Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Illustration Friday -- Shades

Hello again! I'm really excited to share this week's illustration with you. It is the first time I've really attempted digital painting and I feel that it went really well. To start, my Artist Inspiration is Walter Everett. In this piece I really liked the soft painterly style as well as the muted tones (or shades ;).

The next step was, once again, to generate thumbnails. My first instinct was to draw sunglasses and use a monochromatic colour scheme, but I figured that was too obvious and not enough of a challange. Instead I began thinking of other things that we use to produce shade. I decided to continue with the beach umbrella concept. The weather is warming up here in Southern Ontario; not at all common for March in Canada. Earlier this week I broke out the BBQ so summer is definitely in the air, and I was inspired to draw from that feeling. (I haven't had a chance to scan my thumbnails yet, but I promise they are coming :)

To begin, I set up my document in photoshop and painted in my ground colour. I used a soft-edge brush and lowered my 'opacity' and 'flow'.

Next I separated my image area into Foreground, Middle-ground, and Background by painting in various elements.

Then I began to focus on the sky. I added shadows to the clouds and sunlight filtering through from behind them. I really love the way this worked out; it's fun to play around using different layers and layer orders (I had the sunlight layer in front first, but it looks so much better behind!).

On to the water. I painted in some darker tones to show the different depths in the water as well as to create bases for waves that I would add detail to later.

Naturally the next step was to add the crests to the waves. I also added details to the water that was washing up on shore.

Next I added sunbeams that reflected off the water and the sand. I set this layer to 'soft-light' blending mode.

Then I added the umbrella. It was already slightly transparent because I had turned down my brush's opacity in the beginning, but I reduced the layer opacity just a tiny bit more.

I found that the umbrella was taking up more of the scene than I wanted so I scaled it down some.

Once the main image was complete I brought it into InDesign and added text. I also played with the scaling of this image to fit a portion of it on the CD.


  1. This is really nice! I like the colors you used purple is something many people wouldn't do for a beach illustration. it shows your thinking outside the box good job! :)

    1. Thanks Fatima, I always think purple gives a 'dream-llike' feel to many settings so I thought it would be nice for this illustration :) Glad you liked it!