Saturday, June 21, 2008

BG Painting Instructions

Thought you guys might be interested in this background painting step by step I found kicking around on my computer that I made to teach the painters in Korea how to follow our keys. I also found a few scans of some of Johnny's favorite golden books we were using as reference for this painting.

*Unfortunately I don't have the final version of this painting anymore:( But this was done just as a tutorial to show the process.*


pumml said...

Great lesson, Kristy! I really admire your backgrounds. Thanks very much for posting up your process!

I was wondering, why did you choose watercolor dyes? Is there an advantage to using them over standard watercolors or cel paint?

Kristy Gordon said...

Hi Drake! your paintings look great!! Yeah, I find water colours too annoying, because the paint lifts up if you try to go over it with a second coat. The dyes kinda stain the paper instead. I liked FW inks the very best, because they actually kinda go on like normal ink, but dry water-proof, so you can go over them without lifting up the layer below! I did use some cell paint though. It kinda became a combination of the inks and cell paint in the end:)

Justin said...

Bless you for doing this. Bless you.

trevor said...

Hey Kristy,

I'm a huge fan, not just of your cartoon work, but of your paintings, but I've never posted before.

Booo Tooons is doing a cartoon right now ( very slowly I might add ) and we don't have the money to use real paints for our backgrounds, so that leaves the usual lot of computer programs.

I've been very surprised by what can be done on a computer.... my bg girl completely recreated a set of snow-covered mountains Maurice Noble designed for a Pepe LePew cartoon using Corel PainterX with remarkable accuracy.

My question is, can these techniques and lessons you're describing, more or less, be applied to these programs, or is it completely different?

I'm like you in that I prefer pencil and paper, but since this is pretty much our only choice, I really wanted to hear what your thoughts were. Besides, I only seek advise from the best. =)

Also, thanks for the Little Golden Book scans. Memories.

Yr. fan,

- trevor.

Kristy Gordon said...

Hehe, thanks Justin and Trevor! And yeah, for sure you could apply the same techniques to digital paintings! I think the best digital paintings are done more organicaly, like a real painting! Johnny used to use painter to do thumbnail colour keys sometimes just the same way I as paint with paint! Instead of just filling in an area he'd "brush" in a colour. Yeah, especially when you're dealing with not totally opaque colours too! allowing the colour to show through a bit from the layer beneath it helps harmonize the colours! And digital painters don't have to be quite as careful about step by steps, because they get to work with layered files! And I LOVEE them for doing thumbnails to get the colours and everything sorted out!! I pretty much resorted to them for all my thumbnails by the end! Doing things like cutting together the textures of real paintings is another thing that I might suggest! It can really add depth to a digital painting to just have an element of real painting in it:) You could get your bg girl to just do a few gradient type backgrounds (like a sky wash) in paint, then you can colour adjust them to be almost any colour you want, to use their texture in the final backgrounds!

Good luck with the show!

Mitch K said...

Kristy this is amazing -- thank you! I had no idea that you had a blog. :D

trevor said...

Thanks a million Kristy! I'll let you know when the cartoon's done and send you a link.

Also, do you do any work with charcoal? I mean REAL charcoal?

- trevor.

PS: I haven't been to your site in over a year, so forgive me if there's something there in charcoal I haven't seen yet.

Kristy Gordon said...

Thanks Mitch!! And no prob Trevor!! Glad this post was helpful to you guys! Yeah, Ive totally used charcoal before! In school I got pretty decent at it for lifedrawings and stuff, but it never was as easy for me as it seemed to be for some people! I recently saw a really cool drawing done of frosted mylar in charcoal, and it just really struck me. So I've bought some frosted mylar, but I just need to get my hands on some charcoal and then I'm going to try it out!

Oohhh, and then there's the charcoal drawings of academic artists like Kate Sammons, which are just sooo amazing that they can confuse someone into thinking that they are seeing a photo of a sculpture!! Ive never done that sorta thing in charcoal, but I definitely want to!!

trevor said...

Nice! Nice! I once saw a post card of a portrait, and I didn't realize until years later that it was a photo of a charcoal drawing and not a black and white photograph. Maybe that was Kate?

And thanks ever so much for adding Booo Tooons to your links! The Booo Tooon Marooons all feel very blessed!

The reason we don't have any links up yet is I want to make the links clickable jpegs with those artists' blogs' respective logos.... and I will add yours if it's alright.

Plus, I see you're the only other blogger who's hit on the idea of putting pictures in your posts with your backgrounds matching the blog background color making whatever's on the picture blend in. I thought I was the only one, but seeing you do it assures me it was a good idea.

Thanks again and again!

- trevor.

Kristy Gordon said...

Hehe, that's neat about that charcoal postcard! And no prob about adding your link;) ahhaha, and that's funny about how we both made the backgrounds or some of our images match the blog bg colour and it assuring you! hehehe, yeah I deffinitely though it was a cleaver thing to do:)

Kristy Gordon said...

Oh, and that's so cool that you're making clickable logos for your blog's links!! Of course I wouldn't mind if you make one for me! that'd be awesome!! THANKS TREVOR!!

pumml said...

Thanks for the response, Kristy! And thank you kindly for the compliment, I've certainly got a long way to go. I'll have to give FW inks a try!

I added your link, and will return!

Lynsey said...

This is great! I've been wanting to try my hand at bgs for a while now, and I'm so happy I found this little gem! I don't know why, but I always found bgs a little daunting.

(By the by, can I ask what FW inks are? Are they a brand or a type of ink? Are they expensive or hard to come by? Sorry for the questions!)

Thank you so much for posting this!

Kristy Gordon said...

Thanks guys!! Good questions Lynsey:) FW Inks are a brand of inks. I think they must be pretty easy to come by because we can get them here in Ottawa, where we can't get any fancy brands of oils paints (like my favorite - Old Holland... but I digress) I only discoverd FW Inks when I was struggling away with watercolours, and trying every kind of ink known to man (like Dr Martin was cool too, but they dont dry waterproof like the FW Inks) I'm actually not even sure how expensive they are anymore. i think each individual one isn't too bad, but to get a whole collection of lots of colours can add up for sure. since i mostly used them for things that require a soft look, I would start with some sky colour (light turquoisy blue and maybe a cool yellow to gradate it to. Maybe some nice browns for fur, dirt, etc Vandyke brown was nice, and I guess throw a red and maybe a gren in there and you'd be off to a good start:)

Lynsey said...

I'll have a look in my local art stores, or failing that have a look on the web. And I'll keep those colours in mind - thank you for be so helpful!

Kristy Gordon said...

glad you found it useful Lynsey:) Enjoy your inks!