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2.10 Applying Tone

Hi, my name is Brian Lee and welcome back to Dynamic Gesture Drawing. So now that you understand all the structural concepts of gesture drawing, we can start to talk about how to prepare them for your portfolio. In this lesson, we will take a gesture drawing and apply tone to it as you work towards a finished portfolio piece. For this lesson I'll be using Photoshop, but if you're following along with traditional mediums on paper or canvas, I would recommend markers, watercolor, or paints. So let's get started here. We have our line drawing here, our gesture. And next to it we have a fully colored picture. So, we're just gonna pick a brush, and in this lesson I'm gonna talk more about my thinking process than what's going on in Photoshop. So basically, I picked the brush that is gonna give me about a 30% opacity. I can toggle that on and off, but it's just got a nice very organic stroke to it. And it just allows me to lay in the tone very softly. And what I'm looking to do here is just kind of look at what the light is doing on my reference image. And so the light is kind of coming from the top, but he's definitely front of it. However there's no major white areas on him, there's nothing that's completely blown out. So this is something I wanna take into consideration when I'm applying tone here. Tone is very consistent with light. That's basically what we're doing with tone, we're capturing and explaining what the light is doing. So, and very rarely does light give us a very hard edge, unless the light is super direct. In this case it's a very soft light. So we're not gonna have any hard lines. Everything's going to be kind of melted between a light value and dark value and there's going to be many values in between. And that's another good reason to use a soft brush. Just because it's gonna offer you that multiple values in a single stroke. To get started on tones, I usually look for the extreme darks and the extreme lights and I'll start with those areas and then I'll try to merge them together afterwards. So you can see I've kind of gone around and defined the darkest areas. And now I'm going back over and just kind of giving a very medium tone to the entire image itself. You'll see in the next lesson when start to describe color, why this is important. But in general almost everything has at least some value. Again unless it's blown out and it's pure white which is pretty rare. And this process we can go a little slower. We've already done the hard work of capturing the gesture in the live action so I usually do this part of the process back in my own studio. And it always helps to have a camera with you when you're out in the field and taking a picture of whatever you're drawing. Just so that you have that color information when you get home. So I'll just work in some of the details of the face here. I'm not really gonna be focusing too much on detail in the next couple lessons. I'm just going to be explaining the tone, how I lay down tone and light. Now, detail is basically the same idea. In general, when I'm doing a real portrait, I will do this part of the process first and just lay down the general light and tone. And then I'll just get inside even closer, and closer, and closer, just repeating the process over and over again. With any kind of painting, you just wanna start with broad strokes. So here we're just gonna keep going here. I'm trying to define the belt a little bit more and try to get the shirt how it's kind of flopping up. And in this part of the process we don't have to be exactly accurate. Because when we go into color, we're gonna make some changes to the tone but it's just nice to have something to start with here. So just keep working in the tone, it's his shirt values are definitely going to be darker than his skin or his belt. You can see how my eyes just kind of jumping around the page looking at different areas and defining them. Just kind of helps to work up the image as a whole instead of focusing on one area at a time. It would just work out the feet here, kind of explain how the lights working there looks like there's some bounce like coming off the bottom of the foot. So it's not in complete darkness. It's kind of rotated a little bit. And you can see how tone really helps to describe the the angle of a body. So, with your gestures we're basically trying to remove the sharp lines when you're moving towards your portfolio and when you do use your portfolio. When you bring these in You want to kind of put them right up next to the color version as well. And we'll go over the color in the next lesson, obviously. But you see now, when you're in this stage, before moving into color, it might be a good idea to take a picture of your final tonal. And that way when you're displaying your portfolio, you can have your tonal and the color, shown right next to each other. Clients like to see process, and I like to see that you can work in both tone and color. So, it's always a good idea to just take pictures of your process along the way, especially for portfolio pieces. It might just help your portfolio stand out next to the competitors'. Just shape out the ear a little bit more here, get that side burn in. Very Japanese to have that nice long side burn there and some of the traditional movies I mean. Yeah and that's kind of the cool part about this tool is like you can just start emphasizing certain areas that help tell the story. And just get this belt worked out, currently I have no talent on that right now so I just want add the texture there. And make sure that I add some form of tone along that belt so that when I apply the color, the color will have something to stick to. And I wanna bring back some of the lightness in these areas, just so it stands out from the dark clothes behind it, Just do some last minute fixes to somebody's clothes, get this wrinkles in, Get that foot nice and dark, just to make it feel like it bends under the body a little bit more. It really helps to give it some depth. All right. Just do a few more brush strokes around the armpit area to show that the clothing is stretching. So I think we're getting pretty close there. I just want to make sure I have a little bit of tone everywhere. Again, we don't really want any completely white or completely black areas. If we do, the color process won't show through, in our next lesson. So keep that in mind. So for homework. Just go ahead and choose one of your favorite gesture drawings and apply tone. So I hope you now have a basic idea of the power of tone and how to summarize light. It really helps to bring your gestures to life. And moving on we'll go into color in the next lesson.

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