Step by Step: Don’t be fear­ful of making mis­takes

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Artist Insight | Rhythm And Shape -

1 Sketch the idea

I start by lay­ing down a num­ber of ges­ture sketches, try­ing to come up with an in­ter­est­ing and un­usual shape, work­ing up to a tight sketch. I of­ten use photo ref­er­ence but in this case, as with most of my crea­tures, I enjoy paint­ing com­pletely from imag­i­na­tion.

2 De­velop the lights and dark

Once I’m happy with it, I trans­fer the fin­ished draw­ing to the board and then ap­ply acrylic for the un­der­paint­ing, which es­tab­lishes the lights and darks in the im­age. This also helps to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing back­ground, as well as help speed up the dry­ing process later on.

3 Ap­ply oils to unify the scene

This shot shows the first pass with oil. I fin­ish with oils to unify the colours, mould the forms and work out the de­tails. My tech­nique varies with ev­ery paint­ing, be­cause I’m al­ways ex­per­i­ment­ing, of­ten fail­ing – but it’s th­ese screwups that of­ten lead to the most in­ter­est­ing re­sults.

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