Monday, April 12, 2010

The background

And now a little follow-up on how I do my backgrounds.
The backgrounds in my little zombie blog really only serve to provide some colour for the characters. Some of them are very simple, just dirty blobs of colour. On some, I go for more detail but, in those cases, I find it really increases the time it takes to do them.

And, mostly, the getting the backgrounds done is simply a case of doing them rather than specific methods. But here are the basics.

First, I have my finished character. Now it's possible you might think that I should plan out the character and background together. I probably should. But I don't. It's really the character that's important for me.
From here, I do exactly what I do when drawing the character -

1) The sketch.

In a layer, usually underneath the character, I'll sketch in grey roughly what I'm looking for. Like this -

Just the basics.


2) Basic colour.

In a layer under that one, I fill it with colour. That's in the MORE options in the layer screen. You just select your colour, go into the layer screen and hit MORE over on the right hand side. So I have now got a flat colour with the sketch and character over the top (haven't got a pic of that).

Then I go straight for my speckled brush -

This time, I do go for one as transparent as that. Usually, I like to keep the colours fairly basic. So, with this, I have the main background and then the eggs. The eggs will be a different colour, so I do those separately. First, I get the basic colour down.

Using the colour select tool, I select my background colour and then, by going a bit darker or a bit lighter, or moving off the colour a little, I just build up the colour in the background stroke by stroke. Because I'm using a very transparent brush, it takes quite a few strokes but the benefit is that it all blends fairly nicely that way. Almost cloudy, like this -

3) The details.

Then it's just a case of finishing it off. I use the same brush, only less transparent and a little smaller, and I paint on the bits that are a different colour. In this case, it's really just the eggs. But you can see below that I'll also strengthen the contrasts a little with a few more brush strokes as I go along.

Using that same brush, I go a little finer and a little finer, drawing on the details. I always go for the basic shading first so I can cheat a little - if I have the shading done, I can draw the details with a slight transparency and they'll come out looking shaded too. It's not always the best way but it's certainly the quickest.

And then it's pretty much done.

What I'll want with some of the more detailed ones is to actually fade the background out a little, so the character stands out over any details. That's easy to do. All I do is select the main predominant colour of the background. I get the largest brush possible (still using that speckled one), set it very transparent so it barely shows when I paint with it, and I go over large areas of the image. Then I'll do it again, but only paint the areas a little closer to the character. Then again, even closer.

Doing that a few times just fades the background out a little.

And then I have a finished Easter Bunny zombie -

And that's it.
If I've left anything out or you want me to cover something else, feel free to ask.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Nice. I like the background.