Warrior Geisha - Walkthrough Wednesday

April 2, 2014

Its Walk Through Wednesday, time for another round of a step by step breakdown of the basic process for many of EWG's commissions! This time using a Spring Special order completed earlier this week! And away we go!

1.) - Loose sketch - a sketch that has only the information I need to tell where things go and work out the angles and proportions and articulate the fingers/ face a bit. Everything else is setup as guides so I can finish the drawing in the inking stage. I don't always work this way but in more free-style allowing cases like the Spring Special commissions I do. In jobs where accuracy is definitely important I would most likely do a finished pencil drawing to ink over for even cleaner art. But there is something to the whimsical and loose but at same time decisive lines of this drawing style I like. Maintains a bit more energy in the end result I think this way. So once this is in a place where I don't have to second guess proportions at all when I'm up closer inking then I fade it back about 50% and save out a jpg that's easy to ink over and then move over to inkscape.

2.) Ink Line art - Now I have closed or minimized Photoshop and in inkscape I import the lower opacity pencil art and lock the layer. Then make a new layer on top called 'inks' and proceed to concisely choose my lines from the sketch lines and end up with a more defined drawing. I don't typically do black fills or fill in or shade anything at this point. Just the line work. Zooming out occasionally to make sure it all looks right and in this case the proportions are spot on with what i set up in the pencil sketch. Advanced users can also draw parts differently or add or leave out on on the spot even if theres no pencils to go by at this point your still creating the drawing when doing it this way and can add/ take away anything but have to be careful/ confident in doing so as could throw off the overall proportions if your not careful. I use the nib pen tool and with pressure sensitivity from my wacom I use a brush set to 45 size.
3.) Black Fills - make a new layer now i usually call 'blacks' and define dark areas. Dark objects, black areas and lighting and shading by adding black areas under places that might not get light (under skirt, under sleeves under chin) and suggest black areas but with stylized ways of showing light or reflection (hair/ sandal/ hilt) to bring more mass and interest to the drawing. 

 4.) My work flow usually involves a step after the finished line-art and black-fills, a new layer called 'whites'. This is where I use the nib pen tool and with pressure sensitivity from my wacom I use a brush set to 15 size or half of what i was using before. And I add in white details and feather hard shadows and suggest strands of hair catching light and feather black objects to suggest leather or fabric and remove unwanted details like extra facial lines and such. I also use this layer ironically to switch over to do the same thing with black, to create hatching on creases and such that suggests fabric and hair shine and other textures. Once its at a place your happy with, save (should have saved like 10 times before now in both the line-art stage and black fill stage). Then export bitmap of whole drawing to wherever on your computer.

5.) Colors/ Finishes - Finally we bring the line-art back to Photoshop where i flat color, then shade and then highlight and add some overall saturation/ color balance filters and walla - here is the finished piece! For me the highlights are their own middle layer, shadows on their own middle layer, flats on bottom layer and line-art on the top most layer. I use pen tool to select the areas and fill with various colors to look the way I want. This all sounds like a vague description now but in the future I will do a full break down and walk through of the coloring steps as well. This is really a general overview of the entire work flow for this piece.

I hope you enjoyed this walk through Wednesday post and if you have any questions about process or other items related to this piece or process comment below and I will answer each and every one of them!

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