Before we get going
I scale my colour rough to nearly twice the A3 300dpi required before I start painting over it. It’s always best to work larger than you need – finished art can always scale down, but scaling up causes image degradation. I now divide this rough into four layers: base colour, circular background, water and Mr Beefcake (‘Beef’ to his friends). I’ll create many more as I work.
I start with the face, usually the focal point of a painting. I have a desk mirror, which, thanks to a fortuitous seating arrangement, has my reflection lit exactly the same as my rough. While I’m far from rugged and not what you’d call handsome, my face is serviceable reference for details. I have photos of other faces to help keep things both barbaric and good-looking.