A Wild Ride

Happy Hallowe’en! Been for a wild ride with your muse lately? Iris the Art Muse decided that a little jaunt would do me good. Trouble is, I’m afraid of heights!

Paint Like the Wind — pen & ink, digital colouring (Photoshop)

Paint Like the Wind — pen & ink, digital colouring (Photoshop)

But Iris knows me well. She knows that I never do anything worthwhile without being a little bit out of my comfort zone. So this picture, though I drew it on good old paper with ink (Pigma micron pens, actually), was practice for me in digital colouring. Although I’m becoming more comfortable with it, I always try something new so I can keep on learning.

I kept to a limited complimentary-colours palette (blues/purples against orange/yellows). I don’t spend a lot of time futzing around with colours, since I have enough experience to know what I’m aiming for (and I had already decided on the palette) — but I do like the freedom in digital colouring of knowing that I can change things easily, a luxury when one is used to working in watercolour.

The trickiest part was figuring out how to do that glow around the moon, which was more of a puzzle than I thought it would be, though there is probably some perfectly simple way of doing it that i missed!

Mostly, though, I stuck to approaches that mimicked the way I would usually do a watercolour, considering this to be a colour study for a more polished version in that medium. The stars were dotted onto the sky individually. Highlights on the figures were added with a “brush”. Even the gradients echo the way I use watercolour washes, though they are rather unnervingly perfect.

Best of all, I’m starting to be able to do this a little faster than I can do it with paints, so that alone feels like an accomplishment!

“Paint like the wind”
— whenever I have a deadline, my hubby waves me off to my studio with that phrase. 

More of Iris the Art Muse’s adventures can be found here.

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