Guthrie’s Art Journal

Bunny and Joe, Syria
March 27, 2009, 12:08 am
Filed under: Art, digital art, Photoshop | Tags: ,

joe-and-bunny originalGreg's photo after

Before and after shots of my flat mate’s photo post card, a bit off topic but I am quite proud that I have managed to restore this image to the extent that I have.

Still some things to consider but it’s very close now!

Tried out a number of techniques but it does come down to just methodically going at it with the clone and healing brush for a lot of it. There is some creative use of dodging, burning and a smidge of the sharpening tool.


Painting in progress – the ranger
The ranger (version 9) - digital painting
The ranger gets a work over

Still a work in progress I’ve gone back to black and white to get the values right and fix some of the compositional elements right.

I cropped the piece tighter to give the compositional more impact. The gun still isn’t quite right and the right arm looks a bit odd but I am learning a lot from this experiment.

Painter is great for textures but I’m just not happy with the accuracy of the brushes, they just don’t work Iike I want them to. Overpainting in Photoshop has been brilliant though which is where all the recent work has been done.



Just for a laugh here’s the sketch I did after a few difficult weeks.

I started with the claw hand and the rest just came from there with a little inspiration from the Cramps album artwork and psychotic hill billy rock’n tunes! Go Lux!!

G is for Gruesome and just a little darker…
March 2, 2009, 11:26 am
Filed under: Art, digital art, Drawing, Illustration, Painter, Photoshop
G is for Gruesome 7
A swift ‘darkening’ of G is for Gruesome

I noticed when I was preparing this piece for print today that the distribution of tone was very even making the image very flat.

This was not my intention so I worked it over in photoshop some more to try and create greater variation in tonality and give it a darker feel.

A photoshop technique I’ve learnt recently worked well. Basically you use the dodge and burn tools – so quite a photographic approach – to darken and highlight your image. I pushed quite extensively at the whole image to give it greater contrast. It’s definitely less flat and a little less friendly, but not really as menacing as I’d like.

Overall I think it’s an improvement as the previous version was a great deal flatter and a bit lifeless for it.

G is for Gruesome
January 20, 2009, 10:05 pm
Filed under: digital art, Illustration, Painter, painting, Photoshop, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

G is for gruesome
Originally uploaded by guthrie

So I’ve finally decided this piece is finished! I kind of need to move on and possibly I’ve learnt what I can. As a piece of illustration I think it succeeds in some ways and fails in others.

As an image I like the bold colours, maybe a little too much detail, although I did rub a lot of it back, simple composition, cute and horrific at the same time. As an alphabet letter I suspect it could be a little more overt but I decided I didn’t really want lettering on the piece so it’d need to be in the title of the piece. It could also be a bit more scary and darker.

So what was the process?

Well it took about three sketches to get the basic elements down and then the last of the pencil sketches was scanned into Photoshop.

I then manipulated it into a form that I could start to lay colour onto which meant cranking the contrast a bit and whiting out some of the paper texture from the background.

I’ve been reading a lot of concept art approaches in ImagineFX and combined that with my knowledge of digital print and my limited experience in traditional painting. Painter was the next stop.

This is my first bash at making something finished in Painter and really the first time I saw it’s real potential. I’ve had a Wacom tablet for years but just never really had the need or opportunity to do much with it.

First steps…

So I blocked the colour in using a lowerer res version of the image until all the basics were in place, then scaled it back up dropped a higher res version of the image back so I had a good sharp outline to work against for the details.

I might choose to do the colour blocking in Photoshop next time as it took ages to find a simple way to just dump lots of colour on an area without funny brush marks. It didn’t help that this is my first go at it.


Then I just started painting using different colour modes and layering, testing out as much as I could. I’m used to the principals from Photoshop although Painter has some of it’s own unique ways of dealing.


Brushes seem to work a lot more like traditional media which means it’s really good to have a clear idea how they work in the that mode before you try the digital version. Water colours, inks, impasto, pencils and pastels all have different digital surface properties and it’s a bit of a learning curve working out how to make the most effective use of them!

So what did I learn?

Well I can definitely see that there’s potential to go into the kind of work I really keen on but also it’s going to take a bit more time out from design work to spend on painting!

If I was happy just doing the kind of more stripped back illustration style like the Crimbo cards I could get away with a lot less time but the kind of imagery that I love Ray Caesar, Syd Mead, Glenn Brown (who I only just discovered after seeing him on the cover of the Tate mag – brilliant can’t wait for the exhibition!), Scott Robertson and Nick Pugh well it’s all really worked over and even a quick small image takes 20-30 hours so you can see where that’s all going!!

Janet had one very inspiring thing to say early on in the MA and that was she believed many illustrators set there goals a lot higher than what their tutors expected of them and she was always impressed by how many achieved those goals!

So here’s to reaching for the stars!