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Practitioners of mad science (step by step) by shadowednavi Practitioners of mad science (step by step) by shadowednavi
WARNING: GIANT-ASS IMAGE (like 1.3MB or something) 8D

So this is sort of a tutorial, sort of not, more of a step by step approach to how I draw pictures on the computer. I've outlined some of the things I do below, though feel free to use whatever and not use other stuff, blahblahblah. HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE SOMEWHERE! :D

1) GESTURE SKETCH - 90% of the time I start with a gesture drawing like this in a thick dark color. No features just yet, just an idea of where I'm going with the picture, how tall certain people are in relation to one another.

2) ACTUAL SKETCH - I block out expressions, outfits, and kind of what their hands will look like. Generally I save hands for SUPER LAST (like, I'm in the middle of the lineart layer and I realize "shit... I forgot to sketch that. NOW I HAVE TO GO BACK AND DO THAT". Don't be like me. Get your sketch done right away and don't wait till the last minute 8D)

I changed a few things here, too. Charlotte, for example, is wearing a mermaid style dress instead of the poofy thing she wore in the gesture sketch. So it's still poofy, just... not as much.

3) LINEART - By far the most arduous task of them all. I've changed several things since the initial sketch. Dr. Stein has moved closer to the group and now wears a dapper jacket instead of a lapel-less tuxedo. Dr. Drake, on the other hand, GAINED a tuxedo. I changed up Dr. Sinclair's face later on when I realized there was something wrong, but I was well into coloring by that point so you can't really notice here.

The biggest piece of advice I can give for lineart is to not be afraid to use multiple layers if you don't want to screw up something you've already put down. I think I went through 5 different lineart layers, not to mention what I call "petty layers" where it only exists for about five minutes before it's merged onto the main lineart. I go through about 30-40 petty layers for lineart alone.

4) SLAPPING DOWN SOME COLORS LIKE A BOSS - Get an idea for what the colors you want to use are. Don't worry so much about color schemes and lighting right now. You can always change them with multiply layers and stuff later. Which brings me to.....

5) ATMOSPHERE LIGHTING - For this picture, I wanted the lights to be bright and vivid, like a photoshoot, but the colors themselves to be desaturated. Really, given where I end up going with this picture, this is kind of an unnecessary step XD But it helped me with painting and set up my color pallete so hey, I guess it's all good~ Multiply layers are a great way to establish mood and tone with a scene, and I usually use those instead of general desaturation like this. BUT THIS IS STEP BY STEP PROCESS FOR THIS IMAGE! Thus, we will continue.

6) BASE COLORS - Cleaning up the colors established in the previous step. The only parts I intentionally left unclean were around the foreheads, where hair would fall and add shadows to the face. I always add and color hair LAST, that way the face shadows are already established, and hair would just be painted directly over the top without smudging previous progress.

7) SHADOWS AND HIGHLIGHTS - Multiply layers are your best friend when you want to color shadows quickly. It saves you from having to fill out a whole color pallete when the computer does all the color generation for you, AND it fits in with the mood of your picture. So, several hours (and god knows how many yards of satin) later, we have our shadows! But we still have that pesky background to take care of....

8) BACKGROUND - okay there we go.

This is the version I saved and sent to Martin and Megan for their gift. Aren't they lovely? :D

9) FINISHING TOUCHES - Of course, nothing is finished to my standards unless it's covered in blood 8D I also desaturated it further so that the blood stands out more.

and there we go! hope this helps someone, somewhere~

SAI, tablet.

:star: COMMISSIONS ALWAYS OPEN - note me if you're interested! :star:
Add a Comment:
dog-food Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for showing us the process I really enjoy progression of the work and how one develops it. To be honest I really like the 2nd last step just because there's a bit more colour to the dresses which to me kind of activates there personality, that small glint of rim light on the girl wearing the purple dress is really interesting. But I understand why you desaturated the image. All in all good work hope to see more from you
TurtleGuy Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
This is so cool. Ugh I wanna start drawing again. XD
shadowednavi Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Aww thank you! :D and hey, if you do I'd love to see ^^
TurtleGuy Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
thanks :)
KrystaSunblade Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
Reynold! You're paying for the dry cleaning! :) IT LOOKS AWESOME!
LuciferJ Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

-Uses Sai and bases so its freaken hard to do it w/o a base XD -
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Submitted on
February 25, 2013
Image Size
1.1 MB


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