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    Spent the last couple of days just penciling ideas. What I was hoping to accomplish was clearly give that impression without any words or panels - just one single thought.

    The two ideas that felt like they worked was a girl listening in from the top of a school. Originally I wanted to do something that was a bit empowering, like she was going to punch their lights out. I might have gone a little too far with the anvil lol. I liked the perspective though.

    The second idea was thinking maybe it wasn't negative at all. So I thought about maybe a scene in a graveyard where a ghost could hear the thoughts of the family at her grave. Maybe something like she could hear what was being released in tea light lanterns?

    I'm leaning towards the graveyard idea and see how that shapes up.

  • @jdubz ooh, that graveyard idea is cool! Liking the sketches so far.

  • Worked on sketching/refining the base sketch out until I got to the line art that I thought I'd start blocking colors in.

    I'm kind of running into a big question for me which is based on style. I'm wondering if I even LIKE working with the line work, rather than using it as a loose framework and then just painting straight over everything. I think I'm starting to narrow down what actually feels natural for a style.

    I'm going to experiment with this a bit and do 2 full versions. One version I'm going to follow the line art, starting with value, then adding color. The second one will be slapping paint right over it. I started experimenting with both, including what color palette I'm thinking I'll end up going. I've been liking this purple/pink overtone for the sky with some tests. We'll see what sticks 😛


  • Value version based on the line art...

    I'm trying to work out the silhouettes a bit better and this is going to be the first rough for the colors going on top of it.


  • Ehhh... I don't like how this is working so I think I'm actually going try the other method. I'm just feeling like laying down colors over the value painting is fighting me to get what I want. It's looking muddy to me and I'm not getting it to come out quite right.


  • @jdubz It is hard to colorize straight from values!

  • @JoannaH Yeah... I'm still pretty new to color in general, so I'm looking at all these different types of techniques and I'm seeing a lot of people do tutorials where they build values then layer in colors.

    But for me it just doesn't feel right. The more I try doing it that way, the more I feel trapped or limited by it.

  • Ok here is the totally repainted one. This time I painted right over all the line work and then built the forms organically just pushing/pulling on the same layer. I still need to work on making her a ghost and work on some of the lighting.

    I think I want to expand the water a bit like in the one above. It feels like it needs that extra element where she doesn't create a reflection to reinforce that she's actually a ghost.

    Do the shapes read well? I'm trying to take the comments from the live critique yesterday to heart where Will had said I need to work on finishing strokes where details should be and take away strokes where detail shouldn't be.


  • Finished other lights I was thinking about putting in.

    My main concern is whether or not she reads as a ghost or not. Does it come off that way?


  • @jdubz I didn't get that she was a ghost. Did you try making her transparent? I think of ghosts as being sorta see through.

  • @carlianne Ok good to know thanks! I've got to see how I can make this work 🙂

  • @carlianne Does making the edges of her transparent come across as ghostly??


  • Hmmm.... It's better, but I still don't think I would get it on the first read. When I think of transparent objects like a water glass, I think they look more transparent in the middle, and more opaque on the edges, maybe you could try that?

    I really like the concept by the way.

  • @carlianne I'm not sure I like the one with it transparent in the middle... it just feels kind of busy. I tried to quickly redraw her in "full ghost mode". How does that feel comparatively?


  • @jdubz I think full ghost mode works much better 🙂 You could even make her a tad more transparent and give her a glowy halo to really sell it

  • Oh yeah! I totally agree with Branden. Full ghost mode totally reads, more glow/transparency could be fun - but your call.

  • "full ghost mode" for the win.

  • Full ghost mode yes! Other option is to lighten her layer ( if she's on a separate layer) and have some background showing through? Really sweet! I love your style!

  • @jdubz I saw you said you were coloring over the value layer. Some people seem to be good at that but it's not my preference.

    Here's how I like to keep my values in check while coloring

    1. Create a new layer on top of all other layers.
    2. Fill that layer completely with white.
    3. Change that layer's blend mode to 'color'
      You can turn that layer on and off to see your painting in grayscale. I don't know if you already know that hack but learning that made my life so much better so I thought I'd throw it out there.

    Awesome painting by the way! I love the concept.

  • Thanks all - really sounds like that's the way to go. Really appreciate the feedback.

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