Feb 25, 2014

Mars Attacks!

Recently I've gotten a Contiq, Photoshop CS6, and a whole bunch of new brushes. I was eager to experiment with all these different tools.

I started just by sketching for fun, and eventually I drew a Martian from Mars Attacks! There was really no intention to make this into any kind of final piece, it was just me monkeying around.

I liked the drawing enough that I wanted to clean up the line work instead of just painting that initial draft. That's something else I've been training myself to do; not settling for an initial sketch as my blueprint. Drawing over and refining a sketch can improve it in a hundred little ways that we wouldn't even think about.

 I then painted it all up, treating it almost like coloring a line drawing for a comic strip. The biggest challenge here was most definitely the brain folds. I looked over a lot of the original Mars Attacks! cards to see how they handled it, which helped a great deal.

I decided it deserved a better background, so I kept adding and tweaking  ideas until I ended up with this final piece. The end result is a combination of a ton of different brushes, mainly the pencil and the chalk, with some ink marker thrown in. There are also quite a few vector shapes and specialty patterns hidden in there too.

 It was a surprising challenge to design a full background around a drawing that was initially done on its own. There was quite a bit of back-and-forth to make sure the Martian actually fit into his surroundings. Picking a dominant color definitely helped, and I was lucky in that the setting (the very red planet Mars) was an obvious one. I had fun making the background elements extremely subtle to my character wouldn't get lost in the shuffle.

The last step was to add a subtle text treatment and a border to really make it feel 'finished'. Overall it was a very encouraging experience and I'm eager to jump into the next fun experiment.

Until Next Time.