I started playing with the tiff file once I had access to it from our shared Google Drive folder. Firstly, I experimented with the blending modes on the layers that were already in place. While the purple is very nice and I could go so many different directions with it, I haven’t painted anything macabre in a while and I can feel the itch. I found that inverting the car scratch layer and applying a Linear Burn worked much better for me. It changed the color palette from purple to a rusty olive drab. This is what the scratches and peeling paint wanted all along. This isn’t some craft project with crackle paint… These are knife wounds of weathered time. Speak to me, you neglected paint jobs. I am your vessel.
From here, some external elements would work best. There are many sources of beautiful stock photos ripe for photomanipulation. I limit my searches to free (it is important to note here that free is very good for the artist) images that are listed under an open license; I’ve collected a good handful of favorite catalogs for this purpose. I felt like it needed some light. Judicious use of the lasso tool and controlled erasures helped the bulb blend into the midground. I used the pen tool to trace a perfect circle with the circle tool. Then, using the magic lasso on a separate layer I filled the circle with a low opacity deep red. What’s next, some minimalist geometric shapes to appease the millennials? Nein! I’m seeing something even darker develop now.
To fill the void in the southern third of the piece I used a set of dentures and carefully erased the gums away and set the layer blending mode to Hard Light. I used the line art from printed currency to fill the dark red circle with an eyeball set to Overlay. Some gnarled roots further darken and vignette the work, an erasure keeps the teeth smiling bright. The roots layer was also set to Overlay at lower opacity. The roots also helped provide more depth to the flat areas of the work.
At this point, I’m just missing a quote about monsters now. How about Friedrich Nietzsche?
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
While you can use Autodesk Sketchbook for text it is so much easier to edit in Clip Studio Paint or Photoshop. So we’re moving over to CSP to put on the finishing touches. I experimented with different fonts, but for readability, I decided to keep all text the same font. I brought the file back over to Sketchbook for some smudging and tweaking of the text layers. Here’s the final work, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
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- Tags: Art file building process, Blending modes, Color palette inversion, Crackle pattern, Digital Art Technique, Digital art tools, Honda hood inspiration, Macabre, Monsters, Nietzsche, Stock photos, Texture Challenge