Step by Step: Bringing dragon and rider to life
1 Creating thumbnails
I always start with rough sketches, to help me figure out what the basic layout will look like. When I’m doing them I think about placement of each of the key elements and how to bring attention to the focus. I usually do these in ballpoint pen in my sketchbook, or digitally.
After I find an idea I like, I proceed to a slightly more refined sketch. I start to think a bit more about form and what, practically, is going on. This phase enables me to spend some time considering the precise camera angle, lighting, graphic design of the composition, and maybe some values.
3 Colour and oil
Once I’m happy with the sketch, I add colour. I do this either with gouache or digitally using Photoshop. I like using digital media during this phase because it’s easier to make adjustments to the overall colour scheme. Between the digital colour comp phase and the oil painting, I’ll gather my reference and transfer my sketch to a surface that I’ve prepared.