The images you see here are what I’ll be starting with. At this point both of them are still at 72 ppi, which is only web quality. I still consider these both quite rough. I usually don’t blow an image up to 300 ppi until I’ve got ‘the bones’ of the image done, which I’m pretty sure I’ve got for the bighorn sheep, but not quite for the great horned owl. There are still some structural issues I’m not quite happy with, but that will come with a little more time.
The reason I start at 72ppi is that I even though I have a fast computer, Photoshop doesn’t always do well with really quick sweeping brush strokes when it comes to a large size image with a high resolution. With painting at a lower resolution, I can move the pen/brush as fast as I want without any lag. Lately I’ve found a lot of good results with painting very fast in the beginning at low resolution. It gets to a point where I’m not thinking too much while I’m doing it, and if you ask anybody that knows me well, they’ll tell you I almost always think too much. At this size, I’m just throwing colour and brush strokes around, figuring out what’s going to work and what’s not.
The other reason I start with images at this stage when I do painting demos is that people don’t want to see the first blobs of paint and then be told that eventually it will look like a bighorn sheep or an owl. They want to be able to see the animal I’m working on.
A little different method this time around. I’ll be using my new Cintiq tablet, which means I’ll be painting right on the screen. Another great use I’ve found for my iPad is using it to store my photo reference. Great screen quality, and I can flip through the different images I’m using quite easily.
If you’re around Two Wolves Trading Co. in Canmore today (across the parking lot from Safeway beside Starbucks) between 2-4 or tomorrow between 12-2, stop in, ask questions or just watch. I’m able to talk and paint at the same time.