A bit about me: I first got into Supernatural because, frankly, I am cheap. I picked up the first four seasons at a Black Friday sale for like eight dollars (American) a piece, and sat on them for a few months before I finally watched them. Once I did, I was hooked! I started watching live right around Swap Meat and stumbled across fandom thanks to insomnia and late night Wikipedia browsing. There was no going back after that. This is my first real fandom, and even though I have diped my foot into others, It is my home. And for the record, I am a self declared Sam!boy/ Jensen!boy.
My background: I was always a doodler, since grade school. The first thing I remember really getting into and trying to draw were Disney characters. When I was growing up, they had this limited run of Coca Cola cans with Disney characters on them; I would spend hours trying to draw those exact images. Shortly after that, I got into comics (mostly Marvel) and started trying to draw the characters from the Marvel Universe Trading Cards and then coming up with my own. I only took a few art classes in High School, and since they didn't offer distance learning art college courses, I pretty much gave it up after that.
When I first got into fandom, I was strictly an author. It was only when I was running into issues completing one of those Bingo Challenge squares, that I decided to draw something again. When I noticed that we had a Disney-themed challenge, j2_everafter that I got really excited about doing fan art. And since then, I have been more so focused on art than my writing-- which is perfectly fine by me.
My tools of the trade:
Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet
Manga Studio Debut 4
Corel Painter Essentials
Painter Tool SAI (just barely got this and haven't played around with this all that much yet)
It may not seem like it when I get into it, but I mostly spend my time in Photoshop. But I absolutely hate drawing my final lines in there. I prefer to use Corel for my pencils and Manga Studio for inking. Corel's pencil tool is one of the closet to graphite looking tools I've found. I also find Corel a hell of a lot easier to blend colors than Photoshop. And I absolutely adore the autocorrect pen tool setting in Manga, it just looks so much crisper than if I try and ink in Photoshop.
I am still relatively new to doing art digitally, so I pretty much stick to basic brushes and tools. I try and challenge myself to learn something new with each piece I do. Most of what I have learned is from reading books and watching/looking at tutorials. And a huge shout out to maichan for showing me the basics of Photoshop and coloring. Even though she will deny anything, she has the patience of a saint.
Pardon the sloppy GIF, it was my first time trying one. Anyway, I start by making a rough shapes and then start the actual drawing. I will keep tweaking the line art until I am satisfied and from there I am either done or I will ink. Then I will start blocking in colors using the lasso tool, each area on its own layer. I use A LOT of layers. When I am done with that it looks pretty much like an abstract piece, as seen in the GIF, before I clean it up with the eraser. This is where I move to Corel to add shading and highlights. Then it is back to Photoshop to play with the layer settings and add textures. And that's that.
A note on references and tracing: As many fan artists do, I use both as tools, depending on what I am doing. I have always been a visual person, and have a hard time just seeing things in my mind and translating them to paper. It really all depends on what I want the finished picture to look like. I have a huge cache of reference photos and use them often.
As another quick note, I absolutely hate doing backgrounds, and will try to avoid it whenever possible. I'm lazy and impatient, okay!
The rest can be found at my Art Masterlist .
Thanks again to oxoniensis and the rest of the spnroundtable team. It really is an honor. And most importantly thank you to you all, for indulging me in my geekiness and spending your time with me.