I’m currently in the process of building a website for a fantasy novel I’ve been working on (I’m editing the last few chapters of it now…of course, I said I was on the last edit two edits ago) and I’ve been fooling around with various sketches for the header.
(That’s not completely true . . . I’m also toying with cover ideas and layouts for a cover, which is kinda silly since I know no publisher would ever let me design the cover, but whatever, it’s fun.)
In any case, the novel is set in a low/nonexistent magic world just beginning to it’s industrial age. Think top-hats and locomotives. One of the main characters, Donth, is a dwarf who spends a lot time sitting in various cafes playing chess.
Here are the first two doodles I did on a memo pad at lunch while bored.
Next I found a cafe table and a chess set in Google Sketchup. (I could draw a table if I want, but I’m just playing and have absolutely no desire to draw a cafe table. The point wasn’t to create a “piece of art” but to get an idea of how to layout a painting or drawing to be done later. I still might use the last picture in a header though. We’ll see.)
Where was I? Oh, the table….
Next, I lighted the image of the table and then printed it out as large as I could, drew Donth sitting at the table, scanned it back in and used Sketchup to throw a cobbled floor unerneath everything.
I then opened the image in Photoshop, erased the overlap lines, through a graded tint on the whole thing, then used the burn and dodge tools to add some tonal work.
In about a month, I’m hoping to have a Powerbook along with a tablet, which, in theory, should allow me to go a lot further with this sort of thing….working with a mouse is just too damn difficult, not only that, but my computer is so old that Photoshop slows it to a crawl.
Hell, Tweetdeck slows it to a crawl.
At that point (when I get a Mac), I’ll probably revisit this for real instead of just toying with it.
(I don’t quite like the angle…..something doesn’t look right, but I’ve got a bit to figure it out, not to mention what to fill the rest of the space with.)