Can you help me paint a drip­ping wet char­ac­ter?

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q&A -

July 2016 Mai To­bray, Canada

Sara replies

When I ap­proach a draw­ing, I like to imag­ine its back-story. For this ar­ti­cle I choose to rep­re­sent a mer­man who’s climbed out of the wa­ter to lis­ten a girl while she’s read­ing a book.

I choose a point of view slightly from above, which en­ables me to show the mer­man’s wa­tery en­vi­ron­ment, his re­laxed pos­ture that he adopts while lis­ten­ing, his tail, part of the boat and the girl. I place her on the side of the im­age, so that the mer­man re­mains the fo­cus of the scene.

Next I sketch the back­ground, so I can choose where to place the pri­mary light source. Its po­si­tion is cru­cial be­cause of the re­flec­tive sur­face of the sea wa­ter. Then I add the waves and the back­ground rocks.

Now I can start to paint the mer­man. I choose a slightly cool shade for the skin be­cause most of the char­ac­ter will be in the key light shadow and there’ll be a cool blue colour for the am­bi­ent light. I don’t in­tro­duce too many high­lights be­cause later on I’ll de­fine the body with a shin­ing colour to sim­u­late wet skin.

I paint wa­ter drip­ping off my mer­man us­ing a Scat­tered brush and a light colour.

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