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Tag: digital painting

Cat Progress


Continuing on the animal theme, a cat! My little boy loves cats for some reason, so I have been drawing a lot of cartoon cats for him lately, so naturally this lead to a compulsion to draw a finished cat too.


Initial drawing.


Laying in some values.


Lots of work in digital pencils. Unfortunately I forgot to save more progress shots in between these two, I actually did a quite a bit more work in values before starting on the detail pencil work.


Trying to bring order to the messy strokes. Then added fine detail to reach the final image.


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And Her Name Was Susan


So here’s a a little Pratchett fan art piece I did, of Susan Sto Helit as Death. I don’t do fan art very often and when I do I prefer doing characters from literature, as I feel that gives me a more interesting creative challenge then going off from a visual design someone else has already come up with. I’ve always thought Susan was a fun character so it was interesting to visualize her.

This turned out to be a lot harder than I thought, as when I started I had this nice vision of having a fleshy face visible with the skull just showing through it as nice and white, sounds good right? I just couldn’t get it to work visually, as you’ll see in the progress pics, so I ended up just going full skull. A more symbolic and less rendered approach might have gotten it to work, and I’m now almost sad I didn’t go that way now. I also ended up having trouble with the character in another way. In the books she’s described as “pretty, in a skinny way” so at first I made her, well, pretty. But I really didn’t feel like the character was just “a pretty face” and ended up in a sort of conflict with myself over it. In the end of course I sidestepped that issue with the more prominent skull.

Here are the steps.

1. Pencil sketch


2. Value sketch on top of pencils, and trying out the color scheme.


3. Played with color until I found something that felt right, Tried to make character less cute – now she just looked grumpy though.


4. Adding more skull, not feeling good.


5. Abandoned fleshy face as not working, went all out skull. At least she feels scary now! Spent tons of time studying ravens, and then painted it in. At this point raven takes way too much attention, so started to doubt my bg and values


6. Redid the cloud shapes in the bg, and tuned the bg darker and lightened the hair – now the attention is back on the character.


Final. Added some secondary lights, refined the clouds and other details.


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Broken Forest Progress



I haven’t had a lot of changes to do painting lately, with Sproggiwood nearing finish and all, so I was really happy to get my (digital) brushes out for this one! This is an illustration for a story scene in the game depicting a “horrible future”. This picture was actually first asked for few years back already when we started development on the game, but as the story evolved the need was scratched. Through the magic of iteration it made a reappearance this fall, so I dug out my old sketches and promptly scrapped them.

It turns out I have learned something about painting the past two years, because this time I had the sense to start with drawing before jumping to paint.


This is the thumbnail sketch I picked from my efforts.


Scanned the thumbnail and added digital values. I probably could have gone a bit further with this one, I had a few problems with the value composition later on.


Printed out my value sketch at around 20 – 30 % opacity and drew the final line work on top of that. I’ve found this is a neat way to avoid having to use my light table that I paid lots of money for. Honestly though this is a lot faster, and the slight values underneath my drawing help me to visualize the whole thing in three dimensions.


Here’s the color scheme settled, I knew from the beginning I wanted something that would feel a bit oppressive and strange, so yellow/red/purple was what I had in mind. I don’t usually try out different color schemes for pieces, since my original concept of a piece always comes with color in my mind, then I just need to work at achieving that feeling in paint.


Continued with blocking shapes out and changed some drawing details. Started working from the background out, so that’s almost final at this point.


Giving everything a second pass with more detail pretty much.


Finally added some details, drew the river out and added some line work on top of the piece for emphasis on a whim. Originally when I imagined the piece I saw it as kinda sketchy and scratchy, and the lines seemed to work well to bring that about.


Sproggiwood Promo Art Step by Step

Here are the steps on the Sproggiwood promo art, as you can see it was quite a complicated picture to work with. I started by doing a simple 3 value composition based on a pencil thumbnail, then added simple color and lines on top of that. I think the first steps actually have quite an interesting ink drawing look, it’s feels bad to loose that to go to the painting.

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After I had my greens more lively I went back to photohop and upped the contrast, as I felt I’d lost it. I was originally going for cold light/ warm shadows, but eventually realized I just couldn’t create convincing sunlight that way.

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As you can see the tree trunk at the lower right was a another trouble point, I REALLY liked how it was coming along, and yup, it was definitely a problem for the composition. Usually things you like too much end up being the problem areas. As it was supposed to be a simple framing element and not a focal point I eventually decided to get rid of it all together and added in some rocks instead.

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The slimes ended up being extremely tricky to paint too, for the simple reason that it was incredibly hard to find any reference that would apply. I can hardly buy jelly at the store here, and all the jelly photographers seem to think white background and photographic lightning are the bees knees. I think taking that into account the finished result actually looks surprisingly good.

Another time consuming bit was the pile of leaves, you wouldn’t think that it would be hard to find good reference pictures of them, but for some reason people don’t seem to think that seeing the details on leaves is important. As it was a focal point I really wanted it to look right and interesting, though I suspect I might have overdone that a bit.

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Here is the supposed final, with the mockup title.


And the actual final after some further tweaks , clarity and contrast.  I really wish the next painting I do won’t be full of leaves and grass, because I need a break!

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Sproggiwood Promotional Art



Finally done! This was a real fight, but now it’s over. A promotional painting for an indie game project I’m a part of, Sproggiwood. As I don’t plan to do a lot of different paintings for promotion, this one is designed in a way where we can take different cross sections and still arrive at interesting graphics that represent the game well. The actual painting has extra space for the title on top, but I prefer to cut it off here, as there is no text yet. I’ll do a post a bit later on the steps this took, but for now I just want to rejoice in the fact that it’s done.

You can watch some steps along the way on livestream

For more info on Sproggiwood see:


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Tree Bark Tutorial

bark_sample                 tree bark tutorial

I have made another tutorial! Whew they are hard work. I tried not to fall into the “here watch me do a thing one way and get no use out of it whatsoever” -trap, instead I want over the basic building blocks you need to consider when doing bark, and how a few different situations will affect your outcome. Hopefully it will have something useful for everyone. Click the thumbnail to read the tutorial.


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Old tree and a Fairy

Did a tree painting, watch the whole painting process on livestream at

This was a really fun experiment on a more spot illustration style, I’m really happy about the way the framing came out. I love old trees and don’t paint them nearly often enough. This was also in foreshadowing of the tree bark tutorial, coming soon!




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Some more cupcakes, drawing food is so much fun.

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Joined Livestream!



I created my own livestream channel yesterday, and managed to record an hours worth of painting too. Check it out

Word of warning to anyone else wanting to join, the livestream page you end up at first is the “new” livestream, which is bad, you want the “old”  livestream, that is good. You can find it at the absolute bottom right of the page, asking if you have an old livestream account, click log in, then click create account.

Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see me paint!

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Worldmap progress


Here is a step-by-step progress for the creation of the Sproggiwood worldmap I posted earlier. I needed to figure out a good way to represent a worldmap divided into four different regions: forest, swamp, mountains and glacier, with each region except the glacier having three dungeons each. I could have good for a really simple, more symbolic background and more complicated dungeon entrances, but I wanted to paint something for a change so I went for a complicated painting in the background and simple buttons in the foreground -approach.

I started by figuring out how to divide the map into the proper areas, and briefly toyed with outlining them in a few ways for extra clarity. I didn’t really like the look of the outlines though, so I resolved to differentiate the areas without having to resort to outline.

The general color scheme evolved pretty naturally, except for the forest that I had to really fight with to find a look I liked. I tried to avoid drawing individual trees at first, but eventually realised I need to know the shapes I’m trying to simplify, and there simple isn’t a shape to the forest without the trees. I still kept them as simple as possible, but they were the major time sink in this piece.

The mountains and glacier are probably tied for my favorite part -spot, I’d love to do some more of those. I foresee more need for forests though, they seem to crop up everywhere!

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