Step by Step: Laying the groundwork in Photoshop
1 Arrange the components
This sketch is to work out compositional elements and details. Once I know what’s needed, I can begin to collect reference: period clothing, lost pet signs, posed photos and so on. All my preliminary work is done in Photoshop using Kyle T Webster’s brushes (www.kylebrush.com).
2 Tighten all the details
Still in Photoshop, I create a new layer to tighten up the drawing. This is the stage where I look at my reference the most, either pasting images directly into the document or using a splitscreen. I then add another layer (set to Multiply) where I work out a rough colour study.
3 Transfer and paint
Using an Adjustment layer, I make the image a very light orange to mimic a burnt sienna underpainting. I print out the drawing on thick watercolour paper at 13x19 inches. I sometimes do a monochromatic underpainting, but here I just start painting, mostly washes at first.