Let the Painting Begin!
The sketches have been approved, and now it’s time for the paint play to start! Splish, splash!
I've started with getting base colors into all the spreads — the sky, hills, grass, base colors of characters — blocking out the scenes so I can see how the volume of the images works against the white space, giving the reader’s eyes a journey with rests when needed. It’s important to provide enough white space to provide a break and a place to breathe now and again in a story, this gives the art more emphasis and the story and the characters room to live and breathe.
Painting in Procreate
To help keep consistent colors throughout, I create a color palette in Procreate with swatches from my sample character art.
Procreate limits the number of layers, so I generally split left and right spreads when possible. For the full spreads, I will have to learn to work with less layers. Eek! Which means I'll work with the foreground, mid ground, background, and main characters on layers.
I tend to go overboard with layers when working in Photoshop. If I’m not sure of something, I‘ll start a new layer and keep working. This way I can always go back to what I had before if what I’m doing is wrong or I don't like it. But truthfully, that hardly ever happens. With all the layers, I have maximum edit-ability to move, change, fix, delete stuff. A new layer gives me the permission to keep going without letting the Perfect Monster, who is always lurking, to get in the way.
Here's a little peek at one of the finished color pieces. This will probably be tweaked a bit before it's 100% done for the final back cover art. I paint everything in Procreate using some of the standard brushes and several brushes I created. Sometimes the splatters get a bit out of hand and create confusion and too much busyness, so I'll often clean those up to a manageable amount in Photoshop for the final.
Thank you for joining me today! I hope you're enjoying the journey. Please let me know if you have any questions about my process or would like to learn more about any of these steps.
And now I must get back to painting!