My forum signature image on Gamigo's Fiesta Online forum was getting a bit out of date, so it's time for a new one. Rather than editing the previous signature to change "Archer 6x" to "Archer 7x", I decided to go for something completely new.
Normally I draw one of my main characters and use that as the base image for the signature, but this time, I decided to take on the challenge of drawing both my archer and cleric in the same image.
1. Rough sketch
Before I would do this in pencil, then scan or take a photo of it to fiddle with on the computer. Now that I have an awesome drawing tablet, I decided to try sketching directly into Photoshop. To make it easier to trace over the sketch for the solid lines in the next step, I used blue to do the sketch, and later set the opacity to 40%. I'm terrible at drawing two characters together as I often get the size/scale/position wrong. To get around that weakness, I drew the characters in separate lay sets and moved them to where I wanted.
2. Solid lines
On a new later, I went over the sketch in black lines. I used to do this slowly using the polygonal lasso tool and several hundreds and thousands of mouse clicks. I'm still not used to using a tablet to draw, so it took a lot of Ctrl+Z'ing and clearing to get the lines how I wanted them.
3. Base colour
This is the easiest step. I used the mouse to create layers and masks where I wanted certain areas of colour. It also gives me a quick overview of how the various colours fit together.
4. Final details
This is my favourite part: putting in the various little details, light and shadows that make the picture come alive. I tend to have a habit of picking colours that don't contrast enough, so I often tweak with the brightness/contrast settings.
In the end, I'm generally happy with how it turned out, although the cleric shield could've used more detail. In total, it took 8 to 10 hours to finish. Next step is to use the final image in a forum signature… after I take a little break (~'-')~
Thank you Igor for the drawing tablet. Volim te <3