The art process, the thing that sets us apart from one another in the art community. We each have our own unique ways of achieving our goals. In this case, an artwork, a masterpiece, or even just a random sketch. Oftentimes, we easily find an effective process, that yields consistent results. We all crave for that “perfect” art process, that we can use throughout our art career.
As a self-taught digital artist with no formal training, I have to change my process from time to time. I tell you, it’s not something you discover immediately, In fact, my current approach is not yet very efficient. In this post, I’ll talk about the evolution of my style.
Lineart to Base Color art process
Like a lot of artists, my inspiration came from anime and cartoons. I also never used coloring materials after a couple of years. As a result, it was easier for me to do the lineart to the base color technique.
However, this style gave me a lot of problems. I often end up with 10+ layers, (I use Photoshop CC btw.) that end up lagging my computer. So after studying other artists’ works, I decided that this was not for me.
The “Painterly” process
There was a short period, where I tried the “painterly” approach. This meant, that I had to use lineart to a minimum, and focus on blotting the colors as soon as possible.
Though faster to do, I found myself struggling to create livelier artworks with this technique. I guess I didn’t have enough watercolor experience to pull this off.
The Mixed style process
I realized that I needed lineart to help me create more anatomically correct pieces. So I combined the two techniques.
Finally, I am getting more efficient. This remained my style for a while. However, after a few months, I realized that I was struggling with colors and values. I also had issues with the backgrounds and overall mood of my works.
The Grayscale Approach
To fix this problem. I started my paintings in grayscale. This helped me establish my values from the start. It also made it easier for me to fix the image’s anatomy, and shape earlier. As well as play with many color variations. I was beginning to have fun! (I wasn’t able to save the lineart for this piece.)
This is my technique to date. Though, like everything else, There are still issues with it. I find that it’s too time-consuming. Because I’d have to paint the image three times! (grayscale > colored > final retouches) The third time, because of the common problem with the grayscale approach; Upon adding color, it would always appear muddy. A lot of retouching would need to be done, to counter this.
In Conclusion, we just have to learn how to be patient with our craft. It takes a lot of time to build the “perfect” technique. Make a lot of drafts. Learn from the pros, by asking them, or watching their videos, etc. You can check out this link for some awesome techniques.
How about you, what is your current art process?