Be­fore we get go­ing

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Brush pal­ette

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.

Face paint!

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.

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