Neon Futurism and Digital Drawing with Francisco Galarraga

Fancisco Galarraga’s futuristic scenes are decorated with neon tangles of circuitry, geometric spaces, and patterns of light. He talks to us about his layered drawing process in creating these vivid fantasy illustrations.

Using digital effects and techniques in which he draws directly onto the computer, Francisco incorporates a vivid, electric quality that is fitting for his imagined characters.

Below, Francisco takes takes us through the various steps of working on a project. By breaking down down the stages of his drawing process into layers, he has developed a custom, flexible approach to digital drawing.

My process for illustration is entirely digital, from sketching (in Photoshop or on iPad) to final in PS. Once I have an interesting thumbnail, I’ll look up reference pictures to get more accurate drawings.

I have this process where I try to draw each element in a separate layer, that way I can move them around if the final drawing doesn’t work out as I intended in the sketch.

Then I’ll start ‘digitally inking’ in Photoshop, where I try to get as much detailed as possible with the linework. Regarding color, here is where I try to be as playful as possible, using patterns, textures, even filters to achieve different effects.

Regarding traditional materials, I’m currently focused on learning how to oil paint, and my sketchbooks are where I use ink, pens, markers or pencils the most, mostly studies from life.

I love drawing with quill pens, and I also enjoy the accurate drawing detail that you can achieve with traditional etching.

© Francisco Galarraga, 2016

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