UP! Fair - Process Piece
Monday, NOVEMBER 15, 2010

Here's a quick flash process slideshow of the piece I created for the UP! Fair Art Auction this weekend in Lexington, KY. It's free to the public so if you're in the area definitely check it out.

This piece was created entirely in Adobe Photoshop CS3 using a Wacom Graphire3 tablet. The tablet is fairly old but it has been very reliable for me over the years and I couldn't imagine working without it. It has similar stats as the new Bamboo Pen to give you an idea of how it measures up with what's currently on the market. On to the piece!

I began by sketching ideas for the piece and just playing around. As the idea I ultimately went with came together, I developed the different elements on separate layers in Photoshop so I could play around with the layout of the piece and try different things out. The giant robot and monster were originally on a single layer separate from the kid in the foreground but were later given into their own individual layers to play around with the layout further.

Once the line drawing was finalized I merged all the individual layers into one layer and created a separate layer to add shading to the piece in grayscale. The grayscale layer allowed me to play around with the overall tones of the piece in order to push some elements forward or de-emphasize others. It gave me a better idea of how things would read once I started to incorporated color into it.

Once I had the grayscale comp roughed out to my liking I began coloring by converting the grayscale layer into color and laying in flat colors for the major areas. This layer remained underneath the line art layer and served as a starting point for the rest of the color I added. On top of the line art layer I created a third layer called "top coat" where the majority of the coloring for the piece was done. In some cases I created an additional layer to experiment on areas before merging it with the main color of the top coat layer. For the majority of both the sketching and coloring I used a simple hard round brush with the Opacity set to 'Pen Pressure'. It's just like working with colored pencil for the most part. I varied the size and the hardness of the brush based on the areas I was working on. Generally I worked on the background elements and moved forward from there so I wouldn't have to do too much reworking on areas

While I was developing the initial layers of color I saved the major elements (robot, monster, kid & toy, buildings, and clouds) as channels in Photoshop so I could come back to them and focus only on those areas if need be. I adjusted these as the piece progressed. In the final stages, I added a few details to really bring things out. The final file was 6"x7" at 600 dpi/ppi in CMYK.

Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions or I left something obvious out feel free to contact me.

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