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

ImagineFX - - Workshops -

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.

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