Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Green Corner Special: Classy on a Chaise

I've finished another Green Corner special. This one features Aena in human form, lying on a chaise lounge. Photo reference was used for the chaise.

Illustrator CS3, about 9 hours.

And here's a close-up to see some of the detail (click the image to enlarge):
I modified my colouring method a little for this image. The line work is in different colours and I feathered some of the shine to make it more subtle. I also rendered her eyes a little differently, using lines to add some detail without getting too cartoony. The only black in this image is her pupils, and I think that really helps the image feel more soft and elegant.

Desktop wallpapers of this special available on request. I hope you enjoy the image.

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Adjustments and Perspective

If you've followed my comic series, Green Corner, for a while; you've probably noticed that I tend to make adjustments from the pencil stage to the final digital image. In the earlier pages, I often corrected proportions as well as relative sizes of characters and objects.

Now, I make far less adjustments of that kind and find it easier to double-check things while hand-rendering. I check proportions a few times while I draw by hand, to minimize the need for digital corrections.

I know how to draw in perspective, and what looks correct. But I sometimes have a little trouble with things like the sales desk in the bookshop. In my head, I know the size that I want for the desk, but I'm not actually using reference.

Professionally, I use more reference to ensure correctness; but Green Corner is a personal project (and a learning project) that I have the option of editing at my discretion. For the most part, I don't use reference for Green Corner. The problem with this is that it can be difficult to translate what I see in my head to what I draw on a page; which I think happens to a lot of artists.

I was recently working on page twenty of Green Corner; one of the more complex and detailed pages.

I wanted both Zalanda and Alshina to be mostly visible in the first panel, but I placed them a little too close to each other and made them a little too large in my pencil to allow the desk to fit naturally between them. Initially, I wasn't sure about including the desk, but I added it and other scenic elements to the page for interest. I adjusted the desk as well as the size of the characters in that panel for the digital version.

The desk is seen at various angles and in relation to various characters many times in the first twenty pages of Green Corner. I often find myself adjusting the perspective of the desk, to ensure that it's correctly rendered when it appears. If the angle appears too steep, it can make an entire page look awkward.

I prefer to digitally render the more geometric scenic elements in Green Corner, regardless of whether or not I sketch them out by hand. I can fix things when I re-work pages digitally, but when making detailed pencils, I want to limit later adjustments.

I think part of the problem I have with rendering things like the desk in pencil is that I'm used to drawing at a single size. When I draw characters of different heights, I often reduce a sketch with a photocopy and re-draw to fix relative size. This allows me to maintain detail and consistency at smaller sizes. I may re-draw characters multiple times, but I don't do the same with scenic elements.

When creating digital pages, I find it very useful to layer items and selectively hide objects if I need to work on something unobstructed. It's more involved to edit things in pencil. I find it awkward to check perspective of the desk by hand because it's usually obstructed.

I don't think I will continue making completed, hand-assembled pencils for Green Corner. I think it would be better to draw items separately by hand and then adjust and assemble in Photoshop as necessary. I would still have a hand-rendered foundation, but there would be less re-drawing. I think this would work better for the way that I tend to complete the pages, as I often draw portions not visible within the confines of a page to ensure things are rendered correctly.

I don't think I'll ever stop drawing things by hand, but I like to streamline my process when possible. Illustrating a comic series is a tricky thing, but it has taught me a lot so far and always encourages me to grow as an illustrator.

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Saturday, 24 January 2009

Green Corner: Page 20

Page twenty of Green Corner has been published.

Please visit the Green Corner website to see the update.

Enjoy :)

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Friday, 9 January 2009

Site Updates: Portfolio and Green Corner

I've added more work to my portfolio site, and re-organized the design section. There's now the option to scan through my work by project type. I've kept the client-focused pages, so that visitors can still see the range of work that I can do for one client while maintaining a cohesive image. There have been some minor visual changes as well, to help with the structure of the website.

Over on the Green Corner website, I've added new avatars through page 19. I've also updated the image gallery to reference all pencils and progress images through page 19. Another recent addition is the writings section of the site, which includes short stories and scripts.


I hope you like the changes. Please let me know if you find any bugs, and I'll be sure to fix them as soon as possible.

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Hi! My name is Emily.

Welcome to my art blog. I am an independent graphic designer and illustrator from the Toronto area. I create print and web solutions for a variety of businesses and individuals with a personal touch and conscientious approach.

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