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BFFs

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By Dreamspirit   |   Watch
Published: May 27, 2011
© 2011 - 2019 Dreamspirit
~ Completed on May 27th, 2011 ~

Again I started sketching in a journal meant for writing (and not any erasing since the paper lifts so easily!). The underlying graphite sketch is about 3.5x2 inches large, and I decided to toss it into Photoshop for a quick once-over to add just a hint of color (and add a bit more detail to it than my pencil allowed at that size). This was perhaps three or four hours of work.

These are two of my personal characters in one of those sweet poses that makes me think of those photobooths where you can get photos or super colorful and gaudy stickers with you "BFF."

Not that you can fit a horse in one of those.

I had about ten assorted reference pictures of horses and people sitting out for me, but in the end when I went to actually sit down away from my computer and sketch, none of them ended up being truly strong enough for solid reference for the pose I ended up with (I blame my stubborn muse who was insisting the horse needed a hug!), so I'd probably consider this a "almost entirely out of my head but with touches of casual reference."

The three ended up using primarily for this were:

[link] - I looked at her face now and then when sketching to make sure the planes of the face on my own figure weren't entirely shoddy.
[link] - This lady has some AMAZING stock, but I still haven't really sat down and used any of it, but the costume on here was definitely influenced by her dress.
[link] - I used this to try and figure out how the dress would fall over the horse and rider and some of how the tack might fall as well as the basic proportions on the horse's head.

I find that if I don't have at least a vague reference of a horse, my proportions tend to skew in odd ways. As you can probably tell though, none of them were what I'd consider "strongly" referenced. Had I been at home I probably would have tried to find more photos with riders leaning like that so I could make sure the proportions and placement were correct.
Image size
1079x789px 629.89 KB
IMAGE DETAILS
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows
Comments31
anonymous's avatar
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Carryn's avatar
CarrynHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for sharing. You are inspiring me to try something with my new pen and tablet and photoshop. I have yet to figure it out. The horses eye gives him a feeling of boredom. The girl's pose is very realistic. I have a friend with horses and that is how her daughter often rests with the horse. The folds on the dress are very nicely done as well.
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
Thanks for the compliments!

When I add color to a graphite or greyscale image I generally just add a second layer atop it under either "color" or "multiply" as the mode depending on the overall effect I'm going for. :) I hope that helps!

And the horse there is definitely quite a character, so "bored" is a perfectly apt look for him. ;) I'm glad you like how realistic the rider's pose appears. I was definitely trying to figure it out how her body and fabric would lay over the horse, which was a bit of a trick. I certainly would have preferred to have a bit of a closer reference to what I was going for, but it turned out decently for what it was, I think. Always a work in process to improve. :)
Carryn's avatar
CarrynHobbyist Traditional Artist
It is always a work in progress. I think in every one of my drawings, there is at least one thing that I really like and one thing to improve on for next time.

When you color, is it on the computer then? You mentioned a second layer. I am just learning how to use the two programs I have. I purchased ArtRage and then my husband bought me a Wacom which came with Photoshop Elements. So, I am working more with ArtRage and he and my daughter are using Photoshop more.
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
How I approach a piece and color it tends to vary from piece to piece. Some are painted straight away in color in traditional media while others are painted digitally in color ( like this one: [link] ). A few odd pieces, such as this one, are actually a hybrid between the two where it is a small black and white graphite sketch that I then scanned into my computer and within Photoshop, added a "hint" of color.

That's awesome that you have a Wacom. :) I use one as well and they are fantastic.
Carryn's avatar
CarrynHobbyist Traditional Artist
My first digital colored piece was scanned and then I used ArtRage and traced it and took out the other. [link] This one didn't have layers capability and was my first work. Oh, this was before the Wacom also. I used just the laptop touch pad. It was partway through this that I said, a tablet would be nice. :)

I just used a reference of what I had drawn the day before to do the green dragon eye [link] I was able to use my Wacom for this. It really was the first piece that I used the tablet on.

I will try to actually include one of my pencil drawings and just color some of it. I might do that with the hatchlings. I haven't used photoshop much. I see its capabilities, I just haven't taken the time to figure it out, yet.

Thanks for sharing.
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
Yeah, there's definitely a learning curve starting out. :) I actually started using Photoshop with a mouse, so it was a really unorganic experience at that point. ;)

It's wonderful seeing how dedicated you are to your art and all those scales! That really takes time, and your effort shows!
Carryn's avatar
CarrynHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks. I found that once I took the time to make scales on my dragons I couldn't go back to not having scales. I don't know if I should experiment a bit with the shape or not. I want to try some ridges, though. I watched Tangled and saw the chameleon and it reinforced what I had been seeing with other lizards and other artists renditions of dragons. Those ridges are almost individual circles put together with spaces between. We'll see what happens.
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
I'd say you might want to experiment with shape and perhaps even look at some photos of lizards and snakes to see the variety of sizes and shapes their scales have. Being able to manipulate them a bit tends to aid creating a sense of three-dimensionality in my experience. :)

And I loved "Pascal" in Tangled! Such a fun character!
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kiinastar's avatar
This is beautiful!!!
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
Thanks so very much! I"m glad you enjoyed it!
kiinastar's avatar
Your very welcome!!!
LibertyPark's avatar
LibertyParkHobbyist Traditional Artist
This is lovely, the detail is so elegant, well done!!!
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
Thank you so very much! I'm glad you like it!
LibertyPark's avatar
LibertyParkHobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
Elandria's avatar
ElandriaProfessional General Artist
This is beautiful! Glad my stock came in useful to you!!! :love:
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
Thanks for the compliment!

It certainly did, and I hope to use more in the future and will keep you informed as I do. :)
Megan1970's avatar
Great work ! and thanks for using my stock :heart:
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
Thanks so much! Hopefully one of these days I'll have the opportunity to do something that is a bit closer in terms of recognition. ;)
GabbyVee's avatar
GabbyVeeProfessional Digital Artist
Aw this is sweet! I wish I had a friendly horse to hug. They're just so big and twitchy...they make me nervous haha
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
I'm glad you liked this sketch!

Some horses make me nervous as well. :) They are just... SO large and there is so much power behind those muscles that you can't help but feel a little dwarfed and nervous around even the best-behaved one. :)
tr1ff1d's avatar
tr1ff1dProfessional Digital Artist
you know what i reckon the solution to your problem is? always right your journal notes on sketchbook paper. that way, if you find yourself doodling in it, it is good quality anyway! ;) the horse's face is lovely, very docile looking.
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
You are 100% on the mark on that one. :-/ I had this "brilliant" idea some time ago that rather than keep my notes and text from my story stuff scattered around from the sketches of those characters and their world that it might be a great idea to keep them all in one journal. This in-and-of itself wasn't a bad idea, but instead of choosing a proper sketch journal, I instead started using a journal that may appear semi authentic to olden days, but the quality of paper just isn't meant for more than writing with a pen. :-/ After having a few of these moments of "oh god, why did I USE this!?" I think I might just suck up my pride and send the journal to an early retirement and try to find one instead that isn't so angry at me if I try to actually doodle something. I think I've just been being stubborn since I'm about halfway through the journal and keep telling myself "one you finish this up, you can get a new one..." but the frustration in the interim definitely isn't worth it. ;)

I'm glad you like the horse's face! It definitely came out a bit more docile looking than I was even going for, but perhaps sometime soon I'll take another, better shot at these two on better paper, and hopefully a bit larger as well! *laughs*

Thanks for your comment!
tr1ff1d's avatar
tr1ff1dProfessional Digital Artist
I've done the same thing, as I am meant to keep notes and observational drawing sketchbooks for animation, but invariably I find myself doodling in the wrong one and when it comes to submission time, I have stacks of half filled notebooks with drawings in the middle of the text! I don't often work in traditional media anymore, though, so if I liked a sketch enough, I could scan it in and tidy it in PS, so I guess I'm saved some of the heartache!
Dreamspirit's avatar
DreamspiritProfessional General Artist
Yep! I understand where you are coming from so, SO much! One of the things I want to do one of these weeks is to try to look into some of those sketchbooks and then scan what I need and pack the rest of them up so I stop being tempted to use them. ;) One of the papers/sketchbooks that has actually been rather multi-purpose, however, are the Copic sketchbooks, and I would love to get another one of those but it seems to be a special-order item these days. ;_; At least it was very flat, white, and very smooth and was very happy to take a variety of media which I can't say for most of my other sketchbooks.

I suppose it's better than my era of using random sheets of printer paper, however! XD
anonymous's avatar
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