By Justin Gerard

Last week Cory GodbeyIain Mccaig and I did a workshop in Seattle for TLC Workshops.  
It was absolutely fantastic.  There was action, romance, drama, pencil drawing and Iain did real-life, actual magic tricks in front of everyone. It was a great experience and if you are wondering if I would recommend that you go to one, then yes. Yes I do.  
While the workshop was more fun than a basket of kittens, I was only able to get through the traditional aspects of my work (Cory hogged all the digital glory for himself). So I am posting a follow-up here to shed some light on the digital method I used to finish mine.  
…Just in case there is anyone who plans to finish the one they started in at the workshop…  *ahem
You know who you are.  

The Value Comp

The Watercolor Painting
The Digital Trickery
Now, since no one is seeing how this went from watercolor to digital finish, and I might have lied about it, I am going to show the digital steps I went through to arrive at the final. 
As I mentioned in the class, there isn’t a great deal of “painting.”  And as you can see, it is actually a little more like photo-editting that I am doing over the watercolor. Most of the layers are transparent. The goal of this method is to preserve the original painting as much as possible, while pushing the colors and values farther.  

The final surface textures and rendering was done largely with Photoshop’s new “Mixer Brush Tool.”  I don’t actually understand the tool, but it allows me to push and pull areas on the image that need a little more softness in the transitions and a little more sharpness in the details. It can be tedious to work with, (mostly because I am still figuring it out) but I like the visual result.