I got some new Ronin Dojo Community College DX artwork finished up. Hum some Pokemon music and watch this one evolve. Dum dum dum dum. . .
Did some experimenting with a lot of elements in these. I really wanted the characters to pop off their surroundings, but I didn't want to paint everything by hand. Since I had drawn the characters and the background on separate layers in Photoshop, I decided I would just make the background lines lighter.
When coloring, I selected each background object using the magic wand, expanded the selection at least 3 or 4 pixels into the line, and filled it with the paint bucket on it's own layer. This really bit deep into my line, and made each layer essentially over lap one another.
I stacked the layers in the order they actually be on each other. Then I dropped the line layer down to 30% opacity. This left the line slightly gray, and because I had 'over filled' each object, no uncolored white space showed through.
I also added in shadows and highlights with a textured brush, and made a layer with the blending mode set to "overlay" and lightly brushed some flat areas to give them a faux, painted feel. Again, an attempt to make the characters stand out from the background.
For a final touch, I tried putting a slight airbrushed vignette around the edges. To help keep the focus. Just brushed some black on a layer with the blending mode set to "overlay".
I'm still experimenting with diff ways to color and paint backgrounds, if anyone has suggestions I'd love to hear them. I'd really like to try some with no lines at all, but that might involve just straight up painting in Photoshop. That is not my forté. Also, these three drawings will have text on them, if you're wondering why there's so much extra space on the top and bottom.
Side note: messy rooms are a pain to draw. Lots of details, lots of colors to pick out. But it pays to push yourself extra mile, otherwise it just feels empty and flat. If you can't push yourself to do it, just find someone to yell at you about it. I had Ms. Jordie Bellaire on my case this time around.
I need to get better with my background details I think, more photo reference or something. There is an awesome example of a fully fleshed out, messy room over at Meaghan Carters blog. Great specifics. It's the little things. . .