Entry 55: Starting Something New
So far I am starting off the new year strong; I redesigned my website with a better look and navigation, bought over $60 worth of organization bins for LEGO projects, and I have spent several hours learning how to use a pen tablet for digital art. And speaking of digital art...
This year I have begun monthly installments of self-portraits based on certain themes and art styles. Each subject is chosen on its influence in my life, such as the LEGO self-portrait I have created for January. For February, I have created a homage to my favorite comic series, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson.
To start this project, I knew I wanted to create a watercolor effect to match Watterson's colored panels, but I haven't painted with watercolor since high school, which was over 7 years ago. And I am more comfortable with digital art, so I found a way to compromise.
One of the most iconic scenes for Calvin and Hobbes is the log bridge panel, which is often portrayed in different homages. I used tracing paper to create a simple outline of the log bridge, to which I then scanned for the digital process.
I also designed the log from a tree branch that I photographed while I was in a Texas nature trail.
After I imported the image, I created a vector trace of the log, and then painted colors with a pen tablet. By using Layers in Photoshop, I was able to paint "underneath" the lines, which made cleanup easier.
Once the colors were blended together, I applied a Watercolor Filter that created an additional illusion that matched Watterson's style. The effect is subtle, but it is most noticeable in the log's white lichen.
So what about the characters on the log? Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until February to see who the dynamic duo will be (I'll give you a hint: one of them is me, haha).