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Posts Tagged ‘fashion illustration’

I’ve finished a new painting! in an effort to hold onto the summer sun for as long as possible, I decided to paint, just for fun, a picture of this beach beauty. It’s not often that I paint a picture for no reason other than my own entertainment, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint a pretty lady in bright colors.

This is a mixed-media piece of watercolors and colored pencil. It was not easy to mix that perfectly tanned skin tone without making her look sunburned or too toasty brown. Tanned skin is a very complicated mix of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and blues–kind of like normal skin I suppose but with a lot more saturation! I tackled the skin by laying yellow washes first. Then I marked my shadows with some light blue and purple washes, and then really built up the color with thick layers of reds and orange. In some places I’m really laying the red on much thicker than you would expect, and even then I still needed the colored pencil to give it that extra blast of color. The skin was easily the most difficult part.

The easiest part of the painting? The Hair. I love to paint masses of linear things and there are few organic structures more linear than hair. Hair is easy not to overwork, and easy to stylize while still meshing with other very detailed and realistic elements of the painting.

One of my personal goals with this painting was not to overwork the surface. It’s easy to belabor a work, scouring every inch to make sure every single little detail is flushed out. Sure, that creates a really crisp image, but it takes an absurd amount of time and is not always necessary.  This painting was an exorcise in simplifying my process without sacrificing detail.

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Last week with the snow storm of the decade looming, bundled up in front of my computer, I decided to pick up my Wacom tablet and paint a picture digitally. I am not a very experienced digital painter. I’ve only completed a small handful of pieces on the computer before, and none of them have made it into my portfolio. Sure, I use photoshop all the time to color correct, crop, and touch up photos and paintings all the time, but it is very rarely that I do the bulk of the painting on the computer screen.

I had the urge to go back to the computer screen primarily because of time. It takes me a very very long time to create a full scale, fully rendered painting by hand, and sometimes I lose interest in what I am painting or I have another great idea to work on before my first idea is fully realized. Especially for beauty shots like this, the idea and the passion to draw it only sticks around until the next pretty face comes along and I imagine something new; so there was a sense of urgency to get this face and this stunning collar down on paper before it was replaced by another figure in my mind.

The piece was inspired by a costume I saw at Templecon 2013. I used photo reference to sketch out the face and collar by hand, and then I also inked that preliminary sketch before scanning it into the computer. Once uploaded to photoshop, I started rendering by laying down basic blocky colors. Using photoshop is one of the only times that I render with an opaque medium, making it extra challenging to maintain my style. I blended the colors together using primarily the eye dropper and a soft, low opacity brush. I choose to render over some of my inking to turn the figure more in important or especially modeled places like the nose and lips. I left the collar and hair more linear and stylized because that is how I would have dealt with them were this painting done by hand. However by hand, I would have added the lines last, wherein photoshop, I started with all lines and selectively removed or covered them.

I textured the piece with pattern fills and spotty brushes. Adding texture in highly modeled digital pieces is very important in order to avoid a plastic looking finish. The skin has pores and fabrics have a coarseness to them that is easily neglected in digital pieces. Over all I like how this painting came out, and I think that I will be experimenting with digital painting more in the future.

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Here is a fun painting! Like my others lately, it was a quick one to finish, taking only a day and a half to complete. I wanted to try something really whimsical and free-flowing, while still defining the form of the face. I had a lot of fun with it, and I think I am slowly getting this loose-ness out of my system. It is really fun to experiment and I think that this period of loose experimentation will help me paint faster in the future, even when I am working tightly.

I notice that when working in only two colors like this, it is harder to get an accurate representation of the piece out of my scanner. Or at least I notice the differences in the colors more. I am not working with the best scanner in the world here. In fact, its a very basic home model. Fortunately I have a lot of know-how in photoshop and can, with lots of tinkering, get my pieces to look pretty close to the original.

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Another quick fashion illustration of a woman with big green earrings. This watercolor painting only took a day to finish. Not much to say on this one besides it is another experiment in a stylized way of working.

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As part of my development of a new style, and an effort to get into fashion illustration, here is a practice piece of a girl with a blue feather fascinator. In this piece my aim was to loosen up with my rendering and incorporate an outline into my work in order to make my painting go much quicker. I finished this entire painting, from thumbnail to final in about six hours, which is very quick for someone who normally paints so realistically.

This piece can be viewed here on out in my sketchbook gallery at Shaunart.net: http://shaunart.net/pages/sketchbook

Your comments and criticisms are especially welcome while I work on this new style!

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