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Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Costigan" painting step-by-step

What the heck- I took the photos, I kept notes and I used my Foundry paints to do the illustration of the bareknuckle fighter, so here's a short, basic step-by-step of how I went about it.

I'm not the best at illustrating the human form, so I searched the web for a few images of boxers in the pose of the final piece (I knew what I wanted to paint, how it was going to look, I just had to actually do it.) Once I got enough photos together, I used Photoshop to essentially make a digital collage of various parts of different photos and constructed the fighter I wanted to paint (and, like a dumbass, I didn't save a copy of this "collage.")
Then I made a printout of this piece at the size I was going to paint it.

Meanwhile, I primed a pre-gessoed masonite panel (8"x10"; cost just a couple bucks at Hobby Lobby) with some black craft paint. While the paint dried, I took the printout of my fighter and, on the backside of it, I rubbed the side of a white colored pencil all over the paper, thoroughly covering it (you could probably also use white pastel or chalk or white charcoal; colored pencil was all I had at hand.) Now lay the printout -- penciled side down -- against the masonite board (make sure the paint is dry!) Holding the printout flat and steady, use a pencil, pen or scribe and trace the lines of the printout. This will transcribe a basic line drawing to your masonite board. Now we can paint!

Under each of the following pictures, I simply state which colors I used. If you try something similar, it's up to you what colors you use and how you apply them. Since this piece was inspired in part by the works of George Bellows, I only used my crappy drybrushes to lay down the paint; I wanted an impressionistic look to the painting- something that had bold strokes when you look up close, but that all came together when you pulled back to look at it as a whole. This is a similar method I use for my painting my minis. OK, on to the few quick pics:

In the first frame, I start with a base of Foundry Red Oxide shade 102A, then jump to Red Oxide 102C.  I just laid down the color in large patches; I did not blend any of the colors. A good way to prevent yourself from blending is to wait for each layer to dry before going on to the next layer (at least with acrylic paint.) Make sure to leave the shaded areas alone (let your black base show through. As with the lack of blending, this helps to create a high-contrast piece.)

Here I started using the flesh colors I use for my minis, going with Privateer Press (P3) Khardic flesh, then
Foundry Flesh 5B. I skipped my usual step of Games Workshop Dwarf Flesh; I wanted the painting to be high contrast.

I switched to a smaller brush and added strokes of Games Workshop Elf Flesh and then Foundry Flesh highlight 5C.  I stippled some red here and there to give the fighter a little more life (you can especially see the red on his nose and cheeks in the final image.) I used some gray and white to pick out strands of hair and add smoke in the background (the other inspiration being the "Smokers" boxing game in the pipeline.) The pants are Foundry Storm Green- I kept them low-key (low contrast) to emphasize the fighter's upper parts (face and fists.)

Done! I enjoy this technique. It's not too difficult (ok, yes, maybe you need some basic drawing skills), but it's the color and the way it is laid down that I think makes this painting. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice use of Chiaroscuro.