with.
Unless I’m doing something a bit abstract I’ll start with an image for reference, then make a sketch. For this case study I chose something fairly simple - some lips. Here I’ve scanned in the sketch and popped into Photoshop.
Once I’ve arranged the size and composition, it’s into Corel Painter where I’ll chose the base colours for the image. Sometimes I use kuler.adobe.com to help chose a base colour scheme but I mostly keep it a fairly random process (as with most things) and I don’t always stick to the colours I originally chose, adding new ones in as I go along depending on what I think fits best.
Next I normally start making sure I’ve got a bit of a rough outline going before blocking the colours in. If it’s a more detailed image I’ll concentrate lots of detail on the areas I want to stand out the most, which if I’m drawing a person is usually the eyes and mouth.
Next I’ve blocked in the colours and worked out where I want everything to go. I added a nice bright blue in for the background. I love using lots of bright colours and almost always use at least one fully saturated colour or I have some neon acrylics at home which usually scan in quite brightly.
From here I just keep adding more and more details. In more complicated images I usually end up with hundreds of layers, which I merge as I go along to keep Painter working quickly.
The different brushes I use are also fairly random, I like to use lots of different brushes for different effects such as chalk and acrylics and the Real Bristle brushes.
Once I’ve got something I’m happy with I print it off to use as reference for when the actual painting starts.
I use lots of different types of paints: watercolour; acrylics, sometimes oil (but I’m often too impatient to let things dry), marbelling, airbrushing, ink, I also take photos of textures or things I think will fit in with the image.
I do a lot of mark making and things just for texture but I also paint parts of the image so that I can fit it into the picture I’ve got.
Meanwhile, Hugo the trusty Basset Hound helps me chose my materials…
Once I’ve got lots of different images I pop it all into Photoshop and start playing, cuttings things out, overlaying or using different layer effects moving things around and blending them in to fit in with the main image.
That’s about it really! I tried to make it sound complicated but it’s really not. Here’s the final result: