This is a little ink illustration I drew for a friend’s birthday card. I coloured it in Photoshop, but I think I prefer it in black and white.
I wanted to make something simple, focusing on shape and colour. I’ve also made a companion Easter piece.
[Jesus] said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.’ But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. Mark 9:31-32
I spent part of yesterday afternoon sketching at the museum with a friend. I think having another person there helped me to draw much more than I do normally, alone! The animals all had great personalities and it was fun trying to bring them to life. These are all from the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, Edinburgh.
I designed, storyboarded and animated this video for trypraying. The trypraying booklet is a seven-day prayer guide which encourages people to try praying for a week and see what happens.
Some of my concept art for the project is below.
I began with some rough character sketches from the script. From the outset I wanted designs that were simple but attractive.
I also began to explore the background environments and colour design. For the background, I wanted to have a very flat, “false” perspective. I wanted to tie the colours to the trypraying booklet.
I created colour keys using the storyboard, finding a range that would work through each scene.
Once the storyboard and animatic were complete, and the colours approved, I made last-minute changes – like the policewoman’s new hat – and then began building the characters and backgrounds in Illustrator and Flash.
I drew some sketches of how the characters would need to be broken up for animation.The minister only needed to wave his hand, whereas the main character had to be able to turn, walk and move his arms. The main character’s trousers were simplified as a result.
Here are some of the final scenes in the video. I’m really pleased with how the colour and designs came out. This was a fun project to make!
And here’s a little extra: I added a caricature of myself sitting on the bus!
In preparation for my Christmas painting I sketched some babies from a Google search. Using these, I drew a rough sketch of baby Jesus.Then I cleaned the drawing up in preparation for painting.
I initially planned to paint the entire image, but it was Christmas Eve and I ran out of time!
Over the last year I’ve been Googling the sentence above – how do I delete the white background from line art? I know that I know how to do this, but I keep forgetting. So I’ve decided to write it down so that I can reference it in future, and hopefully help others as well.
I’m using Photoshop CS5.1 on a Mac.
This is the way I was taught, but kept forgetting because it’s a string of keystrokes that if done in the wrong order doesn’t work at all.
First, turn everything off except the layer you want to cut out. In the example above you can see the white areas behind the black lines that I want to get rid of.
Duplicate your line layer, so you have a spare, and turn the original off. I like to duplicate by Alt+drag while clicking on the layer. (It took me a long time before I realised I could do that, hence why I’m writing it here!)
Next, select the entire layer (Cmd+A) and cut it (Cmd+X). Fill the now-empty layer with black (Alt+backspace).
Paste (Cmd+V) your line art into the layer. It should look like the above.
Press Q again to turn Quick Mask off.
Cut (Cmd+X) to leave the line art, like so!
The reason this is my preferred method is because it’s the best way to recolour my line art. For the purple example above I Cmd+clicked on the preview window in Layers (which selects the entire painted area on a layer) and then filled it (using Alt+backspace again) with purple.
If, however, you aren’t interested in painting the line, then you may prefer one of the other methods.
Technique No. 2
This begins in the same way as No. 1: Duplicate your line layer, copy it and cut it, fill the layer with black.
Alt+click on the white mask to select it.
Paste (Cmd+V) into the mask.
Click out of the mask onto the ordinary layer. As you can see above, though the line art is now free from white the background that was transparent is now black. This is easily solvable by filling in the transparent areas before beginning, but it’s one of the reasons I don’t tend to use this method. Also, there is no way (that I have yet discovered) of colouring the lines.
Technique No. 3
This is the simplest and perhaps best method if all you want to do is get rid of the white. It’s quick and requires no cutting, pasting, or inverting.
Double-click on the line art layer preview window.
The Layer Style window will pop up.
In the Blend If: Gray area at the bottom, select the top white slider and adjust it by a couple of degrees. I moved it from 255 to 253. The white background will disappear.
Exit the window and, as you can see, only the line art remains.
In the past I have had problems with this method – jagged white remains in corners and so on – but recently it’s been working beautifully.
I hope this is helpful to someone out there! Please let me know if you know of other / better ways of doing this, I’m always looking to learn!
This morning I attended the fantastic Animation Masterclass with Ronnie del Carmen (@paperbiscuit on Twitter) at the EIFF Youth Hub. He spoke about the creation of Pixar’s “Inside Out” (which I have not yet seen, but am very much looking forward to) and emphasised how important it is to “Make stuff. Show it. Get feedback.”
Feeling inspired, I decided not to go home right away. Instead I went to the museum to draw. Usually I end up standing awkwardly next to the exhibit or uncomfortably cross-legged on the floor, but today I was able to get a little foldable stool and cart it round the place with me! I definitely noticed an increase in productivity due to the fact I was comfortable …
Some of the drawings I did are below. I fell in love with the shapes of the vases, and spent a long time going from cabinet to cabinet.
Rows 2 & 3: Ancient Peruvian pottery, from the Nasca culture. I loved the titles of these pots, ranging from “hunter with trophy heads” to “fisherman with nets”, not forgetting “anthropomorphic mythical being”.
Rows 4 & 5: Greek and Italian pottery, the dish on row 5 a drinking cup despite being about a foot wide.
I returned to my deer animation today, changing quite a lot of the ending and adding more breakdowns and inbetweens. I’m planning to clean it up in Photoshop, something like the deer shown below: quite loose and free, hopefully keeping some of the rough nature of the original.Here’s one of my favourite breakdowns from today:
I have been clearing out my room (this seems to be a permanent occupation) and recycling old schoolwork, university work, articles, and old drawings and stories by me that just aren’t worth keeping anymore. While doing that, I found these: Peter, my family’s first budgie.
Most of my drawings from high school art are not great; I was very timid with mark-making. However, about ten years ago I had my first life drawing classes and my drawing rapidly improved. Then for some reason I gave up art as a subject, and then pretty much stopped drawing entirely for four years. These drawings were not done after that period, and I’m almost certain they wouldn’t have been drawn within that time. I think, then, that these were sketched from photographs during the time I was taking life drawing classes at school. There’s a confidence in the lines that I think I’ve only gained back recently – what a shame! I’d be pleased if I drew these now!
Yesterday I found a link to the site artists.pixelovely.com which has photographs of people, animals, expressions, etc. that can be viewed as “classes”. This morning I tried out a 30-minute figure drawing class, followed by a 30-minute animal class. There are different things to pick from – clothed, nude, horses, birds – but I chose the most general options. The classes both began with several 30-second poses, followed by gradually lengthening poses. What I really enjoyed about them is that they replicate the drawing-class feel. It’s hard to keep track of the time I spend drawing sometimes! I would recommend checking it out: the site’s free, and though the photographs used wouldn’t be great for very long, high-detail drawing they are great for quick gestures.
Here are some of the drawings I did. My animals ones were generally better (perhaps because I’d spent most of the figure class warming up). I added the colour later.
Using some family holiday photographs for reference, I painted Mount Hood (vaguely based on it) for my father’s birthday present. I used gouache and a stencil made from paper which gave interesting gloopy results, especially each time it was reused. Here are the final results below, in the order they were made. A close up, below: a wet wash underneath created these wonderful splodges. This is the painting I chose to give to my dad. At this point, the stencil began to disintegrate.
I’ve seen lots of sketches from other people who’ve doodled through films, and I’ve always wondered how they can do that. Well, now I’ve tried it I see the appeal! I loved capturing the lighting in the central drawing, and trying to catch likeness while the shot remained on screen (with varying success). I also filled several pages of my notebook more than I normally do when I sketch – I think the changing images helped me try lots of different things as well as work more quickly. Though I’m not sure this would work with every film – “The Sound of Music” has reasonably long shots compared with many modern movies …
I visited Bristol Museum today and sketched some of the creatures there. This tiger was shot by George V in 1911, which is some sort of distinction I suppose. It was in an amazing crouched position and at first glance appeared to be ferocious. The longer I looked at it, however, the more it looked terrified. I don’t think I’ve really captured its expression so I think I shall have to go back and draw it again.
This hyena eyed me with a hungry expression while I drew it, and seemed to raise one side of its mouth in a “I may look somewhat friendly, but I WILL BITE YOU” way. He reminded me very much of Elsa (my Border Collie).This Ground Parrot jumped out at me because he seemed so friendly. “Hey! How are you? Let’s be friends. Want to come by for some seeds?”
This is one of the first sketches I did for the fire in “Dreid”, my VFS classical animation. (You can find the film in “Shorts”.) I took a picture of the sketch when I had to throw the sketchbook it was in away, and I only found the picture this weekend.This little bird was in the same sketchbook, but he’d been drawn for a different assignment. He looked so cheerful I had to colour him in.