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Digital Painting

This was my process for creating The Zodiac: Gemini, part of my Zodiac series. My painting style tends to change a lot, though for consistency’s sake I’m trying to keep to the same style for the series. I used Adobe Photoshop CS5 for this process.

Anyway! Here goes …

I started by opening a new canvas at the size and resolution I wanted (A3, 300dpi) and filled the background with some colour. On top of the background, on a new layer, I drew a sketch of how I wanted the painting to look.

On another new layer, underneath the sketch, I block in the basic colours that I’m going to use.

I then threw on some more colour tones, and started to really build up the painting. I reference lots of photos of faces to help me choose good skin tones, and to help me figure out how lighting should work.

Once I’ve finished picking my colours, I start to focus in on details. I like to start with the eyes, and other facial features.

From this point, it’s really a matter of refining what I’ve got on the canvas. I use a paintbrush on a low-ish opacity (around 30-40%) to help me smooth out the blocked colours.

I usually paint the hair on two separate layers, one for hair that falls behind the face, and another for the hair that falls in front of the face. Keeps my painting easy to adjust if needs be.

I adjusted the brightness and colour a little to liven the painting a little, and to make it better fit the rest of the series.

At this point, I decided the hands really weren’t working for me so I got rid of them, and began a new idea of using braids to create a “connection” between the twins.

Repainted the background so that the darker hair was more visible, and added golden strands of fun-ness (I like painting hair).

Almost done now! I added some white backlighting. Probably not entirely realistic, but that’s ok, I’m not going for realistic.

Adjusted the brightness one more time, added some final touches and finished!

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