Satyrs and Cityscapes: Exploring some new techniques

Satyr Colourtest #1

Satyr Colourtest #1

So I’ve been playing with some new techniques and some new equipment. The above image is the first colour image I’ve done in a while and it was coloured very quick. I used a “lightbox” to trace the original pencil sketch (which you can see below), then used a selection of toned coptic markers to give it shadow and depth. And finally, using gimp’s hand-drawn selection and “colorify”¬†I was able to colour it in less than 30 minutes. I’m not sure I’m going to continue the image first, it was more for a test of techniques and equipment but I certainly like it. There are lots of little computer tricks I could have applied and I really didn’t go into depth in my choice of colours.

Satyr (original) in Pencil

Satyr (original) in Pencil

Satyr done in Tone with Coptic Markers

Satyr done in Tone with Coptic Markers

I bought a really cheap lightbox, it says it’s A4 but it barely handles a full page. However a big proper one costs 50 euros or more, depending on brand, so I’d rather try a cheap one first to see if I’d use it before investing in a decent one. It’s just a bright light under a white perspex box and it allows me to place the original drawing on top and using the light I can trace it onto another page. I use to scan the image in and then print it out, which was laborious and time-consuming. This method I allows me to play with the original image while I copy it, improving and enhancing it. It also allows me more freedom when I sketch, I don’t have to worry about getting rid of the construction lines (which can be actually helpful for tracing).

Satyr done in Ink/Brush

Satyr done in Ink/Brush

Satyr done in Ink/Pen

Satyr done in Ink/Pen

I also bought a new set of watercolour paints and plan to try them next. I did have a set of watercolours, but I haven’t used them in years and they had all dried. When I was much younger, watercolours were my particular favourite type of paint though I never really mastered them. I also played with pens versus brushes. You can see the pen work versus brush on the same Satyr. My wife likes the brush one, but I feel I have a lot to master with the brush, but I think long term it’ll produce much better effects. I did try a bigger image:

Paris Cityscape in Ink/Brush

Paris Cityscape in Ink/Brush

In the thumbnail version it looks okay, but I’m not particularly happy with the end result. I should have gone for deeper blacks and less tried to capture tone with shading. I think the original pencil¬†version is better but doesn’t translate to computer well.

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