Zombie Painting? Zombie Painting!

Last December, I bought a cheap-ass graphics tablet for Christmas. One thing I learned about cheap-ass tablets, unfortunately, is that they’re pretty tough to draw with. They just can’t match the comfortable feel of putting a pencil to paper. They are, however, serviceable enough to practice painting on Photoshop with. This is something I came up with during my daily hour of practice:

Whee! A zmobeh!

Now I’m not usually proud of my drawings/paintings, but I feel like this shows some improvement on my part. Since I’m prone to forget, I’m putting down the different steps I took to make this to serve as a reminder. Hopefully, I get better at this!
I started out with a blob of color to get the shape I wanted for the head. Since it was a zombie, I figured I could get away with being a little unrealistic with the anatomy. Also, my anatomy is wonky and needs practice. The color I used was my usual tan skin tone, with the saturation dropped by 10 or 20 points to make it look a little ashen.

I created a second blob for the neck on a separate layer.  This is a bit of a cheat, since I’m still pretty bad at creating clean lines of separation.

Next, I painted shadows over the blobs, keeping a rough idea of the light’s position in mind. There are probably some errors there, but I’m cutting myself some slack because this is more of a sketch. The color is the same as the skin, but with the brightness reduced by 15-25 points (not sure). I was able to stay within the lines by ctrl-clicking the blobs to select their shapes.

I added even darker shadows to the areas furthest from the light, and areas where the face tends to crease. 

Holy crap! How did it get to that? With the shadows in place, I reduced the brush’s opacity to ~28% and started roughly blending the colors together. To do this, I stroked the brush partially over an area with a different color, and then “picked up” the resulting color overlap by alt-clicking. I continued to do this until I got the effects I wanted. If the brushstrokes seem messy to you, that’s because I started getting lazy. 😛

I do love me some creepy eyes! I brought the opacity back to 100% and painted two white dots for eyes. I switched to a light grey and painted around the dots to give the eyes a sense of depth.

Lazy hair time! I used the same technique I did with the zombie’s skin, only with a bigger brush size. As you can see, I didn’t bother to clean things up.

The lazy hair technique works fine in making lazy backgrounds, too! I chose two muted shades of red, lowered the brightness, and literally went wild with the strokes. I did this primarily to avoid having to clean up the hair. 😛

One thing that bugs me is that the painting looks tons better when it’s halved in size. I need to practice making large things look just as detailed as the small stuff. Other than that, though, I’m pretty pleased with how things turned out. I hope my abilities haven’t plateaued yet, ’cause I’m actually starting to enjoy practice now!

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One Response to Zombie Painting? Zombie Painting!

  1. Larry says:

    Splendid job, old chap! 😀

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