Monday, May 21, 2007

Tapejara (Old Being)

I hadn't done any serious computer art in quite some time (and only once did I do something that wasn't for an assignment). For some reason I've forgotten now, I really wanted to draw a pterosaur. I decided on Tapejara, a weird reptile with a big crest. After three evenings of work, I threw in the towel and declared this exercise finished.

Now, being such a digital art newbie, I didn't have any techniques to use, so I just started in. I prefer digital art that doesn't look like it was obviously done digitally. First, I did the preliminary sketch with my tablet, then blocked in areas of color in Photoshop. The majority of the details were done with the size 3 hard-edged brush, set at various degrees of opacity, and lots of tiny scribbly lines. At the end, I put an almost transparent layer of grayish-green over everything to try to bring it together, like I might do with a wash of watercolor to try to tie different areas together.

The hard thing with reconstructions is that you never know if all your hard work is resulting a totally inaccurate creature! I did do some research of course, but not exhaustive research, and all the reconstructions I found of Tapejara looked pretty different. I based its coloring on cassowaries, the king vulture, the casqued lizard, and a cute bird called the crested coua. Many, but not all, resources said that pterosaurs most likely were furry. Next time I do computer art, I'd like to try something with not so many different textures.


mjlai said...

That came out pretty well, are you kidding me?! D: I like the detailing around the eye and such.. How long do you think this would've taken you if you just used gouache?

Kathy! said...

Thank you, still doesn't look how I wanted it to look, to me. Hmm, this took probably about 9 hours or so. I'm sure with paint I could've shaved at least an hour off that, since I fiddled around so much at zoomed-in sizes that really didn't do much overall.