72 Soften your painting style
Enter the bittersweet and melancholy world of Fiona Meng, as she explains the techniques she uses to ‘softly paint’ a pin-up figure
Fiona Meng depicts a pin-up with a difference.
People know me for my smooth renderings and graceful figures. After reading this workshop, you’ll know all my secrets of how to paint softly.
Usually it takes me two weeks to paint a pin-up image like this one. The painting itself takes about a week. I then like the art to sit for a couple of days after it’s finished. During which time, I try not to look at or think about the painting, which enables me to come back to it to carry out the final alterations with fresh eyes. Ideally, I’d stretch out the alteration period for as long as a month, leaving the painting to rest for a good two weeks. At this point, my mentality is that if I can wait this long to just have a fresh second look, I’m going to make my artwork great, regardless of how time-consuming the changes may take.
I end up doing 95 per cent of the painting in Photoshop, and five per cent in Corel Painter – in essence, the blending stage. The latter program does a wonderful job of mimicking real paintbrushes, but that’s not something I’m into, so I don’t use it as much. In addition, some larger brushes may take a while to render, especially toward the end of your painting process when you already have a large file.