Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Time!

Halloween one of the world's oldest holidays is
certainly one of my favorite times. I enjoy going
to Salem, MA on Halloween night to view the
assortment of costumes and take part in some
of the events that the city has to offer for
This year I have created several Halloween art
pieces to commemorate the festive spooks and
spirits of the night.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Photoshop Technique

Here are some illustrations that I will explain how I was able to show a
transition from color to pencil sketch using Adobe Photoshop. First, I took
my finish pencil sketch and created a layer on top to color using the sketch
on the bottom layer as a guide. I switch back and forth with the multiply
mode to give me an idea as to how the work is shaping up. I don't color the
whole sketch, just enough so I can created a smooth transition with the mask feature using Photoshop.
Secondly, I created a third layer and color the whole background with a tint color. At this point I have three layers. A background flat colored layer, a sketch layer and a colored layer with a partial area of color. Thirdly, I go into the mask mode I select from my tools palette. Once in the mask layer I drag the mask tool on top of my sketch and created a mask. I return to the standard mode and hit the delete key to eliminate the portion of the sketch I desire so color from the top layer or color layer shows through. I exit and return to my third layer or partially colored layer and go through the same process as described with the sketch layer. I should have at this point three layers, two of which have been masked as well as my background tint color. I finish my work by merging all the layers and viola a completed piece of art.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Constellation Viewing

With all the news coming out of NASA about the discoveries on Mars, I
motivated myself and finished an illustration referring to the night sky.
We are beginning to enter the fall season in which it's usually a good time for me
to visit some of the local observatories in the Boston area.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

From Sketch To Finished Art

When I start an art piece I begin with the sketch. I go through several drafts before I am satisfied with the drawing and scan my sketch on my Canon scanner. I usually scan at about 300 d.p.i. for a four color process; otherwise 72 d.p.i is fine for the web.

I save my scanned sketch either as a tiff or eps and place the scan from the file menu into Illustrator CS2. I select the window menu and go to the color menu and adjust the image and change it to blue. I lock this layer so I don't alter it. I name this layer template. I create a separate layer above and start to draw with my customized brushes.

Once the drawing is finished I will print it out with my Epson printer. My next step is to bring the artwork into Photoshop. I place the image on a separate layer and lock it. I name my line art layer template.

I create a layer below the template layer and make sure the background is white. I place a layer above the template layer and select the mode menu and select multiply. I select multiply so I can color on this layer and not affect the template layer below.

I continue to color the artwork until I am pleased with the results. My brush selection varies so I can achieve either a flat color effect or an airbrush effect. I use the mode, opacity, flow, and width features that Photoshop supplies to taylor my brushes to fit my needs. You will find these adjustments at the top menu when you select the brush tool.

Sometimes I create a separate layer above the multiply layer so I can experiment with either the brush and the color selected. When my artwork is finished I save the file and print it out with my Epson printer. If I like what I see it's a keeper; otherwise I rework until I am satisfied. Well, there you have it with some insight, and how I sketch to finished art.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Periodic Sketches

Sketching is one of those essential things that I try to do everyday but time doesn't always permit or I become distracted for one reason or another. I usually start the day with a cup of java and listen to NPR news events to get the body warmed up and the brain functioning. As I enter the studio, I inspect my surroundings as I left it the previous evening. The computers are all warmed up, so I check my e-mail for possible messages or unanswered e-mails to send. After about five minutes on the internet I look for whatever sketchbook, pencil and kneaded eraser are within easy reach. I sit down and stare at the blank page and wonder what I will conjure up today. On some days this is easier than others. If I need to, I will start with some simple doodles and this gradually leads to more complex sketches. I really enjoy the tactile feel of the pencil on the paper because so much of my finished work ends up on the computer. When I do have a day or reach a point when the muse is speaking to me, I stick with my drawing until it is completed or I just become tired because it isn't always easy to return to this ideal state of drawing. If I am distracted or just not in the mood for drawing I will concentrate on another aspect of my illustration career.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Project Completed

I just completed some full colored electronic artwork for Houghton & Mifflin and Pearson Scott Foresman. These projects were exciting and required a colorful style for the publishers. I usually start each project with contacting the client and establishing a way to communicate such as e-mail and telephone. I will send the client two to three roughs before going to finish. I always send an invoice or contract to prevent any future problems. Both of these projects went smoothly except for the rush required for the completed work.