Now that the drawing is refined it is
time to start moving into color. My first step when I’m doing a digital painting is I like to create the local color and rough everything in. Local color is the color on object. Not in shadow and not lit. I like to create a rough painting of the entire image. Let’s go ahead and get started. The first thing I do is create a layer underneath the drawing layer. I click on the canvas, then click on new layer and ‘boom’! I’ve got a layer right underneath. I want that drawing so sit right up on top.
I don’t wan’t lose the drawing. I grab a little bit of blue and get rid of that charcoal pencil. I grab a big piece of square chalk and start painting in the sky. That feels a little bit small.That feels a little bit big. That feels like a good size. I am just loosely going to rough in the background sky. I don’t labor it at all. I throw it in there really
quickly. If you look at the sky outside, you see that it gets warmer as we get closer to the horizon. You are going to see me start moving my color selection closer to the yellow range. We are going to have to go through some of that green. It gets warmer as we get to the horizon because it is reflecting, especially if there is particular in the airdust. Those particles are reflecting back the warmth of the sun. The yellows and the oranges mixes with the blues and we get a greenish, turquoisey tint towards the horizon. If there is a lot of stuff in the air, like L.A in the eighties, it is almost brown and yellow. That is a natural phenomena. That is what happens when we have a hazy day. It is the stuff in the air. The more you look towards the horizon the more colors you see. A little science lesson for the day. I am going to paint it yellow towards the body because I want it to feel dusty and hazy. The next thing I am going to do is create a new layer. I want to start adding clouds. I am going to grab a nice grey color here and create a new layer. I start painting in our cloud shadows. Our cloud shadows are in now and that feels pretty good. I am going to go ahead and grab nice light colors, not completely white, and I want start painting in the lighter parts. Once again, very loose. We are starting to lay them in nice. The sky is starting to take shape. I like where it’s going. It is going to come together really nice. What I do at this stage is I jump back and forth between my shadow color, the greys and the light colors. I work up that sky and get that to look good. I’m just creating a few extra little clouds. I got the sky roughed in and that feels pretty good. There are a couple of few minor details but that feels good all in all. The next thing I do is move forward. I want to create a new layer again and start painting in the grass. I grab this orange color and I start roughing in that grass color. We go from loose to detailed. We are still in the loose stage. I hit these trees now that are on the horizon. As they get further away they mix
with more of the horizon. They become a little bit grayer. Not as green as they would be as if we were looking at them up close. It is called atmospheric perspective. I add a new layer and get the light color of the zebra. I start with the white and go really basic. I start loosely laying in the color of the zebra. I finish that up and all I did is one color. I finish that little detail on the ear up. Now I start varying up some of that color. If you look at your own skin, it is not all one color. There are warm and cool parts. I don’t worry about shadow and light at this point. I want to vary up the coloring within that
local color. I talked about that earlier. Local color is that color of the object when it is not lit. I like to grab this jitter brush because it mixes with the pigment underneath really well. It is not harsh. We can get in there and smooth that around. Here I grab a lighter
version of that beige color that we got. I am hitting it in various places. I vary up the value structure of that local color. Here I get a bit darker underneath and hit a few of those areas. I want to emphasize. I don’t hit the shadows. I hit the local color. Now I finish that up. That feels pretty
good. I want to hit a couple of last spots there. Now I start laying in the zebra stripes. I grab my small chalk and start painting in. There are a lot of stripes here. I trace right over the stripes. I hit these finishing details on the strips
there is a lot to do. I wanted to kick back and give you guys a little bit of music. I want to go back to that emphasis on how nicely those strips show off the form. That is half the battle. The next thing I do is create a new layer underneath the zebra but above the grass layer that we created earlier. I rough in a little bit more color in there. I vary it up. I jump over to the zebra layer and erase the spot. We can see the grass between his leg and body now. At this stage we start bringing in warms and cools. What I have done here is I created a layer on top of everything because I want him to stand in the grass. I loosely indicate grass on its own layer, lay it out over the top of the zebra and the grass behind him. It is starting to come together pretty nice. I hit a few more of the clouds and add finishing touches. Why don’t we move on ,after I finish this, to next bit which is light and shadow. This is where its really going to come together.