Okay. I admit, the illustrations shouldn't have been given a second look, but it matched with the rest of our stuff. Come on, it came on the VBS CD. . . so, yup, I used it.
Basically, here is the skinny. I saw a coloring/texturing technique that I really liked. The Thompson Brothers have done it on a couple of their recent pieces, and I thought, "Hey, we can spend hours painting huge murals, or I can color this guy and print it out on a bunch 11x17s. Then just cut and tape. No problem. Here is the style that I was going for. Now, here are the illustrations (Photo Group & Canoe Trip) I had to work with. Nice, huh. Things aren't starting out well.
I grabbed textures from the best free texture source on the net--Mayang's Textures. And went to work. I popped all my textures and my illustrations into Photoshop and started to color. I listed the process for any designers who would like to know...at the end of the article.
Here is the result. There is nothing like stretching what you've got to make it work to save time and money. Hah.
The Canoe Trip
Using to the best advantage some big leaves, patterned cloth, rock textures, and watery bubbles, this piece somehow ended up with a psychedelically billed toucan sitting in a tree above a neon orange animal. Notice how I grabbed the color from the tiger like animal to color our friend, Mr. Goldfish.
The Photo Group
Borrowing from the file name that the creators left me on the CD of artwork, I dub this piece, The Photo Group. Aptly named, because as you can see two characters getting their picture taken by a woman in some sort of a robe coverall suit. Unbeknownst to all the humans in the picture, that is a dangerous cheetah and poisonous viper. Nothing like teaching our kids to be careful around deadly animals in the Jungle by patting wild felines on the head and smiling. Further, I don't believe that the smock-wearing-picture-taking lady is aware of the monkey's plan to knock her in the cabosh with that coconut of justice. You never know what will happen in the jungle, folks.
1. Found the textures that would work with my image. I looked at what needed textures, and I started hunting for stuff that would work.
2. Dragged the textures onto my open illustrations in photoshop. Thus creating separate layers for each different texture.
3. I put the illustration layer on top with multiply turned on.
4. I popped a brown paper bag texture across the whole back.
5. After I had the textures in general position, I started chopping. I did this by selecting with a magic wand the area in the illustration layer that I wanted to isolate, then selecting the inverse, and hitting delete. To get the colors the way I wanted, I would select that isolated area again, create a new layer and fill with a color.
6. I kept isolating with the magic wand, deleting and coloring till I got the finished product.
7. Every once in a while, one of the areas ran into another. I grabbed my paintbrush tool, and zoomed in. I hunted for the gap that was causing the problem and closed it up with the paintbrush. Then I selected what I wanted and continued isolating, deleting and coloring.