This is part 2 of a series of posts where I talk about how I used a screenshot as inspiration for a picture that I drew. This is also my next IntPiPoMo entry, #6 of 50. Although there are a few pictures in this post, most of them are WIPs and I’m only counting the final art towards my challenge count. I covered the initial inspiration through to the line art in this post and today covers the rest, so here we go!
With some larger pictures I’ve gotten in the habit of doing separate files for the character and the background elements… I use a lot of layers, so this makes the files a bit less insane for me.
First I flatted Novaak, which means I broke down all the elements of his line art into solid colors. This is a quick way for artists who use this art style to quickly grab a specific element to work on one a piece at a time – for example, I start with the skin first by selecting that area of the flats, and move on to the jacket next and so on. Colors don’t have to be exact at this point – I was fortunate that his outfit is rather simple. Anything here can be changed later. If you have a lot of colors of a similar value, the magic wand tool might grab stuff you don’t want, so sometimes you will use different colors for flatting. I could’ve given him pink pants here if I really, really wanted to and the end result would still be tan pants.
After deciding that I was going to use Yavin 4 as the background, I took a few more screenshots of the planet for reference and began pushing around some colors that I liked on a new canvas. I started by putting in a line of trees in the background and filled out the sky. Meanwhile, I had left myself a messy jumble of lines in the middle ground to figure out and somehow transform into a ruined walker.
I messed around with both the sizing of the walker and the character quite a bit until I found a mix I was happy with. At this point it was time to go back into Manga Studio so I could draw the walker, or at least enough of it to make the picture work.
I really didn’t have to worry about being precise here, but having a guide to work with really makes a difference. This walker isn’t entirely accurate, but spending a little extra time on researching it and drawing it out greatly improves the picture – and made me feel pretty darn good as well, because I’m not very great at mech stuff. So bonus points for accepting and meeting challenge!
Pretty much covered the next part there. Rendering is basically a different term for painting – I’m fleshing out the form of the figure, making it appear more dimensional. I really do love this part, I feel like I’m getting better with every picture as I figure out something new, or something in my brain goes “hey, I understand this now!”. The feeling of growth is rewarding, and it’s also so awesome to see a picture that I’ve spent several hours on really coming together.
Now it’s time to put the two parts together! I actually had one of the walker’s feet up front, but I colored that after I had Novaak and the background sorted in together. Now I could do the fun stuff – add rim lighting, special effects, his dualsaber blades, etc. I finished it off with the remaining walker chunk, some more smoke, and another pass at the lighting. I can be pretty impatient when I finish a picture and I want to post it right away, especially if it’s a “big” picture and I’m afraid I’m going to overwork it or fiddle with it to death if I don’t commit to a finish. So if it’s my own personal stuff, I’ll put it up and just go with it. This image got to sit for a short bit as I went off to do some stuff, also showed it to a few friends for feedback, and when I came back to it a little while later I was still pretty happy with it. I gave it another look-over, sufficiently satisfied that I hadn’t gone overboard with one thing or overlooked something else. And so, I decided that it was Done.
So that’s how this picture I drew evolved from a screenshot I took. Inspiration can have some fun, unexpected, and colorful turns.