Monday, September 1, 2014

The Conjuring

So I am in the final stretch of getting everything ready for Illuxcon in 2.5 weeks and I though it would be cool to show a little bit of my process on how I completed this most recent oil painting.  This was a piece that I have been working on and off on since May, it is my first oil painting in about 9 months or so, I have to say it felt great to getting back to painting in oil and smelling all of those wonderful toxic fumes, I had a lot less fun constantly picking out dust and hair from my image as I was working on it, that is probably at the top of my list of things that I hate most about painting traditionally, (and the fact that you cannot use adjustment layers!) 
At my previous job working in the mail room of a law office I had lots and lots of down time either during my hour lunch or towards the end of my shift (I worked closing shift) and I would spend that time drawing in my sketchbook.  I have almost an entire sketchbook of drawings from while I was at my day job, many were pieces that I wanted to elaborate further and turn into finished pieces.
In May I finally got around to scanning the images into my computer and begin turning some of the sketches into finished pieces and 1 small sketch/doodle caught my eye, I thought there was something interesting in the sketch that made me want to develop the image further.  This is my initial sketch from my sketchbook.

I then started to gather reference and refining my drawing, the initial inspiration for this piece was a sample Magic the Gathering card, (I am a huge fan of the game and have always wanted to work for Wizards of the Coast illustrating cards for Magic).  I was imagining a Blue creature or spell, that the character is drawing energy to cast powerful magic or sorcery.  With that idea I went about expanding the image, making the horns more graphic and ornate and adding a torso and hands so my evil sorceress isnt just standing there with a scowl on her face, that she was actually doing something. 
I made this rough line drawing in Photoshop, paying extra close attention to the face and hands.  In this stage I wanted to get all of the major forms and proportions in place.  I then printed this out on my 13X19 printer and printed it on newsprint, I then used a light box to transfer the line drawing onto bristol paper so I could render the final drawing.  I do it this way so I can make changes to the drawing without the lines from the printed image getting in my way, there is nothing worse than being half way though a finished drawing realizing you want to make a change to the drawing but realizing you cannot because you are drawing on top of your printed line drawing.

After hours and hours of drawing (and even more hours) I finished my drawing and scanned it back into the computer and began playing around with color and getting a color under painting.  I kept it really lose, I used all multiply layers and never painted on top of my drawing so the pencil lines stayed visible through or on top of the color under painting.

After I was happy with the colors I then had my image printed out onto watercolor paper from a local printer.  I then mounted the drawing onto a piece of hardboard or masonite using matte medium.  I then coated the top of the piece with matte medium and I began to render the final image with oil paint.  And after several weeks and some long hours painting I got to my final image here