I wanted at least one more figure in the Austrian WOMAD image, and being in Austria I didn’t have my full colour pastels and such with me. I decided, therefore, that this was an ideal opportunity to try out some digital drawing using the Wacom tablet I bought previously. I’ve done some experiments with this, but have never really put in the time to learn to use it properly. As I was planning to combine it with the photomontage I decided to use Krita for the drawing.
Digital drawing challenges
The whole idea had quite a learning curve to it, both it terms of drawing the figure and in terms of using the digital drawing set up. It took me a while to get any subtlety in how I was approaching building up the image, and I spent a while making silly mistakes. I’m now quite happy with using the tool, and reasonably happy with the figure produced. There are some unique aspects of working digitally. When I worked out the foot was too big, for example, I was able to cut it out and shrink is relatively easily. Doing the same with a paper drawing would have been much more effort.
Building up the figure
I used an “ink wash” background to work out the negative space around the figure. I then blocked in the major forms and gradually added details. I was using a “charcoal” brush and so ended up adding an opaque underlayer below the drawing. This was to ensure that the background didn’t show through when it was inserted into the photomontage.
I enjoyed adding the colour – and especially the ability to “undo” rather than have to rub out again. The judicious use of layers allows further flexibility in the way the image is built up. This isn’t a wonderful simulation of drawing with a pencil, but it does a good job and the use of pressure sensitivity in the system is very helpful. Much more expressive than trying with a mouse. The featured image gives the final figure drawing, on a grey background and with the ink wash used to help negative space consideration.
Placing it into the Photomontage
The last step was to insert the figure into the complete image. This went well – and was much simpler than inserting an image from the photograph. I reused the approach for creating shadows that I started in my previous Photomontage post.
I considered adding further figures (as you would get in an real festival), but I wasn’t convinced that this would add too much to the final image. It would have also further obscured the alpine background – which might have detracted from the scene as a whole. As such, I decided to leave this as the final image.
This produced the following final image: