by Mark on January 2, 2010

Happy New Year to everyone!

It seems like making a post about your process is the cool thing to do. So when I painted my Christmas card I took a few pictures as I went along. I didn’t go to great length to get good photos of the process, but they give you a pretty good idea what is going on.

First, I made a few corrections to the drawing that I posted earlier. Once I scan it into Photoshop I adjust the color of the line to either a warm or cool color depending on the painting. I basically do a quick color study under the line drawing in photoshop. I set the basic values and colors at this step. For this painting everything has kind of purple cast to keep that cool feeling. You could go a lot further at this point than I did, but I prefer to do most of the work in paint.

After I’m done in Photoshop I printed it out on some 13×19 Epson water color paper. I gave a few quick coats of workable fixatif. The ink in my printer is very waterproof or else you have to really coat it with workable fixatif. Then I stretch it like you would any other type of watercolor paper.

In the end pretty much all of the digital painting won’t be visible, but it helps to speed up the process, and gives you some direction. I use acrylics and usually start from the furthest point and work my way forward. For me it helps me keep control of values, and you don’t have to worry about painting around things as much. Also if I paint the funnest things first then I run out of motivation to paint everything else.
Here’s a detail where you can see that I’m not very concerned about over painting things in the foreground.

I keep moving forward. The buildings are a good example of how in paint I refine things but the digital color still peeks through here and there. Basically the same concept as toning a canvas.
The values are off in this picture, but at this point I’m starting to refine the main characters.
Once everything is painted I spend a little more time making all the small adjustments. I could do this forever and would more than likely eventually end up ruining the painting. So after a bit I usually stop myself and call it finished. (click on the image to see it a little bigger).

Here are a couple details shots.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerry January 4, 2010 at 4:34 am

This is so cool. I guess I just imagined you sitting down to a plain white paper and painting until you get what I end up seeing as the finished project. Thanks for sharing some of your process – no wonder you spend 20 hours a day working!!


Frank January 5, 2010 at 11:41 am

beautiful piece!
great to see the process.


Alexandre HONORĂ© January 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

realy nice ! i enjoy the step by step of a picture. Thanks for showing us the process of your work !


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