Thursday, April 5, 2012

Digital Watercolor - Ladybugs

I've begun an exciting animation project, and as part of that I've been trying to come up with a style for the background paintings. I've created animations in the past, but I've never been happy with how the backgrounds turned out. I've studied hours and hours of animation, and the backgrounds I've been most impressed with were the ones created in watercolor and gouache (opaque watercolor). But I'm not the greatest watercolorist, and doing them on paper and scanning them in would add to the already incredible time burden.

So I decided to go digital and let the computer do the heavy lifting. I've tried several different methods in Corel Painter, the greatest paint program ever created, but I've never been satisfied with the results. I even tried using Brushes for the iPhone.

Then a few months ago I developed a technique to add textured shading to illustrations in Adobe Photoshop for a black & white illustrated novella, The Caveman Conspiracy (a Wandering Koala tale). I loved the results. I wondered if the technique could be used with color to create digital paintings. But how to approach it?

Then today I went to see The Secret World of Arrietty by Studio Ghibli. While watching the film, I studied the backgrounds and thought of a similar technique. Of course, I don't have a tenth of their skill or talent, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try.

So using the shading technique and a texturing technique I developed while working on Wandering Koala uncovers the Sixth Figure, I came up with this. I really like how much it looks like a watercolor painting, how bright the colors are, and how quickly and cleanly I was able to create it. It still needs some work and refinement, but I think I'm on the right track.

But that's just me. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great piece! I love the brushstrokes. They are loose and spontaneous.