New artwork in progress

Here is a private commission ‘in process.’  I thought it might be interesting for some to see my current method for doing a painting like this one.  Sorry in advance for the quality of the pictures… I just periodically snapped a quick pic to show progress:

The first picture shows the original sketch that I sent to the client plus the drawing transferred to the painting surface via pencil sketch.

The second shows me having basically ‘blocked in’ the environment in greys and blacks.  I learned the hard way that it is much easier to paint what goes behind something first (which seems bleedingly obvious now that I know it).  I also added some indications of shadows.

In the third picture, I have blocked in the ‘local color’ of things.  I.e.: if the warrior’s tunic is yellow, I paint it yellow.  It has a little shape from the blocking in background stage (where I added some shadow detail — which was me skipping ahead but it doesn’t really matter now)

In the fourth picture, I am adding some shadows and details.  I still have a ways to go, but one can see it starting to take shape.  I hope the client likes it!

12 Comments on “New artwork in progress”

  1. mikemonaco says:

    Oh, sweet … there’s that Heritage Dungeon Dweller party again!

  2. JRT says:

    (comment deleted by blog owner)

    • limpey says:

      You can keep trying to post, but wordpress allows me to filter comments by name, user, ip, etc., so all of your comments just go right to trash. I’m just posting this as a courtesy to let you know that there is no point in posting here.

  3. Jack Colby says:

    Nice… old school yet still vibrant.

  4. Jonathan Chappell says:

    Great job. I really like the sense of looming, shadowy tunnels and encroaching darkness.

  5. wilmanric says:

    Very nice. I like the composition a lot! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Fearless DM says:

    Hey there, great work! What are you using for black, by the way, is that acrylic or ink? I assume the other colors are acrylic.

    • limpey says:

      I’m using acrylic for black, but am always looking to improve/change my methods for better results. It seems to take 2+ coats with acrylic to get the depth of black I want — got any suggestions? I thin the black a bit to get rid of brush strokes in the black areas (where I would find them distracting). I blew most of my money on an airbrush recently but have not had a lot of success in my experiments with it yet — still learning the ropes on that new tool.

      • Fearless DM says:

        No, I was hoping to crib off of you, haha. 😉 India ink thinned with water (and even watercolor) is more my style, but I don’t get any where near your depth. Anyhow, this is all great stuff, I’m a fan.

  7. limpey says:

    Fearless DM: Have you tried ‘gouache’? (not sure if I am spelling it correctly). It’s been years since I have used it, but I remember being able to get really nice dark-darks using black gouache. It’s like watercolor and you just thin with water. The one thing I didn’t like about it is that I couldn’t paint over it easily (I make a lot of mistakes and often go too far with hatching, etc.,, so I have to go back in on my BW stuff with china-white to fix it; I remember the gouache just turned muddy grey when I tried to work over it).

  8. Jeanne says:

    Hey! I migrated over here from your comment on my blog and was drawn to your process stuff because I looooove process. And mine is basically the same as yours! I was actually going to post something the other day about coming to the exact same conclusion about painting the background first and thought “duh, everyone but me knew that” but no! it turns out someone else was carefully and needlessly painting their background around all their little foreground details. As for super black black I specifically use Pelikan Plaka because I’ve found it to be super dark and reproduce really well with a minimum of brushstrokes (especially at a small scale). It’s a casein paint and works similar to gouache (which is also really good for deep black) in that it’s crazy opaque (you have to thin it with water to even use it) and dries totally matte.

    Also nice work!

  9. limpey says:

    Thank you for your compliments; I have been admiring your paintings since I found your blog a while back. I’m going to have to try the Pelican Plaka, then. I’ve never used a casein paint. I’d like to do more work that isn’t ‘illustration’ in the strict sense, but have been having trouble fitting everything else in. Today, for instance, I have to fix our roof (sigh).

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