Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Flying Monkeys

By Justin Gerard

Quick post today to share a speed-painting I put together recently to demo the brush sets. It is Photoshop CS5 over traditional pencil.  


  1. Hey Justin!
    Thanks again as usual for posting - I am dying to get my digital hands on these brushes!
    There is like a thousand things I could ask about this drawing, but there is one thing that I am really curious about in your approach to it:

    What do you feel like contributes most to the weight and accuracy of your drawing when you're not using reference material?

    I don't know if you used references for this or not, but I'm betting 90% you didn't (there aren't that many flying monkeys just waiting around to pose for you:).
    Often in my drawings I feel like even though I pay close attention to accurate construction, proper shadow casting and things like that, my drawings still lack somewhat of an authority, if you know what I mean.
    If that is a question that should be brought before the Jedi Counsel, then I'll gladly take my complaint there. In the meantime, I will be downloading these awesome brushes and trying to learn the secrets of the illustration universe.

  2. Hey Will,

    I don't tend to use reference material directly when I work because I find that I have a tendency to become a slave to it.

    So I take the Ian Mcaig approach and do a lot of studies from reference ahead of time to commit the necessary details to memory. (In this case I copied a few pictures of monkeys (non-flying) I found on flickr.) Then I put all the reference away and I work right from my head. I find that this lets me keep the technical details right without sacrificing the soul of the image. Along with being great practice it also helps build a visual vocabulary to draw from later on.
    At the end of a piece I may pull the reference back out just to fact-check everything and make sure nothing is on backwards.

    So I guess the short answer to your question is just practice. Do more pencil studies from life. Your brain will memorize them and apply them later on when you are working.

  3. That is great advice Justin. Thanks for the response - this is stuff that I need to use on an everyday basis. And I'll let you know how the brushes work out!

  4. This is really wild! Is this piece inspired by the famed winged monkeys of Oz?

  5. I would love to see a video of your traditional water color process. I just started in watercolors and adore your work. the muted colors, the thousands of layers or washes. And (what I think is) the blue and green tones you add. Simply fantastic!

    Keep up the amazing work!


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