Drawing Outside Your Comfortzone: Turning Towards Digital Art

Duo - Adventure is where you find it

The New Characters For The Teddy Bear Verse – Duo (coming digitally summer 2018)

Welcome to a new installment of ‘Drawing Outside Your Comfortzone’ over the last couple of years I have taken you all on a journey with me, as I attempt to evolve and improve my drawing style by tackling subjects, or ideas outside my normal comfortzone. The results have been mixed, but with each jump my skills have got a little sharper and I learned a new technique, or incorporated part of a drawing style. Well, in this installment I start the journey towards, putting away paper, pen and inktense pencils and look towards turning to Digital Art.

Digital Art Revolution Yo!

During all my time in conventions I have seen a growing trend, the traditional hand colored art being discarded by the fan, in favor for the bolder digital art colored pieces, while we can lambaste the throwing away of organic coloring, the trend is moving away from paper, to full digital art creation. Now I hear you say, you just noticed? No, I have not just noticed, I have been observing this trend for a couple of years, however, the tools to learn to draw digitally for layman (like me) are only just become affordable.

Now, before I go any further I have to say, I am a Graphic Designer and I make use electronic layout/image editing software everyday and have actually drawn several pieces in my youth using the old style trackball mouse. This process though has always been time-consuming, compared to what you can punch out with pen and paper.

Dipping The Toe

I have not gone full Digital yet, the end of the year I hope to be learning to draw and color on an iPad using Procreate. What, I am going to show here is where I am at right now, with the tools that are available to me. Which are pen, paper, a scanner and access to Photoshop (Adobe Creative Suite 6), it is somewhat cumbersome, but everyone has to start somewhere.

As you can see, the initial drawing is still created using pen and paper in the same style that I have been improving, ever since I picked up a pencil again in 2011, these were then inked.

The inked final is then scanned in at 300dpi to be colored using Photoshop, The digital coloring wasn’t anything special, I just picked color swatches off previous inktense penciled illustrations and then block colored using the paint brush and roller tool – a little like painting by numbers. Shading I introduced using global lighting and layer blending options. While I know I have a long way to go learning the subtles of digital coloring, I don’t feel Photoshop is the best software to learn it in, so expect to see more shade variation once I get Procreate cranking.

And there you have it, my first turn toward Digital Art creation (this century) and a new journey to under take. The plan (and don’t I always have a plan) is to be reasonably competent in digital creation to start drawing the Duo adventure comic book in summer 2018 – featuring our two new characters, a girl and her Teddy Bear.

Okay, this is me done for this installment, please leave you comments and thoughts below.

 

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About Nick

Just an Englishman lost in the USA who happens to write now and again… Anyone got a cup of tea?

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