Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dozer's Run Book Signing

This past Saturday I participated in a book signing at the annual Maryland Half Marathon to kick off the release of Dozer's Run, a picture book that I illustrated for Sleeping Bear Press. The book is based on the true story of Dozer, a goldendoodle, who, in 2011, spontaneously joined the annual Maryland Half Marathon (the race is a fundraiser for the Greenebaum Cancer Center). Dozer finished the last seven or so miles, found his way home the next day, got a medal for his finish, and has raised a lot of money for the Cancer Center.

The weather cooperated, we had a great turnout, and I got to meet Dozer. I also enjoyed meeting Rosana Panza (Dozer's human) and the author, Debbie Levy.

Click here to see illustrations from the book. 

Click here for a link to buy the book.

Here I am with Dozer, Rosana Panza (Dozer's human),
and Debbie Levy (the author)

The start of the half marathon.

The signing tent. 
Dozer greeted people all day. He's a very friendly, calm dog.
I wish my dog were more like Dozer.

Dozer taking a break under the table.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dozer's Run Process

The process that I used for the picture book Dozer's Run is similar to the one that I used for the "Let's go, Murray!" app, which I detailed here. The first step is the drawing, which I still do with a pencil on paper. Then I scan it and add the color and texture in Photoshop (in this case, CS6). After the drawing there's the "underpainting" stage, the main painting stage, details, and overall image adjustment. Please click any image to enlarge.

Animated version.

It all starts with a pencil drawing.

Oil over gesso background dropped in underneath drawing.
I set the Blending Mode of the drawing Layer to Multiply.
You can scroll down to see my Layer Panel.

I added shading by painting gray on a Layer set to Multiply.

At this stage I'm painting in light areas by working on a Layer set to Screen.

Local color by painting on a Layer set to Color.
This concludes the underpainting.

That concludes the underpainting stage. The previous three steps (shading, painting light areas, and local color) all preserve the texture (through Layer Blending Modes) of the gessoed and painted panel scan that I dropped in underneath the drawing. Most of the next steps involve painting on Layers with the Blending Mode set to Normal. The Normal setting lets you paint opaquely. At this point I generally use custom, textured Brushes.

Starting to block in opaque areas.
More opaque details.

Deepening shadows (with a Multiply Layer).

Painting in the light. I also added some "atmosphere" (see Layer set up below).


We decided to revise the scene to put the dogs in the back yard,
so I painted in grass behind them. And because this is a digital piece,
that change was pretty easy!

This is the Layer set up for the "underpainting" stage. All of those
Layer Blending Modes preserve the brushstrokes of the Texture
Layer on the bottom.

Here's a detail of the texture showing through the adjustments
I've made in the "underpainting" stage.

File size was getting to be an issue, so I flattened the underpainting Layers and worked on Normal Layers above the "Underptg" Layer. Pixels on a Layer with the Blending Mode set to Normal are opaque, so they cover up the pixels on Layers underneath. After the underpainting stage, I generally work with custom Brushes with textures attached to them. I did a blog post about that process.

I often add an "Atmosphere" Layer to give some
atmospheric perspective. To do this, I'll add a
pale blue Fill Layer and apply a Layer Mask.
I then paint black on the Layer Mask to mask out the
effect for foreground elements. After that I adjust the
Layer Opacity, in this case lowering it to 22%.

Detail of the final to show texture. I like to use lots of different Brushes
and Layers to build up an interesting and varied surface texture.
Please click to enlarge.

I created a bunch of custom Photoshop Brushes for this book, many of which I am making available in two sets: Dave's Wet Media and Dry Media.
Click here to buy Dave's Wet Media Brushes.
Click here to buy Dave's Dry Media Brushes.

These are some of the custom Brushes that I used in this illustration.
They are included in the Wet and Dry Media Brush collections.