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Improve your art know-how today!

video lessons and more! art resources to help you create Watch artists in action and study their art in-progress

in-depth tuition

World-class artists share their skills and knowledge in easy-to-follow steps

drawing advice From getting your values right to conquering how to draw hands!

how to draw & Paint in pencils, oils, acrylics & more! Discover new ways to draw and Paint in pencils, oils, acrylics & more!

From taking your first steps in sketching and drawing, to painting stunning images in the medium of your choice, we’ll help you get better at creating art


20 pages of

drawing skills

How to draw drapery and folds on figures Paint emotive art in watercolours

Invaluable lessons in values, anatomy, form and colour

Get inspired by the Rococo style Explore fantasy art in your paintings Creature creation masterclass

Learn to paint

Discover new ways to start painting unique faces and stunning compositions!

146 pages of art and advice

get started!


easy-to-follow art advice: get more from acrylic paint be passionate about your art create better creatures be bold with your pen strokes control your values get started in watercolours paint portraits in oils perfect your pastels

Pastels Tips and tricks to get the best out of these vibrant tools

Watercolours Simple steps to help tame this tricky medium


the art of nature How the Pre-Raphaelite art movement changed the world

IFZ22 2015

Pencils How to approach mark-making in graphite

We take a look inside the toolkits and working spaces of professional artists


inside art studios


core art tools

The pros and cons of pastels, pencils, watercolours and more!

Artists reveal the spaces where they create art

This is my main rolling art taboret – its original function was as a rolling kitchen cart. It holds my palette, which I made to snap into its extendable shelf, the brushes I’m currently using, and my mediums.

I’ve filled my rolling cart – and former TV stand – with paint, rags, brushes and other regularly used items. You’ll usually see a cup of tea there, too.

Tom Kidd

A comfortable chair for reading manuscripts. I do a lot of book covers and book illustrations, so I do a lot of reading and historical research.

This is my main computer, stationed on a rolling platform. I can tether it to my camera to photograph art. On the rolling platform is a Wacom I use mainly for colour sketches and the occasional finished piece done digitally.

My iPad and computer are used for reference, importing photos, research, music and audio books. Bluetooth headphones sit on the computer.

Paint engineer The sci-fi and fantasy illustrator says a studio is a machine for making art, which is why he’s just built his own… As a fantasy artist, my job is to imagine all manner of exotic things, and then make them believable. Having done this for many years, I felt I had the skills to build a custom studio. I visualised myself in the space, imagined it working exactly how I wanted. The town I live in – New Milford, Connecticut – has snowy winters and


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warm, humid summers. I’ve built a studio with that in mind. My workspace was built to fulfil both my traditional and digital needs. I primarily paint in oils, but still need to get my work onto my computer to send it off for publication. I need good light, plenty of space – primarily to back up and look at my work – and a high ceiling to accommodate the extra big jobs and my oversized easel.

To photograph my art I use a digital camera. It’s tethered to a computer on a rolling cart so I can monitor my shots. For drawings and watercolours I use a scanner. I paint standing up, so my computers are set at eye level. Often I’ll import my art to see it in reverse or to test colour schemes. Everything in the studio is on wheels or sliders, enabling me to adjust things for whatever project I’m working on.

Artist’s Studio Tom Kidd A ceiling fan keeps the air moving and disperses unwanted distillates, but I’m actually quite careful with my mediums. It also helps keep me cool in the summer.

The ceiling has five fluorescent ‘cloud’ lights that give me the correct light wherever I’m working, placed so my shadow isn’t cast on my painting as I work.

A well-worn easel built to hold large paintings. The ceiling height here is 14ft. It would be a bit awkward, but I could do a painting 24ft wide in this studio.

I use this old computer as a turning monitor that enables me to look at pictures vertically, and for scanning and playing a slideshow of pictures to put me in the mood of what I’m painting.

My studio has been designed to be usable throughout the year.

My old studio is now used for matting, framing, storage and as a library. I also sell original paintings, so it’s nice to have a separate area for crating them up for shipment. I try to keep only the things that I’m currently using or use regularly in the new studio. I have an outside deck I use for drawing on nice days, and a covered area beneath it used for doing messy work such as

sanding and gessoing. At the back of the studio, I have cabinets and closets to hold paintings, supplies and photography equipment. Heat and cooling comes from air conditioners, but the studio floor is heated separately. I like to ensure my studio is a pleasant place to be. Tom has won seven Chesley Awards and one World Fantasy Award for Best Artist. You can take a look at his art at www.spellcaster.com/tomkidd.

This is for doing drawings, watercolours or flat work. I also move it next to the easel and use it to hold printed references.

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Drawing skills


Ballpoint pen


Drawing hands from life They’re often cited as the most difficult part of the human body to depict, so there’s no such thing as too much advice, when drawing hands from life or observation


ecause of its sophistication and incredible range of movement, the human hand is complex to draw. When I draw complex forms, I like to simplify as much as possible, especially when drawing from life. To begin, I prefer to first note the outer shape. I look for key landmarks such as the knuckles, fingertips and the bones of the wrist, then I draw a shape that captures the outer form.

Once I have the hand blocked in, I refine my drawing by adding details, anatomy and fingers. I also want to note the gesture of the form using simple marks, such as straights and C-curves, as much as possible. These help me to capture the gesture and to construct my simple shapes. The fingers are a unique challenge, because they can move in a variety of ways, which can make the pose very complex. To simplify this, I like to group

Materials n Smooth newsprint paper n Carbothello pencil, black (or Conte B) or Willow charcoal sticks (medium grade) n Kneaded eraser n Ballpoint pen n Sketchbook

The face is equal to one length of the hand (tip of middle finger to bottom of palm)


Focus on the shape


Basic proportions

I begin by first observing the outer landmarks and imagining a geometric profile that resembles the outer shape the hand makes. A simple box, circle or triangle is often enough to capture and describe the essence of the hand as a whole.

I compare the size of the hand to the model’s head and their forearm, which helps me achieve accurate proportions. The hand, from middle finger to wrist, is roughly the size of the face. When outstretched, the hand is akin to the length of the forearm.


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The forearm is equal to one length of an outstretched hand

the fingers as much as possible. I’ll often begin with the wrist and palm only, then group all the fingers together into one mass. When I have time, I’ll then refine the drawing by separating the fingers and adding details. To make the hand feel solid and threedimensional, I’ll emphasise the structure using simple 3D forms such as boxes, spheres and cylinders. I’m keen to define corners and planes because it helps when I’m ready to add lighting and shading.

Artist insight Hands Depict finger as tapering box forms


Grouping fingers

To simplify the hand, I group as many fingers as possible. This is known as the glove technique. I first imagine the fingers contained inside a glove, and then begin the drawing with the simplified glove shape.

Add curves and tapering cylinder forms for contrast

Top side: Straights

Palm side: C-curves


Top: Straights

Repetition practice

Palm: C-curves


C-curves and straights

Straights and C-curves help me capture the gesture. Because the top of the hand and fingers are bony, straights work well. C-curves are better suited for the underside, though, because the palm is meaty and fleshy. These marks quickly give the feeling of a lifelike, organic form.

Draw 100 hands from observation, at 5-10 minutes per drawing. Use a model, or draw your off (non-drawing) hand.


Tapering block forms

I use tapering block forms to help me construct the hand. All forms on the body naturally taper, including the hand. Block forms are ideal because of the bony nature of the hands, fingers and knuckles. They also help to show form by defining corners and plane changes.

artist insight Mirror imaging For practice and self-study, I like to draw my off hand using a mirror. This simulates drawing my strong hand, and gives more variety of hand poses.

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Core skills


Get more from acrylic paint

Acrylics are tough, versatile and flexible – fantastic on their own or integrated with other materials. Read on to understand the medium better...


crylics are one of the key mediums I always have in a palette, ready for use. You can apply them thick, right out of a tube, or water them way down and spray them through an airbrush. I begin most of my mixed media paintings by laying down a watercolourlike wash for my underpaintings. It dries


Set up your palette to stay moist

Paint can be squeezed out on anything, but if you plan on working for several hours/days on a piece, save time and money by setting up a palette you can cover to keep the paint wet. Sta-Wet plastic palettes seal with an airtight lid and have a wet sponge in the bottom with an acrylic film above that. I prefer porcelain butcher trays, which I cover with a larger piece of glass for the lid. Line the sides with folded paper towels and spritz with a spray bottle.


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quickly and won’t wash or lift off, like watercolour or gouache. You can then bring into play other mediums on top of the wash. I frequently use oil and coloured pencils. Acrylics can be used on many surfaces, including paper, fabric, wood, collage, papier mâché, silk screening, plaster and masonry. The main upside is also a downside: acrylics dry so fast! The key is


Choose your brushes

Acrylics can be applied with anything from fingers to an airbrush. However, if you’re going to render a piece, I recommend natural and synthetic brushes. For small paintings I use a range of brushes: rounds (#1-3, 8, 12), flats (1/2 inch, 1 inch), and filberts (#2, 8). Rounds are good for controlled washes, small details and thin to thick lines. Use flats for large wide areas, bold strokes and clean straight edges. Filberts are a combination of the two and work for blending, as well as creating soft, rounded edges.

The main upside is also a downside: acrylics dry so fast!

to keep your paint wet in the palette, and don’t let it dry in your brushes. To reduce the speed of the drying paint on your media of choice, try adding a few drops of an acrylic “retarder” or gel to increase the working time – either can work well. Some brands of acrylic have a heavier saturation of pigment, creating strong brilliant colour. Some of the brands I use are Nova Color, Liquitex and Golden.


Explore new techniques

The methods of working with acrylic are numerous. As with any media, experimentation is key. Apply it thick from the tube or watered down into washes and glazes. Try adding texture by mixing sand, plaster or sawdust into the acrylic, and paint with that. In addition, experiment with pressing various objects and textures into the paint and then imprinting that onto your surface. Paint with a knife, or flick and spatter the paint. Practise achieving a smooth blend between two colours.

Get started Acrylics

Play around with acrylics Knives, leaves and sand are all handy tools for getting the most from acrylics A. Graded wash



First, load your brush with paint and begin your strokes, then load your brush with clean water and stroke to achieve a layered, smooth gradient. Don’t try and correct any mistakes at this point, and use your whole arm movement to get good long strokes. It’s better to load more paint than less at the start.

B. Mixing glazes and glazing over texture Mixing thin glazes – layers of transparent paint tinted with colour – is a great way to make small adjustments to your work’s colour and hue. Glazing can lift a painting, it can also be used to mask mistakes, and when it’s done over a texture it can enhance detail and textures.

C. Gradations with a retarder



Because acrylic paint dries fast, it’s harder to achieve those subtle variations in tone that you would with oils. Adding a retarder, such as Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid, helps to lengthen the paint’s drying time. Blending with a bristle brush can produce a textured but smooth feel, while blending with a moist brush in long strokes will result in a smooth transition.

D. Imprinting Acrylic is versatile and can be used with everyday objects to create unique textures to paint into and over. For example, leaves can be painted over for texture, while heavier items can be painted on and pushed against the paper to create unique patterns in the paint over multiple washes. So let your imagination run wild. One person’s rubbish is another’s treasure.


E. Splatter on dry and wet Hold the bristle up and away from the painting and rub your fingers from tip to base for a fine spray. Experiment with brushes and bristle thickness for different results. Using the same technique on wet paper will diffuse the paint; have a go at blotting the spray or using masking tape to create hard and soft edges.



F. Impasto Gel and a palette knife Apply thick layers of paint from a tube and use the palette knife to sculpt the paint. Using the flat of the knife, scraping with edges and smoothly juggling it can create unique textures. You can use an Impasto Gel to add volume to the acrylic, which will also produce an oil paint feel.

G. Texture with sand This is a great way to add texture to acrylic paint, which can dry very smoothly. You’ll need to use clean silica sand and, when mixing, go slowly to avoid bubbles forming in the mixture. When applied to your acrylic with a palette knife, this is an easy way to build up texture.


H. Wet in wet and over dry to build texture Painting over and around wet paint can yield great results for building texture. However, using acrylics in this way means you’ll need to work fast before it dries. Conversely, you can drag a dry brush across dried paint to catch flecks of colour on the high spots, building colour and texture incrementally as you go.

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profile Tuomas Korpi

i p r o K s a m o Tu

so is a , g n i t e k r a m pts for e for yourself… e c n o c s e t a e r c Se s a . s t m o p e u c T n o r c o t k a c r i t Illus ing qu h c t e sk t a d n dab ha

News From The Horizon line art

“A more developed line art drawing of one of my thumbnail sketches. Sometimes I scan the thumbnail on a computer and start refining the line art in Photoshop, and sometimes I prefer working with pen and inks.”


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Country: Finland Toumas is a 27-year-old production designer and illustrator from Finland. He has worked professionally in entertainment and VFX since 2005, and now has his own animation and illustration studio, Piñata. Most of the work he does is concept art or marketing illustration, and his clients include major VFX and gaming companies, individual directors and ad agencies. www.tuomaskorpi.com

Sketchbook Tuomas Korpi

Tree and a cauldron

“Just something more carefully rendered. I like to do this every once in a while.”

“I try to think of the big picture right from the start. Rarely do I go straight in”

Thumbnail exploration

“Some super rough thumbnails, exploring composition. My sketchbook is pretty much filled with this stuff. I try to always think of the big picture right from the start. Rarely do I go straight into drawing or thinking of the design.”

Vrouw Maria

“A colour and lighting sketch for a painting of Vrouw Maria, a Dutch merchant ship in the 18th century. I usually start my more finished illustrations with these rough sketches to block in the lighting and key colours.”


“Here is a set of sketches from one of my Moleskine sketchbooks. My sketchbooks are usually more like notebooks for scribbling down random ideas and madness than full of beautifully rendered and illustrated stuff.”

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Workshops get your resources See page 146 now!


watch the video!


Paint a rococo inspired Faerie

Fantasy illustrator Annie Stegg is inspired by classical Rococo art to create a woodland faerie using traditional oil paints. Follow her process…


he 18th century Baroque Rococo painters have always been a big inspiration to me, and their work has been a crucial influence on my own method. The romantic atmosphere, the dreamlike palette, and lively brushwork all contribute to creating a wonderful atmosphere of enchantment. This period was one of the first times in art history that painters sought to truly transport us to different worlds and fantastic places. This is something that I strive to recreate in my own paintings. Though I have been painting all of my life, my professional career didn’t take off until 2004 when I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art. I always try to push myself in my artwork, using both 2D and 3D mediums to create unique, whimsical characters inspired from folklore, mythology and nature. Art is just another way to express an emotion or


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ideal; a visual method of communication that depicts things that words cannot express and connects people through insight. Hopefully in this tutorial you’ll gain some insight into how I aim to achieve this goal. In this workshop I will discuss how to illustrate a scene in oil that has the classical, Rococo sensibility to it that I mentioned earlier. This is a fantastic way of painting that you can adapt to your workflow. You will be learning how to use an underpainting to achieve a lighting effect that captures form and volume. After establishing the underpainting I will be showing you how to use glazes to enhance the colours and create a jewellike effect for your painting. Finally, I will show you how to apply details that bring your characters and their world to life. I will be working in traditional oils for this painting, but the principles I will be showing here can be applied to other

Materials PAINTS n Gamblin oil paints Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow, Titanium White, Sap Green Hue, Phthalo Turquoise, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Payne’s Grey, Napthol Scarlett SURFACE n Ampersand Gessobord Gessoed hardboard BRUSHES n Isabey Isacryl Round #0/2, #0, #1, #2, #4, Flat #2, Bright #2, #4, Filbert #10 MEDIUMS n Walnut Alkyd Oil

mediums as well. Art should not be defined by the medium used but by the message the artist is communicating. Don’t be afraid to try oils out, even if it seems scary at first. Every time you push yourself and experiment, you improve and expand your own abilities. Annie Stegg lives in America and has been painting since childhood. Her clients range from videogame companies to fine art galleries to private collectors. www.anniestegg.com

In depth Rococo faerie

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critter creation masterclass Cory Godbey offers up a series of tips and thoughts to help you turn imaginative mythological beings into identifiable characters


hether you’re exploring an exaggerated human form or adapting existing animals, few things are quite so visually satisfying as a well-realised mythological creature. From trolls, selkies and mermaids to gryphons, ogres and dragons, monsters from folklore have one foot in the fantastic and the other in the mundane. Learning how to effectively translate the reality of what you see in front of you for imaginative


Creating a theme


Gathering reference

purposes is an essential element in the creative artist’s toolkit. It might sound counter-intuitive at first, but by grounding your work in reality you can create a more real, believable and ultimately more interesting creature. Why do we like goblins and trolls? Because we can connect with a human element at work. Fantastic beasts? Gryphons can help us to see with fresh eyes the real world magic and majesty of eagles and lions. Everything from the enchanting undine to the sneaking goblin, all

extraordinary creatures have grounded, natural world, identifiable elements at play. But how do you get there? What does it take to create a creature? Here are a few steps I follow to bring in fantastical, creature-centric elements into my work.  Cory creates fanciful illustrations for picture books, covers, comics, editorials, animated shorts and films. Most of all he seeks to tell great stories with his work. He also likes to draw monsters. www.corygodbey.com

© iStock.com/roclwyr

When I’m planning a new creature, that piece is usually in the context of a larger body of work. I prefer to think and plan my work around a new series of related images. The benefit of taking this approach is that I can explore different visual relationships in a body of work, not just a single piece. Furthermore, it helps satisfy my desire to draw a lot of monsters! I usually actually write down my ideas first.

You can’t reconstruct or exaggerate what you don’t understand. Gathering reference is key for developing your understanding of any given subject. This stage is crucial, and harks back to our first idea: exploring the human form or adapting animals. By studying real-world anatomy (whether through life drawing or photo reference), you help to create a working visual vocabulary for yourself.


Practical Painter © iStock.com/AStargi rl

Artist insight Critter creation

Create studies of real life animals. Are you exploring giant birds? Research the staggering variety of avian examples and find one that fits


Real animal or human studies

Once you’ve settled on a creature, the next step is finding real-life examples and drawing studies. Are you exploring dragons? Mermaids? Giant birds? From your reference, create studies of real-life animals. Dragons? Draw lizards and snakes. Mermaids? Take photo reference of a friend and then draw a series of studies. Giant birds? Research the staggering variety of avian examples and find one that fits your plan. Focus on drawing and studying – don’t worry about adapting yet.

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Disc contents

You’ll find videos of artists painting their amazing art, close-up images of their works-in-progress on the canvas, sketches and training video samples on your disc. watch these videos

Rococo-inspired faerie

See how Annie Stegg uses oils to paint this delicate female character in a woodland setting.

Loose character portrait Cynthia Sheppard reveals her thought process as she paints a literary character using oils.

PLUS: sketches, wips and final art Examine the process images from our artists’ workshops.

Watercolour skills

Discover the techniques that Kev Crossley uses to bring his watercolour art to life.

Contact details

Reader artwork: fxpose@imaginefx.com Postal address: ImagineFX magazine, Future Publishing Ltd, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA, United Kingdom Disc problems? Email discsupport@futurenet.com, visit www.futureplc.com/disc-support or telephone +44 (0) 1225 822 743 and ask to speak to Disc Support.


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Plein air painting

James Gurney references real-life buildings as he designs and paints fantasy structures. Your disc has been thoroughly scanned and tested at all stages of its production, but we still recommend you run a virus checker and have an up-to-date backup of your hard disk. Future Publishing does not accept responsibility for any disruption, damage and/or loss to your data or computer system that may occur while using this disc or the programs and data on it. In the unlikely event of your disc being defective, please email our support team at discsupport@futurenet.com for further assistance. If you would prefer to talk to a member of our reader support team, please call +44 (0) 1225 822 743.

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ImagineFX Bookazine 22 Practical Painter Sampler  

ImagineFX Bookazine 22 Practical Painter Sampler