This tutorial shows how to create comic art in PhotoPAINT and also discusses experienced problems - so you can get great results in shorter time.
I created this picture "FOR MY ..." after my holidays in the USA, to thank my father for giving me the chance to visit this beautiful and contradictory country. Why a penguin ? Because he loves penguins - they must have something to do with low temperature physics ;-)
The style is influenced by
some airbrush art and writings (graffiti) - somehow it looks a bit childish.
But I liked this, because it's a bit like a these scrawly drawings you
gave to your parents as you where younger on Christmas ... everybody can
read "Thank you soooo much ..."
Before getting more sentimental - How to do this ? I used COREL PhotoPAINT & DRAW 8 because I was a betatester for it and liked some features of it very much. It's very customizable and has some great timesavers. You could also use Adobe Photoshop, Micrografx PicturePublisher, Metacreation Painter or any other other painting tool that gives you features like airbrush, blur and layers. A graphic tablet like my WACOM Artpad II is a great timesaver for coloring and blurring, because a mouse isn't that controllable and it's harder to create soft curves ...
Of course you can do this with other vector programms like Macromedia Freehand or Adobe Illustrator or with the path tools included in the painters. The PAINT path tool is a bit uncomfortable - scaling and rotating paths isn't possible - but perhaps nobody ever wanted to do this ?
Because neither DRAW can export layered bitmaps (CPT) nor PAINT can import layered vector file (CDR) without loosing the layer information (hope his changes with version 9) you have to create some "outside marks". These boundaries are necessary because DRAW exports only the active objects in the wanted resolution - if there are no marks, the eyes would be as large as the penguin.
I used layers because
coloring is much simpler and moving single objects (like the eyes) is possible
without destroying the other objects - if you are absolutly clear about
your picture you could export it in one layer and use the magic wand mask
tool for creating independent color patches. With the objects you could
also create simple animations and use the single parts in other projects.
For overlapping objects like
the penguin fin and the octopus tentacle I created a temporary mask, saved
it in a new channel and created a second mask of the other object in the
same way. Then I switched the mode to subtractive mask and loaded
the first mask - to get rid of the overlapping parts create a clip mask
or simply delete them. Now you have your final objects for coloring ...
For creating fast colors you simply fill the objects with gradients. First lock the layer and then fill - for easy objects like the octopus eyeballs you don't need much further editing.
For highlights and shadows you should use airbrush, but you have to be very careful with transpareny, if it's not right you will get a very covering color or see nothing. Another possibilty to fix covering problems is changing the dab spacing, but if the spacing between the single dabs gets too large it will be no closed line, otherwise you will get a very covering stroke ... For good shading it's very difficult to find the right parameters, but by trying you should be able to create useable airbrush lines - it depends of the resolution of the picture, the dab size and spacing, the transparency, the color of the layer, the color you want to add, the weather and daytime ;-) Save the right brushes and set the undo steps to 3-5 for experiments with the airbrush and pen (pressure) settings.
A technic for creating "large" soft transitions between 2 colors is to smear the colors (EFFECT TOOL), but here PAINT is inaccurate - the colors tends to shift to it's nearest RGB component - a cool effect if you want to create fire or so, but for this it was very annoying ... so be careful and use the airbrush to paint over the shifted color.
Last to save time for the
"rough coloring" - mask parts of the objects, feather this selection and
use gaussian blur. Other types of blur are only useful for the final
5. FINAL FIXUP and SHADOW
6. READY ... OR NOT ?
Hope you liked this tutorial,
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