I've started a picture of two of my characters from something I'm writing. I don't really use references, rather I watch videos to see how things move and then try to draw them, (mainly because I really suck at drawing from reference.)
So, first off, I think of what I want to draw. This is the easy part. I think of a scene or get inspired by something I've seen or written, and I get a general idea. Then I develop it by planning out what I want in the picture and where.
For drawing, I use Easy Painttool SAI and my Wacom Bamboo tablet. I prefer SAI over photoshop for drawing; it's more made for it.
Anyway, I start with a sketch. I don't bother with those "lines and shapes" because I never learned how to use them properly. So basically, I start by drawing the horse's head very roughly and work my way down his neck and back, to his shoulders and front legs, then his back legs, then his mane and tail. Then I go to the rider, drawing her body first from the hips down and working my way up so she's not "floating" above the horse. Then I go into detail, drawing the horse's tack eyes and the rider's clothes, face, and hair. The sketch ends up looking like this --
The sketch looks alright. I used about sixteen to twenty layers on this, which is about normal for a sketch this size (for me).
Next, I go on to work on what's called the line art.
Now, I see a lot of mistakes in the sketch, and the line art is where I can go back and fix them up more cleanly. Look at the horse's head; it's a little too thick toward the neck. Using the pencil tool in SAI, I go back and I make it thinner by stroking the pen higher than I did in the sketch. I can fix a lot of problems by going back and taking my time with the line art, which turned out like this --
My line art is also a little thicker than some people's, and that's because it makes coloring much, much easier, and also gives my drawings a little more of my own personal flare -- bolder colors, thicker lines. The line art took me about twelve layers -- significantly less than I'd usually expect to use on a picture this size.
Thirdly, and this is usually the most time consuming part of the whole process, I color. Coloring is something I'm still becoming accustomed to. There's no right or wrong way to do it, and everyone does it differently. With me, I use the select tool and choose exactly where the colors are going before I so much as choose the color.
I'm going to show you, more or less, a step-by-step of sorts of my coloring process.
I fill in the "background layer" with a duller, darker green. This makes the color of the horse's coat, the rider's skin, and other parts really pop in contrast. When I get to the greens on the rider's clothes, I'll simply change the background color by using the fill tool with a more contrasting color. This also helps keep me from making a mistake and "coloring outside the lines."
I always start with the hair, be it mane and tail or human hair. It just helps me get warmed up, and seeing as hair is a bit more detailed, it makes things start out fun, and gets a harder part out of the way. Then I always do the eyes.
So, I've selected the horse's mane, filled it in, and shaded it. I also did the same with the white of his eye and the eye color itself. Here's the result. . .
Then I do the same for the girl. . .
Here's what I have so far. . .
Next, I go on and start doing the clothing and the jewelry. This part's simple and fun, so I'll only show you in slight detail one of the patterned items the girl is wearing.
It starts out like this, simply colored and shaded, with very little attention to detail. . .
Now, if you noticed in the sketch, there was a pattern where the armband is colored. I didn't bother to line it because the pattern wasn't outlined; it was just a simple color design. So, what I did was traced over the original pattern in the sketch (in a different window) with the color green, then pasted it and shaded it as appropriate to the lighting.
It ended up looking like this. . .
It's pretty neat to do, considering I hadn't figured that out when I was first drawing digitally, and so all the designs I did were either simple in black or not shaded.
Anyway, then I did the rest of the little accessories, which you can see in detail in this next screenshot. The accessories are fun and easy to do, so I like to take my time and relax when I do them. My favorite things to do are the shiny things especially; I don't know why.
And that is as far as I've gotten, since I started having a problem with my drawing hand that spread all the way up to my shoulder. I'm almost completely recovered now, which is how I'm typing and doing all this. So, let's take a look at the whole picture at where it is now.
And here we are.
In the future, I'm hoping it'll turn out like my other latest horsey-picture, which I did back in March. Just for kicks, this is what it'll look like, fully-colored and with a nifty background painted in. . .
And one day, when I'm finally finished with writing this complete little story, I'll post it somewhere or something so the people who see these pictures can understand what in the world is actually going on in the things I draw.
Anyway, total time spent on the picture so far is between six to eight hours. I'm expecting to spend around fifteen hours on it, depending how things go. I'll update with more once I'm back to drawing.
But yeah, that's that. If you've read this much, you're amazing, LOL!