I want to mix traditional media with my digital character concepts. Any ideas?
Lex O’Brian, US
When trying to evoke traditional methods with digital media, one of the qualities I find most difficult to reproduce is satisfying line work. Tablets have never felt right to me for this, but scanners, on the other hand, are quite cheap these days, and scanning in some nice pencil work goes a long way towards warming up the personality of your character designs.
My method is to scan in my pencil art, and then colour it using digital watercolour brushes in Photoshop. My technique was inspired by William Stout’s breakdown of how Rackham and Dulac created their ink and watercolour work. I isolate my scanned pencil work in Photoshop as an alpha channel so that I can use Layer Effects to tint it and give it a touch of bleed. I use a separate layer for main colours, with an Overlay layer of texture on top of that.
I think the resulting effect has a lot of appeal, and stands out well from the more typical digital feel.
In addition to the scanned pencil, I’ve used some favourite textures as a colour Overlay layer, and a scanned watercolour shape for a background element.