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Allan Macdonald, Sketching
One of the things many students of design ask is how to achieve the fast and
speedy but still neat line work of the pros. This quick tip should help!
Watercolour rendering technique
In this tutorial Max Shershnev shows us his technique for producing sketch
renderings using watercolour paints. An unusual technique that is not often
seen in the car industry, but one with dynamic results.
Sharp reflections on the bodyside, which are
slightly at odds with the feel of the sketch, are softened and blended to
make the surfaces easier to read. Some light is thrown onto details around
the grille and a suggestion of a driver and dashboard is added using a dark
colour on an overlay layer. The headlamp pods are toned down and given a top
surface and highlights are applied to the bodywork. The last thing added is
another overlaid airbrushing of bronze colour to the bottom half of the
vehicle. This creates the impression of earth tones being reflected in the
bodywork which blend into the blue tones of the sky.
A door shutline and an extra bodyside feature is
added which forms a rearward fin which, incidentally, work aerodynamically
together with the adjustable "ears" to optimise airflow over the trailer and
also function as airbrakes (inspired by the Fastech 360 bullet train).
Further sharpening, tyre detail, a badge and
some refinement of the edges is done at this stage. A gradient overlay is
applied left to right to add depth to the background and more overall
contrast to the image. Although it's placement is clear, the rear wheel is
left as a suggestion to enhance the feeling of sharp focus at the front and
soft focus at the rear. This is another way of adding depth.
More dramatic lighting is added at this stage
along with some grille features and headlamps. The general form of the
bodywork is sharpened up a little and the wheel is reworked to a dished
directional design. An orange glow is shown reflected in the far edge.
Showing light hitting the edges of the form enhances it. You may have found
this to be true for photography or computer renderings as well.
With a coarse hair brush the edges are softened
by merging the background tones with the tones of the vehicle. This is a
technique of portrait artists such as John Singer Sargant who observed that
often there is no sharp line where foreground objects meet the background
but more of a seamless blend. This is what gives much of the softness to the
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