How we create… Highly detailed art in stages
1 Making sketches
We produce three sketches for the client. We tend to spend more time at the start of the project developing the sketches, because we don’t want to rush things and then have to come back and fix any mistakes later on. Planning the picture and spending the extra time at the beginning saves us hours in the end. It also gives the client a clearer idea of the direction that we’re going in.
2 Producing the final drawing
Once the composition has been chosen we proceed to the final line drawing. In this stage we try to fix any problems in the drawing and, if necessary, add better and more dynamic solutions. In this case this could be twisting the scarf or feathers, for example. We can’t emphasise enough how useful a final, approved line drawing is. At the end of the day, if you can’t draw it, then you can’t paint it!
3 Light and colour pass
We block in the colour and make masks to preserve the clean shapes. Then we add the lights with a layer in Color Dodge or Hard Light layer mode. We try to be aware of only making one light the dominant one, and keeping the other ones subtle. Key light, bounce light, diffuse and, finally, rim lighting are all added.