Ep. 22, Page 32

smbhax on July 3, 2014

Managed to do a little better on the color balancing act today, I think. The color blending on her body is wet-on-wet painting; I kinda figured out that's a handy thing in watercolor while I was painting the little smoke cloud in the right background of page 23: a friend called just as I had started painting it, and I couldn't stop, because the bit I had painted would dry and unsightly leave hard edges mid-cloud, but while holding the phone I only had one hand free (hm and I guess I was using the elbow of my phone hand to hold the paper on my drawing board) so I couldn't test colors or carefully mix colors, and I just started sort of dabbing on alternating colors of red and blue (and their middle, purple) here and there while half my attention was distracted by the phone, and it came out as this nice smooth multicolored cloud thing. I had my hands free for today's page but otherwise the approach there was kinda similar.
Forgot to mention a few things about using a harder grade pencil like I am now (H, vs the dark, soft 4B I had been using up to about a week ago): the harder leads are much less prone to smearing, which come to think of it is why I'd settled on H back in the old, pre-4B days. Conveniently for watercoloring, this also seems to mean that they're much more resistant to being washed off the paper by the watercolor washes. They also erase much more cleanly—less smearing/smudging—so I can mess up pretty much all I want (I think I did about a dozen mostly hopeless drawing attempts on this page before I finally got one that looked like something) without having to worry about leaving half-erased marks everywhere, which is nice and freeing.
Digital art nerdery: with the past two pages I've used a standard gamma adjustment (middle slider in Photoshop's “Levels” adjustment window) to darken the scanned watercolors for the web, rather than just raising the blacks (left slider in “Levels”); this means the lines don't get darkened proportionally more than the rest of the image, so they don't stand out quite as much as I might have wanted, and the colors don't get as super-saturated and “pop” like they have tended to in the past, but on the other hand other dark colors don't stand out more than they should, and the whole color balance of the image is much smoother and more natural. I had to do it that way with yesterday's page, because it was painted so light, and I kind of like the more naturalistic result, so maybe I'll stick with this adjustment method for a while.