Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Anatomy of a Pin Up

With Valentine's Day fast approaching I thought it might be an idea to do another themed pin up. This time I remembered to keep a record of the steps.

I'm still much more comfortable with paper and ink, althought the digital work is slowly improving. I often start with a blue line layout, and then either lightbox it or clean up the original with a regular HB or 2B pencil. This time, I developed the blue line to the point that I decided to ink directly onto the layout.

Inking was mostly accomplished with very traditional tools - India ink and a small watercolour brush. Some of the finer lines, particularly the bow and arrow, were done with Pigma Micron markers. I had a concern with proportions at this stage. I was worried that the head was a little too small, and too far to the left. After scanning, I opened the image in Manga Studio, selected the head and hair and enlarged them just a bit, and moved the whole selection just a little to the right. Then I had to clean up the edges where the neck and hair touch the shoulders.

Finally it was coloured in Manga Studio. I have to keep playing with these tools if I'm ever going to get any good with them. While it looks like airbrush in places, I've actually been trying something else, an approach someone told me about with Photoshop. You can overpaint an area on a separate layer (thank goodness for Layers!) and use hard and soft-edged erasers to refine and clean up the coloured shape.

Feel free to suggest a caption in the comments. Enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day!