Saturday, June 30, 2007

Jungle Boy: Part 2

Next I need to decide where the light will be coming from and what my basic pallete will be. On seperate layers, I start defining the areas for the dark, mid and light tones using a hard round brush (images 1 - 3). No mystery here, just use common sense or some reference photos to guide you.

The lighting does not have to be 100% accurate. The "cartoon" style of this drawing is very forgiving and you can get away with a lot more than you would be able to normally. Our eyes are easily fooled...

Adding another light source also help to make the forms seem more "rounded".

The reason the tones are done on different layers is so that I can easily adjust the colours for each. Just "Lock Transparent Pixels" on each layer in Photoshop, choose a colour and use "Alt+Backspace" to fill the layer until colour tones emerge that work together.

I also play around with the "Opacity" slider on each layer to harmonize the tones (image 4). On the last image you can see I have added some highlights and tested some pinks and greens which I may later use to add reflective light and shadows (image 5).

After this all the layers for the character gets merged to a single layer. So now I am left with only three layers - the background, the jungle dude and the line art on top of him.

This process may seem elaborate, but it helps me to solve problems early which later makes it easier to work on the final large scale version.

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Blending the character and adding detail to the background.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Snow in Jo'burg?

Many parts of the Witwatersrand were blanketed in a layer of icy crystals when we woke up this morning. In Johannesburg it was our first real fall since September 10, 1981. Roads have been closed to motorists, some shops have been closed and airport traffic was delayed for hours. Very strange indeed! This may not seem significant, but it is a big deal to South Africans. Above you can see images of Johannesburg, the back of my car and our garden.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jungle Boy: Part 1

The next project... a wild young man, before he was king. In an attempt to share my process, I will be taking you step by step through my digital coloring methodology. It is by no means cast in stone, in fact, it changes regularly. Each piece seems to demand its own approach. Maybe it will be useful to others, else it will at least be amusing...
The pencil drawing comes first. This was done on A4 paper with a medium pencil and as you can see I still suck at drawing hands. The drawing gets traced with a black fineliner on a new sheet and scanned at 300dpi in greyscale. To get the line art pure black on white I adjust the values "Image, Adjustments, Levels..." in Photoshop, it also removes the paper texture. Next any unwanted marks are erased manually.
Use the "Channels" tab and click on the "Load channel as selection" circle at the bottom. Create a new layer, invert the selection and fill it with 100% black. Deselect and go back to the original layer. Fill it with 100% white - you now should have a layer with clean line art and a seperate background layer. Change the file "Image, Mode, RGB or CMYK Color" and save it.
Loverboys taught me not to work on a large scale early on. I get lost in the detail and take too long - but that could just be me! For this I resize the image and reduce it to a more manageable scale. On a seperate layer below the line art I create a base colour using a large round brush and trim it to match the outlines. I choose a basic palette for the background, and lay down a few rough brush strokes (brush set to 50% opacity). Save often!



Drawfellas has opened a gallery on DeviantArt. So if you want to see all the artworks so far in one place, just go to the gallery for DrawFellas. There are so many very talented people on this art community, but you have to become a member to see the "Mature" stuff.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Loverboys Revisited

The digital version of an earlier pencil drawing. This one took forever... needs a bit more work. Trying to teach myself how to get a "painted" look but I am still not happy with the skin tones and the contrast. There is still a lot to learn... The background is a photo I took in Zanzibar on holiday a while ago.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Art of Darren Engleman

My art makes a definite statement about my life, in that my approach to painting is a reflection of the way I view the world - full of beautiful and strange surprises and hidden connections. Art is about seeing things that are difficult to explain and examining what I value or find beautiful, or even just what I notice in something - what captures my attention.

I am fascinated by the abstractions I find everywhere I look, and so my paintings are filled with geometric patterns of vibrant color and texture. I am drawn to interpreting the human figure in sometimes controversial compositions, as well as flowers, clouds and landscapes.

Visit his website for other great Male Art and more information. Copy and images used with permission.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Vintage Beefcake

Lately, pictures of pretty boys are a dime a dozen.

Don't get me wrong - I am all for photographing virile male specimens. Sometimes these modern photographs make the guys just seem a little too polished and merits little artistic appreciation. Their physiques seem to lack the burly quality and virility of the masculine ideal.

Maybe I am a little old fashioned but few images beat the raw and unpolished quality of Beefcake shots from days gone by.

Many of the models were as rough in reality as they looked, and attributed their physiques to hard work as boxers, athletes or construction workers. Most of them are excellent inspiration for art - great composition, good contrast and classical or provocative themes.

Sure times and the concept of masculinity change, but please bring back the rugged men!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Lover Boys

Just something I'm working on... Promise to upload the coloured version soon. This drawing is very small and the paper was too coarse so it was quite difficult to get a lot of detail. Next time I will use different paper and start drawing on a larger scale. But hey, this is how we learn - from our mistakes. Pencil drawing on A4 paper.