A few of you folks have asked me how I make word balloons using Photoshop, so as I was doing final edits on THE FEW, I flipped on the camera and recorded the process hoping that a brilliant tutorial would magically happen! Unfortunately, all that happened was me recording myself babbling aimlessly as I try to string two words together that make some kind of sense. I even called something a “shape maker” which I don’t think is an official Adobe term… for anything. So don’t think of this video as a tutorial. Think of it as spending a couple of minutes looking over Dennis’s shoulder while he works.
Here are a few of the steps I go through on most of my illustrations. Are you kitten me!?
Several years ago I did a job for Mission Hockey and as part of the payment process I received a bunch of their latest hockey gear. For some reason my wife is not fond of this sort of compensation package (she seems to be a big fan of hard cold cash) but I loved it …and I’m STILL using those Mission hockey gloves!
I just finished another job that had a unique payout at the end. This time I got one of those new Surface Pro 4 Tablets. For years I’ve been looking for SOMETHING PORTABLE that I can digitally paint with and the Surface Pro 4 claims it can fill that bill… so I gave it a test drive to see.
Because I use an older version of Photoshop (CS6) I had to jump through a couple of hoops, but basically got it loaded onto the tablet with no problem. The Surface Pro 4 comes ready to use out of the box with a pen and screen sensitivity, so using the 8 megapixel camera on the device, I snapped a picture of a crumpled up sermon note that was in the trash can, opened it in Photoshop and got busy. To make a long story short, it worked great. (I write really short reviews) I can now sit in front of the tv with a full blown version of Photoshop on my lap and make goofy pictures with it. I’m really impressed…
…and oh, did I mention it’s also a pretty slick little gaming computer. It runs Steam games really well to boot.
Another process video of something I did recently. Basically just blocking in color underneath the drawing and then putting finishing touches in on top of it.
Here’s another simple technique you might want to try. Find a nice background image, put it underneath your pencil drawing and then paint on top of it…
This is for my friends on YouTube who continue to send me kind letters asking what my work process is.
This picture started out as a doodle in my sketchbook. I scanned it into Photoshop, (CS6), made it a multiply layer and began blocking in color on a normal layer underneath. When I get the mid and darker values established, I create a normal layer above the line art and put in the lighter values. At the very end I add just a little black line but not too much… too much black will kill the picture. I merge all the layers together, then create a green layer underneath the art. I erase everything I dont want on the art. As I do this, the green layer underneath helps me to see what I am doing. My image is cut out and now I need a background. I type into Google “blue sky” and find some clouds which I drop into the background. I add just a bit of glow around my figure to separate him from the background and I’m done.
Color can be a tricky thing to work with. Lots of out of control color can confuse what you are trying to achieve in an illustration. This is a simple technique to keep order when you have a lot going on in a picture. Render the background in a monotone and only use color on what you want the viewer to focus in on. It pretty much works every time.