Software: Corel Painter 11, Adobe PhotoShop CS5
Hardware: Mac Pro 2.66GHz Dual-Core Xeon x2, memory 8GB, WACOM Intuos4 PTK-640, Mac OS X Snow Leopard (ver.10.6.8)
This is the cover illustration I drew for the 18th volume of GUNNM LO comics.
After the ZOTT featured sequence ends, a new series starts with Figure Four's viewpoint.
At the beginning, I intended to finish the story during a book or two, but as I draw it became longer and longer and then it has gone into the 2nd book.
Well, such a development is quite usual for me, though...
This is the first Figure Four-featured color illustration.
Also it is my first color illustration in one year. However, I was hesitating over subject matters and composition as usual and had felt mannerism to my techniques, so I purchased many books of illustration techniques for new stimuli and studied them, and then began working.
The technique books I bought are as follows.
The Lecture of Background Illustration Making authored by Kusakabe
Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop
Digital Painting Tricks & Techniques: 100 Ways to Improve Your CG Art authored by Gary Tonge
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter authored by James Gurney
There were lots of helpful information, but of course just reading technique books does not mean improving your drawing skill immediately.
The procedure was the same as usual, in which I drew the line drawing on copy paper with a mechanical pencil, then scanned it by 350dpi.
I took dirt with PhotoShop, adjusted contrast, and changed the colors into RGB.
I changed the layer of the line drawing into reddish brown on the Hue-Saturation menu.
I saved the file and reopened it with Painter, where I created layers of the canvas (sky), middle distance and close-range view (character) and attached colors on them.
As the motif for this time is Figure Four, I sought after a brush to make a touch wilder than usual, so I decided to use mainly the customized Real Round in RealBristle Brushes category.
I used the Scratchboard for depicting details, and made it get fit with a Blend when necessary.
What I unexpectedly worked hard is depicting the clouds in background, which I somehow made seem natural by using the customized brush of PhotoShop.
In order to express the setting sun is shining strongly from the right side of the frame, I selected the Color Dodge brush mode of PhotoShop and expressed the strong highlight.
Finally I made the layers on the sky and on the middle distance respectively, selected Screen in Blend Mode to apply gradation and colored it orange with Color Balance of Adjustment Layer to express the atmosphere.
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