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.