Well, not really. When you go on blogs and online forums you see all this cool art. A lot times the artists will say "O yea, this took me 20 minutes no reference" or "yea I just started doodling and I knocked this out in a day." So yes, there are plenty of artists that do this and I humbly respect and bow down to their talent. However, there are some who painstakingly take days to churn things out, redoing things time and time again and then they are still not happy with an end product. To redeem these facts, some slap on the tag " yea, took me 20 minutes, no problem at all." A quick side note, painting fast does not mean you get better, making better design choices is what makes you a better and faster designer. Hope that makes sense.
Where is this all leading Pat? Well myself, I try to find a happy medium between the 2 extremes. I take my time in the preplanning and production of a piece so that when I get to the execution, it flows out faster because I have done my homework and rehearsed my drawings for the final show. Let me show you.
So for the finished Shear Ends (image in the previous post) I did a lot of thumbnail sketches for my composition as well as the stylization of my characters. I probably spent the better half of the day working this out on a few pages in my sketchbook.
Next, came the execution. This took me about a day in total because I had a game plan, I did my homework, and I had a clear vision of what I wanted it to look like. here goes:
1) Get my final line art down, scanned into Photoshop at 400 DPI and cleaned up with levels to get rid of some of the debris.
2) Laid down an overall gray tone on the characters so its not just a white canvas, and started to pick out some highlights in the characters.
3) Worked in the shadow patterns, I flip the order of my lights and shadows, lately I have been laying in my shadows first to find form and volume.
4) Use a color layer in Photoshop to lay down washes of color over my grayscale tones.
5) Start rendering the main character, face first then I work on the body. I like to render up a small section sometimes to help see what level I have to push the rest of the piece to.
6) The bear was too low and cut off too much on the page, so I cut and paste and moved him over to the left and a little higher.
7)Finish rendering the hands and the white background was bugging my so I laid down a quick gradient.
8) Added some darks to the gradient background to give it some mood.
9) Added a final texture to give it some grit in the background. Now, before I decided on this texture I went through several variations and random textures that did not fit. I wanted the texture to fit the personality of the piece as well as the frame I chose for it. These little things are what makes your piece come together in the end so do not forget them.
OK, Enough blabbing from me. I hope this helped out some of you out there. Remember, I'm not a rocket scientist, I just put in a lot of work and I don't give up on a piece...usually.....well maybe 1 out of 10......OK the end.