This drawing was rendered using Adobe Photoshop (CS2).
Although I have used Photoshop for quite some time, a vast majority of what I have done over the years involves the repetitive task of prepping photos for offset and digital printing. Only the occasional project has taken me much deeper into Photoshop’s powerful array of weaponry. Before this piece, I rarely used Photoshop strictly as a drawing or painting tool.
It has been said that most Photoshop users only tap into a very small portion of the program’s capabilities. Perhaps somewhere around 5 or 10%. Definitely I too fit into this category.
Anyway, getting back to the beetle. This project was an attempt to get in a little “drawing” practice, learn new techniques and explore some of the features of this robust application that thus far have eluded me. Since this was just a study in texture and light, I had more freedom of experimentation creating a mostly imaginary beetle, than if I would have tried to draw a specific species, though I have incorporated elements of several known beetles.
The finished file contains over 75 layers to achieve all the desired textures, shadows and highlights. I started with a blank file, and created the entire image using only the tools within Photoshop, with one exception. I scanned a grapefruit, and used it for a texture on the large semi-circular area adjoining the head (pronotum). The grapefruit may be hard to spot because it is only one of several textures and filters employed to create the effect I wanted.