Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dusting Off the Pallette and Paintbrushes

As much as I love the conveniences of digital media like layers and ctrl-z, I will always have a place in my heart for old fashioned fine art. There is something indefinably gratifying about dragging a saturated paint brush across the porous fibers of watercolor paper. That familiar feeling came back to me last Thursday night when I was working on my latest Shirt.Woot Derby design. I think the experience was worthy enough to share as a little blog tutorial. Hopefully you will too, so here it goes:

I started out like usual. I sketched out my idea with a BIC mechanical pencil on plain copy paper straight out of my printer tray. I'm cheap and easy to please, lol.

With the general shape of the composition in mind, I painted some clouds and grass with black watercolor paint on some cold press watercolor paper. Since Photoshop has the wonderful function of "Color Overlay," it's only really necessary to use black.

 I scanned those in, and very reluctantly turned them into halftones. It broke my heart to have to do that, but with the six color limit that Woot has, I didn't have a choice. Then I applied the colors I wanted.


I should mention that this is the edited version of the progression. I actually painted some trees too and tried to use the more abstract people I had in the first sketch at some point that night. However, in order to make this blog post clean, (and to deceive you all into thinking I knew what I was doing seamlessly) I'll keep this more simple. Next step was to ink and fill:

The clouds needed something, so I copied a chunk out of the right side of the sky and used it to add some shading to them. To me, it made all the difference in the world, and completed it.
As you can see, I didn't do a whole lot of painting. I did enough though, to make me crave more. Hopefully in the near future I'll get a chance to work on something more involved. Anyways, this design is currently up for voting here. I'd love it if these clouds joined the fog. ;)

Before I let you go, I'd like to remind you that Year of the Place Mat is available to buy at Shirt.Woot, but probably won't be after Monday night at midnight. If you'd like something perfect to wear on those guilty pleasure runs to the local Chinese buffet, let me suggest it.

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