HOW: the Dream _ Workflow
Here I come again with a new tutorial about my workflow on my illustration called ” the Dream “, featuring a (rooster) Picasso painting (cockatiel) Marie Thérèse Walter’s portrait. I got inspired by Le Rêve (the Dream) Picasso, 1932.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 1: Sketching
The biggest difficulty here was finding a bird “with hair”, in order to be as loyal as possible to the original painting. I chose the cockatiel for the long feathers on top of its head, which could be easily arranged as a hairstyle. The soft, curvy lines of the painting gave me the impression of a chubby model, that’s the reason why the cockatiel looks so adorably puffed up. Later I looked for picture of the real Marie Thérèse and discovered she was actually pretty slim XD Let’s call this one an artistic license!
WORKFLOW _ STEP 2: Inking
While inking, I decided to correct the rooster’s hand, not only because I didn’t like the anatomy but also because I wanted the brush to be more tilted. Nothing else to say about this part actually.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 3: the painting
This part was extremely funny! Somehow it felt like I was desecrating a famous masterpiece, but I had to do it for the sake of the picture! In the Daily_Bird Challenge, all characters are avian anthros… I couldn’t let the Rooster paint a human, it just didn’t fit at all. Please forgive me, master Picasso!
I added the beak, changed the face, removed eyebrows and got rid of that perky nipple. Don’t misunderstand me, I have absolutely zero problems drawing nudity, but birds are oviparous, they don’t breastfeed their babies… they just don’t need boobs :V in fact, the cockatiel is displaying a huge, fluffy, massive feathery chest instead.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 4: Flat coloring
As usual, this is a very important, but boring part. I arranged the flats on 6 layers: painting and easel, the rooster, the cockatiel, the sofa, curtains and the background. I tried to use the same colors of the original painting, even if giving them a common sense was pretty difficult: yellow, white, green, blue, red, black, brown… not exactly an easy palette to deal with.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 5: Shading & Lighting
Shading: I applied 2 different colors to gave the right atmosphere and to start separating the foreground from the background. I used a dark, dirty green on the painting and the rooster – giving it a colder tone – and a warmer brown on the cockatiel and the background. Both of them in “multiply” mod.
Lighting: this part gave the picture a whole new sense. It was made with white on a “screen” layer, and DAMN I love the focus point it created on the model! Light is a great helper when it comes to the narration of the illustration. I wanted the viewer’s eye to follow this path: model, painting and then the painter, like a zoom out. I know that – for the Rooster – painting with the canvas in the dark is not wise, but I don’t really care! The painting isn’t the main element of the picture, so I threw it in a dark corner 😛
WORKFLOW _ STEP 6: Detailed Shadows
Unluckily, with a single color in the shadows characters look pretty flat! So I had to add some details: I made the top of the head darker and greener, I added some reflected red on the elbow and “hair”. In the end I worked a bit on the Rooster. He doesn’t have lights on him, so I had to gave the volumes with more shadows!
WORKFLOW _ STEP 7: Details
We are slowly approaching to the end of the process. I added a vivid orange line between shadow and light on the cockatiel in order to make the light look very bright and “burning”. Some darker shadows in the corners, stripes on the wall and specular lights on the necklace.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 6: Final adjustments
For the final step I added a weak wash of warm vivid light, then I played a bit with “color balance” and made greens go more towards browns. In the end I adjusted luminosity/contrast a bit, then added signature and logo. Ta-dan! Mission Completed!
I hope you found this article useful! If you have any question, please feel free to contact me on my FB page. Don’t be shy!
You can view the finished artwork in the portfolio section! See you to the next tutorial!
Be good and stay safe! : D10/11/2016WIPS_Process
HOW: my workflow
For the very first time, I’m going to write a more detailed article about the workflow behind one of my cell-shaded coloring. I’ll try to be as explicit as possible.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 1: Sketching
Nothing difficult to understand about this first part. First of all I sketched the volumes, then I looked for refs for the mask (in this case I had to search for a lot of pictures about Japanese oni masks. I found some lion-looking ones, which I got in love with). I had to draw every single detail of the mask… I wasn’t familiar with the subject, so I needed clear guide lines. Usually, my sketches aren’t this detailed; when I work with topics I know well, I sometimes draw the whole lineart directly during the inking part. That’s what happened with the three lanterns here.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 2: Inking
Again, nothing strange here. Many people ask me “how the hell can you do such a clean and sharp inking? Is that a vector path? Is that some algorithm stabilizing your line?”. Well, no, nothing like that. My “””secrets””” are just four: firm hand, good control of my wrist motion and – most of all – the magic of patience and Ctrl+Z. Really, I’m the walking embodiment of that “stroke-ctrlZ-stroke-ctrlZ” meme you see sometimes on the web.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 3: Flat coloring
This is a very important part. An important, long and pretty boring part! Precise flats are SUPER important for next steps. Sometimes I do them on the same layer – using my brush in “behind” mod – sometimes I arrange them on different ones… It depends on what I think I’ll need in the future. In this case (since I knew I were going to apply textures with layer masks) I did the flat coloring on 5 different layers: lanterns, mask/skin, dark hair, kimono and fair fur.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 4: Basic lighting
This is the most important part of my method. The color I use for the shading makes all the magic, giving a precise direction to the atmosphere you want the pic to get. In this case, I used a very dirty light red in “multiply” on the whole thing. It gave the character a pretty violent aura, which is what I wanted. In the meanwhile I painted the background, using the palette I applied previously on the character, in order not to use too many different colors: the risk of creating chromatic confusion is always very high. Using a few colors is always safer. After adding the whole shading, I proceeded with the lighting, made on a layer in “screen” mod.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 5: First details
Step 5, where I start caring about littler details. I did the following adjustments: I defined darker shadows where light wasn’t applied (like on fangs and gums), I made lanterns shine, I painted the glow of lanterns on near surfaces, like arms, hair and kimono. In the end, I added cooler tones on shaded parts, like on the lower hands and on the fair fur.
WORKFLOW _ STEP 6: Texturing and final adjustments
The texturing part was extremely complicated, but also super satisfying. I created some seamless textures getting inspiration by stuff on the web and applied them carefully, trying to respect volumes. The line between “flat” and “volumetric” is extremely thin when talking about applied textures. A clever use of specular lights made the pattern shine, detail I really appreciate.
In the end I played a little bit with adjustments and curves. Mostly, I made “blues” go more towards “greens”. Some touch of “vivid light” here and there made hair and lanterns glow more, creating more shades of orange.
At last, always remember to sign your picture!
I really hope you enjoyed this article, and I hope you got some useful pieces of advice.
Sooner or later I’ll try to write new articles about different color techniques. But until them, be good and stay safe!
That’s all folks!
In case you missed, you can admire the final product on my HOMEPAGE and look… IT MOVES (thanks to my amazing web designer)!12/09/2016WIPS_Process
ARTerie: for earthquake victims
Today I’m not going to talk about a personal project but about an amazing initiative: ARTerie.
ARTERIE is a charity initiative created by Italian artists and illustrators to help people impacted by the earthquake which struck central Italy on August 23.
Joined by more than 200 professionals, ARTERIE consists of an online art auction. Every artist has donated a max of three pictures each. Traditional artists will send the real copy of the picture, digital artists will send high quality prints.
All the proceeds will be given to charity.
As you may know, 296 people lost their lives during that awful catastrophe. Italy is full of historical areas, old villages and structures. I don’t really wanna start talking about economic conspiracies, mafia or twisted systems. All I know is that for the second time in a few years, Italy found itself devastated by an other terrible earthquake.
I’m not that fond of my country, I feel kind of a cold detachment from what should be called my “motherland”, but I care for human beings. I feel victims’ pain, the confusion and the sense of loss they must be facing while looking at their old houses, scared to move too many rubbles away and find their relatives’ corpses… can’t even imagine how terrible it must be.
I look at my home, my shelter, my start point. I imagine it destroyed and I shudder.
I look into my beloved ones’ eyes, my mother, my father, my love and my friends. I imagine them missing and I hurt deep in my soul.
That’s the reason why I want to do something, the reason why I joined this beautiful initiative. If my art can somehow help a little, I’m happy to comply. If you want to help as well, actions will start on the 10th of September. You can visit the website galleries to see what’s offered on the plate. There are many awesome pics. I’ve participated with three original artworks of mine.05/09/2016Events
Project – Hotline Miami: Wildlife
Time to go back to some comics stuff! Daily topic, “Hotline Miami: Wildlife”.
Allow me to write a quick introduction.
Hotline Miami: Wildlife is an eight-issue monthly comic series and it presents an original spin-off story in the Hotline Miami universe told from the perspective of a new character, Chris. His struggle to deal with a coming war, his tendency towards self-destruction, and the mysterious pseudo-patriots of 50 Blessings will be the focus point in the story. The narrative will take fans of the Hotline Miami games to new locales and introduce new masked figures while exploring dark and disturbing themes reminiscent of the series namesake.
Each 30+ pages issue is written by Federico Chemello and Maurizio Furini with art by Alberto Massaggia, Ludovica Ceregatti (with my colors), Andrea Dotta and Andrea Errico. While the story and events are not canon in the Hotline Miami universe, Dennaton Games and Devolver Digital blessed the project after Dayjob Studio’s brilliant work on the Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number digital comic series.
In particular I colored the 3rd issue of the comic, 35 pages (+ cover) drawn by Ludovica and written/edited by Federico.
When I was offered the job, I was quite unsure. Usually, fan-made products are not a source of legal incomes, but when I knew that the creators of the official game had approved and encouraged the whole project, my doubts vanished immediately.
I also was pretty surprised by the great organization DayJob Studio showed.
They had a lot of material ready for the publishing. Graphics done, official website active and running, arranges with many international distributors and advertise platforms.
What’s so strange about that, you’d think. They are professionals, aren’t they? Yes, they surely are, but first of all they are an independent Publisher. A bunch of brave people who just want to draw good comics and share them with the world.
That’s what made me understand I wasn’t going to get tricked again (pulled in a useless project with no future), but I was joining a functional team of professionals.
The comic is on-going. Chapter by chapter the story is developing and getting many fans’ attention.
I am super proud of taking part in this project! It made me meet many new talented colleagues… and the more, the better, isn’t it?05/09/2016Projects
Project – Gocce di Memoria RPG
Here I am again after such a long period of silence, writing again about my recent activity! Daily topic: Gocce di Memoria RPG.
This article is dedicated to a project that made me enjoy myself A LOT: an rpg card game called “Gocce di Memoria” (Drops of Memory). I was in charge of working on the whole artistic section, and it was hella fun!
Drops of Memory is a roleplaying game of passion, love and epic battles. The main characters will have to fight with or against the living embodiments of their emotions, learning how to face and win their fears.
The whole concept was created by Veronica, an amazing woman with a great love for roleplaying games. The game will be published and distributed by “Acchiappasogni” at Lucca Comics&Games 2016.
I worked on the visual concepts and on the character design, drawing all the characters’ official sheets in the end.
The very first direction I received was: “Draw a creature for every basic emotion you can think of.”
Well, the challenge was sometimes hard but always very stimulating and pleasant. Questions like “How can I represent such an emotion as Self-satisfaction, Solitude or Friendship?” flooded my mind the first time I read the list of feelings I had to illustrate… but one by one, inspiration came and gave me nice ideas.
Some concepts are better then other ones, some are pretty stereotyped, some are more creative.
I’m quite fond of all of them, but there are special cases of course: for example, when I had to design “Anxiety”, I asked myself what was anxiety for me, what used to give me anxious feelings. Mostly? Situations and sounds, unluckily stuff that didn’t do well for my cause.
But suddenly, the revelation!
Goodbye Blue Sky, song performed by Pink Floyd. In the official animated video there’s a sequence of people hiding in dark tunnels, sheltered from the Germans’ bombing. They were completely naked, skinny and scared, acting more like animals than humans. They were wearing only a full-head gas mask, as if they feared to die from intoxication, dust or poison. Heck, it still sends chills up my back!
That’s the reason why I drew Anxiety with a gas mask, exhalations coming out of its body, intoxicated by its own fear of death.
Many other characters’ birth had a similar path, many concepts are pretty personal and intimate.
In the end, this project was extremely refreshing and great for practicing with creativity. I loved every second of it!
I can’t wait to have the physical copy in my hands! If you are interested in the project, you can find more infos in the link below!04/09/2016Projects
Project – il Piccolo Dreamer
And now it’s time to introduce an other project I’ve collaborated to! Daily topic: the book called “il Piccolo Dreamer”.
I had the honor to illustrate the amazing and touching book “il Piccolo Dreamer” (transl: the Little Dreamer), published and distributed by “Efdien Publishing”, written by the super talented Vega Roze!
This sweet story wants to send a message to all the children of the world, a message of hope and wonder. It teaches to never stop dreaming, to believe in a passion and to follow the path suggested by your soul and heart, an idea that many people lose growing up, getting serious and “adult”, completely changing their approach to their lives.
It was beautiful to read the story, lose myself in the blurred corners of my mostly forgotten childhood and come back with great inspiration and amazement, allowing my creativity to run wild and unbound. Vega is a beautiful person, it was such a pleasure to collaborate with her, working together in order to express perfectly what she imagined through my art.22/10/2015Projects
Lucca comics&games 2015
At last I can proudly announce the publishing of my new comic book “Agenzia Investigativa Carlo Lorenzini 2”, produced and distributed by the independent publisher Manfont! I worked as a colorist in the whole project, teaming up with many talented colleagues!
I’ve already worked with the team of “Carlo Lorenzini” for the first issue, and as usual seeing the project getting life page by page is always kinda magic. Holding the real product in hand will be amazing! Also, I love the paper used for the printing, it’s slightly rough and smells great!
I am proud to present a new product this year as well! I will be there every day, camping at the Manfont stand together with all my colleagues and adventure mates! I’ve also drawn a tribute illustration for the amazing “Brothel Bros” comic (still published by Manfont).
If you are interested, you can see some pages of Carlo Lorenzini in the Portfolio section of my website.22/10/2015Events