Photoshop trials

Ok so I was really inspired by Niamh Lynn today, I mean who couldn’t? I realised that simplicity is key, although my colour studies looked nice, they did take some time. I asked her how she approached her work, she explained that she would outline a concept lightly, fill in the lines finally on a separate layer before going in with a tonal study. Her tonal study would literally be the five tones (white-dark grey) and then she would go in with colour after. In a simplistic block like look, she would create these beautiful characters that would rival Don Bluth- I do not jest

So anyway here’s my attempts- I used an App on my phone called ArtStudio and have been doodling on the bus too and from university. I wanted to recreate some characters from our world but in my own style- I choose one of Kirstin’s witches, putting her in a very Walmart-esque outfit and a cavaman (with African tribal markings) taking a selfie in China.

I did say out world was a bit mad! I want to experiment next with some colour and then lighting – things such as oil lamps vs neon lights would be interesting to experiment with,


Digital Work- Colour

Gravity Falls is a show I’ve only been introduced to lately and the artwork behind it is incredible.

Ella Michalka created the original concept artwork for the show, and it gives quite a nice blocked look. This blocked, less detailed work gives a better use of silhouettes and can give a sense of what shading and tones need added to the piece. Her more detailed works are very beautiful, the use of line art not too heavy or over powering, and blends perfect with each scene.

Work by Elle Michalka.

Jeffrey M. Thompson is another artist who worked on ‘Gravity Falls,’ who style is slightly different than Michalka’s. I love his colour keys- the simplified versions of scenes still portray the story without the entire detail of a scene.

Some of Thompson’s colour scripts and keys.

Ok so now my turn to show some of my own work. I first blocked out the colours for this scene, like Michalka does in her work. Then I tried my best to add the tones. The background itself needs some work- I didn’t quite capture the fades.

The next piece I painted originally on my iPhone as a bus doodle, then added the colour in Photoshop.

I wanted to try to replicate one of the scenes from the original work, adding, once again, the paradox element to the scenery.

Finally I wanted to try different brushes to have a go at adding the mist to a piece. I was happy with how this turned out as I think I’m starting to understand as to how to create the gradient look in the trees.

cleo in the woods

Watercolour Pieces- More Developed

And now for some colour artwork that I developed from my original pieces.

I wanted to experiment with the characters more, showing how they would interact with each other in the world. The Caveman was always shown as a manly character, but here I wanted to drag him up.

The scene after I wanted to show the actual town itself, with different elements from different time periods together. I tried to show cooler colours here but with different moods. In the Caveman ‘selfie’ the cool blue and purples give a chilled night vibe to the picture. Whereas in the city, the navy blues give a cooler night and a bit more ominous feel.

Final concept pieces

Below are some of the more detailed pieces. I played with two similar concepts for the Trojan horse design as I wanted to show how color effects the mood and not just through character interaction

One of my final images I create was a mix of Gianni’s perspective street scenes. I combined the building types in a set up like that from the scene I looked at in Spirited Away and sketched it out tonally. I then provided Hollie with this sketch and she created a tonal in photoshop for me- there’s only so much I can stare at a computer screen before I go crazy. After that, I added the colours and tone, going for a cooler look.

Original Street SketchMy original tonal drawing.Hollie's tonalHollie then recreated this digitally.

streetI then went over this in colour- I went for a cooler more eerie look.

I created the image below based on one of Kirstin’s character ideas/ I thought it would be interesting to consider this girl in a cave with the cavemen, getting high on Pot-Bread and talking about world conspiracy theories. Both Hollie and Robert drew up scenes of Neanderthals siting around a fire.. I used a warm colour based like those used in the pieces as base tones, however I wanted to create a more warm look. I presume getting high on Pot-Bread would generate a happier feel than others.

stoner bread.jpgStoner Bread- original character designed by Kirstin.

12031472_1506373129687780_2853560214308437972_oHollie’s caveman painting.

In the cowboy sketch I wanted to create a foreboding look, night fall not long around the corner, the cowboy determining what to do. The next scene I used warm colours for the characters themselves, however I then used cooler tones to project the feeling of evil along each of the characters in the scene.

Trojan horse in a cooler feelTrojan horse in a warmer palette

Colour adaptations

chinese hut

Original Tonal

cool mountainThis is a piece I went back on from an original color and added a colour palette based on a scene from Mr Peabody and Sherman. I thought it was quite good in the way I’ve given the warmer colours a cooler look.. The mountains look like they are set in a cool winter atmosphere.

Sh02This is the image that I used to replicate the colour palette. The cool and warm tones work symbiotically in this piece- they work to give a cool calming atmosphere. This piece was concept artwork created by Pascal Campion. 

Collaboration with Robert

I really like Robert’s five tonal image of the cactus sunset and I really wanted to incorporate other aspects of our paradox world into this.


Robert’s original five colour study.


My tonal study of Robert’s western scene. I added futuristic buildings to the mountains- to give it more elements of our world.


Here is the final design I created, using water colour as a bit of a break from photo shop. I incorporated a few deeper oranges into the sunset, to give a warmer look to the desert scene. I tried to replicate Robert’s colour scheme as closely as possible in this work.

Colour from the ashes

Hollie did an amazingly awesome thing. She was inspired by one of my tonals and made it into a masterpiece!

Don't give up your day job- my original sketch

She was then inspired by a colour palette that was based off of Chinese market stalls, featuring warm reds and yellows. I thought it was good idea getting inspiration from sources like this, and used it in a few of my water colour sketches (there’s only so much photoshop I can take in one sitting).


12189720_1506864172972009_5110307929112232197_nColour palette inspired by the chinese food stalls (above)

Hollie's final result

Hollie’s final result (above).

Tonal Sketches

Sunsets on the future -A sketch inspired and adapted from Robert’s five tone work
Don't give up your day job
Don’t give up your day job Tonal sketch inspired by the restaurant scenes from Spirited Away.
Out of the darkness Cowboy figurine exploring new lands
Street scene – a collaboration of Gianni’s ideas into one.

Before even approaching colour in photo shop I wanted to explore tonal sketches to get a better idea of light and composition.

I then gave my team members my sketches and some of them adapted them into photoshop tonal files.

Hollie's awesome adaptation of my idea
Hollie’s awesome adaptation of my idea

5 Colour challenge

To truly understand the warm and cool colour concept we decided to use the colours only in our colour palettes for scenes, limiting the colours just like Will Kemp had suggested as mentioned in my previous post. It gave us all a better understanding of how the light should look and where to position it. For example, if the light source was behind the darkest colours would be furthest away. We decided to also have a go with both the cool and warm colour palettes in our designs.
china building

Hollie showed me a really nice red and purple palette which I used here to create this warm Pagoda Chinese temple, surrounded by some bushes.

chinese hut

Ok so this one I cheated a little. I used a tonal study as inspiration, I was unsure which colours to use. I thought that painting the Chinese temple (pagoda) in its traditional red colours would help me decide on something.


I was inspired by the palettes I uploaded previously and had a go at using them in my work. I like the playful look this palette gave my cowboy as he rides against the silhouette of a cityscape in the background.


For this palette I wanted to give a feeling of the unknown in my work. The caveman is pointing at the distant cityscape, unsure of its presence and there fore the blue greens give the look of an pang of sadness or confusion


Concept artwork- Marker and Watercolour sketches

Initially I wanted to explore the use of colour with both warm and cool tones but in a quicker medium- just to understand it more. I was inspired by the artwork of Spirited Away. Miyazaki used a watercolour style to give the gist of colour in his original looks when exploring lighting and colour. Therefore I wanted to have a go at using this.

Cooler night tones in the image above.

Compared to that of the warm tones in the day scenes (above).


The above image I had the idea of a cave, possibly the home of our Neanderthal, overlooking a city scape. I chose a cooler colour palette over the earthy tones as I wanted to show how the confused character would feel, plucked from his own time period into the unknown.


The top three scenes I wanted to practice overlaying cool colours over warmer colours, such as the sandy mountains. It was a lot harder than it seemed as there’s only a certain amount of blue that can be used on the earthy tones before they turn too green, not the look I wanted.


The above images I created wanting to completely mix up the time periods and worlds together, scenes such as a medieval castle with bamboo covering it and a cowboy riding through bamboo reeds is not exactly common. I liked the warmer colours the best in these sketches, and I think I captured that warm sunset look rather well.


The top images I wanted to do a sole character shot, and decided to use everyone’s favourite caveman. I used the cooler tones of blues over the scenes to give a sad feel as the poor character contemplates whether he has been stood up or not.

After this caveman sketch I decided to do scenes just using the characters, to understand content and composition better. Things like lighting are something I struggle to show, so therefore wanted to a go looking into this further.


“Kiss the cook”- I really liked Bethany and John’s character designs and so wanted to place them together. Here we have an overworked Sculley serving a Cowboy. A pink frilly apron was necessary, of course.


“Tardis Bar”- here I combined the characters in a tavern like scene, the way they hold each beverage and the choice of drink itself, I think, speaks for each personality. The colours would be warm here with dark lighting. Much like a normal bar setting. The scene below from Lord of the Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring captures the look I was going for.

 ‘Prancing Pony Scene.’ Video courtesy of Vojin Stanic.


I love this caveman fellow- he always seems so comically involved in each scene. Here I placed him up against a Trojan Horse, clearly afraid of the giant faux animal. I used a cooler shading on the horse to give the projection that it is the antagonist. Like used with Hades in Disney’s Hercules, it emphasises the character. I feel that I could possibly up these tones even more though.

 Cool tones used on Hades add to his dangerous nature.