Friday, October 1, 2010

From the Studio 3

Greetings KatGirl Studio Followers that was a crazy summer wasn't it? We were so busy we hardly had time to work on any personal projects. But now that we are swinging into fall the Studio blog should see more frequent updates.

This image was intended for Illustration Friday's topic "Old Fashioned" but I had too much client work to get it done in time. It's a stylized self portrait of me and our studio kitty Crash the Stampede in Steampunk Victorian wear. I will be finishing this image for my Halloween themed avatar, but I thought I would share a little work in progress.

Some of you who have been staying up to date with the going-ons at KatGirl Studio though our Purr Post newsletter may remember that this summer I went 100% digital with my art. It is not immediately noticeable from the outside looking in, and in truth 90% of the people we meet at shows are down right shocked to learn my illustrations are digital. The reasons I made the leap to 100% digital are two fold.

It saves me time.

I'm not saying I spent less time on the actually painting or that digital is easier than traditional media (trust me it's not). What I mean is that when I still drew my illustrations traditionally I would have to do alot of scanning and clean up work. A typical illustration would go like this:

I would scan my thumbnail and blow it up to the correct size then print it out, tape it to my desk and put a piece of vellum over it. Once I had my sketch down I would tape down another piece of vellum and draw a clean copy of the image. I would then have to scan it, usually in two parts since most of my illustrations are larger than the standard 8.5x11 paper. I would then have to clean it up in Photoshop before transferring it over to Painter. That's alot of time spent not painting, don't you think?

Now that I have gone 100% digital I can work up some quick concept thumbs quickly in Painter 11 (usually at 2am). Once I pick the one I like I just drag it into a new file and size it in a matter of seconds. I can then either sketch directly on it or turn it's opacity down and work up the sketch on a layer above it. Inking the line work is the same process. Or I can "ink" it in pencil to keep the paper grain texture. The painting part of the process is pretty much the same for my illustrations as it was before.

It also means I can get work to clients faster and make changes for them quicker as well without having to sacrifice quality.

The other great part about working digitally is I can also easily show the step by steps by either turning on or off certain layers or by cloning a flattened version of the file every so often.

It saves the world.

Ok it doesn't actually save the world but it does save alot of trees and make our studio more Green. By doing all my work on the computer I don't use the ink, paper, vellum, tape, pencil lead and erasers I use to.