Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Joe Bob Gristleneck the Banjo Playing Pig by Russ Cox

© Russ Cox | Smiling Otis Studio

For my post this week, I am continuing my adventure in painting with Photoshop. I am trying to capture my traditional style of using gouache and color pencil while maintaining bright, lively colors. Some of you may be saying "why not just paint it traditionally". Working digitally allows me to experiment more with colors and adjust the layout if I need to do so without redrawing it each time. I think each time you have to redraw a sketch, it tends to loose it freshness. Even though I do color and tonal roughs for balance and light placement, I still like playing with colors as I work. With this piece I really wanted a fun balance of complimentary colors to add life to the final illustration. By building the colors up in layers, allowed me to keep things bright. Working this way also allowed me to get a colored pencil looking texture in areas, especially the pig. I also wanted the original sketch to show through as much as possible. My goal is to do a new piece every two weeks and take what I learn from the previous illustration, to build upon the next one. Hopefully my portfolio will have a new look to it as well for the New York SCBWI conference in January. This experimenting really transfers over well to working traditionally. As artist we must continue to learn new things and improve on what we know.

Check in next week for what the wild and wonderful Debbie Ohi has in store for you. I am sure it will be a treat and learning experience for all.
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  1. Very nice! I really like the rooster as a backup fun character.

  2. Take a look at Corel Painter as a digital medium.
    It offers a lot more variety of tools than Photoshop. I find I can combine both programs in a painting, using the best tools from each with great efficiency. Tech people who make art find Painter confusing, but artists like you, who are used to a number of different art mediums, take to it easily.

  3. Thanks everyone for the kind words. I feel like I am heading in the right direction but still have a long ways to go.

    Ivan, I started out using Painter but switched to Photoshop because I am more familiar with it. As I get a handle on a style, I plan on trying it again. It can help an artist do amazing, traditional looking pieces.