Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Commercial Sniping - In a few steps

This is my newest contribution for The Circuit Magazine to accompany part 3 of 3 articles on the history of sniping. After staying relatively loyal to the concept for the first 2 articles I got slightly more adventurous for this one, as you can see. Although the weapon is the British Army's L96A1 sniper rifle!

Anyhow, I just thought I'd post a few shots in progress of my process for creating this piece to accompany the ScreenCast I recorded of the illustration (which you can see on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojPjantpr5Q )

Step 1 - Initial concept thumbnail.

After playing around with a few poses I decided to keep as much relevance to the subject and article as possible (considering the lack of it in the character) I went with the traditional prone position but still wanted to emphasise the characters seductive curves, which brings the focus directly onto the buttocks!

Step 2 - Defining the Character

Next I decided I wanted an exotic looking female and used photo reference of beautiful curvy women of Caribbean origin. and penciled out my idea and scanned it into photoshop at 600dpi before reducing it to 300 at the painting stage. Notice, I don't really go over board on the sketch and prefer to build it up as I progress through the painting stage.

Step 3 - Colour Flats

Using the pen tool to create selections of anatomy and accessories I fill them all with the paint bucket tool and keep th
em on independent layers to give me greatest flexibility later on.
In addition I paint in a rough background to link it together and in preparation for choice of light direction.

Step 4 - Airbrushing

Using the selections I'd made earlier by keeping all opposing areas on separate layers I use a large, soft edged brush at a low opacity to first apply shadows and then highlights to pinpoint light direction and start to brin
g depth to the illustration.

Step 5 - Background
I now decide its time to build up the background and I virtually spin it around and paint it in reverse to the original concept. Again using the pen tool to build the basic structures and then an airbrush to lay colour and light direction down fast before using a more hard edged brush to add some texture. I also work in some accessories such as the goggles on the helmet, the drink, dossier, bino's and ammo tin.

Step 6 - Fine details/finishing touches

I finish off the painting by adding a few layers of a deep bronzing, orangey colour to the flesh areas. I paint in shadows, foreground foliage, slightly alter the expression and finally add some highly effective camouflage paint to her skin. Now she's hot and ready for action.

Acquire, Aim, Squeeze, Kill, Mojito to go!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Mathew Screen Cast (Callums World)

The first of four screen (art) casts recorded during the painting of Callum's World.
This features Callum's son Mathew. Initial sketch was done with paper and pencil, scanned into Photoshop CS4 at 600dpi with the rendering done at 300dpi in CMYK.

Callum's World

A recent commission I completed for a 50th birthday gift. Callum and his family being the subjects of this caricature. A new first for me with this piece was to record my progress using Screen Cast. It was more a test run to get to know the software and definitely not intended to be a 'How to'. However by recording my painting and then re watching the compiled video I have learnt an awful lot about my technique and have identified lots of areas where I should improve particularly in productivity. Feel free to watch the vids and comment. will be upload soon.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Roza Shanina

One hot but deadly chick. Roza Shanina is one of the most famous female snipers in Russian Folklore. Notching, amongst her battlefield kills, 12 enemy snipers. She was one of five siblings who went to fight in the second World War. four of whom, including Roza never returned, dying in combat in the final months of the war. But what she achieved during her short yet impressive sniping legacy will remain engraved in Russian history. My tribute, commissioned for the latest edition of The Circuit magazine.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Democracy Interrupted

This painting was commissioned by someone working in Afghanistan and he wanted to immortalise his time over there. His request coincided perfectly with the shambles that was the elections and the announcement of Karzai's eventual and somewhat unconstitutional (perhaps?) victory and re-election to President. Hurrah for democracy! Though thats all in the past now, quickly forgotten about and life goes on.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Apparently I do animals now too!mm

A recent commission I was asked to do of someones Father. I've always tried to steer away from animals and pets when doing caricatures as you often find that they are subject to more meticulous scrutiny than their human counterparts and you rarely ever win. However, I apparently did quite well with this one. I particularly enjoyed the cow,... 'Bluey'!