This was a practice piece I did last summer. I was trying to practice painting on the computer since I hadn't done much art for about a year. (Seriously, I had to spend a year taking only general ed. classes - long story short not all associate degrees transfer...) It was probably the worst year I've ever spent in school. Anyway, I was transferring schools and was worried that I'd forgotten how to even draw. (It could happen!) So, this was practice so I wouldn't embarrass myself at the new school. I did a few sketches and picked one that I liked:
First, I sketch the drawing with a col-erase pencil, usually magenta or cyan. Then I do a line drawing over top of that with a super soft (6B-8B) pencil.
I scan the drawing into photoshop and remove the color-sketch in the Hue/Saturation menu by adjusting the lightness of that particular color. I do a few more adjustments (like levels, erasing stray lines, etc.) and then I set the layer mode to multiply. I chose an old paper for the background to add a little texture.
I started painting the BG first because I knew I wanted to use this blue color and set the mood with it. I like the way art nouveau has color washes, so I think I was going for that look. What I did here is select everything I want to apply the color to and made a layer mask over a gradient of the blue. I use layer masks all the time. Same thing with the texture, it's on a layer with the same layer mask as the gradient.
Again with the figure - layer masks. Once I make a mask for what I want to color, I don't ever have to worry about staying in the lines and I can do fast gradient or texture effects on a specific area if I want to. My favorite brush to paint with is the very last one in the dry media library. I usually set it to a low opacity.
This is really kind of a long process and I'm not really sure if I like it that much. It's probably not that much faster than traditional methods, but it's way easier to make changes. There's so many ways of doing the same thing that I wonder if I'm not doing things the long way.
So, here's the finished piece. I'm not completely happy with it (that drawing - yikes!), but I've definitely done worse. I learned a lot about digital painting by doing this piece and it helped me dip my feet back into the digital-water.