Illustration Friday: Sky


For the past week I've been plugging away at the sample grayscale interior illustrations for my middle grade novel.  I have three pieces I think I am happy enough with to include in my submission packet, so my next step is to create a sample cover for the book.  For that, I plan to color a Photoshop scratchboard pic.  I have completed a sketch, scanned it, and inverted the black and white in preparation for scratching out the image.

Then, having never tried colorizing one of these "scratchboards," I decided to do a test run with a simpler image, one I could rush through to work through all the kinks in the process without too much worry about the final product.  For subject matter, I addressed this week's Illustration Friday theme: Sky.  You see the results above.

I scratched away the black on the background layer, then did a "wash," applying fairly transparent color with a mixer brush tool.  (I chose the predominant sky color of vivid orange so that it with the black and the crows would evoke thoughts of Halloween.)  The "wash" dulled the black, so I had to spend a good chunk of the evening figuring out how to generate a black mask layer from the background and lay it over the top of the wash.  I ended up using the "subtract" layer style.  I'm sure there are other methods of achieving the same result, perhaps even simpler ones, but this was the first that worked for me, and I've been at this long enough for today.  I hope it doesn't take me too long to figure out from my notes how to do it again for the next piece.

Comments

  1. Very cool picture, thanks for the process info and good luck :)

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  2. Your image came out excellent! It definately has a Halloween feel to it! Good job sticking it out in Photoshop. I hope it is easier the next time around. Thanks for the lesson.

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  3. I love the composition here and the sky line. In photoshop, you could move the b&w layer above the color wash layer and switch blending mode to multiply (That gets rid of white information leaving only the black)

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  4. I'm always impressed by people who can figure out how to do things in photoshop. I'm a perpetual beginner.

    But I LOVE this illustration. Fabulous effect of the medium, and wonderful dynamic image above the tower & birds.

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  5. I was immediately drawn to this because of the beautiful colouring of the sky :) So I'd definately say mission accomplished here, well done!

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  6. Thanks for the tip, Alicia!

    And thanks for the kind words, Alicia, Coreopsis, Hannah, and Priscilla.

    And thanks, everybody, for visiting and commenting on my blog!

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  7. I like this image, it's very dark and romantic. Perfect for halloween.

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  8. Hey, Jeanie! I'm playing catch-up with my blog friends after my hiatus (doing book art and vacation). This is a wonderful piece! Everything about it--color, composition, mood...Bravo!

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  9. Thanks, Elizabeth! I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on your Henny book when it comes out!

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