Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yogi The Boxer

Unaltered Photo Of Yogi The Boxer ( above)

Yogi is a piece that Allison and I worked on together. For the past year or so I have been training both Allison and Diane to work with the wacom tablet and help me with the painterly portraits. This has become our most popular style and keeping up with the demand has become difficult. I still try to have a strong hand in every painterly portrait that goes out since this is my signature style.

On this piece we sat down together and discussed the original photograph for about 15 minutes. I asked Al to create more ear on the right and to place in an extra paw. Yogi is adorable and yet I thought that the original pose made this pup look just a wee bit sad. By perking up that ear on the right and adding in another playful paw I was hoping to lighten the mood a tad.

The image below was created by Allison, using the smudge tool. She has a wonderfully soft approach to the wacom and her technique is lovely. She never adds color with the paint brush or finger-painting tool however she is totally the queen around here with the smudge tool. You can see that addressing the glow eye , ears and paws have really perked this pup up. You can click images for larger versions.
Below you will see where I have started to play and have added some more color and bolder strokes here and there. You see it most around the ears, snout and paws. I like to have strong jabby-strokes and some visible line work present in most of my work.

The image below is my favorite and the one the client picked. Here I rotated this girl and erased some blanket to free up that ear on the right. By rotating her I created a much more playful pose. I used the posterize filter on this at a low opacity and then went in with some loose line-work on top using the wacom. The color is really starting to pop here.
Below I decided to just push it to a wild extreme and colorized the heck out of this girl playing with a halftone pattern along the way. This is not my favorite, but a fun option.

You can see in the small thumbnails below that composition is everything and it is important to not let your original pose or photograph limit you. I find that composition is the hardest thing to teach, and that too often new digital artists will limit themselves by the reality of the photo in front of them.

By working as a team on projects we end up putting in a lot of time on every piece and the creative ideas and sharing of skills have been making us all much stronger.

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