Digital Painting Study

Supergirl © DC Comics

I want to learn more about digital painting. Not just lines with color, but actual painting. Specifically digital painting that can look like oils. I don't have time for classes so once again I am trying to squeeze in time to teach myself. The tough part is I don't paint in oils. I tried years ago but I really hate the smell. But I really love the look. So as part of my studies I am looking at the work of one of my favorite pin-up artists, Gil Elvgren.

Above is a detail from a larger piece I started last night. Nothing is finished about about what you see except for her right cheek. I love that right cheek. Elvgren had this way of making these beautiful smiles and plump red cheeks. Full of color and depth. My cheek is no where near what he did in his paintings, but it's the one part of my study that I am really happy with. And I will take that.

Have a good weekend everyone!

This is was done entirely in Photoshop.

This is Post #1807

Fairy - final

Artwork © 2012 Gene Gonzales

Here is the finished piece. I really wanted to get her done today so I could concentrate on commissions this weekend, so that worked out pretty good. I am very pleased with this piece. There are things I did that I had never tried before and I was happy with the results. I hope everyone enjoyed the process. Have a good weekend!

Digital painting in Photoshop.

This is Post #1765 

Digital Sketchbook Thursday

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

We are having a brief intermission from the Conventionless Convention Sketches today. Only because I had a day that turned my brain to mush. And I really didn't want to finish the piece I am working on with a mushy brain. That can lead to bad things. Nobody wants mushy brain sketches.

I have had this image sitting on my computer for just over a year. It was done in Photoshop, based on a photo I took. I open the photo file in one window and do all the drawing and painting in another window. Every so often I come back to it, work on it, throw away all I did, work on it some more, keep some of what I did, save and put away. While sitting here waiting to hear back about something, I opened it up and put some more work into it and set it aside when I got the okay on the work I was doing. Once that work was done, I thought about inking the sketch, but then thought better of it. (Remember the whole mushy brain thing at the beginning of this post?) So instead I noodled with the above image some more, to the point where I will say it's done. I don't think I have ever shared this piece at any stage so here it is complete. Unless I mess with it some more. :)

We will return to the Conventionless Convention Sketches tomorrow.

This is Post #1475


Darkseid © DC Comics

Just a little digital painting of DC Comics' Big Bad New God. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

This is Post #1413


Elektra © Marvel Entertainment

Back in the day, Elektra was a pretty popular sketch request at conventions. That's changed, at least for me. I can't remember the last time I drew her. But today I spent about an hour sketching and painting her in Photoshop. The process for this one differs from yesterday's Plastic Man post in that I didn't do any pencil roughs. I just started a digital doodle and ended up here. Rough and messy is how I would describe this piece. And it's subject for that matter.

Have a good weekend everyone!

This is Post #1412

Plastic Man

Plastic Man © DC Comics

This started off as just a doodle in my sketchbook that I decided to digitally paint in Photoshop once I scanned it in. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. No reason for the lady behind him other than Plas is a ladies man. ;)

Below is the initial sketch from my sketchbook.

Also I want to say thanks to everyone for making the effort of leaving comments here on the blog. I know it's easier to respond on Twitter/Facebook/Google+ when I post the update there, but having your comments and our conversations here will make it nice when I eventually archive this blog. So thanks again!

This is Post #1411


Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

Before I start droning on about other stuff, let's take a moment to wish my mom a very Happy Birthday! She drops by here everyday to see what I am up to so I know she will see this.

Happy Birthday Mom, we love you!

Today was a very productive day. I finished up a project I have been working on since October of last year and I finished up the second half of the pencils for the work I am doing for the U.S. Health Department (A project I was first approached with about 2 years and 2 weeks ago). A very good day. Today's post was drawn in my sketchbook in blue Col-Erase pencil while I was uploading a bunch of files. I took the pencil art into Photoshop, adjusted the pencil color and started painting. This is just a detail of a larger image. I didn't finish the rest of it and I probably won't. This was just killing time and playing around. I like how it came out though.

This is Post #1358

Working Digitally

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

I only had a couple of hours to work today before I headed out to stand/sit in line for the iPad2. But I did finish up the panel this image is in and since I shared the rough, I thought you might like to see the finish. :)

Have a good weekend everyone!

This is Post #1251

Bubble Gum Pop

I created another slide show for the piece I did this morning while chatting on the phone with another artist. Yes, we were on the phone that long. :) This is just some more experimenting with a style. I had some pitfalls along the way but worked my way out of it. I think Bob Ross used to call them "happy accidents". And that's what they are. There have been many times I have been in the middle of a traditional painting and the plan seems to fall apart. But I keep working and something different and better emerges. At least that's what I tell myself. ;)

Below are the individual images for the piece.

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

This is Post #1215

Now That's A Knife!

I thought I would try a different way of presenting the process steps for today's post. So I made a little slide show and uploaded it to my YouTube Channel. It's a little small here but if you click on it you will be taken to my YouTube Channel where the movie can be viewed a bit larger. I am also posting the individual images below. Let me know how you feel about slides shows and even some more movie step-by-steps.

For this piece, I did the initial sketch in a Strathmore Drawing pad using a Col-Erase Terra Cotta color pencil. I inked it with black Copic Multi-Liner pens and black Prismacolor pencil. After scanning the art into Photoshop CS5. I added shadows on one layer, clothing on another layer and then painted the skin tones on the same layer as the scan. You can see the pencils disappearing as I work the skin tones. I then repainted some of the black lines of the piece. The final part was touch ups and highlights. Overall the approach was a lot like painting with gouache. Gouache is an opaque watercolor paint. Used thick, not watered down, you paint layers. Building from dark to light. some parts of this piece are like that. This was a fun experiment and I will probably be doing more pieces like this.

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

This is Post #1214

The Golden Gun

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

One of the tough things about doing my own work isn't just finding time, it's also finding direction. As a commercial artist/illustrator I am told what is needed and I draw it. Coming up with solutions for clients is what I do. When I am the client, I am the worse kind. With no one to give direction, my brain fires off with a hundred different ideas. I start down one road and think of a better solution. Work on that solution, find another one.

Case in point...I have a story involving my space girl with the tiki guys. Not to be confused with my space jungle girl or the purple haired assassin above. I have done four pages of roughs and dialog. I want to have at least 10 pages done before presenting the first page. BUT I have redone all but the first page two or three times. The same thing happened when I wrote and illustrated TALES OF THE CHEROKEE. Along with the original art for those two books, I have a dozen pages in various stages that were abandoned. There is no real point to all this. Just an observation that I wanted to share. I wonder if other creators have this same problem. Or a variation of it. Too many ideas to be able to focus on one. Hmmmm.

Today's artwork was created in Adobe Photoshop.

This is Post #1213

Digital Sketchbook Thursday

Artwork © 2011 Gene Gonzales

This is the first time in months that I didn't have a commission to work on in my "free" time. So today I did a lot of doodling but this is the only thing I spent some time on. Just playing with color and brushes in Photoshop.

This is Post #1209

Santa Elf 4

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

I'm still on a elf kick. Tis the season folks. And they are fun and quick to draw when I only have a few minutes at a time a day. I slapped some color on this one in Photoshop.

Tomorrow I present some work to a client and will get feedback on Thursday. I don't expect much in the way of revisions so I will be going to final work shortly after that. So tomorrow afternoon I will be working on those Legion Canson pieces again. And that's gonna be fun! :)

This is Post #1157

Digital Painting Practice — Pin-up

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just a digital sketch for today. I was playing with my digital line work and decided to slap some color on it. Sorry I haven't gone into any descriptions of my process or what I am attempting to do. I've had some really long hours lately and if I wait until the end of the day to post, I am just too wiped out for words. My brain is only working on lower levels. Simple thoughts like "Fire bad. Tree pretty." (Points if you get that reference without using a search engine).

Things will calm down a bit by the end of next week. I am working on a hard deadline of Sunday night. Job going to a printer in Arkansas for proofing copy on Monday. Flying to Arkansas on Tuesday, meetings Wednesday morning and then a lunch meeting. Fly back late afternoon Wednesday. It won't calm down by much as I have a new job starting next week and more illustrations needed for the yet another book in the series of grammar books I've been working on. Oh, and then there are always revisions. :) But it won't be as hectic. I'm not complaining at all, mind you. If fact I am very, very, very grateful for the work. It's nice to do what I love for a living. That is something I never lose sight of. :)

This is Post #1144

Digital Penciling - Color

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Just a little bit of additional color added to this piece. Not much time for anything else today. The weekend was full of family and work. Going into this week I will be completely slammed until the following Monday. I'm exhausted thinking about it. Whew.

This is Post #1142

Digital Painting Practice

Artwork © 2010 Gene Gonzales

Work, work, work, today. I did take a bit of time during the day to play a bit in Photoshop. This was just an unfinished practice piece. Just trying different approaches to applying the color. Spent about 40 minutes on this.

This is Post #1133