Tuesday, May 31, 2011

St. George Final

12 x 16
Watercolor on Bristol
Final Digital Work


  1. Lovely piece Justin! Your decision to do at lot of shadow work digitally intrigues me. Whats your thinking behind this and do you ever stick with traditional media all the way through when you're using watercolour?

  2. Awesome work, it has a great "animated" vibe.

  3. Wow! Lovely stuff, the original and the touch up. Great sense of space, and drama.

  4. I have the same question as Chris Dunn. Also, have you ever tried colored pencil instead of digital to achieve the same results in the shadows and highlights?
    It's a wonderful piece, Justin. I'm a big fan of your work.

  5. Dynamite Justin. Fascinating to see where you let the watercolor do its thing (the rockslide, the reflections in the water), and where you used the digital paint to pump up the color and value contrasts, and for precise detailing (like the sword).

  6. Hi Chris,
    Sometimes yes, but mostly no. Up to this point I've always enjoyed the results more when I finish out the darks digitally. It may just be that I am more used to the digital tools, but I just really like working with them for getting these sort of finishing effects.
    I haven't ruled out the traditional tools, I just haven't found the right one to replace this step for me. I hope that as I keep experimenting and (and spying on the other MuddyColors artists) I will run into a traditional solution for this.

    It's funny you should ask that. I thought the same thing after finishing this piece and since then I have actually been doing some experiments with trying to finish everything out in pencils. (ala Drew Struzan) I may post some stuff next week to see what people think. I am still working the kinks out, but it does seem like at least part of the solution could be there.

  7. Justin, you used Bristol? Wow, I'm surprised you didn't get more bleeding of colors since its watercolor. I plan on trying my hand at watercolor painting this summer, I have both the rougher watercolor paper, along with Bristol board. I guess I'll have to try both.

  8. Thanks for replying Justin. It always looks great whatever medium you go with so I'm looking forward to seeing your coloured pencil experiments. Kim made a good call! Another option could be Gouache, it's handy for achieving strong contrasts.

  9. Hey Justin,
    Looks brilliant (It's now my official desktop image for the week/month/year)!
    When you talk about doing the shadows digitally, what tools are we talking about, more specifically (if you don't mind me asking)? I get kind of mixed results when I use the burn tool - it just really well, burns everything! Maybe I just need to use it more sparingly..
    Anyway, great post as always, and good luck with this at Gallery Nucleus!

  10. This looks AMAZING. I really, really enjoy this image. I do have a question, however. I struggle with taking good images of my traditional pieces and then finishing and polishing them off digitally. Besides practice and talent, what else does it take to make something look good for a portfolio/website? Thank you for your time!

  11. Wait, what?! Justin's watercolors plus Struzan's pencil finish? I beg you to show us. PLEASE. I wanted to see a non-airbrushed Struzan-like technique for so long.

  12. Ahh! Sorry for missing these last few comments guys!

    I never use burn. In the right hands it can give some really great effects, but I find it too unpredictable for what I am after. I mostly use multiply for laying in the shadows. If I need to knock back small details I will use dark tones in normal layers.

    I scan all my work on a large flatbed Epson. It always comes out a little washed out.
    After its in the computer I tend to go through all kinds of layer effects to get it back to how I want it. Levels, curves, color balance and hue saturation. Those are a good place to start, but I arrived there by just screwing around in Photoshop for years. I know its probably not the most helpful advice, but I'd say just keep working and experimenting in photoshop until you find what works best for you.

  13. I love the final digital work, did you use Photoshop??? I have made some paintings, then I take pictures of them, upload them to my computer and give them the final retouch


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