Visual Art Tip

Edited by Alison Davis Lyne

This Art Tip is by Chris Trefz who has one book"Below the Waves; Timmy's Quest"coming out with WindStorm Creative in June 2007 and is currently working on writing and drawing his graphic novel idea which you can see more about at:

He is experimenting in working with both traditional media and Photoshop to create his images.

The first step in his process is the pencil shading

For the following image, he first drew the outlines in pen, on canson smooth bristol board. Then he went though and shaded the image with black and gray Prisma pencils. After that, he scanned the drawing in, and added color in Photoshop. Once he had the outline drawing done, an image generally took about 6-8 hours to shade in pencil, then about 30 minutes to color in Photoshop.



For the next two images, he drew the outlines by hand, then scanned them into the computer. Once in Photoshop, he added color, then, on his Wacom tablet's pen, set the paint brush's opacity control to "pen pressure". With this setting, he had the kind of control over lights and darks that he did with a pencil, but got a super smooth blend of tonality. The only flaw was, without the course texture created by the pencil shading, the image looked too simple, too cartoonish. So then he went back and added textures in a multiply layer (new layer>mode of layer>choose:multiply> which allows texture lines to show through the color) layer to break up the areas of flat color, and add a great sense of detail. For the two images below, once he had the outline drawing completed and scanned in, the rest of the process generally took 3 to 4 hours.

Chris says: "So I still have some more experimenting to do, but I think there is some real potential there, at least for when I'm doing the Reptilia'Droc and other graphic novel work."


You can see more about the Droc at


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