Digital Sketches + Before and After

Hey everybody!  I’ve been working diligently on my digital art, and it looks like my efforts have paid off!

Here are a few of the sketches I’ve done.

The first one I tried was an eye.

I used this Fantasy Eyes Tutorial by JoJoesArt and ended up with this. 79514f79-1947-42c7-99bb-c940fa1efa7d

Instead of following the tutorial exactly, I chose to make the eyes green like Lloyd’s.  However, the eyes I drew were female, because I wanted to have beautiful eyelashes.  Unfortunately, the eyelashes did not turn out as well as I hoped.  This first attempt still turned out very well though, in my opinion

Next, I attempted a digital Toothless.  I really admire Dreamsoffools’ messy digital art style.  The style is especially evident in her works Sketching Toothless and Toothless.  When you look at the drawing closely, it looks like messy splotches, but up close, the art as a whole is a beautiful style.

As I’ve been doing digital art, the thing I struggle most with is picking colors.  I understand color theory, but picking colors is really hard.  Like, why can’t you just go up and down and change only the light?  Why do you have to change the hue and saturation?

Well, I finally discovered the secret to picking colors.  And guess what?  It did not come out of a regular drawing book of the sort that is often sold, but a simple internet tutorial.  What’s better is, it actually works.  The secret is a little too complicated for this post, but I will hopefully be sharing it with you guys soon.

Anyway, so I studied this reference (I took a screenshot so it would stay still).


And created this.024b38a8-6634-4ba5-bf10-86619177e09fThe truth is, I am really proud of this.  I’m pretty sure I used correct color theory.  And better yet, I can guarantee you that I never once picked a color off of the reference.  In fact, in order to avoid even the temptation of it, I placed the reference on one device and drew on another device.  I did not even place the reference in my drawing program.

I really like the colors, and although they are not as rough as Dreamsoffools, I prefer my style for me.  I blended the colors out a little more but did not use any sort of blending tool.  I just lowered the opacity of my regular brush and used the color picker to pick the overlapping colors.  So instead of blending the colors already there, I stacked new color between them.

However, the eyes, for me, are a little flat.  I made sure to change the hue and saturation of the eyes, but I think I should have added the little streaks that Toothless has in his eyes.  Instead of the brilliant green present in the second movie, his eyes are more like the desaturated mint from the first.

Tools used in this drawing:

  1. Autodesk Sketchbook.  Photoshop’s okay, but Autodesk is made for digital painting, and this program’s performance really reflects its purpose.
  2. The very first texture brush in the Texture section for the rougher look.
  3. The airbrush (occasionally).
  4. A grayscale layer so I could check my values.  Although I used a grayscale layer, I kept it hidden most of the time and first started off in color.  I only occasionally turned on the grayscale layer to check my values.

Finally, encouraged by my success, I decided to try another digital painting to prove to myself it wasn’t luck.

Here is before.  This painting was done about three years ago, and it looked good to me when I finished.  But looking back at it, I can see everything wrong with it.

Toothless Rework in Sketchbook

In this first picture, the blue of the sky is too saturated and bright.  The eyes look weird and shiny, and the grey colors on his body are flat.  The tongue is shaped weirdly too.  In addition, the textures look a little flat too, like they were blended together with a blending tool, rather than a brush.  Also, most of the colors were picked with the color picker off of the reference.

And here is after:8cfdd619-8678-44f9-9f4d-d70555e1c7bc

The colors are more lifelike and deeper.  There is a greater sense of depth and understanding conveyed in this picture, and scales and texture are present in this image.  The eyes still look a little weird, but not as bad as they did in the other picture.  The tongue is also a little off, but the colors are a lot better and they were not picked out of a reference.  And although the background is a lot darker than my reference, I actually prefer the deeper tones.  Also, I was pretty lazy and sloppy with the background XD.

Rather than using black, white, and grey and altering the shades and tints, I used actual colors, such as deep purples and greens to bring out the depth of the shadows.  For the highlights, I added in greyish yellows and blues.  The tongue, surprisingly, is not a red hue, but a dark, desaturated purple.

Overall, the improvement is obvious, but there is still much more that can be learned.  For now, though, I am satisfied.  🙂



Featured Image: Nightfury by turnipBerry









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