Playing with Color on the Cintiq

I wanted a Cintiq for so many reasons. I wanted speed, I wanted ease, and I got it! But there’s more to it than that. I also wanted to embrace the new technologies available to designers in the twenty-first century. For years I have had one foot in Adobe Photoshop and one foot in paper, pens and markers. It’s not easy to straddle two worlds. 

I think I might be the last designer alive with a massive marker collection. I inherited many of them from a friend who had gone completely digital many years ago. I don’t know anyone who uses markers for finished artwork anymore. I think I was the last hold out. There are people who use paint, of course, and as far as I know Otis School of Art and Design’s fashion department still requires their student’s to work in paper and gauche. Personally I love painting my fashion illustrations. Paint is a lot of work, but it’s eternal, elegant and artistic. Digital will never completely replace paint, but it can replace my markers.

My computer skills are mostly self-taught. Every so often I stumble on some new technique or tool that I didn’t know existed in the Adobe lexicon. My friends, especially Anne Bray and Helen Yoon, have helped enormously. My father has given me Photoshop brushes and loads of advice as well. Understanding and using Adobe Photoshop has been a slow, uphill battle. Part of this is because I enjoy the way I work on paper. I start with a pencil sketch, move to a finished outline in ink, add color via markers, and then finish up with more pen and ink. For ages I couldn’t do that on the computer. But now I can. Thank you Cintiq!

Here’s a new black and white sketch of a model from Summer 2013 Garnet Hill catalog. The drawing started as a quick “pencil” sketch drawn right on the computer screen. I took that layer and lowered the transparency so it really looked like pencil, then created a new layer and added the “ink”. Then I removed the pencil drawing, effectively erasing it the way I would on paper.

Cintiq “Ink” Sketch

Fashion illustration by Heather Fonseca

The black and white outline finished I moved on to color. First I changed the ink layer to “multiply” (This makes the layer into a clear acetate.) then I painted the skin, clothes and shadows in with a soft, streaky “brush” that looks a lot like a marker.

Cintiq “Marker” Drawing

Fashion illustration by Heather Fonseca

There it is! A finished “marker” drawing  created completely on the computer for the eleventh day of my daily drawing challenge.

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Comments (5)

  1. April 15, 2013 - 4:54 PM

    You really need to try this in Corel Painter instead of Photoshop! Let me enable you in class next Saturday!

    Looks GREAT!

  2. Pingback: How to Design a Fashion Doll Part 3: Rough Sketches - Heather Fonseca

  3. February 7, 2014 - 10:32 AM

    Heather, that is absolutely brilliant! You’ve got some mad skills!