Sketch Diary – The Gift Giver Part 2 – Drafting

The last sketch diary for this image talked about conceptualizing the piece.  Now that the thinking part is done, it’s time for the doing!  At the start, I had decided to do this piece digitally due to time constraints, but also to give me a chance to break in the used Cintiq 12WX that I got as an early Christmas present!

The rumors are true!  Cintiqs really are made with unicorn horn dust and the solidified happy thoughts of artists!  My first impressions are highly favorable and I’m really excited at the natural line weight I’m able to achieve with this tablet, thus far.  I’ll be writing up a more in-depth review of the Cintiq in a later entry. 

Long story short, I’ve had a traditional Intous3 tablet for years, but could never get used to the unintuitive feel and disconnect between my hand and what I was seeing on the monitor.  The Cintiq has eased the process by letting me see exactly what I’m drawing and responding more delicately to my hand motions. Curves are especially easier to draw because I can see precisely what I’m doing and rotate the Cintiq as needed to draw the curve more easily.

Having given the Cintiq a test run on this image, I can say with confidence that I can finally get a more natural comfortable workflow with my line art, if this draft is any indication!
We’ve gone from this…to this
Somewhere between sketch and draft, her hair was cut back to allow for a more controlled directional flow in the composition.  She’s also lost her wings, since they would have interfered too much with the detail in the hair.  The grey spaces and Christmas trees are placeholders until I can work something more detailed in with color in the next phase.  
To achieve the abstract effect for the Christmas trees, I used a stock image, then in Photoshop I went to Image>Adjustments>Posterize.  That broke the tree image down into simplified forms which blend better with the line art.  I may end up actually photomanipulating a good deal of the background due to time constraints, but we’ll see what I can dish out!  I still have a few subtle  hatching details to add to the line art, but for the most part, she is finished!

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