Saturday, June 9, 2012

Serafina & Firenze - Work in Progress

I just wanted to show a step by step process so far of my Serafina & Firenze piece! This is a commission that I'm working on for a client who wanted me to draw a fire witch. Eventually, we are going to do all of the elements. We are going to feature each witch with their familiar. The fire witch has a phoenix of course! It should make for a very fun series!

I am fairly far along in the painting process so far and hopefully only have a few sittings on this painting left. If you want to stay up to date with all my work in progress photos, be sure to join my Facebook Fan Page! I post frequently there, almost daily, with updates as to what I'm working on.

Below are photos from the sketch stage to the stage where I'm at now for Serafina & Firenze.

Initial sketch - Made a few changes from the very original sketch. You can see some parts have been pieced together to create a finished drawing. Sometimes this is necessary, especially when working on a commissioned piece.
I'm starting the linework in Photoshop. I create all my lines in Photoshop to make them crisp and smooth. I use these lines on my final watercolor paper and for my coloring pages that I sell.

Finished the lines in Photoshop for Serafina.

Working on the lines in Photoshop for Firenze.

Finished linework in Photoshop.

Here is where I print the lines very lightly on my final watercolor paper. I then re-ink the lines with a dip pen and brown ink. You can see that the lines are only partially done in this photo.
Started on the background. I used salt to create a nice textured finish for the stone.

After I get the background partially finished, I move onto the witch. I don't want to make the background too dark or over work it. So I like to work on the darker parts of the foreground first to make sure everything will work well together.

Painting stripes is so fun! I usually start on the striped tights, because they're my favorite to paint.

I also love to paint fabric!

In this photo, I have finished the darkest parts of the foreground. The rest of the white parts will either be the same colors I have going on now or will be lighter. So I feel confident that I can go back to the background and finish that up. I like to work dark to light when using watercolors. That way if I get any dark colors on the areas that are supposed to be light, I can easily lift them out with some water and a napkin without messing up any painting that I've done.

Working on the brick work.

Here I've begun to add shading and aging effects to the columns and carvings. I decided to literally drip water and pigment to make the columns look nice and aged.

My client wanted the carvings to look gilded. All of the elements will share the same background, so we decided we wanted it to look like a regal meeting place that is hundreds of years old! So that's why we went with the gold/aged look. Gold is always a tricky color to create without metallic paints. Here, I used a bright yellow as a first coat and followed up with a dark orange/brown color that I painted on and used a napkin to sponge off some of the color. It's a little difficult to see in this photo, but it created a nice effect!

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