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Tag: painting steps

Finnhorse progress



I decided I really ought to add some horse power to my portfolio, since I’ve spend such a long time studying them, but currently had nothing to show for it. This was also a convenient excuse to give digital pencils a try, and to see if I could get traditional looking results with them.


The initial drawing. I knew I was not quite happy with the head, but knew I’d better catch an expression I liked in paint then with line, so I didn’t worry about it too much at this stage.


Initial values laid out with a broad brush.


Threw a gradient map filter on top of the black and white to get a ground of color.


Color worked in. lots of lots of small strokes with digital pencils. Time consuming but strangely satisfying. I was actually really happy with this version, but alas I had decided to paint a finnhorse, and the coloring was just too yellow to pass off as a breed color, even with artistic license. The horse is a bit elegant for a finnhorse too, but since there’s so much variance in the breed between the different uses, I felt I could pass that off better. I do love palominos though!


Did another gradient map to adjust color, and worked on the color until I was happy with it. Added fine detail. Fine tuned background from this to reach the final image.


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Fox Final in Mixed Media


The final piece of the personal project done! As with the other two latest ones the fox ended up requiring two tries at the final, the first when ending up not satisfying me color and value wise. It was best of the first tries however, so for a bit I toyed with the idea of just letting it be the final, but ended up redoing it with the rest in the end.

Now that the artwork for the project is finally finished starts the hard phase of letting go and moving on to new things. As this one has been a really intense project with the new stylizitation and the test with new materials the fact that it’s done and finished has an even bigger effect. I’ll probably write a post mortem of the whole thing and what I got out of it in a bit, once I can view it better from a distance.





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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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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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