Rob Gale's Sketchbook



  • @inkandspatter Thanks! My process is very hands on. I structure my photoshop files so that I can tweak colors continuously throughout. For these I haven't really been doing my proper due diligence of thumbnails and color studies and all of that since I'm trying to pump one out every day, so I created a process where I could keep tweaking things like colors all the way up to the end. This also has the benefit of being more fun because I'm always surprised by what comes out.

    Basically I separate layers into "Light" Layers... each one representing a different light source (shadows I also consider light sources), and Local Color layers. So a shirt has one layer, the skin tone is on another layer etc. Each layer is just one solid color layer, I use Fill layers in photoshop because I can easily double click to bring up the color and change it. Then I draw and paint using masks on each layer, so basically I'm painting either the silhouette of the shape, or the shape of the light, but it's all kept separate. Then at the very end I'll add things like smaller areas of color or details or texture however makes the most sense.

    It took some getting used to and lots of getting frustrated, but I find that using this process seems to be helping me think more clearly about what I'm painting, instead of just jumping in and mushing things about, which is my natural tendency.

    I hope that makes some kind of sense!



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  • 365 challenge Week 4

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  • @robgale I really enjoy your daily sketches. They are so fresh. The colors are so vivid and express the moods perfectly. I am happy that I can follow this journey of yours. Do you have a color scheme or palette in your mind before you get into it?



  • @nasvikdraws Thanks for the kind words! Sorry to take so long to reply, it's been a busy couple of weeks! To answer your question, I haven't really had much in mind, I mostly just jump in and keep tweaking things until I've got something I like. I could benefit from being more methodical, but it's more fun to get in and fudge things around 🙂



  • 365 Challenge 27 - 36
    I missed a few days from the busyness of work. It was bound to happen! Hopefully I can make up those days at some point soon. Here's everything from the last two weeks.

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  • @robgale You'e been very busy and the quality of work is very nice! I like how you play with different brush textures like in the Orange Boy (his face is super cool), the sculptured combed look of the older man with the beard and the line work and colour in the astronaut.

    🙂



  • @robgale Again, your lighting is incredible!



  • @Heather-Boyd
    Thanks! yes, I'm having so much fun playing and experimenting with brushes and effects.

    @inkandspatter
    Thank you! That's nice to hear as I've been learning new things about light and color recently and trying to push those elements, so I'm glad it's coming through 🙂



  • @robgale Your work is definitely paying off! I have been trying to improve my colour and lighting skills, and I find your work very inspiring. Do you have any advice you can share?



  • @inkandspatter You've probably heard this before, but getting the values right is really the first key. I'm still not great at this when I am working in color, so I find that it really helps me to separate light layers and local color layers and tweak them. I have been treating it almost like I'm lighting for a movie, or in a 3D program rather than "painting" in a sense.

    I like to also keep a layer on top of everything that I can turn on or off to see things in black and white. I often think one value is quite a bit darker than another (say I'm doing a reddish shadow and a bluish light side) but when I turn on the b/w layer, it becomes obvious that this isn't true! Once I fix that, the piece always looks way better.

    Another thing that I've finally learned recently as I've been studying light more, is that being mindful of how the secondary colors (yellow, cyan, magenta) are all brighter colors (at their most saturated) than the primary colors (red, green, blue). So if I want to have a really saturated light side, I need to stay with the secondary colors, whereas if I want a really saturated shadow, it works best to stick to the primary colors. Other than that, I just have a process where I can continue to tweak the colors endlessly until I'm like it. I usually change the color scheme several times while I'm painting.

    I'm still (always I guess) learning about light and color myself, but I've been drawing and painting in black and white for a long time. Actually, recently I've been going back to black and white to just reinforce the value structure again for myself. I feel like you can't do too many value studies.

    Hope some of that can be of help to you!



  • @robgale That is very helpful, thank you! Everything you said is very new to me, especially the use of primary and secondary colours in light and shadow. I do struggle with values, but the truth is that I have not spent much time focusing on them. Starting there sounds like great advice. I like the way that you work with layers, it sounds like a good way to experiment.



  • @inkandspatter Great! I'm glad I could offer some help! That's what I love about these forums, so much to learn from each other.



  • @robgale Could you answer one more question for me? Do you keep the value (black and white) composition and layer your colour over it, or do you just use it as reference?

    There seems to be a debate about whether or not to start with black and white, and it has left me very confused. Some artists say that starting with black and white and painting colours on top makes the overall colour muddy and dull. Whenever I see an artists value sketch, I always wonder if it is for reference or if it is used in the final composition.



  • @robgale This particular black and white sketch based on Ian McQue is excellent. Keep going everyday!!

    Also love your portraits. Maybe challenge yourself to get those characters in more enviroments and remember to continuously practice from observation and reference! Keep going!



  • @Ben-Migliore Thanks! Totally, I hear what you're saying about challenging myself to get more backgrounds in there! Thank you for the encouragement to push further. And reference... absolutely... it's something I need to work into my process more.

    BTW, I dig the landscapes you have on your website.



  • @inkandspatter I actually haven't had results that I'm super happy with when I try to do the black and white first then lay color over it. I mostly either do black and white OR color. When I'm working in color, I have a blank gray layer on top of everything that has a blend mode of "color" that I turn on and off to check my values from time to time, but when I'm working, I'm still working in color. If you'd like, when I have a little more time over the weekend, I can post up a photoshop file for you to see my layers and how I've been working. It's probably not the process I will ultimately land on, as it's a bit cumbersome and has some limitations, but it's definitely been useful for me.



  • @robgale That would be amazing, thank you!



  • @robgale I love this one. You have a pretty strong and distinctive graphics style developing which is really cool.
    I myself work traditionally which I love but it is time-consuming and I am considering trying out a digital format. I know that digital work can also be time-consuming.
    What device do you use? I did research quite some time ago but its nice to ask people directly about what devices they work with.



  • @robgale Wow, I love this one. I love sketchy graphite work. This guy is a dapper gent but something about his expression gives me the feeling that he is not completely trustworthy. Compelling image.


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