I went back and worked on my dino pic a bit more. I experimented with the different airbrushes to get a freckly, scaly look.
Some of the brushes work better than others. As you can see by the patterns on his shoulder there on the right, it just looks a little too ‘spraypaint’. More like static and less like the skin of an animal.
I keep looking for an easy way to paint scales without painting every single scale. I have an idea that if I just put in a shadow and a highlight, I can fool the eye into thinking it sees scales. I kind of accomplished this on the little spikes on his head, in the red part and the blue part. If you look at those bumps, they’re mostly just some shadows and a highlight.
The commissioner requested a lot of glowing special effects, so I went with a dark evening-shading gradient to make the bright stuff pop. Then I painted in the light sources, a la the Big Glowing Gems. The hedgehog guy has a purple scythe and (I think) glowy blue stripes. (I have to check on the glowy blue stripes thing.) Anyway, I wanted a bunch of colors, so a bunch of colors we shall have. 🙂
Blocked in the colors on the main character …
Started the blending by scribbling in the midtone blue around the edges …
And then smear it all together with the wonderful tool called Just Add Water.
The nice thing about shading a character that’s black, on a black background means that all you do is put on the highlights and you’re done.
So easy! I love coloring on dark backgrounds.
Tis not finished yet, obviously, but it’s a lot closer than it was.
Been sick for 3 days, and it’s kind of screwed up my blogging mojo.
Anyway, trying to get back on track:
I blocked in my colors, and experimented with the coloration on my dinos. I saw a dino on DA that had the horizontal stripe over its eye like that, and I liked it. A lot of lizards (and some fish, too) have a similar stripe … it’s like a superhero mask. I figure the male should be all bright flashy colors and the female can be all browns and creams.
I also realized that all the values in this pic are very close together. Check this out.
When converted to black and white, I don’t have any real good darks. So it’s back in to work on my shading.
I love making ugly things cute. I think their very ugliness makes them cuter … it stops being “ugly” and becomes “character”.
I was looking for skeletons and skull reference, and ran across this.
Doesn’t it look like a dragon skull? It just needs bigger teeth and a heavier jaw is all!
Also, see the dome on top of the skull? The longer I looked at that silly dome, the more I thought of this.
This is a helmeted guinea fowl. They have one of the more hilarious faces in the poultry world. Anyway, now all I can think of is a dinosaur with a face that color, with the little funky square waddles.
I was fishing around for some kind of oddball dinosaur to draw, and remembered the stygimoloch. So hilariously ugly.
Here’s a skull:
It’s related to those head-butting dinosaurs, the pachycephalosaurus. Only uglier. So I fiddled around, trying to figure out how to draw one, and settled for something whimsical.
He’s giving her a flower. “I’m ugly. Love me!”
Nobody draws dinosaurs doing cute things, unless they’re cartoony. Look at wolf art, and tigers, and lions, and any other modern predator you can think of. They’re mostly drawn cuddling with each other, or with their babies, or looking majestic, or awesome, or anything.
How are dinosaur predators drawn? Eating each other.
Do people draw tigers eating each other? Very rarely. Why? Because it’s not nice to look at.
No wonder people don’t really like dinosaurs. When they aren’t drawn eating each other, they’re drawn all weird and surreal-looking. And I’ve noticed that paleo-artists seem to throw all other rules of anatomy out the window when they draw dinosaurs. They draw dinosaurs all flat and pointy. Totally unlike modern reptiles, which are mostly built along the lines of a cylinder, or birds, which are built around the egg-shape.
For some reason it looks like hot summer … maybe it’s all the white in the background and the contrast of the shading on the leaves. Leaf … scribbles. Whatever.
I forgot how liberating the scribble-shading technique in pen and ink can be. I think going back to Painter has actually been good for me art-wise, because I’m having to think in real media again. And plus it’s just relaxing to sit and draw whatever comes to mind.