Behind the scenes: "Adventure is Out There"

This piece is inspired by the movie "Up". This wasn't made for anyone in particular, I just wanted to do it :) I'll have the artwork available as art prints and greeting cards (and possibly other goodies) in my Etsy shop soon; I'll include a direct link when it's ready!

I did a LOT of sketching for this piece, because I was having a hard time coming up with something that made me go "this is it!" I found myself becoming easily intimidated by the balloons. I just wasn't sure how to go about them, and depending on the option I chose...well, I could end up with hundreds of balloons. And then I had an internal debate over the house. Do I make it look like the house in "Up"? Or just any house? Or a really simple stylized house? After considering all of my options, I decided on a very stylized version of the house and balloons. 

 Winner winner chicken dinner!

Winner winner chicken dinner!

I originally had something completely different in mind for the lettering, but I decided the style was too "safe" and that I could push myself further. It just didn't have a lot of feeling of adventure.

 Here are loads of initial thumbnail sketches, and my original thought for the lettering. It's pretty but also kind of blah, which is why I pushed myself to make....

Here are loads of initial thumbnail sketches, and my original thought for the lettering. It's pretty but also kind of blah, which is why I pushed myself to make....

 THIS! I really like this lettering treatment. It's much more dynamic, and it's unique and screams ADVENTURE! And I incorporated some birds to further integrate the sky theme.

THIS! I really like this lettering treatment. It's much more dynamic, and it's unique and screams ADVENTURE! And I incorporated some birds to further integrate the sky theme.

Once I had my styles figured out, and a thumbnail that I liked (it's the right-most thumbnail in the above photo), it was time to work on the final pencil drawing! Since I enjoyed making my first video so much, I decided to get some upgrades for my "photo studio" (read: dining room). I bought a fancy tripod with a reversible center column so that I can shoot from directly above the drawing board. I also got a soft box light to help even out the lighting situation. Of course I'm learning things as I go, which is part of the fun!

 I've gone SUPER PRO! Fancy.

I've gone SUPER PRO! Fancy.

Time to draw! I set my remote shutter release to snap a photo every 3 seconds. I ended up with about 1500 photos. Here's a shot of the finished pencil drawing:

Next I traced the drawing with ink (oh, I also upgraded my light box! Woot woot!) and got everything scanned into the computer. I like for my drawings to have a hand-drawn quality, but I also want them to be clean. More clean than the semi-wobbly lines I end up with ;)

 Doing some clean-up in Illustrator. Whoa, lines!

Doing some clean-up in Illustrator. Whoa, lines!

I set my computer to take a screenshot every 5 seconds, and I got just about 2000 by the time I was finished. Then it was time to compile my bajillion images (ok, 3500) into a video!

 Sitting back and letting Photoshop do a batch edit on my drawing photos. The lighting was originally kind of cool, so I did a quick warming filter across the board.

Sitting back and letting Photoshop do a batch edit on my drawing photos. The lighting was originally kind of cool, so I did a quick warming filter across the board.

And I present the finished piece! 

 What a fun adventure that was!

What a fun adventure that was!

Cheers!
Leslie