This digital painting was my entry into the March 2008 Gnomon contest "Catacombs", in which it took first place and won me a few grand in videos. By that measure alone, it was well worth the time spent on this illustration.
Award Winning Illustration
That's right, this illustration is an award winner.
I know you will be shocked to know, as per 90% of all of my images, that this illustration was created entirely in Adobe Photoshop. And as always I was using my faithful Wacom Intuos tablet. At the time it was probably my Intous 2 Large format. I have since switched to the small version of the Intuos 4. I love these tablets. I have been using them in one form or another since the Digitizer and before that I had a Koala Pad on the Commodore 64. If you have never heard of the Wacom Tablets look them up, and crawl out from under the rock you have been hiding under. On the other hand if you have heard of the Koala Pad, jeez, I don't know because, well I had one… so… kudos.
I am a classically trained painter, and have a BFA. I love to work in oils, acrylic and watercolor, but digitally… man nothing beats control Z. Not to mention you can merge all the best aspects of each of the traditional mediums. There were techniques used in this illustration that I learned from oil painting, and other times from watercolor. Some aspects were treated like airbrushing and others like using conte' crayon or ink. Though in and of itself digital illustration has it's own techniques, there is marked efficiency improvements by working digitally.
The freedom to try new things without risk of ruining an illustration you've spent countless hours on, allows you to explore and try new things. It also means you don't have to start over when you make a mistake.
This was the last "formal" painting I did. I had great reference material before I started, thanks to my good friend Macavite and the models (Thanks Andrew). This illustration marked a transition to a more experimental phase. I have spent the two years since teaching myself to work without reference entirely. It opened my eyes to the crutch that i relied upon. So I have practiced with no reference doing my "Samurai Sketch Session". These endeavours have given me the tools I need to move to the next phase. I already know my next barrier and am working to bast through it as well. The fun and joy of life comes in finding and overcoming the next hurdle.