Paint a moody gothic artwork
Rovina Cai combines traditional and digital.
This workshop will explain the traditional and digital techniques I use to create an illustration based on Beauty and the Beast. I’ll start sketching in Photoshop, then make a graphite drawing, and finally I’ll take it back into Photoshop for editing and colouring.
The subject of the illustration is one of my favourite visual tropes: that of balancing beautiful and dark themes. I enjoy the challenge of taking something romantic and introducing something dark and unsettling to it. There’s a lot of potential for creating a moody, haunting image with this subject matter. Colour is crucial in setting the conceptual tone of an image. A muted palette with subtle touches of colour suggests a haunting atmosphere. Edges are another way to heighten the atmosphere within an image; soft edges convey a sense of mystery, so when I’m drawing I’ll create sharper edges around the focal area, and softer loose pencil strokes around the rest of the image. I constantly assess and tweak the colours and edges as I work, to keep the tone of the illustration on track.
My method of colouring a drawing uses adjustment layers, solid colour fills and gradient fills, all set to various layer blending modes. This technique is intuitive, and it’s fun to play with the different settings and stack one effect on top of another. Once you get to know the technique, you’ll have a powerful set of tools that can be used on your own work, whether traditional or digital.