Orca – Digital Design

This week I created a digital Orca Design. It is of a mother Orca showing the way to her calf.

I have also started working on Jim’s portrait again after having a break following my father’s passing. That painting is at a critical stage – I have everything done and am working on the details of his face. It’s very nerve-wracking to do this because I worry about making a mistake a ruining it. It takes a lot of emotional energy to paint someone in your family so I am taking my time.

I began the orcas with a basic line drawing…

Because I wanted to use digital colour I then made a couple of masks. These are simple digital paintings which mark off certain sections of the design. I can then select these sections easily as I paint. In this case I wanted to be able to deliniate the orcas separately from the rest of the painting and I wanted the separate out the splashing water. Although I actually made quite a few masks for this painting I’m included these ones because I used these the most…

Once I had the masks in place I could start the colouring process. In terms of colour I decided to use a dark blue colour which went down to black at the darkest parts of the image along with some pale yellowy browns. I wanted my design to reference the famous Japanese print of “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” by Hokusai. The colours I chose reflect that. I have loved Hokusai’s work for many years. Here is his famous picture…

This is how I painted the Orcas…

I used a textured brush which gives their skin a lovely feel to it. (NB: Because of the way different screens show images (and because of the night-time settings I was using on my tablet when I painted this) the orcas don’t have the black at the bottom of their bodies which I wanted in these screenshots. This is something I corrected in post production via Photoshop.)

Next I painted the splashing water…

Once that was complete I removed the linework and kept the white “shadow” of the lines as part of my design…

You can see these white “shadows” better once I put in a background…

I kept the background quite simple to make sure that the Orca’s were the “stars of the show”.

Finally I saved the image in Autodesk Sketchbook and pulled it into Photoshop on my laptop to adjust my levels and do some general finishing tasks. Here is the final image…

I really like this picture – it makes me feel safe.

13 thoughts on “Orca – Digital Design

  1. No, I don’t think it’s weird, lol. I quite like it too. With the outlines in place it looks like some kind of comic art to me. Isuspect that’s why I like it. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh yes, I like โ€žThe Great Wave of Kanagawaโ€œ a lot, too. I also really like your Orcas directly below it, just like that without a backgroundโ€ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.