Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lion and Mouse Thursday update

Ahhh!! I am done! 

Well, so far anyway! LOL! Now I have to submit this to a few forums and critique groups and get some input from the online illustrator population. But here are the final few steps in this items creation. I'll try to be brief and to the point. I tend to be longwinded, (which of course you've noticed.)

On Monday I did like I said I would and focussed on finding reference for the mouse. An African Striped Back mouse to be more precise. Don't you just love the internet for reference! Upon finding image that showed me what I needed to see of the mouse I copied those files into Photoshop and put them all on their own layer. I then made another layer and started sketching the mouse out. I decided to keep the mouse in roughly the same pose as before, hopefully this time a lot closer to being anatomically correct! And also hopefully this time with a little more character and personality to really capture the intent of this moment in the story.


On Tuesday I started to fill in the colors of the mouse. And lay down shadow tones and  shading to help ground him.  I spend a lot of time adjust the mouses size. His height and plumpness bugged me from the previous day. So I slimmed him down a good deal and adjusted his positioning. I thought I was done with that part but found out I was very wrong! You will note that in later images his size and weight still change some more as I go on.
Wednesday, I feel safe to start going in and working tight on this piece. This is definitely a benefit of working digitally at a decent DPI. The ability to really zoom in and get as much detail as you could possibly want. I have learned that when I want large sweeping strokes I zoom out and use large brushes and the opposite for detailed portions. But it's important to zoom out to 100% (actual) size. To make sure that the level of detail you are executing is worthwhile. In many instances you will spend a lot of time on details barely noticeable at normal size. So be wary!


Thursday it looks like I will actually get to finish this up! I go in and finish out the details of the mouse. Who with those stripes looks like the child of a mixed mouse and chipmunk marriage! I really enjoyed doing the fur on the mouse! Good times! Once done with the mouse I use the Adjustment tools to make color corrections to the mouse. Removing a lot of the yellow because he wasn't standing out at all. He was getting lost in the image. Even with this adjustment I end up placing a lighter color silhouette around a part of him to help him stand out from the background. AFter adjusting his color, I apply an adjustment filter to the entire image. Enhancing the Saturation slightly and deepening my shadows and pulling out  more of the highlights of the image.  And I call it a day! Yahoo all done for now!! But there is one thing left to do....

How strong and brave was the mouse to offer his kindness to the upset lion.

I still have the original image in the Photoshop file on it's own layer. I move it to the top and spend a while turning it on and off. Looking at the image from 13 years ago and comparing it to the one I've just finished. This is what a difference 13 years makes. I consider myself lucky that there is any difference! I know many folks who haven't grown or changed in style at all in the years since college.  

I can see some elements in both that I like, some elements that existed in that young person fresh from college are evident in the image. While now it's obvious that I have changed a great deal. It's still me, you can still see my hand in what I do. But you can definitely see change. Whether people would consider it growth or not is a completely different thing. But I like what I see and I am proud of the difference. It lets me know that I am going in the right direction, my direction. So I got a lot more out of this than I'd hoped. And it's renewed that ember of confidence that a lot of artists struggle with. Now all I have to do is keep it lit!

Enjoy your weekend!!!
-Wilson

19 comments:

Linda said...

Really awesome work! Love the colors.
Keep up the good work! :)

claudine hellmuth said...

so great to see the progression in the work!! thanks for your comment on my blog!

Jack Foster said...

fantastic!!!!

Jack Foster said...

fantastic!!!!

my profile said...

Nice illo. I enjoyed the explanation of your process also.

Dustin Foust said...

Really nice work.

Amy C said...

wow this is incredible and I love how his giant strong paw is coming into the foreground

Peter Breese said...

Wonderful illo, nice work.

Angela Meijer said...

Great job! This is fabulous.

Shirley said...

Wilson..you should be very, very proud. I commend you on your persistance with this piece..the energy, research, and your attention to detail has paid off! I'm so happy to hear your "happiness" in your words. You nailed the lion's strength (and warmth), and the sweet mouse's character. It tells a story superbly. : )

Shirley said...

Oh! By the way, I checked out Satellite Soda..and boy, are they harsh, like you said...they also do commend people, but it's cool to get fedback like that, huh?!! Great post. And, I must've been inspired by the Lion and the Mouse, brother, so if you have a sec, stop by my blog. : ) I twisted the story around.

AWells said...

Really a sweet illustration- Nice job!

justdoodleit said...

This is very beautiful and rich in details :)

cally jane studio said...

Fantastic style!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Whewwww! Man don't I know the feeling when of when you finish something!!! I'm happy for you. It was boss in it's sketch stage and it's it's beautiful to see it all finished and beautiful. It's awesome, awesome work. I really like it so much. Hey man, thanks so much for your encouragement these last couple of post. You will never ever know how much they have helped me. It's like getting more air! An a big girl gots to breathe!! he he he he! Words have such power. Thanks so much my friend. Yall have a great weekend.

Edrian Thomidis said...

I agree with some of the previous posts! Your persistence and attention to detail really paid off!

The values, subtle tonalities, line work are really strong. You've developed two great characters and your style has definitely evolved. you should feel proud!

Edrian | view my blog

Shirley said...

Wilson..your lion is GRAND!!!! I also showed the fun last animated file to my daughters..they both agree the first one is rockin' though one of my daughters liked the "brightness" in the original watercolored lion's eyes a bit more (said he was "kinder"). I guess they are products of me, as I've done the sweet lion, as you so kindly commented on at my blog...thank you for visiting!! Anyway, I look forward to hearing about the feedback you'll get from those crit groups!!! (It'll all be super, I'm sure!)

nina seven said...

hey wilson, thanks for your comment on my if entry. i loved looking at the progression of your lion and mouse piece. awesome work.

sara b. said...

Beautifully done! I know what you mean about the progression that happens between leaving college and ten years later. I've only been out of college for five years and can see the difference!

Adore the color scheme you chose and that has always been a story that brings a small tear to my eye. Great choice for the word this week! :)