Friday, October 17, 2008

A Reasonably Successful Experiment

I did this for an aborted project, a children's book that wound up collapsing after a good bit of effort on my part. Let's face it, I get an R for language, sex, and drugs and an X for violence and there ain't no use in fighting it. Anyway, this was the only finished piece I did. I tried an intereting technique. I started off with a crude, quick sketch done using colored pencils.

When I've worked with colored pencils before I used a technique called burnishing. In burnishing, after you've laid down your rough tones (as above) you go over the whole drawing and use a white pencil to blend the marks on the paper. The end result is a smooth, continuous tone.

After I did the pencil sketch I scanned it in and opened it in Photoshop, where I made selections and then used the smudge tool to do the same kind of burnishing I would have done with the white pencil. The results please me -- while the trees and cliffs are pretty crude the painterly quality of the rendering is kinda nice. I also like the way the colors worked -- I'd never have achieved that kind of variations if I'd rendered the whole thing in Photoshop from a sketch.

In the future I want to try more of this -- and I think some interesting results could be gained by incorporating other media like Conte crayons, felt tips, watercolor, etc. Anything that lends itself to quick and dirty work. I'd also like to learn more Painter so I could use their blending tools, which are much, much nicer than the Photoshop smudge tool.

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