Every now and then people ask me about my process, how I colour things in or achieve certain textures. I always mean to answer these questions, but it’s kind of complicated and it would be a bit time consuming. So here instead are some pictures to do that job. A caveat here is that I rarely work the same way twice and every job is generally an experiment in figuring out new ways to work. But lately quite often my process is something like this.
Step one is to start on paper with ink or gouache. I scan that in and through some photoshop magic (selecting black and white channels and copying to layers) turn every piece into layers. These are actually all things I still happened to have on file. For my last book I made a little data base of rocks, trees and branches to use wherever I needed something. Think of it as a form of collage.
I very quickly put these things together for this demo. Then put every layer on a transparency lock (it’s in the layer window). The next step is basically just messing around with colours. I have a pretty large collection of custom brushes made from various ink and paint washes and splashes. You can basically just use those as rubber stamps to add colours and textures to your layers. This is where the transparency lock comes in handy, as you don’t need to select anything. Finally I mess around with some adjustment layers to see if something interesting will happen to the colours I hadn’t planned on. And that’s basically it.
I got some questions about my colouring process lately, so I thought I’d reblog this. It’s a bit old, but I still work pretty much the same way for a lot of projects. Sometimes I draw directly in photoshop and use those custom brushes to layer colours and textures on shapes, or I make something predominantly with pencils. In which case I either use a transparency lock on the linework and colour it in that way. Or it barely needs any work. Which frankly, seems like a better and better idea the longer I’m working on my current mess of bits of scanned in gouache and ink washes.