Today’s mini-painting:

I like how it turned out.

I actually did the colors on this one while the image was flipped horizontally so that I could correct the natural “lean” of my line and brushstrokes. When it was almost done, I flopped it back and was surprised how big a difference it seemed to make.

As with all the other mini-paintings I’ve been doing since my birthday (except for the landscape one last time), here’s the basic method:

– I sketch out the little pic.
– I scan the drawing into Photoshop and adjust the line art so it’s relatively clean, popping it up onto its own layer and changing the layer Mode to Multiply.
– I load up the PSD file into Painter 6.1 and build up the background/base tone on the Canvas layer with the Simple Water brush, experimenting until I find a tone that I like.
– Using that base color to mix from, I work on the skin tone and other elements, loosely blocking in major light and shadow areas.
– Highlights and fine color blends are usually done on a new layer with the Smeary Round or Round Camelhair brush.
– I save a back up version of the pic as a Painter native RIF file.
– I resave the same image as a PSD file, “drying” the canvas on the watercolor layer. This means I won’t be able to use the Simple Water brush anymore if I bring it back into Painter later on, hence the back up version.
– I import the file into Photoshop again, tweaking it with some color correction, use of the Dodge tool and Brightness/Contrast/Saturation control.
– I add the signature and export the web-sized version with Photoshop’s ‘Save For Web’ feature.

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