Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Europa of Naimes

Forsooth, the Branden Rose is a real soul, you can go see her activities get all Tumblr-ed over at Europa of Naimes, where she and other bright-souled Sundergirdians keep the energy of the Half-Continent roiling.

I go there to remind myself that the Half-Continent is not just me in a room on my own in front of a blank screen.

Thank you, Branden Rose, thank you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Drawing with DMC

A couple of posts ago Elinor Blackwood (Ashira) was asking for me to divulge the process that goes into making my coloured images, so I shall now oblige.

So, I start with the line drawing on paper (yes, a real piece of paper!) done with a sepia pencil for no other reason than I like the feel of the media and the brown looks nice. Some folk have mistakenly thought these charcoal drawings, but they are not, just coloured pencil.

Having scanned the image in at 600 dpi, in Photoshop I then make a layer on MULITIPLY setting, onto which with the PENCIL tool I draw/paint/whatever it is you do in the digital context, areas of flat colour corresponding with the lines of the original drawing.

Usually making a copy of this FLAT COLOUR layer – as I call it (turning off the original flat layer, thus preserving the original should anything go awry) I then mould the copied flat colour layer with the BURN tool, working in shadows and form as appropriate.

Finally over the line drawing and the moulded colour I make a HIGHLIGHTS or SHINE layer (sometimes both if I am really pushing things around) onto which with the BRUSH tool I work all the glimmers and glows and shines that pull the image out and finishes it off.

Not much to it really, just time and the right ordering of layers. I highly recommend some form of drawing tablet for this though, drawing fine details with what amounts to a bar of remote soap (by which I mean a mouse) is not so much fun and does not allow quite the same finish without some extra frustration and effort. (Believe me, I have tried for many years with mouse only, and when I finally got a tablet it was like a whole new world opened up… usual story.)

What I like about this combination is the immediacy of a real drawing yet the glamour and finish of fine digital colour. Oh, and I used the same process for the image of Europe you see as a background to this blog.

I hope that is what you were looking for, Elinor.

All images (c) D.M.Cornish, 2011

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Notebooks & False-gods OR Ben's Questions asnwered at last!

About a million years ago, Ben Bryddia asked some questions and it is high time I say - HIGH TIME! - that they were answered. I shall reproduce much of his comment enclosing said enquiries here for context.

"Do you have an index for all those notebooks? If so, how is it set up? Yeah, it's a strange question, but I'm curious what form of note organization you've found most helpful..."

Ooh how I wish I indexed my notebooks, bit they are merely a repository for collecting thoughts as they come to me. 36 notebooks in I am starting to find it difficult to find older ideas, though it can be an adventure to go hunting for some half remembered notion I KNOW I wrote back in NB 32 or was it NB 31...? It can also drive me a little nuts trawling through every page when I just want to get on with what I am currently focused on.

I am very much a scatty-headed creative type, and though there is a quite complex system of symbols to show what each note is, there is no indexing; so I have no help for you there, Ben, sorry.

"I was rereading the conversation with the Lapinduce in Book 3. Out of curiosity, if land monsters are birthed from threwdish muck, where do all the river and sea critters come from? Is there such a thing as threwdish waters or threwdish ocean muck?I'm assuming that the false gods are to nadderers what urchins are to nickers and bogles. Is this correct? I seem to recall that Kraulschwimmen and false gods aren't on the best of terms."

Kraulschwimmen and false-gods are on very bad terms. Indeed, it is the kraulschwimmen who have been set watch over the mad false-gods - the pseudobaths - to make sure they never rise again as they did in the beforetimes in the folly of their arrogance. The false-gods were once like the urchins but sacrificed their place for the sake of seizing more power and so were thrown down and made idiot, the drool and seethe in the crushing black of the lowest oceans, whilst kraulschwimmen keep watch and wrestle with them when e'er an everyman seeks to call a false-gad back.

With the oceans, the deeper down you go the more threwdish they become, and the water deeps are fairly throbbing with threwd, and as you surmise, their muds are fertile places indeed for spawning new monstrous life. River nickers and other fluvial critters are either sprung from the sludge of waterways bubbling up in strongly threwdish lands, or from the slimy beds of shorelines that runs past threwdish places. Of course this is not the only way monsters come to be...

I hope that suffices.