Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Illustration Friday - Heights

Giraffes see the world from great heights, which is why I chose it as my subject for this week's 'Illustration Friday' challenge which this week is the word "Heights."

I've been playing around lately with Painter 12's watercolor brushes. I've also been using some brushes that I downloaded from Skip Allen's Painter tutorial blog. Whenever I get a chance I try and do a quick illustration where I experiment with the various brushes. This week's 'Illustration Friday' illustration is the result of one of those experiments.
I started this illustration by painting in a background and then creating a new layer where I drew a pencil sketch of the giraffe (see below). I wanted the giraffe to appear to be stretching up into the sky, the tallest thing around, but in my original sketch, he seemed kind of lonely.  Not only that, but the image seemed rather boring.

I decided I wanted to have something at the giraffe's eye level, so on another layer I sketched in a flying bird.  To emphasize the giraffe's height, I decided to have him towering over some shrubs. To paint the giraffe's body, I created another layer and, using one of the soft chalk brushes, filled in the body's shape in a light tan. Above that layer, I placed a new watercolor layer where I painted his spots.  On yet another layer, I used some sketchy pen brushes to draw in his eyes and also to add a few lines to his face and legs.

Next, on a separate layer, I played around with adding another tree.  But when I added the large tree, suddenly the giraffe didn't seem so tall, so I got rid of it. I also ended up changing the foliage underneath the giraffe. It originally looked too dark and thick, so I thinned it out a bit and lightened the color.
As you can see in the final image (see below), I ended up flipping the bird horizontally over to the right side of the giraffe. 

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