Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tutorial Tuesday: Lip Color Change

Every other week on Tuesday I'm going to put up a process post. Give everyone a little look into how I do what I do, and hopefully help out some fellow designers in the process.

Today is going to be super short because I have tons to do, but I promise it is useful. Changing lip color, it's something I'm asked to do a lot.

1. I start with my stockimage from 123RF.com. I'm using Photoshop CS3, now lets get started!
First use the lasso tool and select around the lips, then copy selection to a new layer. It doesn't have to be clean because we are going to mask out the extra.

2. Next, we are going to change the color of the layer we just made. To do that go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Now you want to make sure the colorize box is checked, then use the slider under hue till you get the color you want. 
To make it a little more believable or realistic I use blending modes. For this one I use overlay. Sometimes you might even need to decrease the Opacity of the layer. Play around with it until it looks good, and just ignore the overlap. We'll fix that next.

3. Time to clean up those lips. To do that apply a layer mask to the layer of the colored lips. Using a round brush with a soft edge erase out the overlap on the skin, and soften the edge of the lips. Also don't forget to clear out the section on the teeth. That is very important and often gets overlooked.
And there you have it, pretty lips with some bold color.

If there is something you would like to see, or any suggestions on what tutorial/process I should do next. Please comment below.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tutorial Tuesday: Tattoos

Yep, I'm starting something else new. Every other week on Tuesday, I'm going to try and put out a process post. Give everyone a little look into how I do what I do, and hopefully even help out some fellow designers in the process.
Since tattooed men seem to be a rather popular, I figured I would tackle how to add tattoos to a person. Honestly, the steps are super simple but it does take practice and even I get an off looking tattoo sometimes. This tutorial does require you to know about photoshop, and to be able to move around. If these posts get a lot of attention I will considering posting more detailed steps with photos.

1. To start with I'm using Photoshop CS3. I use Photoshop for just about everything, and I'm poor so I use CS3 until I can afford a new computer so I can use the newer Photoshop. I'm also using a stockimage purchased from 123RF.com and an illustration of a wolf I did for a previous project.

 2. First thing to do is drag the wolf design onto the guy. To get just the black design here's what you do. On the image of the wolf go to Select>Color Range and us the eye dropper to select the black area. Make sure the selection is turned up to about 150 or more. This will select all the black in the picture. Now use your move tool (the pointer looking thing), and drag it onto the image of the guy. Easy, huh?
This is a great tip to use instead of selecting all the white piece by piece and deleting. However; the Color Range tool does get tricky when there is a lot of rendering or shading. So play with it, because it's a great time saver.
 3. Alright, the wolf is on the guy now you need to place it. This step can be really easy or really difficult. It all depends where you want the tattoo. For this one I went for a more flatish surface, but I still needed to round the image of the wolf. You do this by using a combination of Free Transform and Wrap tools. To get to those you want to make sure you're on your wolf layer then Ctrl+T (for pc). From here you right click for a menu and get your options for everything from the Free Transform to Perspective.
At this is where the practice comes into play. You have to take into account the contour and shape of the body and muscles.
Where does the image need to wrap around an arm, or dip into muscle valley?
the best way is to imagine what a tattoo would look like on an actual person. Don't worry if you don't get it right away, like I said it takes practice.
4. Tattoo's in place and now I want to change the color of it. Before it was solid black. The blackist black you could get, and it stood out like a sore thumb. I don't want that. Instead I took a dark color right off the skin using the Eyedropper, then went a shade or two darker. I did this because I want the tattoo to look fleshy, and like it belongs in the rest of the image. I want it to match the color platte.
Also, you want to blur the edges of the tattoo. Which is super easy with a Gaussian Blur. Go Fliter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. I would recommend anything from a .5 to 2.5 setting for a tattoo, but play around and see what you looks good. Your strongest tool is your eyes.
 5. Now comes the fun part, actually making it look like a tattoo. To do this we will be using Blending Modes. You can do a lot with Blending Modes, use them well. After filtering through all the different modes I settled for Soft Light. For tattoos a lot of people use Multiply, which is awesome if you have a tattoo with colors. Since mine is just black I find either Overlay or Soft Light works great.
The tattoo is too light, you can hardly see it? No problem. See the next step for the solution.
 6. I like the look and effect of the Soft Light setting but it was too light in some areas. Easy way to fix that, duplicate the layer. Either right click on the layer to duplicate or Ctrl + J (on pc). This will darken it, and while I'm at it I also rough up the layer.
To do that, add a bit of noise from the Filter tab. Make sure to do it on the bottom (old) wolf layer because we are going to get rid of some of the top layer.
 7. Two things I'm doing at this point. One, I need to get rid of where the tattoo overlaps his sword. Two, I want to take down the darkness of some of the tattoo. You can do all of this with...LAYER MASKS!
They are the greatest thing ever next to the pen tool. Learn how to use them, they will save you every time.
First, lets lighten some of the tattoo. With the top wolf layer selected (the one without the noise filter on it), add a layer mask. Either use the shortcut in the layer box, or go Layer>Layer Marks>Reveal All. Now you can paint out the darker portions. It makes the dark less intense and more realistic.
To do the same when it comes to removing the overlapping portion on the sword. Or you could just erase it. It's up to you. The reason I use layer marks before the eraser is because if I take out too much I can easier put it back in with a layer mask. With layer masks nothing it set till I apply the mask.
 8. And there you have it, a nice looking tattoo. I added a few more just to show you the wrap on different parts of the body. Adding tattoos is one of those things that done well is digital magic, and when done wrong stands out with a flashing sign that says "I'm not suppose to be here".
 If there is something you would like to see, or any suggestions on what tutorial/process I should do next. Please comment below.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Now On Patreon

Yep, you read that right. I launched my Patreon page yesterday which focuses more on my written work than my artwork. The main goal of starting the Patreon is to help fund Lineage. Right now I'm currently struggling with having to take on more and more commissions to pay bills. This leaves NO time for writing, which has left Lineage hanging in limbo.

So if you want to help me finish Lineage and get it in your hands faster, please support me on Patreon. All I'm asking for is a $1 a month...One. Little. Dollar. And with your dollar you get the book faster AND extras. Including early access to teasers and behind the scenes look at Lineage.

So help a girl out and become a patron.
and my awesomeness ;)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Line Art Tutorial: New Dawn Illustartion

It's been a long time since I've done one of these posts, but I know how you all love to see this stuff. So here I am giving you another look at how I creature my magic. First, I would like to give a shout out to the author that commissioned this piece, Ellie Hart. Follow the link to her Facebook page and make sure to grab her book New Dawn, when its released.

Now on to the FUN!
Note: I work a little all over the place, putting my process down doesn't always translate well but I'll try my best. Also please do not copy this image or use without permission. This tutorial is best used by people that have a good understand a Photoshop. If you're a beginner, sorry this might be hard to follow.

Inking Tutorial #2

1. No big surprise here, I start with a sketch. Because my tablet and photoshop acts up ALL the time, I usually do my sketches the old fashion way. Pencil and paper, plus it just fun.

For the rest of this process I will be using my outdated unreliable Photoshop CS3.

 2. I know the photos are a little hard to make out so I'll make sure to cover everything on the written part. Once my sketch is uploaded into Photoshop the first thing I do is setup my file. The sketch is on a work-surface of 1000X1000 pixels. The sketch is on the bottom layer, the second layer is a solid white with 50% opacity, and the third is where our line-art will go. I change my brushes to square brushes size 2 pixels (square brushes are included in Photoshop), for the hair I set the following for the brush. Under Windows>Brushes>Shape Dynamics, change the control to Fade and the Minimum Diameter to 30% or so. Play around with it, see what you come up with.

3. Make sure you're on the top layer where the line-art will go and your color is set to black. (Very important. I often forget its on white then wonder why I can't see anything.) 
For the outlining process I use my pen tool...I love my pen tool. If you don't love your pen tool use it till you do. It is a big time saver and makes inking a lot easier.
Since we are going to be using a fade for the hair make sure to be aware of where the fade will start and end. You want to put the first anchor down where the heaviest point of your line will be, then end it at the lightest. I like to end the path at a point in the spike of the hair. 
Just be careful when going from end to point not to connect the two lines unless you mean to. I often leave them open ended so it fades into a point.

 4. Once you have all the lines set up with your pen tool, right click and select stroke path. This will bring up the box in the picture. 
You want to make sure brush is selected and that Simulate Pressure is checked. Then hit OK.
Note: Again make sure you have black as your foreground color and your on the top layer where you want your line-art.

5. This is what you should end up with. Its an interesting effect and works really good for the messy hair look. Especially if there are short spiky ends.

6. Before we start on the rest of the picture time to change up the brushed. Keep all the settings but change the control under Shape Dynamics from Fade to Pen Pressure. Done.

7. Now repeat the outline with the pen tool on the face. Make sure when you right click and click Stroke Path, that the Pen Simulation is checked.
Tip: I like to do each portion of the outline on a different layer: Hair, skin, shirt, ect. Once everything is outlined you can merge all the layers of the outline. Doing this allows you to change or adjust lines in different areas without worrying about messing up other portions.

8. Here you see what it looks like with the face and hand outlined. By clicking off the sketch layer I can get a better idea of what the lines look like. Notice there are a view areas that are lighter that I actually want to darken.

9. The areas where I want to adjust the line/mark it darker/thicker are areas where the skin creases or is in shadow. The line would naturally be thicker in those areas because...shadows.

10. Also I didn't like where the jaw line as sitting. To make a quick adjustment for that use the Lasso tool and select around the line. Then use Free Transform to move, shorten, or lengthen the line. Shortcut is Ctrl+T.

11. Soooo much better!
12. Now onto areas where the lines are considerably thicker. For these lines, like the crack of the mouth, the outline of the eyes, you are still going to use the pen tool. This time instead of leaving the path open ended, you want to close the path. This means outlining the area then right clicking, instead of selecting stroke path you want to fill path.

13. Now repeat those last few steps to complete the line art. Not looking too bad, but some adjustments are needed.
14. There are areas, like the face, that need to be darkened. You can do this by outlining the line with a shorter path using your pen tool using the same settings. This will darken the line, or when stroking the path you can unselect the Simulate Pressure. But that runs the risk of making the line look off. In the end just play with it and see what happens. Find the way you like to work and go with it.

15. In the end just play around with the pen tool and the different settings. There are tons of looks you can end up with. Also, don't freak out about following my steps to the T. Work however you want, whatever feels comfortable and works for you.
Here is the finished lineart. Not some changes that were adjusted from the sketch. There is nothing wrong with making adjustments as you go.

You can catch more of my work or even commission something on my website. Hit me up on social media to see WIPS, updates, and more.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

New Cover: Slain Spirit

I've been working on a novella in my free time, of which there is not a lot. I haven't been really serious about it because I had a very hard time coming up with a cover, but FINALLY!
Yes, after so very long I have finally come up with a cover that I'm deeply in love it. Here it is, in all its beauty.

Slain Spirit is a Dark Fantasy Novella about the price of love when demons get involved, and just because I love all of you wonderful people I have a teasers!

Be on the look at for Slain Spirit soon.