First I lay down the base – the foundation for the vegetation – and then layer the levels of details on top. I try to use varying colours with similar hues and tones to add vibrancy, but keep things simple. I ensure my brushstrokes follow the direction of the design/gravity. Now I add the details to the base. This takes place on a new layer so that it’s clean and editable. This is my chance to expand on the core idea of the plant’s nature and appearance. I make sure that I use a lighter colour compared to that of the base. Once I’m happy with the levels of varying vegetation, it’s time for the detailing and finishing stage. This is where I add individual plants and leaves to areas that will indicate the design of the whole thing. A few more finishing touches and the image is finished.
I start by painting a structurally accurate skull. Emphasising the dramatic recesses that are present in a more representative skull can add to its visual impact. Look for aggressive shapes that are already present in a skull. Play up the concavity, and the aggressive angularity of the cheek, eye-socket and mandibular recesses.