Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Digital Felt

When I first started illustrating with felt, I did everything traditionally. I loved working this way but always had a yearning to work digitally. But, I just didn't know where I fit in that realm. It took some time (years) but I eventually developed a digital method that reflected my felt style. I love working this way! I have more freedom with colors and it has helped me immensely as far as flexibility when it comes to revisions/deadlines.

I thought I'd share the process with you.

First, of course, comes the sketch. Here is a doggie from a project I worked on recently.

I take my sketch into photoshop and block out the colors using the pen tool. These colors are not set in stone and are there really just as a marker for when I "felt" the illustration in the next step. 

After the colors are blocked in,  I "felt" the picture. My files get very large because I have every part of the dog on a separate layer. I take my scanned pieces of felt ( I have a folder full of felt swatches) and replace the colored areas with it. 

At this point, I add a drop shadow to each layer and that's when it takes on the depth of my traditional felt. 

And here he is all finished. After I add the drop shadows, I go over the top with "stitches" and other little digital touches (like blushing the cheeks). It's funny, I always leave the faces til last when I'm working. For me, that's when the image really comes to life and is done. I like to save the best for last, I guess.  :o)


Jennifer Noel Bower said...

Fabulous. I love seeing how other illustrators work and this is so unique. I never would have thought it was digital.

roz said...

I appreciate it, thanks Jennifer. And that makes me really happy that you think it looks like the real thing. =o)

Tracy said...

Roz, thank you for sharing this process! I've wondered (and even asked you before and you replied...a long time ago!) But having you show each step with pictures and details really makes it clearer. I may try to use this technique in the future; I've always wanted to try it. I'm telling you, one cannot tell the difference that this isn't your traditional style! Thanks again :)

Deb said...

Wow....that is very cool Roz! Looks very felty to me!
thanks for sharing that. Love seeing your process.

Eric Barclay said...

Nice to get a peek over your shoulder, so to speak. I love that you use digital to capture your love of traditional materials... digital is best when it doesn't LOOK digital.

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

This is so great! I love how you had your vision, found a way to create it on your own and the result is beautiful! Go Rozzita! :o)

Cathy Morrison said...

Hi Roz, Thanks for the steps. It's great seeing how you work. Wonderful kid art!