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146 PAGES OF INSPIRATION AND PRACTICAL ADVICE! VOLUME 2

HOW TO DRAW & PAINT IN PENCILS, OILS, ACRYLICS & MORE!

MASTER NEW ART SKILLS

FREE

WORK-IN-PROGRESS SHOTS AND VIDEOS

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IN-DEPTH TUTORIALS INSIDE!

Top artists show you how to get the best from acrylics, gouache, oils and much more

IMPROVE YOUR...

DRAWING EXPERTISE

ARTIST INSIGHT

Masterclasses in anatomy, colour and composition

Charcoal Find out how to improve your sketches

LEARN NEW TECHNIQUES

ALLA PRIMA

STILL LIFE

LINE ART

Capture the light and sculpt forms

Simplify complexity and think in colours

Make pen-and-ink more dynamic

Acrylics Tips and tricks for going further with these vibrant paints

Watercolours Easy ways to make more of this versatile medium


Volume 2 All our email addresses take the form [firstname].[lastname ]@futurenet.com EDITORIAL Alex Summersby y Editor Alex Duce Art Editor ImagineFX EDITORIAL Claire Howlett Editor Daniel Vincent Art Editor Clifford Hope Operations Editor ADDITIONAL IMAGES iStockphoto © iStock.com/art_of_sun/Nicolaiivanovici/ Erdosain, ©iStock.com/EHStock, McBadshoes ADVERTISING Clare Dove Commercial Sales Director +44 (0)1225 687226 Michael Pyatt Advertising Manager +44 (0)1225 687538 Chris Mitchell Account Executive +44 (0)1225 687832 Clare Jonik k Head of Strategic Partnerships +44 (0)20 7042 4108 PRINT & PRODUCTION Vivienne Calvert Production Controller Mark Constance Head of Production Jo Crosby y Senior Ad Production Co-Ordinator CREATIVE BLOQ – ONLINE Craig Stewart Editor Kerrie Hughes Associate Editor Dominic Carterr Staff Writer LICENSING Matt Ellis Head of International Licensing MANAGEMENT Rodney Dive Group Art Director Matthew Pierce Editorial Director: Games, Photography, Creative & Design Aaron Asadi Creative Director, Magazines Zillah Byng-Thorne Chief Executive Text and cover printed in the UK on behalf of Future by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd Distributed by Marketforce (UK) 2nd Floor, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5HU ImagineFX is the registered trademark of Future Publishing Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Practical Painter is a special edition of ImagineFX magazine. Our aim is to help artists improve both their traditional and digital art skills. For more information please turn to page 28.

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Peter Allen &KLHIÀQDQFLDORIÀFHUPenny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)20 7042 4000 (London) Tel +44 (0)1225 442244 (Bath) All contents copyright © 2016 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA, UK. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage.

We are committed to using only magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been interdependently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)

Are you a passionate painter, a dabbler, or just getting started? Whatever your level, we’ll help you improve your art skills and add to your know-how. In this special edition from ImagineFX magazine, top artists share their tips, tricks, advice and techniques to help you master your medium of choice. From animal anatomy to oils, from colour thumbnailing to charcoal techniques, from rendering the folds and textures of different fabrics to getting what you need from a photoshoot, our experts will guide you step-by-step. Want to experiment with a new medium? We’ll show you how get to grips with watercolour, acrylics and gouache, and help you choose the right materials for you. Want to learn from the professionals? You can work along with our artists as they employ a range of mediums and techniques in our in-depth workshops (and in most cases download work-inprogress images to study, plus some videos). And if you just want to have a nose around their studios, four leading artists welcome us for an exclusive look inside their workspaces. Enjoy!

lex A Alex Summersby, Editor

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Gallery 06

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Traditional artists An inspiring showcase of the finest artists around

Artist’s Studio 20

Inside artists’ workspaces Take an exclusive peek inside leading artists’ studios

Core Skills 30

Sketching basic animal shapes Brynn Metheney helps you capture essential forms

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Understanding skeletons Getting the skeleton’s shape and gesture correct

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Depict muscle groups accurately Simplify complex muscle groups into basic shapes

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Drawing animals in action Use line of action and gesture to pose animals

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Depicting animal colour and detail Capture the colour and ornamentation of animals

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Colour thumbnailing Devise an effective colour scheme from the start

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Using a master artist’s palette Paint using the palette of a 19th-century master

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Using the colour of your imagination Paint with colours from the imagination

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Techniques

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Rendering form using colour Use colour temperature to render forms

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Dave Kendall explains how to choose the materials you’ll need and shares some tips on using them

Preparing to paint with gouache

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A compact painting kit for painting indoors and out

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Painting a street scene

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Painting from life alla prima Capture a live model’s subtle skin tones in oils

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How to paint with acrylics Brynn Metheney helps you get started with these versatile, vibrant and affordable paints

Capture the essence of a street scene

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How to paint with watercolours Brynn Metheney shows you how to get the best results with this sometimes-tricky medium

Still life painting techniques Paint in simplified shapes and colours

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How to choose your art materials

Going further with acrylics Illustrator Terese Nielsen introduces some more advanced and experimental acrylic techniques

Using light to tell the story

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Different lighting creates vastly different moods

How to paint with gouache It combines the flexibility of watercolour with the flow of acrylics. Brynn Metheney explains all

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How to mix paints Kev Crossley explores colour theory and shares some tips on ways to mix various kinds of paint


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Workshops

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Bring a fantastical fairytale to life Tran Nguyen gives us insights into creating our cover image using acrylics and coloured pencils

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15 ways to watch the world Somnath Pal explores learning through empathy and observation to create engaging, realistic art

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Painting wet into wet with gouache Bao Pham mixes watercolour techniques with gouache to create a peaceful and vibrant painting

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Create motion effects in pen and ink Socar Myles demonstrates an ink technique that favours value over line, to create beautiful lighting

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Improve your charcoal art Squeeze greater artistic expression out of charcoal and blenders with techniques from Patrick J. Jones

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Improve your watercolour art Inspired by painters of the past, Omar Rayyan focuses on colour, lighting and composition

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Draw accurate bones and muscles Stan Prokopenko helps you get to grips with the human skeleton and muscle structure

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Paint the familiar afresh Michael C. Hayes uses movement, light and scale to evoke a sense of awe in a familiar subject in oils

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Get more from your life models Patrick J. Jones takes us behind the scenes of his photoshoots and shares his tips for useful results

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DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE RESOURCES… WORK-IN-PROGRESS IMAGES AND VIDEOS Study our artists’ image files in detail, and watch them work in exclusive videos • BAO PHAM See this watercolour and gouache painting evolve in time-lapse

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

• JUSTIN “CORO” KAUFMAN Watch a striking oil painting start to take shape Wherever you see this symbol, there are resources available for you to download

Master the drama of chiaroscuro Create more dramatic lighting in oils and acrylics using traditional techniques, says Patrick J. Jones

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Painting the clothed figure Figure painter Jane Radstrom reveals her method for capturing folds, patterns and fabric textures

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Embrace gold leaf and oils Rebecca Guay exposes the secrets behind her stunning, unashamedly romantic artwork

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Create line art for a colouring book Kev Crossley shows how he produces his detailed line art based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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Get in touch with nature using oils Work in layers with Justin “Coro” Kaufman to create a striking, realistic but almost abstracted painting

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Sergio Lopez LOCATION: US WEB: www.themainloop.com EMAIL: sergiolopez@themainloop.com MEDIA: Oils

“I enjoy discovering new vistas,” says Sergio. “Setting up my easel. Creating a piece on the spot. There’s no better way to discover the truth and essence of a scene than by standing before it and studying it carefully.” The Santa Rosa based artist is equally enamoured with the female form, his still-life oil paintings alive with colour and swathed in light. A compulsive sketcher, Sergio’s work is a compelling mix of observation and imagination. He’s exhibited paintings throughout California, around the US and in numerous publications.

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ANGEL FACE Oil on linen, 22x30in “This painting was shown in Sarasota, Florida, for the American Masters Invitational Show. I was really proud to show alongside some big names in the fine art world, such as Jeremy Mann.”

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PARHELIA Oil on linen, 30x24in “This is part of another series of mine, Natural Patterns, which has also been well received.”

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Gallery Art showcase 2

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Heather Shirin LOCATION: US WEB: www.heathershirin.com EMAIL: info@heathershirin.com MEDIA: Acrylic, paper and gold leaf

Heather paints Art Nouveau portraits of women, influenced by the works of Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt. She works out of her home studio in Asheville, North Carolina, and her current series focuses on using fine art papers, metallic paints and gold leaf to create the women’s hair, clothing and the background designs. “I’m interested in abstracting the figure into the background,” she says. “I also want to incorporate the idea of being in outer space – using nebulas as a colourful and interesting place to find someone thinking.”

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NETTED BY THE DANCER’S TOUCH Acrylic, fine art paper and variegated gold leaf on birch panel, 60x48in “Painted in Golden OPEN Acrylics with layers of paint watered down to soak right into the raw wood, like watercolours. I built up the skin tones and then applied a thicker paint layer for the hair with metallic paint added, and fine art papers used for their dresses.”

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SHE KEEPS ME WARM Acrylic and gold leaf on birch panel, 40x30in “This was inspired from a photo by Matt Schmidt. I changed the girls’ hair, background and tattoos using Photoshop and a projector. Tattoos and piercings, coupled with an erotic theme, was pushing the limits for me to see how brave I could be as a fine artist.”

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Gallery Art showcase 2

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HEAVENLY VIEW Acrylic and gold leaf on birch panel, 40x30in “My nude figure series focuses on women in an Art Nouveau style, usually in space. This woman is born into a nebula, and has a highly decorative styling done to her hair. This piece was reported on Facebook for nudity recently. Fine art is still finding its way into the mainstream without being perceived as offensive.�

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Alessandra Pisano LOCATION: US WEB: www.alesspisano.com EMAIL: alesspisano@yahoo.com MEDIA: Oils, liquid acrylics, egg tempera

Alessandra has loved art since she was a little girl, when she would spend her time drawing mermaids and unicorns. Many years later and not much has changed! “I really only work traditionally. I just really like having a physical painting when all is said and done, one that can be put in a fantasy frame and be touched. People can get up close and see all my brush strokes.” Alessandra studied illustration at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, and has been working professionally for the past six years. “When I’m not painting I enjoy belly dancing, the odd video game, or playing with my fur babies!”

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SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS Oil on MDF board, 16x27in “I mean, who doesn’t want a giant fluffy potentially vicious fur baby to hang out with all day and nap on?”

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MARIE LEVEAU Oil on MDF board, 16x22in “Marie Laveau is New Orleans’ most famous voodoo queen. She was known for her 100 percent success rate with love potions, as well as many other things. People would come from all over to seek her out for help. I’ve been fascinated with New Orleans and all its culture and history – and particularly the voodoo queens – which is why I felt compelled to paint her.”

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THE WATER DANCER Oil on MDF board, 30x40 in “I tend to paint a lot of belly dancers because along with being an illustrator I also belly dance. It’s something that inspires me and I like incorporating it in my work. When I can add some magic elements to the dancers – well, then you have the best of both worlds!”

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Gallery Art showcase 2

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Martin Wittfooth LOCATION: US WEB: www.martinwittfooth.com EMAIL: info@martinwittfooth.com MEDIA: Oils

Toronto-born artist Martin earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. That was back in 2008. He still lives in New York – with homes in both Brooklyn and Woodstock – and has gone on to exhibit his art throughout the US and Canada. Numerous publications have printed Martin’s work, including cover features in Hi-Fructose, American Artist and New American Paintings. He also teaches art and has lectured at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto and The Museum of American Illustration in New York City.

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NOCTURNE 1 Oil on canvas, 72x48in “I exhibited this piece in a group show at the National Arts Club in New York City called Nocturnes.”

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INCANTATION 7 Oil on canvas, 75x69in “This was included in a 2014 solo show, called De Anima, along with Montrealbased artist Jean Labourdette.”

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Mary Ancilla Martinez LOCATION: US WEB: www.maryancilla.com EMAIL: mary@maryancilla.com MEDIA: Oils An Albuquerque native, Mary now works primarily in oil and paints out of Los Angeles. Her work, she says, “focuses on exploring the concept of humanity’s capacity for growth and potential.” The artist explains that her paintings are about human transformation and the role mankind plays in personal and group evolution of consciousness. In addition to concepts, Mary loves the painting process. “The more I start to play with the edges of paint and get lost in the pure process of creating and destroying using knives and scraping tools, the more my paintings seem to take on a life of their own and become what they desire to be, despite my original intentions.”

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METAMORPHOSIS Oil on wood panel, 24x36in “The path of personal evolution, how we internally transform ourselves and our mental views and beliefs via life experiences, are represented by the flowers and petals in this painting.”

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MANGO Oil on gessoboard, 11x14in “Inspired from seeing Mango and Dango perform at an outdoor music festival called Lightning In a Bottle. Mango is an amazing clown who can do the splits on stilts all the way to the ground – and get all the way back up again!”

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EL PROFETA Oil on aluminium panel, 16x24in “This one started out as a portrait of my father, but morphed into something more universal along the way. I started to see the character as a prophet or seer. My father’s family lived in New Mexico for over 400 years before I was born, so I choose to include the Zia Pueblo sun symbol into the painting.”

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WALLFLOWER Oil on wood panel, 18x24in “This is about a human being emerging from or retreating back into the privacy and sanctity of an ulterior existence, depending on how the viewer chooses to view the painting. As she prepares to enter into society, her physical form and clothing materialise into reality. And as she retreats into the wall, her clothing and form dissipate.”

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Gallery Art showcase 2

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Carne Griffiths LOCATION: England WEB: www.carnegriffiths.com EMAIL: carne@carnegriffiths.com MEDIA: Graphite, ink, tea and alcohol

Working primarily with calligraphy inks, graphite and liquids such as tea, brandy and vodka, Carne’s drawing focuses on creation and manipulation of the line. “My images explore human, geometric and floral forms,” he says, “in a combination of both literal and abstract translation, and in response to images and situations encountered in daily life.” Carne records his images on to the page, where “physical boundaries are unimportant.” His art focuses on scenes of awe and wonder, “projecting a sense of abandonment and inviting the viewer to share and explore this inner realm.”

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JUST OUT OF REACH Ink and tea, Bockingford watercolour paper, 50x70cm “I wanted to push the boundaries of texture and surface pattern. It’s about questioning what is beautiful and what is valuable.”

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ENTWINED Ink and tea, Bockingford watercolour paper, 50x70cm “I wanted a fairytale atmosphere. It’s about the importance, value and beauty of nature, the idea that we should see it as a desirable luxury, in the same way we see jewellery – except it’s free and in abundance. I reintroduced automatic writing in the lower half of the picture to bring a storytelling feel to the piece.”

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Gallery Art showcase

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Ryan Pancoast LOCATION: US WEB: www.ryanpancoast.com EMAIL: ryanpancoast@gmail.com MEDIA: Oils

Ryan began his career doing editorial illustration for magazines, but soon found that his realistic oil paintings were a better fit for the gaming and literary world. He started doing spot illustrations for a startup RPG called Metal, Magic & Lore, where he developed the portfolio that led him to Wizards of the Coast. Ryan has now been illustrating for Magic: The Gathering for eight years, and his work has been featured in the Society of Illustrators Annual, the Art Renewal Center International Salon and Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.

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THE BLUFFS Oil on canvas, 18x24in “I often paint historical fantasy in my personal work. This painting is inspired by colonial New England in the late 18th century. With so much superstition and unknown wilderness, it’s a great setting for mystery and ghost stories.”

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OF LIMITED LOYALTY Oil on canvas, 20x30in “Mimicking 19th century paintings for this Night Shade Books cover was fun. I referred to two John Trumbull paintings: The Battle of Bunker Hill was the inspiration for the composition, and I took the lighting from The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar.”

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Tips and inspiration for artists everywhere

n w o r ou y t Pain ce e i p r te as m

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Photo gear is my big weakness. This is a mix of modern and vintage equipment, but almost all of it sees use.

An original Sam Weber from his Lord of the Flies collection. This was the first sizeable painting I ever bought and is still one of my favourites.

Soft sculpture by Dena Obaza, titled Nobody Puts Tree Trunks in the Corner. The crowns were unrelated, but I like them there.

I’ve always had bad posture and used to have tension in my lower back pretty frequently, but this stool seems to help quite a bit. Also, it looks like something from Bag End.

ARTISTS REVEAL THE SPACES WHERE THEY CREATE ART

David Palumbo The easel life The Philadelphia-based illustrator talks cats, camera gear and costumes as he opens his studio doors tick My studio setup occupies what would normally be the dining room portion of your typical South Philadelphia row home. It’s not a large space, though the high ceilings, massive mirror (came with the house, that’s how they do it in South Philly) and plenty of daylight make it feel expansive.

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My previous studio area was the size of the rug pictured here, so I’m happy to be able to stretch my arms out. Speaking of mirrors, the small one in that closet door (to the left of the tall bookcase) is very useful for quick mirror-checks on my paintings. Everything that I need for an average day’s work is here (aside from my computer,

which is in another room). Fresh brushes and tubes of paint are right next to my easel. Art books are all around, for inspiration and reference. Camera gear is sprawling out above the bookshelf and boxes of props and costumes are in the closet behind my painting station. I tend to listen to music and watch movies while working, so the stereo is just two paces to the right. I like to keep furniture simple. My easel is the same simple A-frame I’ve owned since college, slightly modified so it can travel in my car. My lights and work table are cheap hardware store purchases. I have a tripod for holding reference printouts.


Four years so far and we still haven’t gotten to updating a single thing in that kitchen. Does it show?

Artist’s Studio David Palumbo

I like to keep assorted skulls and bones nearby for reference. The beauty of the organic forms and seemingly fractal details are really inspiring. These are mostly from antique marts.

Though I stopped collecting some years ago, I still enjoy listening and owning some of my music on vinyl. The record shelf is something I built that somehow hasn’t fallen apart quite yet.

Of course, the studio’s best features are the cats, who keep me company. Roy is the tuxedo, posing with such dignity in front, while Bones (orange) and Manos (black) plot mischief in the kitchen. David is an award-winning illustrator and fine artist who works primarily in genre fiction and fantasy gaming and is probably best known for his book covers and gaming cards. See more of his work at www.dvpalumbo.com. I get anxiety when multiple jobs are due and I can‘t decide which has highest priority. So I stack open jobs as Post-it notes next to my easel and move them up and down by due date, to stay on top of my work.

I use a simple A-frame easel with six 100-watt daylight bulbs (three to a side). These are the same lights I use to photograph my work, so colour is consistent. I hang reference from a tripod next to my easel and keep fresh brushes in easy reach. A cheap rug keeps the floor clean. Here’s my paint setup. The brushes are all Loew Cornell Golden Taklon and the palette is glass. I bought this shelf from a Home Depot for a workshop that was short of equipment, then replaced my old thrift-store night stand with it.

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ARTISTS REVEAL THE SPACES WHERE THEY CREATE ART

There are always animals and some flowers in my studio that keep me being sweet. I get a lot of my inspiration of colours from nature.

Lora Zombie Pop culture The effervescent, self-taught, Russia-based artist’s studio space is as vibrant as her paint-splattered artworks My studio is located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and it’s my favourite place to be, because it’s my little world that I can fill up with my art. I try to make a new thing every day, even if doesn’t end up being finished or is just a sketch for a future idea. The way I work begins with a degree of planning – I have certain ways that I’ll approach something new. But once the creative process starts, it flows quickly and instinctively. And it’s sometimes hard to stop – ha! I never see a final picture in my head before the work is finished. Instead, I like to let it take its own natural shape. Also, I’ll tell you a secret: a lot of people think I use watercolours in my paintings. But no, I actually use liquid acrylics. And acrylic markers, brush pens, liners and spray paints, too. My studio is part of my home, which is super convenient. I’m very happy to have this big, bright space in which to have my

ideas. When I was younger I only used to create very small pieces of artwork. But I’m much happier having this room to paint on the large canvases that a lot of my work appears on. Plus I enjoy having the space to make such lovely paint splatters! I love animals, and I always have animals close when I’m working. I have two cats: a hairless cat called Zhopsik, and a Siamese who goes by the name of Umsik. As for what time of the day I like to make art, well, it’s any time I can. My dream is to just have the freedom to keep on drawing, drawing, drawing all day long. I think it’s more important as an artist to focus on always making new work, above all else. Popularity and attention for the work will follow in good time. Lora is from Russia and is an increasingly popular name in the urban art scene, where her grungy trademark style is gaining global recognition. See more at www.lorazombie.com.

My figurine of Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? sits near the window, next to Shaun (from Shaun of the Dead). Pop culture is a big influence on me and I love to use elements of it in my work.

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My favourite paints are always changing. Many people think I paint with watercolours, but I actually use liquid acrylics.


I love the big windows and studio lights. It’s great having such a sunny space to draw, draw, draw in!

This beautiful photograph of Kurt Cobain is in my studio because a huge part of my work is inspired by music, especially Kurt’s.

Artist’s Studio Lora Zombie

I use so many lively colours in my work that it helps to be surrounded by vibrant things, such as my bright red chair and rainbow pillow.

These vibrant paint splatters on the floor are typical of my way of working. You can’t be afraid to get messy when making art!

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ARTISTS REVEAL THE SPACES WHERE THEY CREATE ART

There are paintings clipped to my bookshelves and practically any place I can stash them to dry.

On my easel you’re likely to find a current WIP, maybe a recently finished painting, and other artworks clipped to it where there’s room.

Sitting down to play the keyboard helps to clear my head for a bit.

I find that a dish drying rack is great for setting small paintings out to dry. It keeps them separated and organised.

At my desk, I’ve got my Mac and Wacom, an extra monitor (with a ton of Sticky Notes all over it), and a Cintiq, plus my speaker and printer off to the side, and a webcam for online instruction, tutorials and meetings.

I sometimes use a small folding table or my taboret to lay paintings flat if I need to add either splatters or marks that require the surface to be flat, instead of upright on the easel.

Vanessa Lemen World of art The Californian painter shows us around her bustling studio space, where her art shares first billing with her homelife I usually have several paintings going at once. It’s important that they’re surrounding me because the studio is the world that my paintings and I live in together and carry on an ongoing dialogue. My husband Ron and I are both artists, and living and working go together hand in hand. I would say that our whole house is a studio space, but the second floor of

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the house is especially set up for the purpose of working and creating. The room I mostly work in at home – and what I call my studio – is a good-sized, open loft at the top of the stairs; the walls are covered in WIPs. I put small shelves and ledges up on one of the walls, so that I can interchange my work easily, to and from my easel. I can put wet paintings there to dry, and have them out so that they’re there in my surroundings.

In other areas of that studio space, I have clips that hold smaller paintings in nooks and spaces – wherever there’s room to store more wet paintings and have them around and visible to me. I also have a kitchen dish drying rack to place the smallest paintings in, which keeps them nicely separated if they’re wet. Music is also a big part of the creative process for me, and it’s important to have it in my space while I paint. There’s a nice


I have various dry paintings stacked next to the couch, as well as in other places around the studio.

These ledges are great for placing larger, wet paintings where they’re out of the way but I can see them.

Artist’s Studio Vanessa Lemen

We have a nice chill-space on the patio in our back yard that’s a cool spot to hang out and sketch.

I’ve been known to take up the dining room table and work there on a project. The two kittens are Mazzy and Rey, and they’re constantly exploring. The fact that our house is one big studio space makes for a good amount of adventuring for them.

I have small paintings clipped in random places on bookshelves throughout my studio, to let them dry and to have them out around me.

To say that we have a lot of books is an huge understatement. This is one wall of our first floor living room, and the books are basically what fill most of the walls in all the rooms of our house.

comfy couch in my studio that’s usually occupied by our dog, Zoe, who stretches out on it while I work. The couch also becomes a great communal spot for studio hang-out time with Ron and our friends, and is a good place for me to sit back and take a look at the work that’s surrounding me in that space. Vanessa lives and works in San Diego with husband Ron Lemen. You can see more of her work at www.vanessalemenart.blogspot.com

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ARTISTS REVEAL THE SPACES WHERE THEY CREATE ART

My adjustable easel, where I do most of my painting, would not be complete without the Tom Kuebler shrunken head. It watches over me to make sure that what I’m working on is sufficiently disgusting.

A print of a Nicolai Fechin page of hand studies. It’s a constant reminder that I need to work harder, and smarter.

Jim Pavelec Hell boy He’s known for his demonic art, but this painter’s studio is far from hellish Hell is pretty full these days, so I work at home like most artists. I recently moved my studio back into my home from an office location. I felt the extra expense of the off-site studio was unnecessary, and wanted to save money for upcoming projects. My workspace isn’t very large, but this means I can bounce from my easel to my computer or drafting table with ease. With the new painting techniques I’m utilising, this is ideal for me. I switch back and forth from traditional media to digital several times within a piece. I can work on a drawing, lay some acrylics and pastels on it, scan it, paint on it in Photoshop, print it out, mount it to board and be painting in oils – all in one day. This setup has enabled my creativity to expand to the next level. I do a lot of my pencil and pastel drawing at a local coffee shop. There’s a long tradition of the artist and the café. The constant coming and going of people has an energy that you can tap into, and working in public opens you up to meeting new friends, patrons or collaborators. I don’t need top-of-the-line equipment for making art. My easel is a mid-range easel, I made my mahl stick out of things I had in the basement, my palette was salvaged from a local hardware store, my Wacom – which I got for next to nothing on Craigslist – is old, and a lot of my bookcases and other storage items I stole from a large chain bookstore that was closing down. I’m not condoning stealing things, but hey, do what you have to do. Being an artist is a tough racket. Jim has been a freelance fantasy illustrator for over 15 years. You may be more familiar with his demon drawings and paintings, and with him as the founder of the artist rights website ArtPACT. Follow him on Instagram: @jim_pavelec.

My bag of rocks is one of my favourite drawing tools. The bag was knitted for me by one of the baristas at the café. For those not familiar with my drawing process, I start by coating paper with a dusting of powdered graphite. I then press a large kneaded eraser into the various textured surfaces of the rocks and shells. Finally, I press that eraser on to the paper, lifting up the powdered graphite and revealing wonderful organic patterns that I use as the basis for my drawings.

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My palette is a large piece of countertop material I found in the scrap bin at a hardware store. It’s not fancy, but it serves me well.


I bought this special clamp mount designed specifically for the iPad. I’ll often create a Pinterest board for a painting I’m working on, and put all the reference I need in it. I can then scroll to whatever I need, instead of printing the reference images out and wasting ink.

Artist’s Studio Jim Pavelec

These are currently my three favourite rocks: a trilobite fossil dating back 500 million years; a fairy stone, which is a concretion of glacial sand; and a piece of green malachite. I’m always looking in nature, and at rock and mineral shops for new textures.

Hellboy. Because… it’s Hellboy!

My drafting table. This is where a piece usually begins. I have a wide variety of media within reach, and work very randomly and chaotically. I’ll be simultaneously working on a watercolour block with watercolour, acrylic and soft pastels. Water, thinners and rubbing alcohol are also used. Whatever I end up with doesn’t need to be archival, because I scan it, manipulate it in Photoshop, then print that image out and work on top of it with more paint and pastels to achieve the final artwork.

My Wacom tablet, sitting on the floor. I don’t recommend this practice, and should probably do something to rectify the situation, but won’t.

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Drawing & Painting skills IMPROVE YOUR ANIMAL DRAWING, COLOUR AND PAINTING SKILLS WITH OUR ARTIST MASTERCLASSES

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Sketching basic animal shapes Brynn Metheney begins her animal drawing guide with her technique for capturing essential forms

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Understanding skeletons Brynn shows how getting the skeleton’s shape and gesture correct will help with proportions

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Depict muscle groups accurately Brynn explains how to simplify complex muscle groups into basic shapes to build up the form

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Drawing animals in action Use line of action and gesture to pose animals and depict movement. Brynn shows you how it’s done

Depicting animal colour and detail

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Depicting animal colour and detail Brynn explains how to capture the colour and ornamentation of animals to enhance realism

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Colour thumbnailing Illustrator Anand Radhakrishnan explains how to devise an effective colour scheme from the start

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Using a master artist’s palette Anand shows you how he paints using colours from the palette of a 19th-century Italian master

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Using the colour of your imagination Anand explores painting using colours from his imagination, with the help of a little reference

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Rendering form using colour Chris Legaspi demonstrates how to use colour temperature to render form quickly and easily

Drawing animals in action

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Preparing to paint with gouache Peter Chan introduces his compact painting kit, suitable for painting both indoors and outdoors

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Still life painting techniques Peter shows you how he approaches painting an indoor still life in simplified shapes and colours

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Painting a street scene Taking his kit on the road, Peter Chan applies his approach to capture the essence of a street scene

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Painting from life alla prima Anand Radhakrishnan shows how he paints a live model and captures subtle skin tones in oils

Painting a street scene

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Using light to tell the story David Palumbo reveals how different lighting creates vastly different moods in his model shots

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Drawing skills

Pencil

SKETCHING BASIC ANIMAL SHAPES BRYNN METHENEY shows how working from general to specific is an effective technique for drawing animals

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rawing animals is not only fun and useful in itself, but also invaluable as a first step towards designing your own fantasy creatures. Nature has an amazing variety of shapes, colours and solutions to solve the challenge of survival, and studying animals will yield exciting ideas for your creature design. Let’s start, though, with drawing them. I always begin with broad gestures and light pencil marks when starting a sketch. I’m only trying to find the animal’s

gesture, so I tend to work quickly. This is especially key when drawing from life, where animals move about as you draw. I like to use a harder lead pencil or broad lead pencil, depending on how large I’m working. The harder lead keeps my stroke light. Using my whole arm to draw, I sketch through the forms. Animators tend to use this technique and I’ve found it adds energy to my drawings. From here, I’ll build up my sketch by finding the muscle groups. I can identify and memorise where these lie, based on

MATERIALS Q Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils: 2H, HB and B Q Kneaded eraser Q Acid-free sketchbook paper

I keep my arm loose so I can move quickly. This is the messy stage, where things don’t have to be right!

the body plan of my subject. Quickly adding in a bit of value and suggested form, I can give weight and depth to my sketch. Only now do I suggest some detail. However, there are more animals to draw and this technique can yield fast results. Time to move on to the next beast! Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. She lives and works in Oakland, California. www.brynnart.com

I’m building up the form with repetitive, fluid strokes to keep the drawing loose and full of motion.

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

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Create a light sketch

I begin with a light sketch of a bear. I don’t want to make any solid marks or bold lines yet, I’m just finding the shapes of the animal’s form. I will break it into a wire skeleton and shapes to start. This is the foundation of my study.

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DRAWING TIP

CONSIDER CONTOURS

Think how a line would wrap around the animal’s forms. This will help with volume and perspective.

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Drawing through forms

As I begin to build up my drawing, I’ll draw through forms. This means that I’m not worried about forms covering each other, but rather I begin to see through them. This helps to keep the drawing fluid and keeps me aware of where the forms are overlapping in space. I’m also looking for landmarks, such as the scapula and knee caps, to help me locate the anatomy of the animal as it develops on the paper.


Artist insight Animal shapes Adding in some value can help to turn the form. I’m imagining a light source from above the bear.

Locating the joints and major muscle groups helps to keep the sketch grounded and accurate. This can help with fur placement and rendering later on.

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Finding the muscle groups

This is where my experience in drawing real-life animals frequently comes to help. I’m able to locate and define a variety of different muscle groups based on both my previous studies and memory. However, I’m always sure to really look at my subject so as not to miss out on what’s actually in front of me.

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Introducing form and value

Now that I’ve got a solid blueprint in place, I can begin to add in some quick values. This is where heavier lead comes in handy. I tend to alternate from HB and B lead, but you can use whatever you’re comfortable with. I’ll draw with these heavier pencils to nail in those lines, and flesh out the forms of the muscle groups, too.

Adding hints of fur in correlation with the muscle groups keeps the animal from looking flat.

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Flesh out details

Now I can begin to suggest a few details here and there. Every animal has a different set of proportions and small details that make that species unique, and every species has unique individuals. It’s important to pay attention and really see what’s there. I’m also interested in adding in markings or any other distinguishing textures or features in this step.

ARTIST INSIGHT PENCIL IT IN Have a few of each pencil type with different lead points. Some can be sharp for small details and others can be dull for filling in large areas.

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Drawing skills

Pencil

UNDERSTANDING SKELETONS BRYNN METHENEY shows how, when drawing animals, getting the skeleton’s general shape and gesture correct will help with the proportions

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ow that we’ve warmed up with our general to specific animal drawing lesson on the previous page, we can move on to understanding the structures and systems underneath an animal’s skin. Skeletons are the structures that help keep us and all other animals together. Vertebrate anatomy is centred on the spine. From this structure stems our scapula, our pelvis, our arms and our legs. The more we draw skeletons of other

vertebrate animals, the more we realise how similar we are and how, really, it’s just the proportions that are exaggerated between species. Using a harder lead at first helps keep initial skeleton gestures light. This is important. We want to only map out our basic shapes and posture. I’m constantly comparing sizes and shapes. Sometimes skulls are almost as large as scapula. Femurs can be as long as rib cages. As we begin to build our skeleton, we use heavier pencil leads. HB will help us

MATERIALS Q Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils: 2H, HB and B Q Kneaded eraser Q Acid-free sketchbook paper

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

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Staring with the 2H pencil, it’s important to draw in the basic form of the animal’s skeleton. Right now I’m focused on just getting in the wire frame of the skeleton. I start with the skull, work down the spine and quickly indicate the legs.

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TOOL TIP

MEASURE WITH PENCILS

To get proportions right, set a pencil next to a bone and hold your thumb to mark its length. Use this to check the length of other bones

Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. She lives and works in Oakland, California. www.brynnart.com

Keep shapes simple here. Scapula can be suggested as teardrop shapes and pelvises as U-shapes.

The bison’s skeleton features very large thoracic vertebrae that arch over the shoulder blades. It’s important to take these features into consideration early in your drawing.

Wire frame

solidify the general line quality and shapes, and the B pencil will finalise details. Keep those pencils sharp and dull; variety is good here. Drawing the skeleton from the ground up like this can help you quickly flesh it out to a point where it will be useful.

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Landmarks and shapes

From the wire frame, I can begin to find the landmark bones: the cranium, the scapula, the rib cage and the pelvis. It’s important to keep things general in this step. I’m concerned just with suggesting the general shape of the bones in question.


Artist insight Understand skeletons Adding in some value can help to turn the forms of your bones. Drawing out contours can also help indicate the volume of the forms.

A circle is a good indicator of joints. Invisible lines that align the knees with each other, called axes, are important for your skeleton and help keep it in perspective and proportion.

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Joints and limbs

With my light skeleton in place, I can start to flesh out the joints and legs. I indicate where the knees, elbows, wrists and ankles are with light circles. Legs are essentially cylinders that progress from one large bone to two bones and then into the many bones of the toes.

ARTIST INSIGHT SAVE YOUR WORK Using sheets of tracing paper or a lighter paper can enable you to build up your skeleton in an interesting way without losing your steps.

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Specify the bones

Now that the general skeleton is there, I begin using my HB pencil to find the actual shapes of the bones using the wire frame and indicators as a guide. Think about line weight here: keeping your line heavier on the underside of the bone can help indicate a light source.

Those details can help distinguish one species from another. Sometimes animals that are similar on the outside have different details on the inside.

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Find important details

Next I start to find the smaller and finer details of the skeleton. I use my B pencil to solidify those forms and shapes. I can also begin to fill in cavities and holes in the skeleton. As I move throughout the drawing, I’m always making adjustments to the sizes and shapes of things. I want to learn to draw the skeleton quickly, but also correctly.

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Drawing skills

Pencil

DEPICT MUSCLE GROUPS ACCURATELY BRYNN METHENEY explains how seemingly complex muscle groups can be simplified into large basic shapes, helping build up an animal’s form

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ertebrate anatomy is consistent, and you’ll notice that muscle groups between different animals are similar, if not the same. Just as with the skeletons in our previous lesson, it’s only shapes and sizes that vary – with a few differences, vertebrate bodies all share the same basic muscle systems. When drawing muscle studies of animals, start out with a wireframe and then basic skeleton gesture. Using a harder lead for this will help keep the

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drawing light and workable as you move forward with your muscle study. You’ll notice that my canid skeleton isn’t detailed, but the gesture and proportions are in place so that I can build on top of this with my red Col-Erase pencil. These pencils are great because you can easily range from dark to light – and they’re erasable, which is handy as you search around for shapes. They do wear down quickly, though. If you’re drawing from life, it’s a good idea to have a few ready to go with sharpened tips, just so you can

Wire frames are the easier way to jot down an animal’s pose. This technique is not only useful for foundation drawing like this, but also life drawing at the zoo.

Add a bit of detail

With my wireframe in place, I can introduce a few details. These details are what I call landmark bones, such as the scapula, the ribs and the great trochanter. These are bones where muscle groups attach.

ARTIST INSIGHT DRAW THROUGH FORMS It’s important to not get caught up on the edge of the subject. Remember that what you’re drawing is a living, breathing animal and it exists in 3D space. Draw around and through those forms to add more weight and volume.

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Q 2H and HB Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils Q Acid-free sketchbook paper Q Red Col-Erase pencil Q Kneaded eraser

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Create a wire frame

We need a skeleton to attach these muscles to, so I begin with my 2H pencil and lay out a quick gesture. This is of a canid (a dog) walking. I’m not worried about detail; I just want the shape, proportion and motion.

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MATERIALS

I keep my touch light here still. I’m only looking for landmarks that’ll help inform where my muscles need to attach to the skeleton.

switch them out quickly and not waste time sharpening. You’ll notice that once I have my skeleton in place, I lay in basic muscle groups. As you study more animal and human anatomy, you’ll begin to look for these landmarks in your drawing. Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. She lives and works in Oakland, California. www.brynnart.com

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!


Artist insight Muscle groups When I draw muscle groups, I’m thinking only about large shapes, not muscle detail. This keeps things simple and helps you see the entire shape of the animal in correct proportions.

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PENCIL TIP

THE ANIMATOR’S GO-TO!

The Col-Erase pencil is perfect for studies because it’s waxy and allows for light and dark sketching. It comes in a range of colours.

Large groupings

This is probably the most valuable and important step. We know that there are complicated muscle systems in place, but we really just want to find the major shapes so we can begin to see the whole form of the animal. Using an HB pencil, I lay in those large groups over my skeleton.

I begin to find those smaller muscle systems inside of the larger muscle groups. I’m always looking to see where the muscle is attaching to the bone.

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Break into systems

Now that I’ve got my basic shape, I find those muscle systems around the body. This is where anatomy textbooks will inform you. Remember that muscles pull from bone. They’re directly attached, and push and pull the skeleton around.

Adding detail such as texture and value can help make your study more readable. The advantage of using different colours in pencil is that you can always reference both the skeleton and the muscles, to see where they’re attached.

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Finishing up

It’s time to find those muscle details. I add some detail and show the different ligaments and textures of muscle. This helps show the direction in which things move around. I’m careful to keep my pencil loose so as not to lose that “flow” as I draw.

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Drawing skills

Brush Pen

Pencil

DRAWING ANIMALS IN ACTION Posing animals is all about line of action and gesture, says BRYNN METHENEY. Don’t feel intimidated about getting everything right on your first go

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rawing believable poses and gestures comes from study and observation of animals in zoos and in the wild. Watching documentaries is also a great way to get a glimpse of animal movement and behaviour. Try to capture your pose in the wireframe skeleton first, and indicate the joints, the pelvis and shoulders. Think about how the legs support the whole body of the animal and where the spine lies in between the back and front legs.

Because I’m drawing and not taking a photo, I need to exaggerate those poses slightly to make them feel alive. You’ll notice that if you draw, piece for piece, a photograph of an animal then it can look a little stiff. But if you round out that leg more or push the angle of the shoulder, you’ll add life to your drawing. Such an approach is common among animators. As you draw, keep your arm loose. It’s a good idea to not only think like an animator but to move like one. Draw with your whole arm and try not to work only

MATERIALS Q Pentel Pocket Brush pen Q Caran d’Ache Graffwood B pencil Q Kneaded eraser Q Acid-free sketchbook paper

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page

from your wrist. Sometimes this means repositioning your hand that’s holding your pencil or standing up to draw. Finally, when posing animals, consider acting out the pose. If the animal is stretching or standing alert, acting out those attitudes can help inform your drawing. Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. She lives and works in Oakland, California. www.brynnart.com

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When I scribble out poses, I’ll use a marker so I keep moving and don’t worry too much about accuracy. This way I can just find the motion of the subject.

Find those shoulders and pelvis! Using the box is a great way to indicate which way the body’s headed. It can also help you find the muscles later.

Move quickly – if you make a mistake, just start a new pose rather than linger and try to correct the old one. This helps to keep things spontaneous looking.

Beginning with the wireframe not only helps find your pose, but enables you to begin to figure out where the joints and landmarks lie.

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Warm up!

Now is the time to scribble! I find that for posing animals, it helps to sketch a bit to get the kinks out and get a rhythm going. It also helps you find a good pose to build upon. When you’re at the zoo, the technique comes in handy for drawing fast.

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MARKERS

PERMANENCE CAN HELP

Using a pen can help you make better decisions, because it can force you to commit rather than fuss over trying to fix errors.

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Find the pose

Now that I’ve warmed up, I can find the pose that I’d like to flesh out. I begin with a wireframe to indicate where the skeleton is and what the overall pose is. Because I’m drawing this in perspective, I use boxes to help indicate the direction of the pelvis and shoulders.


Artist insight Animals in action Showing the mane flowing in the wind as the horse moves forward is a great way to show that it’s trotting

As I draw muscle groups, I think about the shapes. I squash and stretch the muscles depending on the position they’re in, to indicate that they’re flexing or extending.

Study animal expression and behaviour. That lifted tail demonstrates confidence, while the ears show that the horse is also being cautious.

Now is the time to make adjustments. You can pencil in over what you’ve already drawn to correct your sketch.

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Block in muscle

Back in the previous lesson, we covered muscle blocking. The same process applies here. We need to find those muscle groups and be aware of our landmarks. I squash and stretch the muscles according to where they’re pulling, pushed and pulled. This is where acting it out can help you feel how that pose would look.

ARTIST INSIGHT ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR Study animal behaviour as often as you can. It can offer lots of insight into poses and gestures when you’re drawing animals, and potentially fantasy creatures too.

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Add in features and movement

Now we can begin to add in features to indicate movement. The horse’s mane is a great indicator of what the rest of the body is doing. I indicate the action of the mane and show that it’s flowing behind the horse. The tail adds expression and can also indicate motion.

Add in some value to round out your animal a bit and give it some volume.

Adding in little puffs of dirt, breath and dust can add life to your drawing. It all helps indicate the movement of the animal.

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Emphasise those ligaments and joints. It helps to sell the strain on the animal’s limbs and muscles as it moves.

Finalise with detail

Part of drawing animals in action is capturing expressions and details. The horse’s flaring nostrils reveal that it’s breathing heavily. The angled ears show that it’s cautious but confident. Adding in bits of dirt and dust can help sell the idea that it is in motion.

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Drawing skills

Pencil

Pen

Marker

DEPICTING ANIMAL COLOUR AND DETAIL The animal kingdom is full of colour and unique ornamentations, and depicting them is crucial to creating realistic animals, says BRYNN METHENEY

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ature is full of amazing adaptations and traits. Bright colours, fluorescent patterns, tusks, horns, dewlaps and much else – traits used for camouflage, attracting mates, intimidation, battling rivals or finding food. These details can make your animal drawings pop. I start by finding the structure of forms like crests and horns with pencil. It’s important to add in texture and create an indication of volume, but avoid smudging

because we’ll apply colour later with a marker. Perspective is important when it comes to horns and antlers, so I’ll break things into shapes and planar views. You’ll want to map out where your highlights and shadows will be. Working in marker, I’ll be building up from lights to darks and plotting out my whites. Layering colour is key, too. Nature doesn’t come in just 12 colours, there are lots of colours in between. Don’t be afraid to throw a bit of green into that giraffe or a bit of blue into that elephant. It’ll help

I like to sketch in structure first. I’m always building animals from the inside out, and wireframes and boxes help me see in perspective.

MATERIALS Q 2H and HB Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils Q Kneaded eraser Q Canson Marker Pad paper Q Copic Markers, various colours Q Micron fine-tipped pen

keep the colour from looking flat and make it feel like the animal could be in an environment. Any type of marker you’re comfortable with will do for this. In fact, almost any medium you use will abide to the same principles of colour and design. Only the method of application changes. Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. She lives and works in Oakland, California. www.brynnart.com

Start light with your pencil and work up those textures. Remember to keep them sparse and random looking.

Animals in the wild are rarely unscathed. Chipped horns or irregular textures add individuality and personality.

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ARTIST INSIGHT

Adding contour lines along the forms can help you see where the forms are turning in space.

Find shape and structure

I start light and build up my drawing from boxes and wireframes. You can break hard shapes such as horns, antlers and tusks into planar views. The planar view helps find the perspective in shapes that might not be boxy. You can find the “planes” and place them in space.

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LAYERING PAPERS Marker paper is transparent and ideal for building up studies without losing your work. You can always take your planar drawings and use a sheet of paper on top to complete them.

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Indicate texture and detail

I next add textures, ridges, damage and detail into the ornamentations. Some animals, like the iguana, have fleshy dewlaps, requiring a different approach to detail and texture, and reference becomes important. Go to zoos and museums, watch nature documentaries and search for highres images. Nature is seldom perfect. Adding nicks, damage and uneven edges will enhance the drawing.


Artist insight Colour and details I lay down a base of purple for the cassowary, but also a bit of yellow. This helps warm up the base and keep the colour interesting and deep.

MARKERS CLEAN TIPS!

Lighter coloured markers sometimes pick up pencil lead as you work. Wipe the tip on scrap paper before you begin to colour.

It’s important to hold off on markings until the end. Things like stripes are best saved for last – they can smudge when drawn over.

I tend to use the broader side of my marker for this step, to cover more ground quickly.

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Find your highlights

Now that we’re moving into colour, I use my lightest marker to lay in a base colour. This is mostly to figure out where my highlights will be. I’m working light to dark, so it’s vital to keep my whites untouched. Markers have the ability to layer on themselves.

Blending is all about going back and forth with markers. Lay in your base, then lay in your mid-tones, then revisit with the base colour again to blend.

You can start to gradually add some of the key colours here too: reds, purples and blues.

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Blend and block in shadows

I use my mid-range marker to lay in where I want my shadows. I begin to go back and forth between my lightest and my mid-range colour, to blend shapes together. Adding a hint of yellow to the cassowary’s neck enhances the purple next to it.

You can also add in a bit of background indication to help pop your final colour job.

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Detail and sharp edges

Now you can really get into those details and polish your colour piece. Add in your darkest darks now so they won’t be smudged by lighter colours. This is also the time to add in markings such as spots and stripes or anything that has a hard edge. Fur and scales can also be defined here, but keep it sparse: too much rendering can make forms look flat.

Things like pupils and deep cracks can be drawn in using a finetipped pen, like a Micron.

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Painting skills

Pencil

Acrylics

COLOUR THUMBNAILING Illustrator ANAND RADHAKRISHNAN demonstrates how to fix an effective colour scheme during the planning stages of your painting

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ery few artists begin work directly on canvas without any prior preparation. Thumbnailing for value and colour is one of the most important stages in the painting process and is widely practised among artists. It helps give you a clearer idea of the image and can save a lot of time while working on commissioned assignments. The process of thumbnailing involves breaking the image down into shapes and then dealing with the principles of design with respect to the light and dark portions of the design. Working in colour could be

MATERIALS Q Sketchbook Q Acrylic (or any waterbased opaque medium) Q Ink, marker or Sharpie for thumbnails Q Pencils (2B or 4B) Q Brushes

looked at as an extension of working in value. An image can work and be effective to a certain limit, as long as the values are in place and the design works at the thumbnail level. The colours would, at this stage, add to the design by giving it a sense of mood and timing. Colour should always be looked at in relation to value, because every colour has a value. It can be very helpful if the eye is trained to look at colours in terms of the greyscale. I approach colour by thinking of the colour wheel and how various colours appear in relation to one another. I

usually make between four and 10 very quick colour thumbnails, about three inches in height, to understand the different colour combinations. Then I choose either the best one or a combination of two for the painting. Anand is a freelance illustrator who works in Mumbai, India. He graduated with a BFA from Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art in 2011 and followed it up with a couple of years of learning illustration at The Art Department. He derives inspiration from masters like Moebius, Alphonse Mucha and Jeffrey Jones. www.anandrk.tumblr.com.

Compositional thumb: a pure blackand-white thumbnail to play and fix the design using shapes.

Three-tone thumb: 50 percent grey is added to the black-and-white.

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Idea and graphite sketch

This is a sketch for a scene from the science-fiction book Ender’s Game. In the scene, Ender is having a telepathic conversation with the queen bugger – an insectoid alien invader. I’ve taken quite a few liberties to keep the detail simple. I usually start off very loose, trying to find the right pose and composition. Graphite works best at this stage for me.

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COLOUR THAT’S WITHIN COLOUR Objects in nature very rarely have single flat colours. The colour of an object is affected by various factors, such as time of day, temperature of light, surrounding objects, the material of which the object is made and the transparency of the object. It helps to be mindful of this while painting. When in doubt, squint!

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Value thumbnails

While planning for a painting, take colour out of the equation and solve composition and value problems in black-and-white. The idea is to create pleasing light and dark shapes, then fill in the corresponding colours in those shapes. Here I want a cool light against his black hair to create a focal point, and hence a lot of my design decisions follow from that.

Value study: a more involved rough, but still simplified.


Artist insight Thumbnailing Complementary

Split-Complementary

Analogous

Triadic

These are pairs of colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel. When placed together they have the highest contrast and attract the viewer’s eye.

This uses colours on the opposite sides of the wheel, but instead of one colour, you use the two on either side of it. This is a personal favourite of mine.

Any three neighbouring colours on the wheel. This makes for harmonious and fluid pictures and is great to create an ethereal and dreamy quality.

Three colours that are equidistant from one another. They can stand apart from each other in an image while retaining harmony.

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Colour wheel and colour schemes

The colour wheel can be simplified into warm colours and cool colours. Combinations of these colours can be used effectively by applying colour schemes and studying the colour wheel in depth. I’ve highlighted four basic schemes here, each of which can help convey a different mood and effect.

Here I’ve diverted from my value design because I want to make the silhouette of the character clearer.

A happy accident was that the circular shape of the queen can also read as a planet, so it works in the context of the story.

The line where shadow and light meet, called the terminator, is where the image is most saturated. This can be exaggerated to add interest.

I paint the soles of his shoes blue to balance out the blue elsewhere and to help the viewer navigate through the painting.

I like this one the most. A quick survey carried out among my friends helps me to decide.

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Colour thumbnails

I create thumbnails for the Ender’s Game piece, based on these colour schemes. Each of these follows the values that I fixed earlier in step 2. It helps to set one colour as the dominant one and then support it with the other colours in the scheme, depending on where your focal point is.

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Colour study before starting the piece

A more refined colour study helps iron out the kinks in your final design. I usually improvise at this stage and at the final stage, just to keep the painting process more engaging. Here you can see I am using a split-complementary colour scheme with Red-Green-Blue with muted greys to support it. Reds are dominating the picture, with accents of blue at the point of highest contrast.

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Painting skills

Graphite

Oils

Acrylics

USING A MASTER ARTIST’S PALETTE Illustrator ANAND RADHAKRISHNAN paints a narrative picture using colours from the palette of 19th-century Italian master Antonio Mancini

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ancini was renowned for the combination of sensitivity and energy in his paintings, a lot of which had children and women as the subjects. I’m amazed at the way he treated his subjects with softness, yet kept images vibrant and full of life. Most master artists have a certain amount of restraint in the colours they use – in other words, they use a limited palette. Mancini started painting at a very young age, and his work evolved through various stages, from studying under Domenico Morelli to eventually being

MATERIALS Q Graphite Q Oil paints Q Acrylics Q Canvas Q Brushes

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inspired by the impressionists and their loose brushstrokes. His contemporary John Singer Sargent once famously said Mancini was the greatest living artist. While I think the ability to use a limited colour palette so effectively comes from many years of regular practice, it can at least be understood by copying or emulating the master’s work. Here I try to take a couple of Antonio Mancini paintings, break them down and use his colour palette for a narrative illustration that depicts an untold scene from the H.P. Lovecraft short story “The Dunwich Horror”. The young yet

abnormally tall and goat-like Wilbur Whateley is going through his grandfather’s books looking for a lost page of the Necronomicon, when he happens to see a dog at the door. Dogs dislike Wilbur because of his strong stench and he’s killed by one when he breaks into the Miskatonic University to steal a copy of the infamous tome. Anand is a freelance illustrator who works in Mumbai, India, and has recently forayed into the world of sci-fi and fantasy illustration. You can see more of Anand’s work at www.anandrk.tumblr.com.

Notice how most of the picture is painted using greys and tertiary colours.

The primary focal point. Cool greys.

Accents of colour. The secondary focal point.

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Understanding the palette

Mancini used a variety of colour schemes and techniques, so for simplicity I’ve chosen two paintings that share a common palette and subject matter. Using Photoshop’s Color Picker tool I divide colours into warm greys, cool greys and accents.

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The accents of reds help the eye to move around the painting.

Value study

After a round or two of rough pencil sketches, I fix on a composition and do a mono study in graphite to understand the value scheme I want to follow for the final painting. This doesn’t have to be super finished, but it’s essential to avoid a lot of guess work during the final stages. Because the light falling on the ground is so strong, I treat it as my primary light source along with some ambient light.


Artist insight Master artist’s palette 3

Underpainting and first pass

Keeping the value study in mind, I start on the canvas with acrylic very quickly and lay in the basic shapes. While applying my first thin pass of oil, I’m mindful of local colour (mostly warms) and the light source, and how it affects the objects in the composition and the colour palette.

ARTIST INSIGHT VARIETY IN MATERIALS Use textures to paint your materials, then indicate differences in how light and colour interact with them, instead of treating every object/element in your painting like one material.

I try out a profile silhouette of the dog to make it look more intimidating, but I later revert to my original idea.

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Thin and thick application

Now I use thicker paint on some areas while leaving some areas thin, to create contrast in paint application. I also start to observe and implement Mancini’s palette more in this step while working on smaller shapes and defining forms.

I create this texture by dabbing paint on the canvas with the brush.

I retain this thinly applied section of the folds from my first pass. The thickly painted areas on the face make it look more threedimensional and textured, because they’re placed next to the flat and thinly painted background.

A pattern helps to add some interest to the wall, while still reading as a flat surface.

Using lost edges is a great way to let the viewer fill in the gaps and add sophistication to your painting.

TOP TIP

EVERY OBJECT HAS CHARACTER

Every object ages and is affected constantly by its environment, and that makes for interesting colour variations.

I use these as elements to help the viewer’s eye move from the character to the light.

Shadows of warmly lit objects are usually said to be cool.

Creating texture and hatching patterns at this stage helps because they often show through later, under the thicker layers of paint.

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Applying the palette and finishing

I keep working on smaller shapes and forms until I’m finished. I try to take as much as I can from Mancini’s palette, such as alternating between cool and warm greys for most of the painting, and using reds in accents to move the eye of the viewer around the painting. However, it’s still quite different compared to Mancini’s work, because of my chosen value scheme.

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Painting skills

Acrylics

Gouache

USE THE COLOUR OF YOUR IMAGINATION Illustrator ANAND RADHAKRISHNAN shows how he approaches painting in colour from imagination, and his use of references to strengthen the finished piece

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he transition of an image from a rough line drawing to a finished painted piece can be a challenge, especially if it’s not directly from reference or a live model. It can become confusing to decide which colours to use and how to get started on painting something without anything to look at. My recommended approach is to do a bunch of thumbnails for both value and colour, and then graduate on to your final piece with a good grasp of your colour

scheme. However, it can also be a great learning experience to work on an image spontaneously and pick colours on the fly. I often do this either while working on smaller commissions or when producing personal work for practice. One way to overcome the fear of getting started on a clean white sheet of paper is to use toned paper or any printed surface. This gives you a limited colour range and helps you decide a scheme more quickly. Another issue is that it can hard to recreate objects, figures

MATERIALS Q Toned paper Q Acrylic or gouache Q Brushes

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and landscapes from your imagination. That’s when references are useful. But it’s important that references don’t dictate your painting. I look for reference images after I’ve decided what to paint and how to paint it. That way, my artistic decisions don’t overly rely on the reference photos. Anand is a freelance illustrator who works in Mumbai, India, and has recently forayed into the world of sci-fi and fantasy illustration. You can see more of Anand’s work at www.anandrk.tumblr.com.

At this stage I want to keep the green on the focal point: the head region.

I decide to keep it warm overall with some cool relief near the focal point.

Burnt Sienna makes for interesting effects when it shows through under layers of other colours. This is one reason why I prefer to use it initially.

I use a flat brush and fill in the masses with large brush strokes.

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Drawing and silhouette

After a quick graphite drawing of what I want to paint, I go in and define the silhouette with Burnt Sienna and some muted browns and blues. While defining my silhouette, I decide that I want the top portion of the figure to be light against a dark background, and the lower part to be dark against light. Together this forms my light/dark pattern.

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2

Settling on a colour scheme

As I flesh out various forms in the composition I also think of the basic colour scheme that I’ll follow to the finish. I already have my background colour (ochre and orange) fixed, so I decide to have a violet and a green in there. This gives me a triad colour scheme to work with.


Artist insight Colourful imagination ARTIST INSIGHT

© iStock.com/LuckyTeam66/aurumarcus

USE TEXTURES You can create various textures by scraping, sanding, splattering, hatching, using brush strokes and so on to help suggest materials or to add interest to your piece and make it look more organic.

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This was an afterthought to help convey the story aspect of the piece better. In addition, lettering helps to make an image look more finished.

Referencing

I look for references as and when I need them, while working on individual forms. I use the references in the context of my painting and try to fit them in the setting of my image, keeping in mind my lighting setup and colour scheme.

We now have a clear splitcomplementary scheme with red, violet and green. I add green on the elbow so that the viewer’s eyes can travel through the image, and it balances the green near the head.

The hands and gun form the second focal point.

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This line of contact between light and dark, called the terminator, usually has saturated colour.

I used a lost edge here to give him the sense of being one with the dark background.

Using patterns wherever needed to replace flat values is a good design choice. It adds interest and makes the viewer’s eye linger.

Modelling and lighting

Next it’s time for some more fleshing out of forms and shapes. At this stage I decide to have the lower portion of the figure in the light and the head and chest in shadow, which makes it appear as if he is standing under some kind of roof, and this helps the context of the image.

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Smaller shapes and finishing

This step is all about finishing and adding finer and smaller shapes wherever needed. I subdue and glaze the region in shadow to push it back, while adding highlights to the area under the influence of sunlight. I add the darkest darks and work on edges to give the piece a sense of completion.

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Painting skills

Oils

RENDERING FORM USING COLOUR CHRIS LEGASPI demonstrates how to quickly and efficiently use colour to render form by adjusting the temperature of his limited palette

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fter years of study I’ve learned working methods that help me to simplify my colour and painting process. One of these methods is rendering with temperature shifts. So when I change the value of a colour, I alter the temperature by adding more yellow, more red or blue. I start with a limited palette of white and only two colours – usually a warm earth tone such as Burnt Sienna and a cool blue, for example Ultramarine Blue.

Later I’ll add a yellow and a red to bring about the necessary temperature shifts. When painting, my first concern is value, and I’ll squint to see the value shapes. I’ll also simplify the values and group value shapes as much as possible. With these simple value shapes in mind, I can then mix a colour for every step or transition in value. I begin by blocking in the shadow with a medium-dark cool tone, ignoring details and variations in the shadow. Then I mix the next value shapes that comprise

MATERIALS Q Canvas or illustration board Q Bristle brushes of various sizes Q Oil paint colours: Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Alizarin Crimson Q Solvent or thinner

transition tones, making sure this is warm enough so they separate from the cool shadow. Then I mix the next value shape and shift that temperature as well. I’ll continue this process to the brightest highlights. As long as the temperature shifts are dramatic enough, the values will read and the colours will feel lively. Chris is an artist, lover and health nut with over 20 years of drawing, painting and teaching experience. He loves to share his experience at www.drawwithchris.com.

Mix yellows in upper areas

Colours mixed

Ignore details in shadow

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Block in shadow

Once the drawing and placement is defined, I’ll block in the shadow. I mix a greyish blue tone using Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. I also make sure to simplify the shadow shape by disregarding details and nuances. Shadow variation and details can be added at a later stage.

Mix cool reds in lower area

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Transition tones

I begin rendering by moving from shadow to light using a warm brown comprising Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. This warm “pops” against the cool-blue shadow. For subtle variation, I mix in yellows and cool reds. These temperature shifts make the colour lively and lifelike.


Artist insight Render with colour Mix more yellows in upper areas

ARTIST INSIGHT

Pure blue

CREATE A CENTRAL COLOUR POOL When I’m rendering, I mix a large pool on my palette for light, shadow and midtone colours, and arrange them from dark to light. Staying organised helps me mix more accurate colours and values.

EXERCISE

CLEVER COLOURS

Paint a figure from life with a limited palette. Use a colour strategy to make temporary shifts as you move values from dark to light.

Highlight bloom Mix more reds in lower areas

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Half-tones and lights

I apply a pinkish brown half-tone to soften the transition, before using a lighter yellow for the light. The yellow pops nicely against the cooler pink. For variation, I’ll add yellows in the light areas and cool reds in the lower areas.

Mix blue in brightest highlight

Subtle shadow tone Light colours

Pure reds

Background colour

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Highlights and background

I introduce highlights using a cool pink that blends with the skin, then a cool light grey for the bright highlights. For the background I mix a midtone blue and a touch of yellow. This slightly green-blue works well against the more reddish blue in the shadow.

Background colour

Refine and finish

I refine my edges, correct the drawing and add temperature shifts to the background, along with accents of rich colour. Then I finish by washing subtle darks in the bottom areas and glazing light yellow in the light areas. This heightens the sense of light and adds technique and edge variation.

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Painting skills

Gouache

PREPARE TO PAINT WITH GOUACHE PETER CHAN takes you through his compact painting kit, which enables him to paint both indoors and outdoors

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ainting from observation with traditional media is one of the best ways to study and improve your sense of colour and light. After 10 years of working in the animation industry mostly with digital tools, I decided to revisit this passion of mine and began painting outdoors once a week, either in the morning or during my lunch break. This not only reinvigorated my passion for painting, but also helped tremendously with my colour work professionally. Oil paint always used to be my go-to medium, but it’s not the most convenient

setup to bring to work. So after doing some research, I decided to take up gouache, and really fell in love with it. The medium comes in a variety of vibrant colours; it’s very flexible in its application in terms of painting thick like oils as well as wet like watercolours; and it can be prepared and cleaned easily, making it the perfect medium for plein-air painting. The tools required to use gouache are also relatively simple and compact, which is perfect for anyone who wants to go out for quick studies in any breaks that come up in a busy work schedule. It’s been four years since I took up this weekly gouache

MATERIALS GOUACHE Q Winsor & Newton Q Holbein BRUSHES Q Flat brushes: quarter, three-eighths, half and three-quarter inch Q Round brushes: #3, #6 and #10 MATERIALS Q Watercolour paper Q Canson art boards Q Moleskine sketchbook

painting routine and I still become excited by the beautiful natural subject matter around me, which is a great counterbalance to the imaginary work that I do for the animation studio. It’s also the perfect excuse to get away from working on the computer. Peter is originally from Taiwan but now lives in Los Angeles, where he works at Sony Pictures Animation. Previously he was at Pandemic Studios as a concept artist, and at DreamWorks Animation, where he was a visual developer. You can see more of his work on his blog, www.pixelp.tumblr.com.

Working small in a sketchbook can feel less intimidating and gets the momentum going.

A fold-out table is a great and affordable option for painting in remote areas.

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Hold your paint box by hand so the colours don’t flow into each other.

Roll up your brushes in the bamboo mat to protect and organise them.

Simple and compact setup

Start by assembling a compact plein-air kit that makes it easy both to start painting and to clean up. Mine comprises a sketchbook, my paint box, a small jar of water, a small spray bottle to keep the paint wet, toothpicks for prepping the paint, masking tape, paper towels and my brushes in a bamboo mat. I keep all this in a small bag except for the paint box, which needs to be carried. I also have a simple fold-out table instead of a pricey pochade box, where I can put my water and paint and use the table top as my mixing surface.

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ARTIST INSIGHT HANG ON TO YOUR OLD BRUSHES Keep hold of your worn-out brushes – they tend to make some beautiful brush marks. You can do some small brush work exercises at home, just to experiment and get a quick feel for the gouache paint itself.

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Try various paper types

I like painting on many different types of paper. It really pushed me to control gouache as a medium when I started using it. The thin Moleskine sketchbook paper forces you to apply the paint rather thick and dry, while Canson art board has an absorbent surface and enables you to layer the paint. Toothy watercolour paper suits a dry brush technique, which creates interesting textures. You can learn all types of gouache application just by painting on different paper surfaces.


Artist insight Painting with gouache The Flat brush creates a blocky, hard edge look.

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Use the paint box’s lid as a mixing surface.

Limit your brush choices

You don’t need to buy premium brushes for these painting studies; it’s all about getting comfortable and efficient with them. I mostly use the Flat and Round brushes at a couple of different sizes. The Flat brush is great for blocking in big areas and cutting into colour shapes to create sharper, cleaner edges. The Round brush enables you to “draw” the colours, develop organic shapes, and is also good for dry brush texturing.

The Round brush can develop a softer, organic feel on the canvas.

Organise colours according to their value. All my lighter colours are on the right, with darker colours on the left.

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The paint box

I carry my paints in this small compartmented box and use the lid as a mixing surface. The advantages with the paint box are that I don’t have to squeeze out new paint every time; it’s easy to control the amount of paint I get on my brush; and it also helps to keep the paint fresh for up to a week if it’s kept out of the sun. It’s also easy to clear out the compartment and replace old paints. I organise my colours according to their values, which helps with picking

Don’t forget to clean and prep your paint for each painting session.

Always keep the paint damp. Once it dries hard it’s more difficult to revive with water.

I use a variety of different paint brands – Winsor & Newton, Holbein and Reeves. colours when painting. Whenever I notice a paint is drying, I can revive it by adding and mixing in a few drops of water. The only downside is that I can’t put it in my bag pack – the box has to be carried level in the hand so that the paints don’t overflow into neighbouring compartments. You can search for “24 well paint box” online and find something similar. I use mostly Winsor & Newton and Holbein paints alongside cheaper paint brands like Reeves, which is great in quality as well as price.

SAFETY TIP STAY COOL

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Prepping the paint

It’s important to prep your paint before each session and make sure it’s not too dry. I would recommend adding the appropriate amount of paint depending on the depth of the box compartments. Use about one-quarter of the tube to start out, and add more as you see fit. Spray the desired amount of water with the small spray bottle – I aim for a pancake-mix type consistency. Then mix the water and paint evenly with a toothpick. It also depends on the weather – I might also make the paint a bit more watery on a very hot day, or add more fresh pigments for thicker paint when painting indoors.

Remember to bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen when you head out to a location without a lot of shade.

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Painting skills

Gouache

STILL LIFE PAINTING TECHNIQUES PETER CHAN shares his approach to painting indoor still life – a great way to become comfortable with the medium and get you ready for plein air studies

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here’s nothing I love better than being outdoors painting the world around me, but it was definitely a struggle for me when I first started using gouache. It can be intimidating working with an unfamiliar paint medium, the complexity of the scene and the everchanging light. That’s why setting up a small-scale, basic still life in the comfort of your home can be a good way to work on the art fundamentals and build up your confidence before heading out. You’ll know better than anyone else the variety of props with different shapes and colours that are in your home, and for some artists like myself they provide a

Variety of round, geometric and flat shapes.

constant source of inspiration. Working on these still life exercises under a consistent light source means you can take your time to work on your observational skills, noticing the relationships between shapes, light and colours, which is crucial for painting outdoors. One of the ways I like to set up my still life is finding objects with a clear difference in value structure and put them under a single light source, such as a desk lamp. In this example I have my toy figure with about a medium value, a small black speaker which is my darkest value and a white piece of board as my highest value element, with some additional objects in the background. These simple objects

Still life comprises mid, dark and high values. Dark value

Mid value

MATERIALS Q Gouache paint Q Canson art board Q Desk lamp Q Variety of flat brushes

Peter is originally from Taiwan but now lives in Los Angeles, where he works at Sony Pictures Animation. Previously he was at Pandemic Studios as a concept artist, and at DreamWorks Animation, where he was a visual developer. You can see more of his work on his blog, www.pixelp.tumblr.com.

I simplify the drawing into large blocks and ignore details for now.

High value

ARTIST INSIGHT

Contrasting colours.

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Selecting objects to paint

Try not to think about finding “cool” objects to paint. Instead, consider their contrasting properties when they’re put together. In my setup, I have the contrast of the colourful, round-shaped toy next to the dark, geometric speaker sitting on the flat white board. Thinking abstractly this way will help you become better at depicting the fundamentals of design, value and colour.

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establish a varied value structure for me to paint an interesting image. The most important concept to keep in mind in this still life exercise is to observe these object as not what they are, but as abstract shape elements. The more you train your eye to see and paint them this way, the easier painting the complexity of outdoor sceneries will become.

KEEP THINGS SIMPLE AND ABSTRACT Don’t place too much focus on capturing the likeness and details of any of the objects in your scene, but rather their abstract shapes, values and colours.

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Making use of a simple underdrawing

I like to think of the underdrawing almost as a simple note-taking stage. I quickly sketch in the important elements, such as proportions of objects and the general composition. The loose drawing enables me to be more flexible when painting and not be a slave to the line work.


Artist insight Still life Constantly work around the composition.

Break down the form into simple, accurate value and colour shapes. Don’t worry about blending at this stage.

Look for warm and cool colours in the light and shadows.

Push the difference in values to make the objects read clearly. Put down quick colours that you observe and react to. Don’t worry about accuracy.

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Overall colour block-in

During the early block-in stage I put down rough colour notes of what I see. I like to start in the centre of my image and work my way around the whole composition. I do this often throughout the whole painting process so I don’t linger in one area for too long. I also paint loosely and more wet during this stage, as I would with watercolours.

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Breaking down the complexity

The middle stage is all about breaking down the complexity of your objects into simpler colour shapes and more accurate colour mixing. I push the warm colours in the light and cool colours in the shadows. I start to layer on thicker paint, but don’t think so much in terms of blending; instead, I sculpt simple planes with my brush strokes.

Be selective with the details you want to add, such as those on the toy figure or wood grain texture.

Make an effort to observe the different types of dark colours in the shadow areas.

Introduce subtle colour variations in areas – here, shades of white.

COLOUR ADVICE

PAINT CONSISTENCY

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Refining the composition and applying details

Once I achieve a strong, solid read in my painting, the finishing stage becomes relatively straightforward. Here, I can start to think about adding details such as the horn on the toy figure or the texture element of the table wood grain. I’m also looking for subtle changes in colours, which will bring in more variety to my painting. For example, in my white board area I add subtle changes of yellowish and greyish white.

Use wet, thin paint in the early stages, then build on top with thicker paint for vibrant colours.

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Painting skills

Gouache

PAINTING A STREET SCENE Taking his kit on the road, PETER CHAN shares his fill-in-the-shapes approach to gouache to capture a simple neighbourhood scene

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ainting outdoor scenery is the best way to learn about capturing natural lighting. One of my favourite exercises is painting urban street scenes with cars. It may seem complex at first, but if you treat them as just simple shapes – either squares or box-like forms – they become a lot less intimidating. I like to start by grouping big masses of value shapes together and not worrying about the likeness of the elements such as the cars, house and trees. Doing this also helps me narrow down my composition

and ensures I don’t try to paint too much of the scene. Then I approach the painting almost like a colouring book. I start to fill in my shapes with the colours I observe that closely relate to the value in those shapes. In this exercise, I paint a cloudy street scene with a bit of warm light hitting the distant house. Most of the elements, such as the cars and trees, are relatively dark, so I group them together. The next shape group is the street, which sits in the middle of the value range. I group the sky and houses together as my lightest value.

MATERIALS Q Strathmore watercolour paper Q Gouache paint Q Pencil Q Flat brushes

As you can see, just by doing simple shape grouping, I’ve already made something that was initially complex look a lot more manageable. From this point on, I can focus my energy on observing, mixing colours and filling in those shapes. Peter is from Taiwan but lives in Los Angeles, where he works at Sony Pictures Animation. He’s worked previously at Pandemic Studios and DreamWorks Animation, and you can see more of his work on his blog at www.pixelp.tumblr.com.

You can achieve a decent value range by painting with Yellow Ochre washes alone.

Crop in and find areas of interest.

Simplify and sketch out three basic dark-, medium- and light-value shape groups. ARTIST INSIGHT

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Narrowing down your composition

Try not to overwhelm yourself by painting everything you see. Instead, narrow down the things you find interesting. Your camera phone is a great tool to use as a viewfinder: it enables you to zoom in and out, to help you find your composition. Then do a small sketch using just value shape groups to organise your thoughts and use it as a guide for your painting.

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KEEP SQUINTING YOUR EYES I constantly squint my eyes to check my value shape groups. It also helps me to see things more simply and with less detail.

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Rough lay-in

Keep the initial sketch rough and don’t get carried away with drawing the details. Yellow Ochre is naturally a medium-value colour, so it’s great for laying in an initial wash to set up your values. Depending on the amount of water you add, you can achieve several different levels of darks with Yellow Ochre.


Artist insight Street scene

Try to mix the variety of warm and cools that fit into the value shape groups. Use different colours with similar values to further define shape groups.

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Simplify objects into threedimensional boxes.

Painting into the shapes

I start to paint into the shapes that I’ve blocked in and further define the area of cars, trees and the ground. I’m still working very roughly, trying to capture the impression of my scene. As I progress, I break down these big shapes into smaller ones. It’s almost like painting with puzzle pieces.

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Simple form indication

Once I’m comfortable with my value shape groups I can really have fun and push the colours within them. I also start to add darker colours to the shadow side of objects to indicate three-dimensional form. Treating the objects like simple boxes enables me to forget about their complexity.

Select an area of focus to add details – your eyes will fill in the rest.

Line elements add life and contrast to the blocky shapes.

BRUSH TIP SIMPLE BLOCKY STROKES

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Adding details

I find that adding details during the finishing stages should be kept to a minimum. I add small dabs of red for tail lights and dabs of dark for tyres. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to make those boxes look like cars. I also add some vertical line elements, to indicate street signs and branches, to help add some more likeness of a street scene.

Using big, blocky strokes forces you to paint quickly and with confidence.

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Painting skills

Oils

PAINTING FROM LIFE ALLA PRIMA Illustrator ANAND RADHAKRISHNAN reveals his process of painting a live model in oils and also talks about his colour choices while depicting skin lit by sunlight

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ainting or drawing from life regularly is an important practice because of the many benefits of having the model present in front of you instead of just a two-dimensional photograph. It really trains the eye to see how the form turns and how light affects the colours on the human skin. It also encourages the artist to work faster and make colour choices on the go, because in most cases the model is available only for a limited length of time. Another important aspect

of painting from life is that the human eye is capable of seeing more depth and colour on the live model than a camera can capture or a monitor can display. I usually have a friend or acquaintance sit for me in my studio space, where I can use sunlight as my source, pose the model as I want, and have the TV on to keep him from getting too bored... “Alla prima” is simply the technique of oil painting where layers of wet paint are applied on wet paint, usually in a short time. Oil can be a challenging medium

MATERIALS Q Canvas Q Oil paint Q Brushes Q Turpentine or any other solvent Q Palette

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to use, especially when working fast from life, but it’s also a very flexible medium in the sense that you can layer it endlessly and simply scrape off parts that you don’t particularly like, then repaint. It’s one of the few mediums that give you a very large variety of textures and colours. Anand is a freelance illustrator who works in Mumbai, India, and takes inspiration from artists as diverse as Moebius and Alphonse Mucha. You can see more of Anand’s work at www.anandrk.tumblr.com.

I paint in the background colour – a combination of Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre – in this step to isolate the head.

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Arranging paint on the palette

I put paint on my palette from left to right going from light to dark, with the cools on one edge and the warms on the other. The rest of the space on the palette can be used for mixing paint. It also helps to use separate brushes for cools and warms, to avoid getting colours muddy.

From left to right... Ultramarine Blue Cerulean Blue Viridian Green Titanium White Lemon Yellow Yellow Ochre Cadmium Red Crimson Lake Burnt Sienna Burnt Umber 54

Practical Painter

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Blocking in large shapes

I start by observing the basic shapes of the head and blocking them in. I usually draw in the simple head shapes quickly using Burnt Sienna and then fill in the simplest light and dark pattern using midtone colours. You can also add the darkest darks, such as the hair shape, at this stage.

Because the model is seated next to a window on his left, I have the left side of his face lit brightly by sunlight. This means the rest of his face is in shadow, which creates a clear light and dark pattern.


Artist insight Paint from life I paint with large strokes of the brush, keeping in mind the planes of the model’s face.

ARTIST TIP

SIMPLIFY SHAPES AND COLOURS

Squint to judge the planes of the head and see the colours that appear on the skin and hair when light hits.

The hair shape is almost never a flat colour, but rather a variety of muted darks (depending on the lighting). In this case I can see accents of purple in the hair, which I recreate with Crimson Lake and Cerulean Blue.

I add accents of colour to the portrait, some of which I’ll retain in the final image. These lights are cool compared with the rest of the image.

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Building up form

In this step I work on defining the planes of the model’s head and attempt to create the illusion of form. I also add the lights that I had previously left canvas-white, but these are still not as light as I see them on the model. However, I decide to leave these for the final stages.

Here is a soft edge on the cheek. I add a slight gradient to the background colour to make the light side of the face glow. Squinting reveals colour accents on the hair where it catches the light. I also use a hard edge where the forehead meets the background.

These areas usually have more reds in them.

This technique of placing patches of paint of different values and colours next to each other to create turn in form is called tiling.

The jaw and chin areas have more greens in them, especially for men.

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Edges and colour accents

As the picture nears its end, I think about the various edges that make it interesting and use a variety of them to draw viewers’ attention to the focal point. Adding accents of more saturated colour in a few wellthought-out areas does the same job of directing the eye through the piece.

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Finishing and highlights

The modelling stage of the painting continues until I call it finished. Now I add the lightest lights, in this case the planes of the face lit directly by sunlight, the eyes and so on. I work on flattening the background so the strokes don’t interfere with the portrait. I also work on the fabric of the clothing, although I keep the shapes fairly simplified and loose.

USE A MIRROR Keep a mirror handy and check it constantly to see if your colours and values work. Using a mirror is like using a new set of eyes to view your image.

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Studio skills

Photography

USE LIGHT TO TELL THE STORY DAVID PALUMBO shares his favourite methods for getting more drama from his models through lighting

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ight shapes the mood of a painting. How you light your model, either for photographic reference or live observation, will shift the tone from naturalistic to melodramatic or anywhere between. Thinking carefully about what mood you wish to achieve is the first step to finding an effective lighting strategy. All lighting concerns come down to controlling the quality and direction of your light. Quality of light mostly refers to how hard or soft the light appears. Hard

light casts harsh shadows while soft light will cast gradual shadows, possibly to the point of almost no perceptible shadow at all. Direct sunlight is an excellent example of hard light. Ambient light from a nearby window shows soft light. Extreme soft light can be seen under an overcast sky. Light quality relates to the size of the light source and its distance from the model. Larger light sources create softer shadows. For dramatic hard light, aim an intense light directly at the model. You can achieve a more atmospheric or

Q Clamp lights or photo strobes Q Light stands Q Reflector Q Camera (optional)

naturalistic look by bouncing your light off a larger surface, such as a reflector, light umbrella or wall. The direction of light is the angle at which light falls over the form of the subject. Some basic setups are shown here, along with a few particular methods that always give me great, moody results.

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page

David is an award-winning illustrator and fine artist who works primarily in genre fiction and fantasy gaming. See more of his art at www.dvpalumbo.com.

MATERIALS

146 now!

Bounce light from the white shirt A great moment I would have missed without reference

Bright lit against a dark background

May need to be dimmed for balance

Hard edges to spotlit shadows

Posing models together in multi-ďŹ gure paintings helps immensely

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Theatrical overhead

A strong, single, hard light source directly above and slightly to the front of the model or models will create a spotlight effect. This can give an operatic level of drama to help your image feel bigger than life, especially when it is contrasted against a darker environment.

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Hand-held light is often also under-light A simple clamp light would have worked too

ARTIST INSIGHT REAL-LIFE CONDITIONS Whenever possible, I like to reference under the actual conditions of the intended scene. This better informs me by discovering realistic nuances that I might never imagine.

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In-frame light source

An in-frame light source such as a candle or lamp can add mystery and atmosphere, especially when held by the model. Careful composing or strategically covering the light source with other elements in the final composition will help keep the light from stealing the focal point.


Artist insight Lighting

Edge light

Fill light

A wall makes for a good reflector The wall bounce gives an even fill

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EQUIPMENT CREATE FILL LIGHT

Rembrandt light

A large sheet of cardboard painted white or wrapped in foil will do the job as a reflector.

Overhead light

Edge and fill lights

Figures really pop with an edge light highlighting the contour, while fill light helps to inform the shadow side. The edge light will be behind and pointed towards the camera, and the fill is generally diffused and dimmer (here it’s bounced off a wall).

Light is weaker here... …than here, because of the Inverse Square Law of light

Under-light

Side-light More hard shadows

The light is just out of frame

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Under-lighting

Because we rarely see people lit from below in life, this approach can give an unnatural or frightening tone to a figure. Hard under-light (as seen here) will produce an aggressive feel. In contrast, the subtlety of a soft light will create a more ethereal and eerie atmosphere.

Back-light 5

In-camera flash

Single light source basics

Here are examples of Rembrandt, overhead, side-, under-, back- and in-camera flash lighting. As you can see very clearly here, the in-camera flash will negate most shadows and leave you with a flat, boring, unflattering result that’s almost never useful as painting reference.

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Techniques

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EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS HELP YOU MASTER YOUR MEDIUM OF CHOICE AND DISCOVER NEW TECHNIQUES

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How to choose your art materials Dave Kendall explains how to choose the materials you’ll need and shares some tips on using them

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How to paint with watercolours Brynn Metheney shows you how to get the best results with this sometimes-tricky medium

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How to paint with acrylics Brynn Metheney helps you get started with these versatile, vibrant and affordable paints

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Choose your art materials

Going further with acrylics Illustrator Terese Nielsen introduces some more advanced and experimental acrylic techniques

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How to paint with gouache It combines the flexibility of watercolour with the flow of acrylics. Brynn Metheney explains all

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How to mix paints Kev Crossley explores colour theory and shares some tips on ways to mix various kinds of paint

70 How to paint with acrylics

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Going further with acrylics

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Master watercolours

Mixing your paints

Get started with gouache

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Techniques

Core skills

CHOOSING YOUR ART MATERIALS Before you start painting, you need to make some decisions about what you’re going to use. DAVE KENDALL explains how to choose what you’ll need

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hole books have been filled with sage advice on painting materials and how to use them. Here we’ll cover what’s needed to start you painting. None of this is meant to be definitive or even prescriptive, just a few pointers based on my own experience. A comfortable workspace is particularly important. If like me you never liked being told to tidy your room, it’s best to find a space that doesn’t need to be cleared up

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Sketching pencils

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Canvas and board

after you’ve finished a painting session. If you’re blessed with plenty of room, a dedicated studio space is great. It’s also essential that the area is well-lit. If you can find a north-facing window, that would be ideal. But comfort is the critical factor. Artists through the ages have painted on every surface and at all angles. Personally I like to stick within 90 degrees. I have an A0-size draughtsman’s table, a table easel and a large, free-standing easel for my bigger paintings. You need to be able to see and have access to the whole surface

of the painting as you work, with enough room to step back to view the image as a whole. While the table and table-top easel can accommodate smaller illustrations, the large easel can carry paintings up to four or five feet across. Dave is based in Bristol and began his career by illustrating book covers, but is currently working in the areas of comics and role playing games. He works in both traditional and digital media. You can see more of his work at rustybaby.com

Ever since seeing Robert Crumb’s beautiful sketchbooks I decided to try to apply similar values to my own sketching process. I work in hardbound books containing heavy cartridge paper. They will take pretty rough treatment from most media. When they’re finished they get numbered and put on a shelf, which I use often as visual diaries. I have a personal preference for 2B pencils. I use both mechanical and good old fashioned wooden versions.

This is one area where I apply a do-it-yourself philosophy. I get hardboard cut to size at a local timber merchants. Using artist acrylic gesso I coat the board evenly with an ordinary house brush, leave it to dry and then apply another coat in an opposite direction. Between coats I use wet and dry paper, which can be bought from any car accessory shop. This can give a very smooth surface to work on. It’s very sturdy, forgiving, yet economical.

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Paper

Another surface I use to paint on is hot-pressed watercolour paper. I stretch it by soaking it in a bath of water and then stick it to a sturdy board using gummed sealing tape. Once it’s completely dry I coat it in a layer of Liquitex matte medium. This seals the paper to prevent the paint soaking into it and becoming dull. Prepared in this way it can be used for oils or acrylics.


Artist insight Materials

I find it’s a false economy to buy cheap paints, though studentquality paints are okay if you are experimenting

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Paints and mediums

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Palette knives and colour shapers

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Cleaning materials

I like to use good quality paints, such as Liquitex and Finity acrylics. They’re high in pigment and therefore the colour is more intense, particularly if used straight from the tube. I find it’s a false economy to buy cheap paints. If you’re experimenting it doesn’t hurt to go for student-quality paints, though.

Other useful mark-making tools are palette knives and rubber tipped colour shapers. These tools apply paint in a totally different way. They enable you to place slabs of colour, and to pull grooves, and texture your paint. Imagine painting bark and rough surfaces using these devices. Palette knives come into their own with larger paintings on board. You need a sturdy support for this.

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Palettes

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Brushes

Your palette could be any smooth, cleanable surface – plates, glass, the traditional wooden or the disposable paper versions. For acrylics I do use a stay-wet palette, which keeps the paint workable. Acrylics dry to a plastic film very quickly without it. The paint can be a little liquified using it, so impasto can be difficult. Oils are different. They remain workable for days without any extra help.

Good quality brushes and paints should provide you with plenty of good service. However, it’s vital that you clean your equipment, especially brushes, if you are using oils and acrylics. Using ordinary hardware store brush cleaner should save brushes that have dried dirty. Old and damaged brushes are always useful for rough work such as scumbling or for creating interesting textures and variegated finishes.

I always use good quality brushes. Although expensive they will serve you and your painting well with a little TLC. They keep their shape and ability to apply paint for longer than cheaper varieties. This is probably the most important purchase you’ll make. I use a selection of synthetic, bristle and sable. I suggest having different sets of brushes for each medium.

Brushes can be round, flat, or filbert (rectangular in shape like a flat brush, but they come to a point like a round brush).

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Colours

Most makes of paint have a huge range of colours, though over time you will develop a smaller range you���ll use more than most. This is down to personal taste to a certain extent. For instance I particularly like the Phthalo Blues. As you become more experienced you’ll find that you’ll be able to get a wide range of mix from just a few core colours.

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Varnishes and protection

Although not strictly vital, varnishes fulfil an important last stage. When your painting is dry, you’ll find that the surface has different textures such as gloss and matte, and different colour intensities as a result of this. Varnish equalises as well as protects the surface. Gloss uniformly intensifies the colour, while matte prevents reflections and is useful if you wish to photograph or scan the painting.

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Techniques

PAINTING POINTERS Tips and advice for when you’re ready to start painting

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Don’t be afraid to try things

Experiment with as many different techniques and media as possible. Choose your media to suit your subject matter. This is the first time I have used Artisan Water Mixable Oils. I found them to be rather nice to work with. You have the advantages of oils but without the need for spirits and solvents. They have buttery and smooth consistency, with the extended drying time of oils.

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Foundation work

I never work from white when using oils or acrylics. Create an underpainting establishing shadows and values with Burnt Umber or a mix of Burnt Sienna and Phthalo Blues. Acrylics are probably best at this stage because they’re quick-drying and permanent. You can use almost any media on top of acrylic, but not oils. Work paint up from thin to thick, especially when using slow-drying paints. It’s impossible to work on top of heavy, wet paint. In the same way, work up to highlights, adding the brightest and usually heavier paint at the end. Have a roll of kitchen towel handy to clean brushes and take excess paint off the surface if a mistake is made.

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Removing paint can be as important as applying it. Sgraffito is the term for when you scratch away paint while it’s wet in order to expose the underpainting. It’s especially useful when depicting scratches, hair, grasses and the like. You can use almost any pointed object for this. For battleworn armour or similar textures, I use rubber shaping tools or the end of a brush to create scratches through wet paint.

Brush types

Brushes come in a number of shapes and with different fibre types. Combinations of these will give very different results. The key is to try all of them as you paint. The most versatile of these are the synthetic/ sable mix. These brushes can be used with most of the different paint types. Brushes come in flat and round shapes, and it pays to have a selection of both. I work with a range of brushes. For most of the early work I find myself using larger, flatter and broader brushes. A filbert is a good general brush for blocking in form and paint. It has a dual nature combining the aspects of flat and round brushes, so can cover detail as well as larger areas. I find myself using smaller brushes only at the end of the painting process.

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Dry brush

This is a method of applying colour I use that only partially covers a previously dried layer. You should use very little paint on the brush and apply it with very quick, directional strokes. This method tends to work best when applying light paint over dark areas or over dried paint and is useful in depicting rock and grass textures.

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Glazing

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Painting mediums

This is the process of laying a coat of transparent paint over a dry part of the painting. Used for intensifying shadows and modulating colour. A light transparent blue over dry yellow will of course create green. Use successive glazes repeatedly.

Texture

Have a dry flat brush that you can use to blend and create smooth transitions. I do tend to like lots of texture and like to see brush marks in my own work. Almost anything can be used to add texture to your paint. There are ready-made texture media available, but I have seen items such as egg shell and sand used to add interest to a painting. Use an old toothbrush to spatter your image with paint. This can be remarkably effective at suggesting noise and grain.

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Less is more

Mediums are fluids that can be added to paint to modulate their consistency, drying time and texture. In the case of acrylics you get different mediums that make the paint matte or gloss. However, my greatest use of matte medium is sealing paper and board, so that paint doesn’t soak into it.


Artist insight Watercolour

Core skills

HOW TO PAINT WITH WATERCOLOURS Watercolour painting can be tricky to master, but can produce wonderful results. BRYNN METHENEY walks you through the basics and shares some expert tips

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atercolour is a very versatile and flexible medium that can yield a wide variety of beautiful results. Sometimes also known as aquarelle, it’s a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. Although it dates back thousands of years, watercolour is a tricky medium to master, but it’s certainly one worth pursuing. When you create a painting in watercolours, light reflects off the white of the paper and bounces up through the colours, giving the painting a luminosity that can be truly magical. Professional children’s book illustrator Alina Chau has a whimsical style that’s highly sought after for art exhibitions worldwide – you can see some of her amazing work at www.alinachau.com.

Alina’s lyrical watercolours have garnered her a devoted fan base and the accolades of her peers. “To achieve a desirable result with watercolour it’s important to have the right tools,” she recommends. “While you don’t have to invest in an expensive set of supplies, you don’t want to use paint or paper that turns out not to be suitable for watercolours.” Here’s her advice for people starting out with painting in watercolour: “A common misunderstanding is that you have to use the same palette that you used for the colour study when creating your final painting. “While it’s true that you’ll recreate the look of the colour sketch, you should always start a new painting with a clean set of tools and a clean palette. This will stop the colour on your painting getting too muddy and hard to control. Also, wash your tools regularly whenever they

MATERIALS PAINTS Q Holbein Artist’s Watercolour Q Winsor & Newton Watercolour PAPER Q Arches Hot Press Watercolour Paper, 140lb BRUSHES Q Watercolour brushes sizes: 6, 3, 0.8, 000 OTHER Q Kneaded eraser Q 2H Caran d’Ache pencil Q Paper towels Q Masking tape Q Salt Q Sponge

start to get dirty. This will keep the purity and accuracy of the colour.” One final tip: “While you don’t need to worry about paper getting buckled in a sketchbook, you do need to watch for this in your final painting. To prepare the paper you can either stretch your paper or get a watercolour block, which is pre-stretched.” But first things first... Over the next few pages, we’ll walk you through some of the basic techniques of painting with watercolours and share some insights into ways to produce more interesting textures and finishes using the medium. Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. After ten years in Oakland, she has recently relocated to Long Beach, California. See more of her work at www.brynnart.com

THE BASICS Watercolour painting is all about layering and texture. We explain how to get it right... ARTIST INSIGHT BUY A RANGE OF BRUSHES It’s important to have a range of brushes. This will depend on how large or small you work. I tend to work on the smaller side so my brushes range from 000 to 6. Experiment with different sizes to work out what your favourites are. But I’d also recommend getting hold of brushes that are smaller than what you think you’ll use. These will come in handy for those small details you don’t anticipate.

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It’s all about dry vs wet

There are two major factors when painting with watercolours: wet and dry. As the name suggests, watercolour is a water-based medium. We can manipulate the darkness and saturation of the pigment depending on how much water we add. There are many ways to paint in watercolour and, as you try them, you’ll find the ones that work best for you. I’ve found working dry to wet helps me achieve more control.

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Work from light to dark

Another important rule to remember when working with watercolours is that we’re working from light to dark. This means that anything we’re keeping white or light in our painting needs to stay that way for the whole duration of the work. We’ll build our values up, layer-bylayer, to arrive at the effect we want. This does take a lot of planning but the results will be worth it.

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Techniques ARTIST INSIGHT SIX EXPERT TIPS Here are some more ways to get more out of watercolours: Q Mixing bleach into your paint will produce a blotchy effect, as it fights with the pigment. Q Use a toothbrush to create a spray/splatter effect. Try varying the distance from the paper to achieve different effects. Q Adding water to dry watercolours lifts and redistributes pigment, creating contours. Q Apply tape and liquid masking products to retain lightness. Remove them when the paint is dry. Q Try scraping painted areas away to introduce gritty marks and lines. Q Use the brush’s butt end to spread thick lines of wet paint in an unusual way.

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You’ll need paper towels

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How to use blooming

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Pulling in colour

One very important tool to have in your tool kit when working with watercolours is a paper towel. The paper towel almost acts as a kneaded eraser for your watercolours. Laying down a wash of colour and then lifting parts of it up is a great way to add layers of detail gradually. Paper towels are also very useful for correcting mistakes or directing the paint in different direction.

A good way to bleed colours into one another is through “blooming”. Take a good amount of water to pigment in your brush and apply it to the paper. While the stroke is still wet, add in another colour with the same amount of water. You can manipulate the colours to where they need to be at this point. Allow this to dry and you’ll notice that there are subtle gradients through the stroke.

When you apply a dry, more saturated stroke, you can pull from that stroke with just water. This is a great way to show form and indicate a light source or edge. Apply a stroke using very little water and more pigment. Before the stroke is dry, take a moderately wet brush and pull the colour out from the darker stroke. You can pull the colour quite a distance depending on how dry that initial stroke is.

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The splatter technique

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Getting textures right

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Layering colour

One handy trick to add some action to your watercolour painting, for depicting things like water spray or floating dust, is to use a splatter technique. Hold your paintbrush between your thumb and middle fingers. Using your index finger, pull back on the bristles and let them snap forward. This method is a bit random, but can yield some very fun results, so I’d urge you to give it a try.

You’ll notice that working in watercolours on a rougher paper does have its advantages. One obvious one is that you don’t have to work too hard to achieve a nice texture. This said, it’s important to try to depict objects and materials with their textures included. This means using lights and darks as well as wets and dries.

Because watercolour is a thin medium, you’ll need to build up colour gradually. This is actually another advantage to the medium – you can do some colour mixing right on the paper. Take one colour and lay it down. Allow it to dry and then revisit with another shade. You’ll notice that where they overlap, the pigment mixes and you’re left with a different colour. This is great for building up flesh tones.


Artist insight Watercolour ARTIST INSIGHT

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The scumbling technique

Scumbling is a technique used by many oil painters to create soft hues of layered pigment and light. You’re essentially layering the colour in soft, indirect layers to create the hue and look you want. I simply lay in semi-wet strokes of paint in watercolour. As I apply more colour, I’m careful to keep adding water so the colours blend and stay soft. It can be easy to overwork and produce a muddy look, so less is more.

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Lifting colour

Sometimes you’ll need to “erase” your watercolour. While you can’t return the paper to 100 percent white, you can lift away colour to correct a mistake or adjust the lighting in a piece. Work with an already dry swatch of watercolour and using clear water, paint in the shape you’d like to lift out. Let it set for a just a minute, then dab away the water with a paper towel. You’ll see the colour lift out in the shape you painted in.

GET SOME GOOD QUALITY PAINTS It’s important to invest in good quality watercolour. It will last longer and won’t yellow or degrade as much over time. There are lots of different brands and levels available in stores and online. I use a variety, from Holbein and Winsor & Newton. Buy a few colours from different brands and find out which you prefer. Start small; you can mix a variety of colours using a limited palette.

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Using salt

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Negative painting

Watercolour is all about layering and texture. Salt can provide an interesting texture with little effort as the salt crystals absorb the water, leaving a unique pattern in the pigment. Lay down a swatch of watercolour and while the paint is still wet, sprinkle over some salt. Let this sit until mostly dry, then simply wipe or blow away the salt. This technique is useful for adding texture to depict natural surfaces such as rocks or tree bark.

Watercolour is about planning. Think about where you’d like your whites and lights before you apply paint. It’s vital to keep control of your brush as you paint in the edge of where you’d like your negative space to begin. Load it with semi-wet pigment and paint along the edge of where you want your negative space. Then pull the colour away from the edge of the stroke to fill in where you’d like pigment.

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Sponging

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Using tape

Another household item you can use to apply watercolours is a sponge. Simply mix your pigment in a small dish or tray, dip the sponge into the paint and blot onto your paper. You can alter the wetness of your paint and achieve different effects. A drier look would be suited for depicting plant life or scaly skin while a wet application might be suited for waterscapes or clouds.

You can use tape to mask off areas you’d like to keep clean and white. This technique is useful for hard edges in depictions of machinery or architecture. Just lay down the tape where you’d like the paper to stay white. Make sure you use a tape that won’t rip your paper, such as drafting tape or painters’ tape. Paint over and around the tape. Once your paint is dry, remove the tape slowly and you should have a straight, clean line.

THREE GRADES OF WATERCOLOURS Watercolour paints come in three grades: Q ARTIST GRADE These contain a full pigment load, suspended in a binder, usually natural gum arabic. They’re usually made with fewer fillers like kaolin or chalk, which results in richer colour and more vibrant mixes. They’re normally sold in moist form, in a tube, and are thinned and mixed on a dish or palette. Q STUDENT GRADE These have less pigment, and often are made using two or more less expensive pigments. They’re generally cheaper and come in a smaller range of colours. Q SCHOLASTIC These are made with cheap pigments and dyes suspended in a synthetic binder. Good for teaching purposes, they’re usually non-staining, easy to wash out and suitable for use even by young children under supervision.

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Techniques

Core skills

HOW TO PAINT WITH ACRYLICS Versatile, vibrant and affordable, acrylics can be painted on almost anything. BRYNN METHENEY explains how to get started with acrylic paints

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crylics are fast-drying paints that can be used straight from the tube, like oil paints, or can be thinned with water, like watercolour. They are extremely versatile and vibrant, offering the artist a wide range of textures, colours and consistencies to work with. Acrylics are also affordable, making them ideal for covering large areas with paint. Because these paints are opaque and fast-drying, they can be very forgiving, allowing you to cover up mistakes with more paint. Acrylics can be painted on almost anything and dry into a water-resistant surface. While you need to be aware of how quickly they dry, acrylics can be blended beautifully. The heavy body

colour of acrylics is buttery and smooth, blending on the canvas almost like oils. Because they basically dry into a plastic surface, they are ideal for using in multimedia painting as well. You can keep acrylics workable by spraying them lightly with water from an atomiser. Slow-drying acrylics, such as Atelier Interactive Acrylic Paints, have recently appeared on the market, which you can even reactivate using a special Unlocking Formula if needed. Here we’ll begin by introducing you to four brush shapes that will be useful in your journey into acrylic painting, and give you a quick guide to what each shape can be used for. We’ll also cover how to care for your brushes – which is an especially important factor in acrylic painting.

Opaque and fast drying, these paints can be very forgiving, letting you cover up mistakes

I’ll introduce the paints I use too. Every artist has a favourite brand and I encourage you to look into what you enjoy working with. Our tips can be put into practice with any heavy body acrylic paint, student or professional grade. Simple techniques such as mixing and misting are also introduced to help you get started with this wonderfully versatile and rewarding medium. Once you’re up to speed, turn the page to discover more advanced techniques using acrylic paints... Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. After ten years in Oakland, she has recently relocated to Long Beach, California. See more of her work at www.brynnart.com

LEARN THE BASICS

MATERIALS PAINTS Q Golden Acrylic Paints Q Golden Gesso & Ground Q Golden Gel Medium (Gloss) Q Golden C.T. Interference Green-Blue Medium Q Golden Polymer Varnish

Get started with acrylics, from choosing your brushes to fundamental techniques

SURFACE Q Canvas Panel Q Mat Board BRUSHES Q Nylon acrylic brushes, Art Store brand: Flat 16, Fan 4, Filbert 12, Round 6 OTHER Q Palette knife Q Blackwing Palomino pencil Q Paper towels Q Misting bottle

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Brushes

Acrylic brushes tend to be made from synthetic materials and can be used with a variety of mediums. Oil brushes and watercolour brushes should not be used. It’s important to have a good variety of brushes, from small to large. You’ll soon learn which you’re more comfortable with, but these four are some of the more common shapes you’ll encounter. The Filbert brush is a great all-purpose brush that can offer a straight or rounded shape.

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Paints

For this lesson, I’m using golden acrylics, which I like because of their buttery texture and ability to hold up to a lot of water. These are considered “Heavy Body Acrylics”. I’d encourage you to experiment with a variety of brands to see which one you enjoy working with the most. Acrylic paint is essentially plastic – more specifically, pigment suspended in a polymer emulsion. You can break that emulsion with too much water, so take care when thinning it out.


Artist insight Acrylics ARTIST INSIGHT

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Mixing

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Gesso

Mixing paints is a precise process. It’s good to know your colour wheel here because you’ll be mixing very specific colours as you work. Red and yellow can be combined to make a variety of oranges. Add in some green and you’ll get brown and burnt umbers. Using a palette knife, a plastic knife, or even an extra brush is ideal. Mix thoroughly and remember that some paints can dry a slight shade darker.

Gesso is a white paint mixture used as a ground for painting with both acrylics and oils. Linen is stretched for canvas and then painted with gesso to provide a smoother, more resistant surface for the paint to pushed around on. Acrylic gesso is a little different from traditional gesso in that it contains latex. You can also use gesso to create texture under the paint you’re going to apply.

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Misting

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Glazing

Acrylics dry quickly – sometimes too quickly. One way to keep them moist easily is to mist them with water as you work. You can buy gardening misters at hardware or gardening stores. Depending on the surface you’re painting on, you can water your acrylics down enough to almost resemble watercolour. This can be a valuable trick to quickly lay in an underpainting to get started.

OTHER MEDIUMS Acrylics offer a variety of mediums to manipulate the paint and surface you’re working on. Two mediums I happen to have on hand are Golden C.T. Interference Green Blue Medium and Golden Polymer Varnish. These two substances do very different things. The Varnish can be used as a protective sealant and colour enhancer. This particular varnish is high gloss, meaning it will remain shiny. The Interference Medium is essentially an iridescent medium, giving the surface below a glittery blue/green hue. This could be used for scales or even some sort of cosmic effect in a landscape. I encourage you to explore mediums online on manufacturers’ websites. They offer plenty of information on how to use them.

Glazing is a great way to seal pencil sketches to paint over. Using a gel medium is the best and most even way to achieve a glaze. I start by selecting the colour I’d like to glaze with, in this case green. I mix a bit of gel medium and paint together with just a little mist of water to loosen it all up. Once it’s an even mixture, I apply the glaze over these black strokes.

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Blending

Blending can be a tricky technique to master. First I lay in a layer of white, then, using a filbert brush, add in blue along the bottom of the area being blended. I stroke back and forth rapidly, up and down the area, until I get a nice gradient from darker blue to white. Working wet into wet is the best way to blend. You can also dry blend by laying in colour, letting it dry and then dry brushing colour over it.

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Wet in wet and over dry to build texture

It’s best to use this technique when the colour or surface underneath is dry. I start by loading up my brush with a deep purple and paint a shape into the dry orange paint. From here I can drag out the other side of the stroke to feather it into the canvas and orange paint below. You can see that acrylics have an incredible amount of control and will stay put pretty much wherever you put them.

GESSO CANVAS You can gesso newsprint for a quick and cheap canvas in a pinch. Just lay out newsprint and cover with acrylic gesso using a wide, large brush. Allow it to dry for about an hour or so depending on the size. Now use it to practise and paint studies.

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Techniques

Core skills

GOING FURTHER WITH ACRYLICS Once you’ve become confident with acrylic paints, it’s time to start experimenting. Illustrator TERESE NIELSEN introduces some more advanced techniques

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crylics can be applied thick, right out of a tube, or you can water them way down and spray them through an airbrush. I work in mixed media and begin most of my paintings by laying down a watercolour-like wash for my underpaintings. It dries 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. But the main upside is also a downside: acrylics dry so fast! The key is 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 Colour, Liquitex and Golden. Paint can be squeezed out on anything, but if you plan on working for several hours or 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

Acrylics dry so fast! The key is to keep your paint wet in the palette, and don’t let it dry in your brushes

towels and spritz with a spray bottle. Acrylics can be applied with anything from fingers to an airbrush. I recommend natural and synthetic brushes. For small paintings I use a range of brushes: rounds (#1-3, 8, 12), flats (half-inch, one-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. Since graduating from the Art Center College of Design in 1991, Terese has become renowned for her trading card artwork for the likes of Magic: The Gathering, Harry Potter and Star Wars. See her work at www.tnielsen.com.

NEW TECHNIQUES TO TRY

MATERIALS PAINTS Q Gamblin oil paints: Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow, Titanium White, Sap Green Hue, Phthalo Turquoise, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Payne’s Grey, Naphthol Scarlet

Discover how to get more out of acrylics using knives, leaves, sand and more

SURFACE Q Ampersand Gessobord Q Gessoed hardboard BRUSHES Q Isabey Isacryl Round #0/2, #0, #1, #2, #4, Flat #2, Bright #2, #4, Filbert #10 MEDIUMS Q Walnut Alkyd Oil

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Experimentation is key

There are numerous methods of working with acrylic. 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.

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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 to 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 into the paint and then imprint that onto your surface. Paint with a knife, or flick and spatter the paint.


Artist insight Acrylics ARTIST INSIGHT

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Gradations with a retarder

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Splatter on dry and wet

Because acrylic paint dries so quickly, it’s harder to achieve those subtle variations in tone that you would in 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.

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

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Texture with sand

Using sand is a great way to add texture to acrylic paint, which can dry very smooth. You’ll need to use clean silica sand for this and when you’re mixing it in, make sure you 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.

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Imprinting

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Impasto Gel and a palette knife

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.

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 be a great way to create unique textures. You can use an Impasto Gel to add volume to the acrylic, which will also give an oil paint feel to your artwork.

GRADES OF ACRYLIC Commercial acrylics come in three grades. Q ARTIST OR PROFESSIONAL These are designed to resist chemical reactions caused by exposure to water, oxygen and ultraviolet light. Q STUDENT ACRYLICS These have working characteristics similar to pro artist acrylics, but with lower pigment concentrations, cheaper formulas, and a smaller range of colours. Pricier pigments are generally replicated by hues. Colours are designed to be mixed, although the colour strength is usually lower. Q SCHOLASTIC ACRYLICS These use much less expensive pigments as well as dyes in formulations that are safe for younger artists and economical for classroom use. The colour range is limited to common primary and secondary colours, and actual pigments are unspecified.

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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.

ACRYLIC VARIETIES CRAFT ACRYLICS can be used on surfaces besides canvas, such as wood, metal, fabrics, and ceramics. They are used in decorative painting techniques and faux finishes, often to decorate normal, everyday objects. HEAVY BODY acrylics are typically found in the Artist and Student Grade paints. They are the best choice for impasto or heavier paint applications. INTERACTIVE acrylics are all-purpose acrylic artist colours which are formulated to allow artists to delay drying when they need more working time.

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Techniques

Core skills

HOW TO PAINT WITH GOUACHE Gouache combines the flexibility of watercolour with the flow of acrylics. BRYNN METHENEY explains all you need to know about this underrated medium

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ouache might be my favourite medium. It combines the flexibility and workability of watercolour with the opacity and flow of acrylics. I find it to be the most versatile medium to paint with. Gouache can be manipulated using just water and so it is ideal for working in the field or in a studio, from quick concepts and studies to final full paintings. This medium has been used in the film and animation industries for decades for layouts, concepts and backgrounds. You can layer it light to dark or dark to light and, unlike with watercolour, you can paint in whites instead of masking them off. It can be very affordable, and your setup doesn’t need to be huge or advanced

This versatile medium is used in film and animation for layouts, concepts and backgrounds to be effective with it. Overall, it’s one of the most effective and probably underrated mediums out there. Here I’ll cover the basics of brushes and which sizes and shapes I like to use. I will also talk about which gouache I favour the most and what my palette looks like. I will cover some basic techniques to get you started in making good decisions as you work at using gouache more. Plus I’ll cover layering paints and how to build up value and colour with easy techniques. Because gouache is so workable, I will cover how to use water to your advantage

in lifting the medium up and pushing pigment around after it’s been dry. I’ll also cover how to use the dry brush to your advantage, using the texture of the paper and paint underneath to create strokes and blend colour. Gouache can also be used as watered down as watercolour for blooms and washes, when it will behave exactly like watercolour. I’ll show you how to use these, once they’ve dried, as a base to work over with more opaque strokes, similar to painting in acrylics. Brynn specialises in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for film, games and publishing. After ten years in Oakland, she has recently relocated to Long Beach, California. See more of her work at www.brynnart.com

GET STARTED WITH GOUACHE

MATERIALS PAINTS Q Holbein Artist’s Gouache

Discover what tools and materials you need and some basic techniques

SURFACE Q Bristol board QHeavy sketchbook paper QWatercolour cotton rag paper BRUSHES Q Watercolour brushes sizes 16, 6, 6 square, 3/0 OTHER Q Blackwing Palomino pencil QPaper towels QKneaded eraser

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Brushes

Gouache brushes are basically watercolour brushes. They tend to be made from either natural or synthetic fibres and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I use round brushes quite a bit, but round out my toolkit with square brushes too. Because the medium can be pushed around on paper so easily, the shape of brush isn’t as important as it is with oil or acrylic paints. Always keep your brushes wet as you work. This will help spread the gouache and keep it workable as you paint.

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Paints

I prefer Holbein Artist’s Gouache, but you’ll need to experiment with brands to find out which you enjoy working with. As with acrylics, there are lots of gouache pigments available. You really need only a spectrum of colour similar to the rainbow. You can then mix from there to achieve the colour you’re looking for. You can use gouache straight from the tube or mix it on a palette. It can be watered down to look like watercolour or be applied opaque like acrylics.


Artist insight Gouache ARTIST INSIGHT

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Staining

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Softening edges

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Blurred brushstrokes

Staining is similar to a glazing. Essentially I am covering the area to be painted with a bit of colour watered down with water to provide a base to work from. I start by mixing my colour and then picking it up with a wet brush. This will help the pigment move around the paper easier. Using even strokes and refilling my brush as needed, I lay in an even coat around the area I want to be painted.

Like watercolour, gouache can be reworked hours or even days after it has been applied. In fact, it stays workable almost indefinitely. To create a gradient between strokes, I load up my brush with water and apply it to the already-dry stroke of pink gouache. I pull the pigment into the purple stoke and blend the two together. You can use your brush to push the pigment from side to side to achieve a good blend.

Blurred brushstrokes are similar to scumbling. You can use the brush and pigment to mix and blend colours as you paint on the paper. This is a more organic way of painting but it offers a looser look in colour and texture. Using my brush, I grab colour from my palette and place it on the paper, being careful not to blend too much or this can begin to look muddy. The key is not to overwork anything.

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Opaque layers

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Dry brushing

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Blooms

Opaque layers are used to hide layers underneath, similar to painting in acrylic. Because gouache has such a rich and vibrant quality, similar to pastels, it’s used in sort of a rough way. The medium has a very tactile look. Using the swatch from before, I lay in a cloud shape with opaque paint to cover the previous layer. This means I am adding hardly any water at all to the paint as I move it around the paper.

CONCEPT ART TECHNIQUE Scan in pencil drawings at high resolution and print them out on heavy watercolour paper, according to your printer manufacturer’s instructions. From here, you can paint away on an almost perfect replica of your pencil sketch. Use this technique to try out colour ideas or end up with two originals!

Dry brushing is a method of layering colour in a way that preserves texture. I load my brush with semi-wet gouache. I brush it out a bit, emptying my brush until only about 30 percent of the original load is left. Then with quick strokes and no water, I swipe the brush across the surface quickly and lightly. You can see how the texture of the paper and brush helps create a ragged effect.

Gouache is a water-based medium, so you can water it down to react and move around like watercolour. Blooms can be used to add in a base of colour you can then paint on top of. I load my brush with lots of water and a little pigment, then I apply it to the paper. Using more water and a different colour, I blot blobs of colour into the puddle on the paper. See how the colour spreads and bleeds into the paper.

ARTIST INSIGHT LIFTING COLOUR OFF THE PAPER Paper towels can be used to blot up colour as with watercolours. Use water to lift out gouache from the paper, and soak up with a paper towel.

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Techniques

Core skills

HOW TO MIX VARIOUS PAINTS KEV CROSSLEY introduces the basics of colour theory and offers tips on the different ways of mixing different kinds of paint

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his is a subject that might seem of little consequence when you decide to take up a brush and make some marks. After all, it’s natural to fixate on what we perceive the desired outcome of our efforts will be rather than on the difficulties of “the journey” getting there. Any artist with a little experience, however, soon learns that breaking open the paint is merely the first step in a long sequence of lessons, the first of which is also one of the most fundamental: how do you mix your paint? I thought back to how I approached this question as a young lad with my first set of Cotman watercolours. No one had actually offered me any instruction on how to mix paints, so I had to make it up as I went along. What I’d assumed would

As a young lad with my first set of Cotman watercolours, no one actually offered me any instruction on how to mix paints be a simple enough task was actually a bit trickier than I thought. With that in mind, in these pages I’ll cover a bit of colour theory to kick things off. I’ve written about it in some detail, but I’ve boiled it down to the basics to keep it easy to get to grips with. With regards mixing the paints themselves, I’ve broken up the sections by medium rather than technique. My personal favourite, and the first paint I learned to work with, is watercolour. So, I’ll be exploring the

numerous approaches to mixing this paint in particular detail. Painting should be fun, particularly if you’re doing it as a pastime or hobby, so there won’t be too much dry “technical theory” here, except for colour theory. Our aim is to provide easily accessible advice and tips, clearly set out, and free from any unnecessary jargon or dry explanatory passages. I found getting to grips with the basics kept me busy enough to begin with, and only much later did I expand my craft by studying the subject a little deeper. After 15 years designing video games, Kev became a freelance illustrator and writer. He has produced comics, numerous art books and three books on fantasy art. See more of his art at www.kevcrossley.com.

20 STEPS TO MASTER MIXING Learn to combine colours and mix paints like the experts, by following this step-by-step guide MATERIALS MEDIUMS Q Watercolours Q Acrylics Q Coloured inks Q Gouache Q Oils THEORY Q Primary and secondary colours Q The colour wheel Q Colour complements

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Practice is key

Learning how paint behaves as you mix it together or move it around on a surface takes a lot of practice. Some mediums can be used in different ways, too, such as acrylics, which can be applied thickly like oils or in translucent washes like watercolour. The only way to become proficient is to get stuck in, but a bit of knowledge up-front will certainly help.

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Principles of colour mixing

There are six main colours every painter should be familiar with: the Primary colours blue, red and yellow; and Secondary colours purple, orange and green. Secondary colours are achieved by mixing two primary colours: purple comes from mixing blue and red, orange from red and yellow, and green from yellow and blue. There’s a lot more to it, of course, but these are the basics you need to get started.


Artist insight Mixing ARTIST INSIGHT

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The colour wheel

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Opposites that attract

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How much water?

To get more out of mixing paint, it helps to expand your knowledge about the relationships between colours, and the best way to see this is with a colour wheel. Note how the primary colours lie at one remove from each other, with the secondary colours (those produced by mixing them) between them. This chart or “key” perfectly illustrates which colours work together and which ones don’t.

Paradoxically, colours opposite one another on the colour wheel are called “complementary” colours but they don’t so much go together as cancel each other out. Mixing greens with reds, or blue with orange, or yellow with purple, will produce grey or muddy brown – but if you put them side-by-side, the contrast will zing. Take care, though: these combinations can also produce an unpleasantly jarring optical effect.

For watercolours you’ll need a lot of water. A jam jar is fine, but the water in this will get dirty very quickly, so the larger the container, the better. The mixing palette should also be large with plenty of room (or reservoirs) to hold your washes. A ceramic saucer can be used as well.

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Colour complements

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Mixing watercolours

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First mixes

Colours next to one another on the colour wheel work well together because they are produced by being mixed together. Red is perfectly matched with orange and yellow, for example, and yellow sits well with green shades too. Blue works well with purple hues. Using these groups of colours together will create harmonious moods or atmospheres in an image. A little practice will reveal all sorts of complementary matches.

TINTS AND SHADES The basics of colour theory are fairly simple to get to grips with, but after you’ve familiarised yourself with primary and secondary colours and the results of mixing with them, there are also tertiary colours to think about, as well as a bewildering range of colour concepts and theories that can easily take a lifetime to master. The only extra theory we can squeeze in here deals with using white and black, which means talking about tints and shades. Mixing white into a colour will result in a paler hue, and this is called a tint. (Pink is a tint of red, for example.) Mixing black into a colour produces a darker hue, or shade. (Maroon, for example, is a shade of red.)

When painting with watercolours, you’re actually painting with a volume of tinted water (which is why it’s called a “wash”). When applied to paper, its liquidity makes the medium very mobile, allowing it to flow and cover large areas quickly. This fluidity is responsible for the reputation watercolours have for being difficult to control, but if you look at it from a different perspective this becomes one of their unique attributes.

If you use tubes, squeeze a small amount of colour onto your palette. When using “pans” of solid pigment, wet these with a little water first. Add clean water to your palette reservoir, then dip your brush into it to wet the bristles. Next, dab the brush onto the paint you need, and mix it gently into the water. Repeat this process until you’ve created the desired colour wash.

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Techniques ARTIST INSIGHT ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT Whatever sort of paint you use, there is a selection of basic equipment you’ll need. I would recommend keeping it simple to begin with. A small selection of good quality brushes, from small to large and flat, is essential for washes. I find that a small bottle with a pump-action spray nozzle filled with water is very useful for keeping paint wet or moistening paper. Choosing the right sort of paper is essential, too, and there are many kinds available. The final item you’ll need is a palette to mix your colours on. These come in many shapes, sizes and materials, including plastic, ceramic and wood.

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Multiple reservoirs

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Wet washes

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A note about washes

A colour wash can be made darker with more paint, and variations are created by adding dabs of different colours. I find it useful to use a palette with multiple reservoirs, in which I can mix a number of different washes of varying intensities and hues. This saves time when painting, and ensures that your work flow is not interrupted by having to stop and create new washes too often.

A popular technique involves paint being added to, or taken away from, washes still wet on the paper. While it can be difficult to predict what will happen, let alone plan a particular outcome, it’s a great exercise to build confidence using watercolours. Begin by painting a colour wash onto paper. Adding strokes of darker or different colours while the wash is still wet creates all sorts of wonderful effects.

It’s logical that many of the other liquid mediums can be used in a similar way to watercolours – so much of what has been described can be applied to coloured inks, liquid acrylics and acrylic washes. However, each sort of paint requires particular techniques and methods unique to that medium, so although there may be some overlap, there are differences you must familiarise yourself with.

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Mixing on paper

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Watercolour pencils

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Mixing coloured inks & liquid acrylics

The beauty of watercolour is its translucency, an attribute which allows washes to be applied on top of previous, dry washes of colour to gradually create subtle ranges and variations of tone, hue and mood. Washes can also be mixed into one another while still wet on the paper, or raw pigment can be added to wet paper or washes to create even more mixing options.

I don’t want to get into too much detail about water soluble pencils, but it’s worth trying them out alongside your watercolour paints. They can be applied to dry paper, with water added afterwards, or they can be used as part of the painting process, into wet washes or damp areas. Used dry over a dry painting they can add detail and form. It really is worth experimenting with them.

I received a set of Winsor & Newton coloured inks at the same time I got my first watercolours, and although I found many similarities between them as liquid mediums, I quickly discovered that inks were far less versatile. Once dry, unlike watercolour, they become waterproof, and the same is true for liquid acrylic mediums. This means they’re ideal if you want to add opaque colour on an existing hue, but you can’t mix colours on the canvas as easily.


Artist insight Mixing ARTIST INSIGHT

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Diluting on the palette

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Mixing acrylics

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Mixing oils

However, the fluid properties of inks and liquid acrylics mean they can be diluted to any degree on the mixing palette, just like watercolours. You can also add acrylic retarders to the colour mixes, which helps prevent the paint drying too quickly. Be careful to clean your palette well after use, though, because dried ink will crack and flake on the palette, causing unwanted problems with further washes.

Since their debut in the 1950s, acrylic paints have become a popular medium which sits somewhere between watercolour and oil, as it shares certain properties with each. There are two main options when mixing acrylics: you can create liquid translucent washes (but be prepared for the fact they are waterproof once dry) or you can mix them straight from the tube, like oils.

Oil paint has been the dominant medium for painted art since the 15th century, and was used as a decorative medium for centuries before that. Its popularity persists due to its versatility, durability and slow drying, allowing it to be worked and re-worked for extended periods of time before it finally dries. It can be mixed with a brush, a palette knife, bits of wood or pretty much anything that comes to hand.

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Mixing gouache

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The importance of misting

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Thinners and texture mediums

Gouache is similar to watercolour, but is opaque. It can be diluted with water, just like watercolour, but you must be careful not to add too much paint to the paper or otherwise it might crack and crumble away. Gouache tends to change value as it dries (lighter colours dry darker, and darker hues dry lighter), but the pigment quality is fantastic, so it’s well worth playing with them.

LIMITED COLOUR PALETTES Learning how to use colour well is a skill that can take years to master, and there are some who never manage it. Even if you have extensive knowledge of colour theory, putting it into practice can still prove difficult. This is when working in a “limited palette” really helps. The trick is to select a main colour, such as yellow ochre, then use only a couple of other colours to create mix variations (say burnt sienna and pale olive). Add black and white to create lighter tints and darker shades. It might sound restrictive, but once you try it, you will discover that just these few hues have so many possible uses.

If it’s mixed straight from the tube, acrylic paint creates bold, colour rich hues which dry very quickly, unlike oils. This means a painting can be created quite quickly, but it also means the paint will dry on the palette if left unattended for even a brief period. Acrylic retardant helps, but I also spray a mist of water over the paint frequently to keep it wet.

Oil can be thinned (and brushes cleaned) using various oil solutions, solvents, spirits and turpentine, but take care to always use these in a well-ventilated room. Extra texture can be added to thick paints like oil and acrylic by adding “texture mediums”. These materials give the paint all sorts of rough or granular properties, which add extra character to a finished painting.

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Celebrate Star Wars through the eyes of the world’s finest artists

TED UPDA W ART NE WITH e McBridn n o r a e A N i e ls Terese Seeley Dave oster J on F

ON SALE NOW! Buy your copy here: http://bit.ly/2eAoGKX


Workshops

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SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST ARTISTS LET US IN ON THEIR ART CREATION SECRETS

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Bring a fantastical fairytale to life Tran Nguyen gives us insights into creating our cover image using acrylics and coloured pencils

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15 ways to watch the world Somnath Pal explores learning through empathy and observation to create engaging, realistic art

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Painting wet into wet with gouache Bao Pham mixes watercolour techniques with gouache to create a peaceful and vibrant painting

Our cover art in detail

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Create motion effects in pen and ink Socar Myles demonstrates an ink technique that favours value over line, to create beautiful lighting

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Improve your charcoal art Squeeze greater artistic expression out of charcoal and blenders with techniques from Patrick J. Jones

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Improve your watercolour art Inspired by painters of the past, Omar Rayyan focuses on colour, lighting and composition

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Draw accurate bones and muscles Stan Prokopenko helps you get to grips with the human skeleton and muscle structure

Create line art for a colouring book 116

Paint the familiar afresh Michael C. Hayes uses movement, light and scale to evoke a sense of awe in a familiar subject in oils

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Get more from your life models Patrick J. Jones takes us behind the scenes of his photoshoots and shares his tips for useful results

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Master the drama of chiaroscuro Create more dramatic lighting in oils and acrylics using traditional techniques, says Patrick J. Jones

Improve your charcoal art

Get in touch with nature

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Painting the clothed figure Figure painter Jane Radstrom reveals her method for capturing folds, patterns and fabric textures

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Embrace gold leaf and oils Rebecca Guay exposes the secrets behind her stunning, unashamedly romantic artwork

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Create line art for a colouring book Kev Crossley shows how he produces his detailed line art based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

140 Painting the clothed figure

Embrace gold leaf and oils

Get in touch with nature using oils Work in layers with Justin “Coro” Kaufman to create a striking, realistic but almost abstracted painting

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Workshops

ADDING VIBRANCY To add life and vibrancy to my forms, I paint edges with colour – in reality, if you closely look at objects, their edges are made of colour and not black. I contour the tiger’s stripes with a hint of orange to give it more liveliness.

A GLIMMER OF LIFE The tiger’s eyes are crucial to the image. To add life to them, I use an opaque touch of Titanium White to add highlights. The stark contrast between the white highlight and black pupil creates an array of dimension.

MATERIALS BRUSHES Q Escoda Round 6, Princeton Round 8, Winton Filbert 12 PAINTS Q Golden Hi-flow and Fluid acrylics PENCILS Q Prismacolor coloured pencils and Verithins PAPER Q Arches 300lb hot press watercolour paper

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CREATING DEPTH The composition is separated into foreground, midground and background. The darkest values are found in the foreground to frame the silhouette of woodlands. The main details and area of high contrast are found in the midground. The mountainous background is treated with less density to appear distant and create atmosphere.


In depth Bring fantasy to life

Acrylics

Coloured pencils

BRING A FANTASTICAL FAIRYTALE TO LIFE With her love for felines and larger-than-life figures, TRAN NGUYEN illustrates an unexpected paradox to the “damsel in distress”

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y painting, titled “Orange Is Not Your Color,” offers a fairytale narrative with a modern twist on our traditional view of the “damsel in distress.” Its concept is contrary to our traditional belief of the knight in shining armour. Instead, it is the knight that is the unwelcome stranger posing a threat to the damsel and her feline companion. To illustrate this fantastical scene, I wanted to capture an intense, pivotal moment balanced with a touch of mystery. I’ve always been fascinated with women who are absurdly larger than their surroundings – it gives my work an air of surrealism. By using a limited colour palette, I’m able to focus in

on the intensity of the tiger’s expression, then shift to the woman, and lastly to the tiny, red-caped knight. The techniques of glazing acrylics and coloured pencils are perfect for creating a fog effect. There’s something about foggy wilderness that rekindles my curiosity for the unknown. My intent for this painting was to create a fantastical tale of a damsel, her companion, and the presumptuous beast. Born in Vietnam and raised in the States, Tran Nguyen is a freelance artist who has worked for clients such as the Smithsonian and VH1, and has showcased in galleries around the world. See more of her work at www.mynameistran.com

Step by Step: Illustrating with acrylics and coloured pencil

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PINPOINT THE COMPOSITION

After brainstorming through several thumbnails, I elaborate one into a tight sketch that defines my picture’s values. I use HB and 2B pencils to pinpoint the light source and determine how it will affect the composition, such as the contrast between the damsel’s hair and her porcelain skin. By finding my darks and lights in the preliminary stage, I have a better idea of where to lay paint in the final.

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RENDERING THE FORM

Because of the permanence of acrylics, I render forms with extremely diluted layers of paint. I begin with glazes of Payne’s Grey and Prussian Blue to slowly build up the values determined in step 1. This technique of glazing is great for smooth, subtle gradients. After the main undertone has dried, saturated colours of red and orange are introduced to the tiger and the damsel’s skin.

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NOODLING IN DETAILS

After many, many layers of acrylics, I like to noodle in the fine details with coloured pencils. The wax-based coloured pencils are opaque and perfect for small areas like the pupils and locks of hair. The Verithins are more blendable and transparent, and are used to smooth out paint strokes in the damsel’s face. They both pair perfectly when used on top of acrylics.

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Artist insight

15 WAYS TO WATCH THE WORLD... SOMNATH PAL talks about learning through observation and empathy, to create art that’s emotionally engaging and carries a strong personal voice

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ive years ago, I was a brat who was overconfident about my art skills. I drew the same four poses over and over again, but since I drew them well, it just fed my ego! And then I met one of my heroes, who was kind enough not to throw my sketchbook away, but harsh enough to let me know that I didn’t know how to draw. “Your drawings have no life. You need to feel what you are drawing. Your back needs to ache if you’re drawing

someone bending over,” he said. Honestly, I didn’t understand a thing. But it did set me off on a hunt to understand what he meant. Three years later, after having regularly sketched every day, I got the first glimpse of what he was getting at. While drawing a girl sinking into her sofa, I realised I was sinking myself, to feel the pose. This wasn’t my only experience, though: there were numerous more that shaped my observation. Each of them opened me up to a world of

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possibilities. Through this workshop, I would like to share my ideas that could give you that little push to explore the world for yourself. My aim is to help you personalise the worlds that you create through your art. Somnath is an Indian independent artist, with a masters degree in animation and film design from IDC, IIT Bombay. He illustrates, draws comics, works on films and drinks lots of decent filter coffee! See more of his work at http://ifxm.ag/som-p

Beyond reality

One of the exercises that I often do during my observational drawing sessions is stir things up for myself, just to turn the excitement dial a notch or two higher. I experiment with my drawings and go beyond the reality of the moment.

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Sometimes I exaggerate the tension in the figure to levels that are not achievable by the human body, or push the existing scenario into a different world of physical laws. Purists might contest that this isn’t observational drawing – and perhaps they’re right – but I’m certainly having fun!


In depth Observational art

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Specific physical attributes

Crooked noses, hair styles, moustaches, tattoos, fashion accessories… there’s so much to observe and recreate on the canvas when painting human characters. And don’t forget the patterns on various surfaces. They just add so much to an illustration.

Subtle changes in body language can change the attitude of a person

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Individual nuances

Observe how subtle changes in body language can change the attitude of a person. A raised eyebrow can add volumes, although there’s little physical change. Nuances could be atmospheric, too. Imagine a young boy reading a book. On the wall is a poster of Lionel Messi. Switch the poster to one of Albert Einstein and there’s a complete change in context.

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Breaking symmetry

Here’s an early observation and important lesson that I learned: our actions are rarely symmetrical in nature. Even the simplest of gestures like sitting or standing aren’t evenly balanced. You’ll often hear artists say that symmetry is boring, and this is simply because it makes things feel too organised and forced. Generally, if a moment is something that calls for attention – say, an action that’s grand or epic – is resorting to symmetry the best way forward?

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Workshops 5

Nature of light

To understand light, ask yourself the following. Is the light warm, cool or neutral? Is it direct or is there ambient light? How intense is the ambient light compared to the main light source? Is there a secondary light source? What’s the nature of these sources: direct, rim or diffused? And note how intense the light from one source is with respect to the other.

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Tension and relaxation

Any form will generally have a combination of tension and relaxation. It’s one of the things that brings life into the form. Keep observing the switch between the two states. Student artists often ask me why their drawings look stiff. One of the most glaring issues I see is that people overlook which areas of their character’s body are tense and which ones are relaxed. They draw hands, legs, the torso and so on well, but everything is almost rigid. If the entire body is tensed then the artwork will look stiff, too.

You’ll need a rich visual library to trigger ideas, so be on the lookout for the stranger things in life

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Acting

Acting isn’t just about the face. It’s also body language. At any given point, the human form is involved in “acting out”, or communicating emotion. If you think it’s enough to observe just the facial expressions, try acting in front of a mirror. Let’s try anger. Do you feel your neck edging forward, or some neck muscles stretching? Some tension in your flexor group of muscles in the lower arm? Is your whole body moving forward? Now you see it, don’t you? This is gesture drawing.

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In depth Observational art 8

Take note of anomalies

Is there something you observe that seems like a misfit? Okay, to tease your grey cells, imagine a pistol in the bedroom of a 15 year old. Now, that’s wrong and highly unlikely, but maybe you’ll come across something less dramatic, such as someone using a first-generation Nokia phone, or a Rubik’s cube in the hands of a four-year-old. While you can cook these up from memory for your next project, you’ll still need a rich visual library to trigger ideas at the right time! So, be on the lookout for the stranger things in life.

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Secondary story

Can you see a story evolve in front of you? Perhaps it’s something as mundane as the struggle of someone holding a mug of hot coffee (conflict), then using a tissue to blanket the mug, and holding it more comfortably (resolution). Even if it’s not the intended story, these little beats can help add a secondary level of narration to your artwork.

Step by Step: How it all comes together

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CONTRASTING ELEMENTS

The brief is about a well-educated psychopath who kills people out of boredom. Her contrasting nature reminds me of the opposing forces of yin and yang, which in turn guides my composition. I’m particularly careful about the nature of clothes: how the folds in jeans would behave differently from those in cotton.

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CAPTURE THE EMOTION

For my values, I follow up on my thumbnail. The cultural aspect is reflected in the woman’s clothing and personal style. The driving emotion is callousness, which I try to depict through the woman’s irreverent attitude – checking her phone. The bowl of potato chips initially seems a total misfit, but actually adds to the irreverence.

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COLOUR PLAYS ITS PART

I want the colours in the composition to be eccentric and choose to stay away from realism. Since the bottle of wine (originally bottom right) isn’t adding a secondary story, I decide to replace it with a provocative magazine, but tone it down so that it doesn’t grab attention away from the main story.

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Workshops 10

Driving emotion

I want to distinguish this from acting. The dominant emotion is the mood of a scenario before you. Here’s an example: there’s a frenzy among a group of fans because the home team has just won a league match. People may react differently, but the dominant emotion is one of euphoria. If it’s a split-second emotion, you might not have the time to draw it, so just capture the essence in your memory and then make gestures to document it. You can also present it as the mood that you want to document.

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Tackling your values

I had trouble doing value studies. Somehow I couldn’t put similar values together. So I reinvented the wheel for myself. I started with pure blacks documenting only in black and white. A nearby coffee shop was an excellent place for my studies because it had strong overhead spotlights on the seats. These created crisp shadows and were easy to document. Slowly, I started introducing greys. I still have to think about values, though – they don’t come naturally.

Interaction with space

Have you ever observed a person positioning themselves in a way that they almost fit into a particular space? Or a person’s arm going around the edge of the sofa while they lean on it. While a bowling

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ball wouldn’t make adjustments to fit in, we often do. It’s enlightening to observe how we knowingly – or unknowingly – make adjustments to interact with our environment. You can also observe the tension and relaxation at such times.


In depth Observational art 13

Nature of materials

While I was working on the sets of a film, I noticed the nature of walls: how they reflected light, the way they age, their weight distribution, and so on. The nature of different materials means that they offer the artist a range of exciting possibilities. Only when you know how a material behaves under different conditions will you be able to portray it realistically. Observe the folds on a leather jacket and those on a cotton shirt, or the sharp highlights on a metal ball versus those on a rubber ball.

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Cultural underpinnings

Culture is an all-encompassing term here. It includes regional, political, racial or even scientific culture. If you observe certain cultural underpinnings of a group or an individual and document them, then it’ll help you define the personality of that group or individual a little more.

A coffee shop was a great place for my studies because it had strong overhead spotlights

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Form, weight, proportion and perspective The only way I can deal with these four heavyweights in one paragraph is with this exercise. Make someone lie on the ground with their knees bent at right angles, similar to the posture they achieve when they’re sat on a chair. Stand closer to the legs so you can see the figure receding in perspective. Compare this to someone sitting on a chair. In the two figures, you’ll be able to compare parts of the body, in terms of form, proportion, perspective and the body’s response to gravity.

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In depth Gouache wet into wet

Gouache

Watercolour

PAINTING WET INTO WET WITH GOUACHE BAO PHAM mixes watercolour techniques with gouache to create a peaceful and vibrant painting

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GET YOUR RESOURCES See page

ast winter, because it was too cold to paint outdoors and I couldn’t use my oil paint indoors, I started using gouache. I fell in love right away and it quickly became my main medium. I love the opacity of the paint and minimal preparation time. I have a small studio space, so I have been focusing on smaller works, and gouache offers the compact versatility that I need. Also, I work with minimal shapes and its rich colours help me add visual interests and create effective moods. Gouache can best be described as very opaque watercolour, and it can be reactivated with water, although it is a bit difficult to blend after the paint has dried. However, since it’s not permanent, storage and cleanup are a breeze. One unpredictable thing about gouache is that dark colours will appear lighter when dry and light colours will appear darker when dry. This makes it hard to judge the value of a colour as you work, but that can be sorted out by premixing and testing colours beforehand. I choose to work with gouache for its ease of use and setup. It also has a beautiful matte finish, while the colours stay rich and vibrant when dry. For this workshop, I will be focusing on using wet into wet techniques with gouache and watercolour. Wet into wet

is simply painting while the surface is still saturated with water. I first learned this technique while working with watercolour and now I’ve found that it’s very effective with gouache as well. This technique allows me to create smooth transitions between colours and values. It is best used in a single pass, considering that adding subsequent layers will reactivate the paint underneath and can cause muddiness. I prefer using watercolour for soft and delicate details, with gouache for more vibrant and bold colours. I highly recommend doing colour studies first before working wet into wet. It will cut down your guesswork and let you focus on the manipulation of the paint. I will be covering the various ways I work with washes, starting with breaking up sections of the painting to keep large areas more manageable. I will show you how to transition from one colour to the next to create a smooth gradient, and how to blend colours without lifting paint that has been laid down. By utilising the full and rich pigment of gouache paint you can create a vibrant and peaceful piece of art. Bao Pham lives in Iowa, USA. Painting and drawing with a variety of media, he creates contemplative and introspective imagery featuring various plant forms and rich colour palettes. He has an active shop on Etsy and regularly updates his Instagram account, which you can find at www.instagram.com/baotpham

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Workshops MATERIALS PAPER Q Rives BFK paper BRUSH Q DaVinci Cosmotop Sping Round, size 0 PAINTS Q Winsor & Newton Gouache Q Winsor & Newton Watercolours OTHER Q Liquitex Black Gesso

ARTIST TIP

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The drawing

The subject is a girl lost in thought surrounded by colour-shifting plants and butterflies. I’m keeping the shapes round and simple to let the colours shine. I’m drawing on Rives BFK paper with a mechanical pencil. If the lines end up too dark, I use a kneaded eraser to dab off some of the graphite, leaving a light pencil drawing.

WATER SPILLS

If you splatter water onto dry gouache, immediately dab with a paper towel and let it be. You can fix it once it’s dry again.

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Digital colour study

At this point, I take a clear photo of the drawing, bring it into Photoshop and do a quick colour study. I make most of my colour choices here, and Photoshop allows me to readjust colours quickly. I decide to keep the figure in shades of pastels and the rest of the elements at a darker value to create contrast.

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Liquid frisket

Using Winsor & Newton Liquid Frisket, I mask off the areas of her face that I want to keep white – mainly the highlights of her nose, lips and eyelids. Once the frisket has dried, I use clean water to wet the areas of her eyes and cheeks to prepare the paper for the initial watercolour wash.

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Premixing colours

I premix my colours and test on a scrap piece of paper to see how the paint dries, as darker colours will dry lighter and lighter colours will dry darker. I thin down my gouache paint with water and keep it at the consistency of heavy cream. I find that this is best for working wet into wet.


In depth Gouache wet into wet

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The initial washes

Using thin watercolour, I add drops of paint on the wet areas of her eyes. Working wet into wet allows the paint to move and spread to create a smooth gradient. As the areas start to dry, I add more paint where I want the colours to be more saturated. The less wet an area, the less the paint spreads.

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Workshops

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Wet into wet

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Removing the frisket

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Sectioning off

Using the same technique, I wet her nose and lips, staying within the boundaries of those features. I move the paint around using a wet brush. When I need to remove some paint, I use a dry brush to soak up the excess colour. For a clean removal I use a piece of paper towel.

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Layering

I let the paint dry before building on top of it to add more depth and dimension in her features. I use black gesso to line her eyes. I like to use gesso because it has the same matte finish as gouache and it won’t reactivate if I decide to work further on her eyes.

I use a thin layer of paint for her eyebrows to let the pencil lines show through, which adds texture. Once the paint is dry, I carefully remove the liquid frisket with a hard eraser. I readjust the edges of the masked areas if they are too sharp.

When I’m covering relatively large areas, I like to section off smaller, more manageable parts to work on. This is particularly helpful because of the complexity of the negative spaces. I make sure to keep the area wet as I go along.

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Colouring the hair

Once again, I wet a section of her hair, making sure to exclude the leaves and butterflies around her. Starting with yellow, I load up the paint and move it to the edges with my brush. I add the next colour and use the side of my brush to push the paint along the edge where they meet. A back-and-forth motion helps blend the two colours together.


In depth Gouache wet into wet

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Blending

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Slow and steady

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The final touches

I add more colours in the gradient and repeat. If a section of gradient is being encroached by another, I add more paint to help it push back and be more visible. I make sure my brush is loaded with paint when blending or it will soak up pigment already there, causing uneven coverage.

Working wet into wet takes a bit of patience, especially waiting for one layer to dry before working on the next. I keep the shapes I’m working on separate from each other to avoid the colours bleeding into each other. I use a hairdryer, set on low, to cut down drying time.

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The leaves

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The butterflies

After her hair is dry, I work on one leaf at a time, wetting the shape and loading it with plenty of paint. I’m making the colours of the leaves much darker than her hair and face to help separate the foreground from the figure.

ART TIP

SURFACE PROTECTION

Use tracing paper to rest your hand while working. This prevents you dirtying the painting but enables you to see it clearly underneath.

For the butterflies, I’m adding some greens to the gradient. It’s not found anywhere else in the painting, so it will help them stand out. I’m using the complementary colours of the leaves to paint the stems to create some contrast and help them separate the different elements.

Towards the end, I clean up all the uneven edges and deepen her eyelines. For the finishing touch, I add specks of colours throughout the painting to add more movement and interest to the whole piece.

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Workshops

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

Pen

Ink

CREATE MOTION EFFECTS IN INK SOCAR MYLES demonstrates an inking technique that favours value over line, to create beautiful lighting and motion effects

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y illustration career began with a portfolio filled with digital painting. There’s no end to what can be done with a computer. I enjoyed it at first; after all, learning something new is always a blast. But after a couple of years, I realised I’d never quite got used to looking at the screen while drawing on a plastic tablet in my lap. Worse still, my poor colour perception was getting in the way. People kept describing my work as “monochromatic.” It was supposed to be bright and cheerful. I wasn’t getting the idea across. So, rather than despairing, I decided to embrace the monochrome entirely. I cleared out my portfolio and returned to something that had served me well in the past: a pen. Pen and ink has always been my favourite medium. Not only is it conveniently cheap, but I like everything about it, from the way it gives me precise control over every dot and whorl, to the

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MATERIALS PAPER Q Canson Mi-Teintes paper in Pearl Grey A roll of tracing paper PEN Q Koh-i-noor pen holder, with Speedball Hunt Artist Pen 100 nibs INK Q Speedball Super Black India Ink OTHER Q Photoshop (for the value study)

feel of the nib as it scratches the tooth of the paper. When I draw, I try to present the world the way I perceive it, rather than the way it really is. I don’t want to show people what was there in front of me: I want to force them to see what I saw, get the feelings I got, maybe think some of the same thoughts. I usually forget to wear my specs, so the world I see is a bit blurry, a bit dreamy, and filled with details my brain has inserted, to make up for what I can’t quite make out. I like to add things that aren’t there when I draw from life or from memory; these things stand in for the thoughts that crossed my mind while I admired the scene in front of me. It sounds arrogant, but I want everyone to understand the whole experience, from my perspective: what was there, and what I thought of it. Every morning, just after sunrise, I sit on the steps just outside my building and watch the neighbourhood wake up. I get

most of my ideas from doing this. I see weird-looking people; I draw them. I see a bird I can’t identify; I draw that, and put it on Facebook, and hope someone identifies it for me. I stare blankly into space, seeing nothing, mind wandering... I draw that, as well. Socar lives in Canada, and likes to draw things that can be found in the great Canadian outdoors, like birds, flowers, lost trinkets, roots and trees, garbage and pedestrians. www.gorblimey.com


In depth Motion effects in ink

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Workshops

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The initial idea

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Creating a digital value study

Birds move too fast to make out much detail. I know they have wings, feathers and beaks, but I see horrible little typhoons of feathers and bird dandruff, hurtling about the sky. This strikes me as hilarious and beautiful in equal measure. Light plus bird dandruff equals… fairy dust. Maybe.

This simple digital value study helps me remember where the focal points are, and which shapes should stand out. I particularly want to make sure I echo the shapes of the birds’ feet in the branches of the trees, and use curves of foliage to create an arc for the eye to follow.

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Combining sketches

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Taking care with the edges

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Introducing texture

I like to sketch on tracing paper. Because it’s translucent, I can combine elements from several sketches into one, or move them around to experiment with composition. Tracing paper is also one of the cheapest papers, so it’s okay to waste some.

I want these birds to look like they’re flying. To this end, I’ll draw the birds and the scene behind them at the same time, using tiny dots and lines to create soft transitions between the two. Paying close attention to edges also helps prevent unsightly haloes of black or white around objects.

COMPUTER TIP USING A PRINTER

No pencil? Print out a digital sketch, very faintly. Make sure your printer has a black cartridge, not just CMY.

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Boosting the illusion of movement

Where one bird’s wing crosses another’s body, I use cast shadow to separate the two. I draw the soft, faint texture of the rear bird’s body, where the shadow falls, instead of drawing an outline, to preserve the illusion of movement. Outlines are better for moments frozen in time, like in photographs.

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I draw tiny, overlaid circles and semicircles to create soft value changes that suggest distant clumps of leaves. To achieve the scratchy texture of tree bark, I wipe most of the ink off my nib, let it dry a little, and then scratch the tacky ink on to the paper. For scraggly feathers, little wavy lines do the trick.


In depth Motion effects in ink

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Enhance the lighting in the image

To create a dream-like atmosphere, I let the starlight reflect more brightly than it should on the metal ornaments that are hanging from the tree. I add sparkling constellations to areas that I want to draw attention to, such as the birds’ feet. I leave edges facing the light source especially blurry, to make them glow.

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Composition tricks

In the grasping branches, I echo the shapes of the birds’ claws. I use the arcs of the long branches and the interaction between the birds’ legs, tails and wings to lead the viewer’s gaze. I arrange the stars in loose circles, so the sky doesn’t become stagnant or confusing.

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Directing the eye

On the left, the trailing boughs frame the face of the largest bird, and draw the eye down to the perch and then back into the picture. At the bottom right, the birds’ perch extends out of the scene and into the border. I do this to tie the separate elements together.

COVER IT UP Always cover the areas of the drawing you’re not currently working on. This cuts down on ink spatter damage, and keeps your skin oils off the page. Use tape to hold the cover paper in place.


Workshops ARTIST INSIGHT LIGHTEN UP You can always add more ink, but you can’t take any away. When you want a subtle texture, like the one I’ve used on the birds’ wings, start light and build up slowly.

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Putting in the details

I want the grass to look soft, so instead of outlining each blade, I draw the shadows beneath them. If you find it hard to do this or don’t know where to put the shadows, pencil the lines in, but shade the spaces between them instead of tracing over them.

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Tackling the border

I associate birds with avarice, because they like to take shiny stuff. Once a flock of crows stole all the polished pebbles out of my planter. So I give the border a jewelsand-expensive-fabric theme. A little drop shadow will separate overlapping image elements from the border.

PAPER TIP

WATCH THAT TOOTH!

The heavier the tooth of your paper, the more its texture will show. Use smoother paper for greater precision.

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Having a bit of fun with the painting

The border is full of detail, but its main purpose is to create a band of about 75 percent grey around the image, like the mat would do in a frame. Nobody will look that closely, so you can put anything there. I put a secret message in mine.

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In depth Motion effects in ink

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Creating focus

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Managing contrast

Although the border’s just a frame, it needs some little focal points to keep it from looking messy. I use a ruler to find the middle of the top bar and put a gargoyle there. The matching swags of lace on the left and right of the bottom bar serve the same purpose.

To keep the level of detail in the border from becoming overpowering, I keep the contrast comparatively low, by using very few areas of either 100 percent black or 100 percent white. I often use areas of fairly uniform texture or pattern to create value. The details themselves aren’t that important.

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Any mistakes?

I stand back from my drawing board and look for mistakes in my artwork. Did I miss anything? How does it look from a distance? Close up? What can I do better next time? However, I don’t bother to erase the pencil lines. They are part of the picture and I like people to be able to see how I did it.

IMAGINE IT! You don’t have to draw every feather, every leaf, every strand of hair: draw a few, and the brain fills in the rest. Which few should you draw? The ones that frame or define important shapes.

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Workshops

Charcoal

IMPROVE YOUR CHARCOAL ART PATRICK J. JONES shares his personal techniques and thought processes on squeezing the ultimate artistic expression out of charcoal and blenders

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hen cave people first dragged a stick of charcoal across a cave wall, the artist was born. Today that same primitive tool is unmatched for creating instant, expressive marks. In this workshop I’ll share my favourite charcoal tips, and demonstrate how to manipulate that black, magic powder once it’s laid down on paper. Charcoal techniques are often discarded by students once art school has ended and they move on to the serious

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MATERIALS CHARCOAL Q Willow charcoal Q Conté a Paris charcoal pencil OTHER TOOLS Q Kneadable erasers Q Plastic eraser Q Butcher’s paper Q Cartridge paper Q Conté a Paris crayon Q Leather chamois

business of art, but as a working artist I can attest to the importance of charcoal in the professional world of art. With all the wonderful digital and traditional painting tools at my disposal, my first port of call is still charcoal and paper. Why has my love of charcoal drawing endured? The answer is simple, and a little bit romantic. No matter where you are in the world, every tool you need to create great art can be carried in a small satchel. To illustrate that idea I’m looking forward to running a charcoal drawing workshop in Fiji next summer. No

Patrick lives in Australia and is the author of the best-selling book Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques. Its companion books The Anatomy of Style, a look at his personal approach to drawing the figure, and The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Art of Patrick J Jones, a coffee table book of his art, are out now. www.pjartworks.com

Cheaper than chips

I usually advocate buying the best art materials you can afford, because it usually works out cheaper in the long run (buy cheap, buy twice), but in the odd case of charcoal there’s no better drawing surface than the cheapest paper there is: butcher’s paper (the stuff they wrap your fish and chips in). You can buy it in pads, but for the “monk on a budget” option, rolls are cheaper still.

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electricity or satellite is required to sit down on a mountaintop or under a shady tree, smudge some charcoal across a blank space, and experience the same kind of magic our ancestors felt.

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In depth Charcoal art the wisp 2 Willow Willow charcoal is the most versatile type of charcoal, and also the cheapest. To achieve the maximum variety of strokes, I sharpen the sticks on sandpaper in my own particular fashion. I rub one side down to a flat state and then tip it up to sharpen the top edge off to a point. This gives me a stick that can produce flat blocks of tone, razor-sharp edges when turned on its side, and fine detail from the tip. I sharpen three different sizes: one broad, one medium, and one fine for producing very small details. Because they are easily broken, I keep them in old-fashioned tins bought from novelty stores and then pad them for protection with tissue, which I use for blending.

No matter where you are in the world, every tool you need to create art can be carried in a small satchel 3

Introducing textures

There are many ways to create texture with charcoal. In this sample I simply scrunched up some tissue and dabbed it into the charcoal surface, turning it to create random effects as I go. Afterwards, I picked out some highlights I liked with a kneadable eraser. You can also place your paper over a textured surface and burnish charcoal on top. When burnishing on top of a rock texture, make sure to draw with a series of light passes, because the paper can rip very easily.

right blend 4 The Blending stumps have been around since the 15th century and are simply rolled-up paper pointed at the ends. They are cheap and usually come in packs of various sizes. Stumps are terrific for blending details and can produce extremely realistic effects. I like to keep blenders at different life stages because the dirty ones can be used to draw ghostly lines that are more subtle than pencil lines. For very small soft blends you can use cotton buds.

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Workshops a sketchbook 5 Keep Here is a charcoal rough from my sketchbook that was scanned and given some highlights in Photoshop via a Screen layer, along with some sepia tone using the Hue/ Saturation sliders. I’ll fill pages with rough charcoal ideas for possible future paintings. It’s always amazing for me to go back in time through these drawings and see the genesis of major oil paintings. With constant drawing practice the pencil takes on a life of its own, because I usually have no idea what I’m going to create until it’s done. It’s a kind of magic.

It’s always amazing to go back in time through these drawings and see the genesis of major oil paintings 6

Chamois pour mois

It’s off to the car shop for this art fancy. It’s the leather cloth used for washing car windows. I got this tip from the great Glenn Vilppu and it appears to be a secret the art stores are unaware of. Throw it straight in the wash to launder the oil out and you’ll be left with the softest cloth on the planet, which is perfect for wiping back areas of charcoal without disturbing the fabric of the paper. Don’t buy the synthetic version, because it’ll come out of the wash all bent up like stiff cardboard.

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In depth Charcoal art finger and thumbs 7 All At the end of our hands are thick blending stumps of different sizes that are not only free, but can be used for a lifetime! The great thing about fingers and thumbs is that they’re tapered with soft edges. The act of blending and drawing with these dirty digits is an artistic freedom that will happily take you back to kindergarten.

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Workshops Step by Step: Think like a painter

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GET MORE FROM YOUR LIFE-DRAWING SESSIONS

Drawing the figure from life is one of the art world’s toughest challenges, and also a great and memorable art experience. It’s also an essential exercise to keep your drawing hand fluid. In the tradition of the Old Masters some of my life drawings, like this one, are studies for oil paintings. You can hire life models by forming an art group and all chipping in for the cost, which can be just as affordable as rocking up at a lifedrawing class and paying at the door. That way, like me, you can request poses from your sketchbooks. Here I lightly draw in the form with a large piece of charcoal as I would for an underpainting in oils.

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ENSURE THAT YOU DRAW WITH YOUR WHOLE ARM

I always draw the figure as a whole, rather than completing it in detailed parts. To keep the drawing fluid I draw using my “gesture hand”, which is achieved by holding the charcoal under the palm. To do this simply lay your charcoal on a flat surface and pick it up using all your fingers and thumb. The gesture hand will enable you to draw large, sweeping strokes because you’ll be using your arm rather than just your wrist to draw with. Here I’m going over the entire figure a second time and refining the lines as I draw. I’m using kneadable erasers at this stage, not so much for erasing mistakes but more often for bringing out the highlights.

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LEAVE ROOM FOR THE VIEWER’S IMAGINATION

By the third pass my drawing is more fluid and stylish, as by this point I know it well, which is a by-product of treating the drawing as a whole. I’m thinking of the line quality now, which I usually keep thinner on the light side and heavier on the shadow side. I leave some lines open for the viewer to “fill in”, which keeps the drawing fresh. I recommend drawing from life as a constant artistic lifestyle. As a painter I find each artwork that much easier because of the countless hours spent drawing the figure. To quote a great American painter: “The important thing is to keep on drawing when you start to paint. Never graduate from drawing” (John Sloan, 1871-1951).

The important thing is to keep on drawing when you start to paint. Never graduate from drawing

use of tissue 8 Make Tissue paper is fantastic for blending large areas and ghosting back a drawing, and as it gets dirty you can then use it as a drawing tool in its own right. It’s fantastic for gradations and creating misty effects.

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9

Compressed charcoal

Charcoal compressed into pencil has a whole different attitude. The marks are harder to erase for one thing, but this enables us to blend charcoal on top without the lines vanishing, and also wipe away charcoal underneath. I prefer using Conté pencils, because the lead marks are matte in nature and less reflective than traditional glossy pencil marks, and are therefore easier to photograph for publication.


In depth Charcoal art

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Sharpen using sandpaper

The fragility of charcoal sticks makes sharpening with a traditional pencil sharpener out of the question. Fine sandpaper is the best option, and art-store sandpaper blocks are very convenient. Charcoal wears down quickly, so I tend to sharpen lots of sticks so that I’m not wasting time constantly sharpening at life-drawing sessions.

to dust 11 Dust I’m always aware of waste, having started my career with empty pockets and knowing the value of art materials. All that sharpening of charcoal leaves a secondary prize in the form of charcoal dust, which can be saved in a jar and used with tissue to smear large swathes of tone. Alternatively, you buy it ready-made in a jar if you use a lot of it.

eraser for every task 12 An Kneadable erasers are my eraser of choice. They can be moulded and shaped to erase the smallest details and don’t shed like traditional erasers, so you won’t accidentally wipe away your drawing when brushing off eraser debris. I keep the dirty ones as they erase less and therefore can be very subtle. Plastic erasers are useful when a mark needs to be fully erased. I use the plastic erasers only at the absolute end of a drawing for extreme highlights, because they can be destructive to the paper surface, especially on butcher’s paper.

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Apply the right fixative at the right time

Charcoal is easily smudged, which is what makes it so versatile, but it’s also what makes it fragile. If a certain drawing is worth preserving, we can spray-fix it, which can stop the charcoal being smudged. Usually we fix a drawing when it’s finished, but workable fixative enables us to fix it at various stages and work on top, almost like layers in Photoshop. If you’re in a fix (!) and have no fixative at hand, a squirt of hairspray will do the trick, leaving you with some sweet “art du parfum”.

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GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

Watercolour

Pencil

IMPROVE YOUR WATERCOLOUR ART OMAR RAYYAN pays special attention to colour, lighting and composition, and takes inspiration from past painters for his fun fantasy scene

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or this workshop, I’ll be painting a ferret with a flagon. The composition will have an outdoors setting with an early European feel. The challenges will be to render fur, armour, wet wood, ceramic, glass, and brick, all in a jolly outdoor pub setting! My influences on this piece are 15th century Flemish tavern paintings and 19th century French master Jean-LouisErnest Meissonier, and in particular his painting The Card Players. I often look to the painters of the past for ideas. I want to paint a happy chap, and because it’ll be a single character image, have him addressing the viewer, to share in his happiness with his frothy beverage. That settled, the look and anatomy of ferrets begin to dictate the design of the piece. Ferrets are long-bodied and stubby-

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ARTIST INSIGHT LOST AND FOUND Watercolour on a wellsized paper gives you the flexibility of being able to remove pigment or push it around. Lay down a wet line and you can dab it out or scrub it back and forth, trying various line positions and ideas, picking the strongest and pushing back the wrong answers. But beware: too much reworking on wet paper will munch up the surface and may give unwanted textures.

nosed, with short arms and legs, so it’ll be fun to break up the slinky body with armour and clothing that at the same time show off his long, wiggly body. The challenge will be to evoke a traditional drinking portrait, but with fun and whimsy. The attitude of the drinker is crucial, so initially I don’t put much consideration into the colour palette, because warm, earth tones should work well. However, as you’ll see, simple earth tones can quickly become a dance of balancing warms and colds, yellows and reds, against blues and cool browns. The light is an outdoor, al-fresco atmosphere, made possible by the gloom of the shadows. The light quality will be dictated by textures – metal, wood, cloth and so on. By exploring these qualities I’ll inadvertently be painting the sunnier side, as shadow describes light.

I also consider how the ferret sits in the scene. A tall, thin, wiggly figure will need some kind of support, aside from the table. Early on in the painting process, the building architecture with a window comes in as suitably strong geometry against which to play the animal’s drunken movement, while the barrel acts as a weight and wedge to hold the lower half of the subject in place. The fun of entering a “simple” single subject is a great opportunity to focus on the complex power every seemingly simple element exerts on the whole. Omar is a painter based in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He paints fantasy and fairytale images – mainly in watercolour, and often with animal characters behaving like people. www.studiorayyan.com


In depth Watercolour skills

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Workshops MATERIALS PENCILS Q No harder than HB. 2B is great, but 6B can be too soft and dark, and can result in muddy colours PAPER Q 140lb Fabriano Artistico Hot Press BRUSHES Q Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable size 1, and 10mm one stroke PAINTS Q Sennelier: Yellow Light Yellow Ochre Burnt Sienna Burnt Umber Warm Sepia Hooker’s Green Phthalo Blue Indigo Q Winsor & Newton: Scarlet Lake Prussian Blue Q Holbein: Rose Madder

BRUSH TIP

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The sketch

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Compose as I go

I tend not to do thumbnails, but go after the initial feel and flavour that come to mind. This usually expresses itself as a simple gesture that I quickly and lightly scratch in pencil. In this case, because I don’t have a strong picture in my head, I lay down lines that suggest several possibilities.

I turn the ferret’s head to the left, bouncing off the flagon on the right, where it becomes the anchor. I follow the flow to the ground, where I find the need to draw a dirk (sword) set at 45 degrees, to both counterbalance the swoop of the torso and mirror the angle of the head.

BRUSH LIFE

Quality brushes mean better art. And they won’t lose their sharpness or strength, so can also be used as scrubbers and mops.

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A second colour

Once I’m sure that the line work captures the essential elements I’m after, I redraw into areas that I’m happy with, using darker and cooler earth tones

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2

Draw with a brush

Next, after staring into the scribble with the initial sense of the image in mind, I decide to draw my ferret in watercolour using warm, light ochres. This is not the same as painting, mind!


In depth Watercolour skills 5

Blue is the colour

It’s now time to explore the volume of the subject, by defining the structure with a blue, cold counterweight. Note that just because parts are in shadow, it doesn’t make them “heavy” compositional elements. This stage could be seen as feeling out the edges of my mid-tones.


Workshops ARTIST INSIGHT FINDING THE SUBJECT Once you’ve settled on the general idea for a painting it’s important to internalise what I call its flavour – the atmosphere or feel of the initial concept. This will ensure that subsequent painting choices stay true to your initial vision as you strengthen the composition.

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Bringing in paint techniques

As I move forward, the drawing starts to utilise painting techniques inherent in the brush. Textural considerations call for more expressive brush handling: dry brush scraping for brick, splotch and scumble for stone, and float wet on wet for metal.

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Start building weight

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Composing with tones

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Defining the colour palette

Once I have warm lines and cool shadows, I decide on colours within the scene. With the cool armour set against a warm brick wall, I opt for a red cap. The ferret is already in warm earth tones, so this red can be easily shifted later on to either very warm or low key cool.

Now that all the elements are in place, it’s time to build up weight and balance. I look for where the darker, heavier notes will be and start laying in washes and rendering out to the final image. In this case, it’s the lower third of the painting, in particular the barrel and under the table.

The balance in the scene comes from between the head and the flagon, but also the swoop of the body, especially the armoured belly off-setting the rump that’s holding up the head, capped with the cap. But to keep it from becoming too heavy on the left, I need the flagon to carry the whole right-hand side of the composition, so the weight of the shutter becomes important. The flagon is stacked on the belly, pushed up by the legs and then lifted up by the shutters.

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Final colour decision

As the piece gains weight and colour, the trousers call out to be red, because of the blue/green shutter, warm brown flagon, down to blue/cool armour, next to the cool colours under the table. So the pantaloons need to be a warm colour. See how things are cool, warm, cool, warm?


In depth Watercolour skills

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Red? Time to introduce green!

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Balance with washes

With the red bottom comes the contrast with green. The wet on wet floating of greens and yellows are wedged into the barrel shadow behind the red. This intersection of colour and shapes is very important because it serves as the foundation for the ferret’s facial gesture.

I counter the built-up weight of the drybrushing with glazing light washes of cool/warm tones to the background supports. This has the effect of knocking out pure whites so that selective whites on the main figure will “pop”.

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Polish the painting

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Low-tech Photoshop

Using a dry brush, I weave colour and texture over and into the lower washes and the drawing. At this point, using pure pigment enables colour mixing to happen optically on the paper.

BRUSH TIP

NOT JUST FOR OIL

Use an old hog hair brush for any deep scrubbing out, to either burn out or kick back a value or soften a texture.

Here’s a tip if you have any doubts about your values. If you go dark with watercolour, it’s hard to go back to light, so I shade in with pencil to see the effect. Just as in Photoshop, this enables me to shift the values back and forth until I’m sure how to proceed. Then I erase the graphite and paint my tones to the desired value.

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Rinse and repeat

As washes darken the piece, the underdrawing becomes softener. So I need to do a spot of redrawing, picking out the main anchor points of the ferret’s gesture and anatomy. This also has the double effect of introducing a final layer of detail to the painting.

KNOW YOUR PAPER Watercolour papers have a front and a back, referred to as their weave/felt print. That is to say, texture is different from one side to the other. In addition, the sizing of the paper is usually dominant on one side compared to the other, so be aware that using either the front or the back of the sheet can dramatically affect performance.

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Pencil

DRAW ACCURATE BONES & MUSCLE STAN PROKOPENKO explains why understanding the human skeleton and muscle structure is the key to mastering anatomy… and therefore great art

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natomy is a huge subject and requires a blend of scientific information and artistic practicality. For example, you need an engineering-like understanding of how the skeletal joints work to construct your figures. But if you can’t draw well enough to get a good gesture, no technical understanding of the joints is going to save you from awkward-looking movement. Too many artists get stuck on one side or the other: either having a complete

MATERIALS PENCILS Conte 1710 B Primo 59 B Wolff Carbon 6B SHARPENING TOOLS Razor blade Block of sandpaper MISCELLANEOUS Charcoal powder Kneaded eraser

understanding of medical anatomy but being unable to draw a convincinglooking bicep, or having enough figuredrawing experience to be able to fake the form but not really understanding what they’re doing and inevitably drawing something physically impossible. Yet when everything is in balance, anatomy is magic, and it enables you to create a human figure in any pose you want without reference. I’ll do my best to get you started in this workshop, with an introduction to the skeleton and

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

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Study the skeleton

Bones are the foundation of the body. Muscle and fat, in contrast, can vary wildly from person to person and even throughout a lifetime. The skeleton, however, is much more reliable. Understanding it is vital for knowing where to attach muscles, and also helps with proportion. For example, the rib cage will always be as deep as the head is tall, no matter how much fat or muscle there is on top.

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muscle physiology as well as a few specific hints and tips on depicting the torso muscles. And if you want to watch video demonstrations or obtain more in-depth information on any of this, I have more tutorials on my website. Stan is a fine-art painter and online art instructor. He aims to make his tutorials entertaining and educational and says making art education enjoyable is at the core of his teaching. You can find out more at www.proko.com.


In depth Bone & muscle Temporal Line

Mandible

Nasal Zygomatic

7th Cervical Vertebra

Manubrium

Spine of Scapula

Acromion Process

Medial Border of Scapula

Medial Epicondyle of Humerus

Clavicle Sternum

Lateral Epicondyle of Humerus

Olecranon

Costal Cartilage

Ulnar Furrow 10th Rib Iliac Crest ASIS

Styloid Process of Radius

Styloid Process of Ulna

Pubic Bone

Phalanges

Patella

Greater Trochanter

Lateral Condyle of Tibia

Medial Epicondyle of Femur

Tibial Tuberosity

Medial Condyle of Tibia

Curve of Tibia

Medial Malleolus

Phalanges

Calcaneus

Vertebrae PSIS Sacrum Tailbone Lateral Epicondyle of Femur Head of Fibula Lateral Malleolus 5th Metatarsal

the bony landmarks 2 Use To help identify the placement of the skeleton, look for the bony landmarks. These are key spots on the body where the bones are superficial, with no muscle or fat blocking them from the surface of the skin, and include your collarbones, the elbows and the back of your spine. They’re more trustworthy than skin-based landmarks like the navel, because skin can sag and stretch. Trust me, the bony landmarks are your new best friend.

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Giving yourself a head start

There are three main masses that determine the balance of the human body: the head, the rib cage and the pelvis. The spine connects these, and connects to the arms and legs. We need a strong understanding of these forms so we can invent them from any angle, which means simplifying them down to a manageable structure. For the head, that’s a sphere for the cranium and a block for the jaw.

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Workshops 4

ARTIST INSIGHT BE AN ENGINEER Even when studying something organic like the pelvis, take a mechanical approach. Start with the overall ratio and keep breaking it down, welding masses on, or slicing chunks off. Consider perspective and proportion with every line you draw. A carefully engineered drawing will teach you more than an out-ofcontrol pile of guesses.

Depicting the rib cage

Simply speaking, the rib cage is egg-like, but we can do better than that. It has about the same depth as the head, but it’s one-and-a-half head heights tall and oneand-a-quarter wide. It’s thinnest near the neck and reaches its widest point about two-thirds down. Once you have the major proportions established, you can place the end of the sternum halfway down the rib cage, and construct the thoracic arch below it. Don’t forget to define the edge between the front plane and side plane of the rib cage.

Bucket

Wedge

Pelvis

to simplify the pelvis 5 How Okay, this one looks complicated, I know, but that makes simplifying all the more important. On a guy, it’s roughly the same width as the rib cage and about as tall as the head. The female pelvis is wider and shorter. Keeping those proportions in mind, the pelvis is essentially a bucket. Take out a wedge from the front of the bucket to define the pubic symphysis and the front of the iliac crest. You can continue to shave sections off piece by piece to articulate a perfect pelvis.

Step by Step: Turning reference into a drawing

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SKELETAL STUDY

I do a few preparation studies before the final drawing to solve all possible problems and make sure I really understand my reference. I look at proportions, gesture, composition, and of course anatomy. The skeletal study uses simplified structures, and here I’ve identified the three basic forms and all the bony landmarks.

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ANATOMY TRACING

Next up I would do an anatomy tracing on top of my reference photo, blocking in every muscle in turn and then breaking them up into their main bundles. The whole point of this torso drawing is the anatomy, so I want to make sure I get this just right, to lay good foundations for my anatomy painting.

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FINAL DRAWING

When the time to draw finally arrives, I break out the charcoal. I start with a line drawing and map in all my shadow shapes. Then I cover the dark areas of the drawing with charcoal powder to separate light from dark. Finally, I finish rendering the forms, establishing the highlights, half-tones and shadows.


In depth Bone & muscle Know muscle functions. Avoid the constipated bodybuilder look

to master muscles 6 How To master a muscle, you should study its origin, insertion, function, antagonist and form. The origin is where the muscle attaches on the more central or stationary part of the body, and the insertion is the attachment on the outer or more movable part of the body. When the muscle contracts, it pulls the insertion closer to the origin. The most important aspect to study is the form. When you understand muscle in three dimensions (including its major planes changes and where it’s the thinnest and thickest), you’ll be able to draw it from any angle and under any lighting conditions.

Flexion

Extension

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Learn the functions

As you already know, muscles contract to pull the insertion closer to the origin. They aren’t capable of relaxing by themselves, so they need an antagonist to pull in the opposite direction and stretch them back out. The bicep bends the arm (flexion), and the tricep straightens the arm (extension). Understanding muscles’ functions helps you draw a natural-looking figure by flexing and relaxing the muscles appropriately for that pose. Avoid the constipated bodybuilder look.

to define the muscle groups 8 How Neighbouring muscles with similar functions can be grouped together. When the muscles are flexed they’ll pop out and be individually distinct. But if they’re relaxed at the same time, they’ll blend into one big, smooth form. For example, the quads of the leg (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius and vastus medialis) can be grouped together into one form. Use these opportunities for simplifying anatomy to create a balance of active and passive areas in your drawings.

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Muscle fibres and tendons

Let’s take a step back and look at what makes up a muscle. The red muscle fibre is what shortens when the muscle is flexed. It doesn’t directly attach to the bone, but rather it attaches to a middleman material called a tendon. Tendons can’t shorten or stretch like muscles can. They simply tape muscle to bone. When the muscle fibres are contracted and bulging, the tendon will often appear as a flat depression or furrow.


Workshops

Muscle Tendon

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versus short muscles 10 Long People are born with different lengths of muscle versus tendon. It’s a subtle difference that will affect how long and elegant, or abrupt and angular, their muscles look. With long muscles, when the muscle is flexed, it will appear smooth and graceful. Long tendons means there’s less room for the muscle. They’ll have a sudden start and end, appearing like mountain ranges. Compare different bodybuilders to see this effect in action.

Anatomy tracing and invention

Ready to practise muscles? A great exercise is called anatomy tracing, where you chart the muscles on top of a photo reference. It’s a little easier for beginners because you don’t have to juggle many drawing factors at once and can focus on recognising and accurately placing muscles. When you get comfortable with that, crank it up a notch and invent the muscles from your imagination on top of a skeleton reference. You can draw the skeleton yourself, or use the mobile app Skelly, a poseable anatomy model, to quickly pose an accurate reference to draw on.

ARTIST INSIGHT EMPHASISE THE GESTURE To balance your engineer side, look for the gesture. It’s easy to get caught up with anatomical information, but don’t forget to identify the motion of the pose. Look at how the body is stretching, compressing and twisting. It will add power and movement to your drawings.

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Understanding the pectoralis major

Let’s learn a muscle. The pectoralis major’s form is akin to a flat box, tucked into the corner of the collarbones and sternum. Its three distinct portions (the clavicular, sternal and abdominal) overlap each other in a folding fan pattern, and twist over each other where the muscle pulls from the rib cage to insert on the arm. When the pecs flex, their muscular bundles become easy to see on the surface form. Fat gathers on top of the pecs along the outer-bottom corner in a crescent shape, and gives the pecs a distinct edge.


In depth Bone & muscle 13

Think of breasts like water balloons

Think of the breasts as water balloons rather than spheres. Show gravity in your drawings by letting the breasts hang or wrap around the rib cage, depending on the pose. Keep in mind that the pectoralis major lies underneath. The pecs are easy to see where the breast tissue thins, on the upper chest and near the armpits. If the pecs are flexed, you’ll see pec bundles, even on non-muscular women.

some back into it 14 Putting The upper back is an intimidating area. You have numerous shoulder muscles to learn to draw, going from the shoulder blade to the armpit, creating a bunch of thin tube-like forms. The shoulder has the widest range of motion of any joint in your body and it needs all those small muscles for that. The big masses of the back are the trapezius along the neck and upper back, erector spinae, which follows the length of the spine, and latissimus dorsi, which gives the torso that V-shape.

Have you ever seen a skinny guy with a six-pack, or a strong wrestler with a belly on him? I have

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Average

Heavy

Muscular

Decide on how much fat and how much muscle?

Have you ever seen a skinny guy with a six-pack? Or have you ever spotted a very strong wrestler with a bit of a belly on him? I certainly have. Fat develops on top of muscle. Even a thin layer of fat will smooth over muscular definition and soften the form. Body types are not a matter of fat or muscular, but “how much fat?” and “how much muscle?” Using those two factors together, you can create a variety of more realistic body types for a range of characters.

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Workshops

Oils

PAINT THE FAMILIAR AFRESH MICHAEL C. HAYES uses movement and scale to evoke a sense of awe in a familiar subject

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ngels are a recurring theme in my work. This is certainly not the first, second or even tenth time I’ve taken on this subject, nor am I by any means the first artist in history to do so. Because it’s such a familiar subject, the challenge of engaging my audience is even bigger, thanks to their potential apathy. I have to prove to them, in a split second, that they should care about this painting of an angel. I have to make it more than just the sum of its parts. Bearing this in mind, I set out to evoke awe, by making the painting really be

about scale and movement. The angel will become merely the vehicle by which I portray these concepts. From the very beginning I know that I want to suggest scale by having the angel’s wings envelope the entire frame and have her emerging from an atmospheric mist. I also think about how I could suggest movement with strong diagonals in the composition, an acrobatic gesture and secondary elements such as trailing hair and fabric.

ATMOSPHERIC PERSPECTIVE After painting the first layers with Galkyd Lite, I laid down a semi-transparent glaze of Gamblin Neo-Megilp and transparent white, which blended into a transparent earth tone glaze. While that layer was still wet I worked into it with opaque paints.

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After several years as a freelance artist Michael C. Hayes now paints entirely for himself. www.artofmike.com

RADIATING LINE COMPOSITION This entire composition is built from arcing lines that radiate from the bottom-left corner of the image. Note how the gesture of the figure, the flight patterns of the birds, and even the feathers of the angel’s wings bow towards that single point.


In depth Paint the familiar Step by Step: Getting the colours right

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GATHERING REFERENCE

Often during a photoshoot with a model I’ll take plenty of pictures and experiment with different poses and variations. This results in lots of extra reference, and this image was created with recycled scrap reference from past projects. As for the birds, I spend a lot of my free time at the zoo. Stock photos fill in the gaps.

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CREATING A DETAILED PRELIMINARY

I usually make my sketches about a third to half the overall size of the final. In this case the sketch was 12x18 inches and the painting was 20x30 inches. For these I use Tuscan Red Col-Erase pencil, white charcoal and either pre-toned paper or a cotton paper that I tone with a wash of watercolour.

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DIGITAL COLOUR STUDY

A digital study enables me to experiment with a range of colour schemes. I scan in my pencil study and then create a separate mask for all the different elements. It’s a tedious step, but I can then adjust everything separately with adjustment layers such as Levels, Color, Soft Light and Color Balance.

ANGELIC GLOW Applying the effect of a bright light is as much about using contrast as it is about using saturated colour in your shadows. I’m using almost pure cadmium yellows, oranges and reds in the dark areas.

MATERIALS

INDICATING FEATHER STRUCTURE With so many birds to paint, I wasn’t going to be rendering every feather. Bird wings have a specific anatomy, and their feathers group together in different layers and positions. Paint the larger feather structures and indicate feathers with brushwork, and it’ll go much quicker.

BRUSHES Q Royal Langnickel Sabletek filberts Q Robert Simmons white nylon #0 rounds Q Blick Wonder White filberts and flats PAINTS Q Winsor & Newton, Rembrandt and Holbein artist quality oils MEDIUMS Q Gamblin Odorless mineral spirits (OMS) Q Gamblin half Galkyd Lite and half OMS Q Gamblin Neo-Megilp Q Gamblin Galkyd Slow Dry

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Pencil

Oils

GET MORE FROM YOUR LIFE MODELS PATRICK J. JONES takes us behind the scenes of his photoshoots, which help form the basis for his sumptuous fantasy paintings

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he tradition of artist and model can be traced back to ancient Greece, and although the artists are long forgotten, their mysterious and alluring models remain, enshrined in marble. During the Renaissance period the model was immortalised again by artists, this time in oils. In those days there were no true cameras to capture the model’s image, only the crude camera obscura, but artists could pay a model with simple food and have them pose all day long.

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Each of Patrick’s fantasy artworks has its origins in a series of life-model photo references, which the artist takes himself.

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

Today, I continue the tradition of drawing from a live model but, with bread and cheese no longer legal tender, the cost of painting from a live model for weeks on end would lead me directly to the poor house. Luckily, back in 1840 Alexander Wolcott invented a magic box that changed the way models and artists work together. Its descendant, the digital camera, provides artists with the freedom to pose models before the painting begins and possess their frozen images forever with a simple click.

To explore this sorcery further, I invite you to step into my humble studio for an insight into a few of my photographic sessions, and the marvellous models and staging methods and techniques behind the paintings that they inspire. Patrick is the author of the best-selling art books The Anatomy of Style and Sci-Fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques. Patrick’s insights into his art processes are downloadable from his online store at www.pjartworks.com.


In depth Life models

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Workshops on a budget 1 Models When I was a young artist my mother would have called a priest if she knew I was photographing nudes, and the idea of asking a Catholic girl to pose would have provoked a posse of enraged brothers. If you live under more enlightened circumstances, then the cheapest option is to use friends or, cheaper still, use yourself, as I have here. With Photoshop I can then break my nose, shave my head, and be a whole new character.

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Draw, draw, draw!

My number one tip for my students is: make a mark on paper. This may seem obvious, but many believe they need inspiration to begin drawing. Waiting for inspiration is one of the great art myths. Draw first and inspiration will find you. Here’s one of many sketches scribbled down for a major fantasy painting. From this small seed a large 48x36-inch oil painting will sprout! With such a commitment ahead it’s no big deal to draw lots of little comps to find the best idea. It’s the nicest part of the job.

MOTIVATION DELVE DEEPER

Always try to give the model an emotion to work with. Their pose will have more depth as a result.

MATERIALS CAMERA EQUIPMENT. Q Canon EOS 5Ds and tripod Q Rechargeable batteries and charger Q Sigma 50mm F1.4 art lens Q Soft box lights and tripod Q Remote control Q Reflector COMPUTER EQUIPMENT Q MacBook Pro Q Canon Digital Photo Professional Q Photoshop ART MATERIALS Q Pencils Q Winsor & Newton oil paints

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The professional model

If you want professional results, your chances of success are increased by hiring professional models. They aren’t cheap, but if you get enough artist friends together to chip in then it becomes an affordable option. Another approach is to trade photoshoot images with an aspiring model who’s just starting out. As a professional artist I use professional models. Here, Alana Brekelmans poses as the Aztec Queen from my previous thumbnail sketch. The benefit of using a professional model is evident in this shot.

of gremlins 4 Beware The day of the shoot can be a nerveracking disaster if you haven’t prepared in advance. So do the groundwork. Make a check list. Have your sketches ready and at hand in a folder clearly marked. Make sure your camera batteries are charged. Take test shots before the model arrives. Remember that gremlins are lurking around every corner, waiting for their opportunity to cause havoc!


In depth Life models

camera, action! 5 Lights, With preparations watertight and the gremlins booted out the door, you’re now ready for your directorial debut. To achieve a professional result, lighting is key. Here, a chiaroscuro atmosphere is created with a powerful single light source. I use professional softbox lights on tripods to develop a sunny mid-afternoon light. Workmen’s lights from hardware stores are a budget option, or check the weather and use the sun for free. Although Nima and Alana did most of the work on this painting, I still needed to study anatomy to make subtle changes at the art stage.

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Explore creative opportunities

This is the fun part. With your studio set up in advance and all tests done, you can relax a bit, but you also need to remain focused on the task. I have all my sketches numbered to be ticked off. If you think you need two hours, book for three. With time on your side you have the opportunity to explore creative options for each sketch. Remember that it’s a creative collaboration, so give the model some creative freedom of expression, too.

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Thou shalt not pass!

When working with models one simple rule will make everything a breeze: be respectful! Remember that the model is putting themselves out there, baring their soul on your behalf. If you’re shooting a friend the boundaries are whatever you’re both comfortable with, but with a professional model you need to keep a distance that allows them a personal space of their own. Discuss boundaries with the model beforehand. Having worked with Alana many times, I’m directing at pretty close quarters here, but I’m always professional and respectful.

As an art director with a camera, you have the freedom to motivate your model to interpret your sketches with depth

acting 8 Method One of the great advantages of shooting your own photos is that you’re no longer the slave of found reference. Photos cobbled together from different sources will result in an artwork that lacks conviction. As an art director with a camera, you have the freedom to motivate your model to interpret your sketches with depth. Inject emotion into your paintings by giving your model a backstory. Here, Alana’s internal motivation is seething defiance, even in defeat.

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Workshops Step by Step: Think like a painter

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IT’S ALL IN THE PREPARATION

My colour comps are unrefined gold. I treasure them and refer to them throughout the painting process. All the work is here in miniature. Taking the time to figure out the composition, colour scheme and lighting on a small scale makes the painting stage a joy rather than a hardship.

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DIGITAL IS CHEAP!

The days of worrying about the cost of developing film are over. So even if the chances of hitting the perfect pose in one shot are almost nil, I can shoot 20 or more variations of every pose, then use the best hand, head, foot and expression to compose the ideal shot in Photoshop.

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TO PAINT FAST, GO SLOW

Frank Frazetta was famous for his speed of execution at the painting stage, and it all seemed like alchemy to me as a younger artist, but behind the scenes Frank mulled over colour roughs and sketches well in advance. If you want your painting to go quickly, make time for preparation.

One of the simplest ways to get your direction across clearly is to act it out for the model beforehand

operator 10 Big-time If you’re at college you may be able to borrow some high-end

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Everybody wants in on the act!

One of the simplest ways to get your direction across clearly is to act it out for the model beforehand. For small adjustments, such as a hand gesture, I’ll hold up my own hand and ask the model to mirror my movements, then stop when I stop.

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equipment. I recommend a 50mm camera, soft box and tripod, camera remote control, and a computer with Live Shooting Mode software loaded. This shot was taken with a Canon 5Ds using Digital Photo Professional software, which shows what my camera sees live on a computer screen. This enables me to study smaller details, such as the expressive gestures of the model’s hands, while shooting with a remote control.


In depth Life models

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What’s the angle?

Camera angles can create drama as much as lighting. Here, the target represents the eye of the camera at dramatic low level. To avoid blurred action poses I use a tripod, a timer and a fast shutter speed. Here my shutter is at 1/250 and my ISO is 4000. A fast shutter speed means a darker image and needs a high ISO to let more light in. This can create a grainy image. Explore your camera’s limits.

Digital Colour Comp

Photography

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The siren’s call

Great models are worth their weight in gold. I can take only half the credit for my paintings and owe the rest to my models. If you’re lucky enough to find a good model then hold on to them, for your art’s sake. With each session the model/artist collaboration will grow creatively. Here, Alana interpreted my art direction with supernatural ease and was able to create a fluid pose while imagining an invisible figure on an invisible boat.

Oils on Canvas

legacy of tradition 14 The All that sketching and photography

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Photoshop magic

You’ll notice in these photos that I’ve drawn an X on the floor. This marks the spot where an actor is within the camera lens, and is simply called The Mark, hence the phrase “hitting the mark”. The mark helps me judge where Alana originally posed, enabling me to fill in later as the hero. With hundreds of photos to choose from, I pick the absolute best figures and combine them in Photoshop. It’s up to me now to create a world for them to live in.

POSING ADVICE

SIMPLE ART DIRECTION

A pose is worth a

business might seem like a lot of tomfoolery thousand words, so hit the pose yourself for the before a single brush stroke is placed on model to duplicate. canvas, but the cost of quality is time and contemplation. If da Vinci were alive today, no doubt he would have a 50mm camera around his neck, Mona Lisa on her mark, and a paintbrush behind his ear. So, with a painter’s soul I continue the great tradition of artist and model, to dream timeless images of fantasy for future generations to ponder over.

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Workshops

Oils

Acrylics

MASTER THE DRAMA OF CHIAROSCURO PATRICK J. JONES paints The Sentinel using timeless oil painting techniques and methods, with an emphasis on dramatic lighting

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hiaroscuro is an Italian word meaning light and dark. As a kid I was enthralled by Disney’s masterpiece, Pinocchio, and the beautiful chiaroscuro invisibly woven into the art. The Disney artists understood the power and magic conjured by a pool of light. It was my first sense of light as composition and even though I didn’t understand it yet, it left an incredible impression. The fact that our eye is drawn to dramatic light is a powerful hook, but

the light must also contain a captivating image. When painting The Sentinel I imagined the sound of the dragon’s tail dragging slowly along the arid floor. To dig a little deeper I used allegory and symbolism. I chose the ageless allure of Beauty and Beast to engage the viewer’s imagination. The princess’s martyr pose may symbolise sacrifice, or any fantasy you dare to dream. One art lover made my chiaroscuro composition and subliminal prompts worth the effort when he asked, “Which one is The Sentinel?” This kind of

MATERIALS BRUSHES Q Winsor & Newton (W&N) Cotman synthetic and sable PAINTS Q W&N oils MEDIUM Q W&N Linseed oil Q W&N Liquin QArt Spectrum Artists’ turpentine

connection with another enquiring mind is what makes art special. With a single image we’re able to start an imaginative conversation that can go in any direction, opening up a world of possibilities. Pulling the viewer in means they will ask questions, and dream the answers. Patrick’s highly-rated figure drawing book, The Anatomy of Style, is available from your favourite bookseller. He is also the best-selling author of Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Oil Painting Techniques. For more on Patrick and his art, visit www.pjartworks.com.

Step by Step: Transfer from pencil sketch to oil painting

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PENCIL STUDIES

Nothing beats drawing from a live model. With no time for detail, a short life-drawing pose forces me to draw the essential forms quickly. This not only sharpens my drawing skills, it stamps a better understanding of the figure in my mind for the painting stage.

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COLOUR ROUGH

The colour rough is a vague, miniature version of the painting. This is my most valuable preliminary stage because it has everything I need regarding value and colour strength. With the colour rough in the bag I know the painting will take care of itself.

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UNDERPAINTING

As final preparation for painting I transfer a detailed pencil drawing on to my canvas. Here is the block-in stage, with some of the pencil still visible. I use mostly flat-edged, synthetic brushes to block-in the masses. This is the stuff that goes under the final painting layer.


In depth Chiaroscuro EDGING IT Soft and hard edges are important for creating depth and atmosphere. Softening some edges such as the outer cloak adds to the glowing effect and creates a magical mood. Fading some of the tendrils on the dragon’s head into mist suggests great scale.

MYSTERIOUS LADY When painting, I consider what’s important and usually make that area highest in contrast. But as I already have the princess basking in light I can afford to be subtle. Keeping the face of the princess subdued here adds the spice of mystery and romance.

LIGHT IT UP Creating the pool of light was the trickiest part. By deeming the peak of the bust ornaments as the highest light I created a reference point from which every other highlight was less bright as they radiated from the centre. This forged the illusion of a glowing figure.

LETTER OF THE DAY Notice how the S-curve running from the tail to the dragon’s head creates a coiled tension, making the serene pose of the princess more captivating and still. If composition is hard to grasp you can use the alphabet to get started. Look at the T-shape of the princess, for instance. Letters are surprisingly effective compositional tools.

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Workshops

Pastels

PAINTING THE CLOTHED FIGURE Folds, patterns and fabric textures can get complicated. Expert figure painter JANE RADSTROM shows you her process for wrangling all of these elements

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

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o finish with a strong image, you must start with a strong vision. A painting can convey more than ability to accurately copy a jacket, pose or person: it can tell the viewer how the artist felt about their subject. By being an active participant throughout the process and using keen observation combined with deliberate editing, you can achieve realism and more – you can convey a personal point of view. As I develop this portrait I work from general to specific, building up detail in

layers. Many choices are made on the fly as the piece evolves. By allowing for some accidents along the way, I keep both the artwork and myself fresh. Nupastels especially lend themselves to this type of spontaneous process. Works in pastel are commonly considered painting rather than drawing. I find Nupastels to be in many ways more forgiving than liquid paints, allowing for changes without erasing, scraping off paint or waiting for anything to dry. They’re also more immediate than other painting mediums. All you need are a few

colours and some paper to get drawing. Rather than mixing colour on a palette, you layer one on top of another right on the paper to create complex blends. The immediacy of making marks and building colour makes this an especially fun medium. Jane studied drawing and painting at Watts Atelier California, then earned a BFA in illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. She now works out of her studio in San Francisco. www.janeradstrom.com

Sketch ideas

I start any piece with sketching to get my idea out on paper. For a portrait, I primarily want to explore mood rather than pin down an exact composition. In this piece I want to convey that Destiny is quirky, confident and fashionable. I keep those things in mind throughout the entire process. The rough sketches are a good jumping-off point to discuss the piece with my model and help her understand what I’m going for.

reference photographs 2 Shoot It’s not always practical to schedule a person to sit for a drawing session, so I often paint from photographs. One advantage to this is that it’s possible to work from more dynamic poses and expressions that a model couldn’t hold for hours on end. I prefer to set up and shoot my own reference so that I have the opportunity to explore a lot of possibilities, and have complete control over the pose and lighting. I prefer to work from mono rather than colour reference, so I can see the values clearly and am free to interpret the colours. This does take some practice; working directly from life is the best way to learn the subtlety of colour.

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Preliminary drawing

I know I can make changes as I go, so I keep my initial drawing fresh and loose. I generally start with bright colours that I hope will show through to the end, adding vibrancy and energy. The exact colours are somewhat arbitrary. I try not to think too much about them, allowing for some surprises and happy accidents.


ARTIST INSIGHT LOSING SOMETHING In general, the more variety you include, the more interesting your piece will be. This includes variety of marks and edges. Edges can be razor sharp, have degrees of softness or be lost entirely. When you lose an edge of form, such as the shoulder in this piece, the viewer completes that part of the picture in their mind. This invites the viewer to participate in the work, which makes the piece more engaging.

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Workshops ARTIST INSIGHT FOLDS FOLLOW FORM When you’re drawing folds, start by picturing the body beneath the clothes as simple dimensional shapes such as cylinders or boxes. Look for how the folds follow the dimension of the form beneath. Sometimes you should deviate from the model and redesign the shape of the folds so that they enhance the feeling of dimension by wrapping around the form, rather than just bunching into a complicated shape. J.C. Leyendecker is a great master of designing fabric – see his work for inspiration.

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Designing a flow

With some basic structure down, I continue to refine my drawing with new colours, looking for alignments across the body to enhance the flow of the piece. I look for natural pathways to lead the eye across, down and back up the figure. If a fold doesn’t quite line up with the belt and the hem of the jacket, I change the angles slightly. When the parts flow together, the piece feels cohesive and polished.

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Block in the darks

The jacket will be my darkest object, so I choose to block in the shadows with a rich navy blue. I add a bit to the hair and shorts for harmony, but keep it out of the face because it would be too heavy and cold, ruining the luminosity of the skin.

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Dry brush

With a soft, dry, synthetic brush I knock back my lines and blend the blue into the paper. As the brush gets loaded with pastel dust, I spread the colours around, pushing them into each other.

Define the clothes

With everything softened back, I carefully study each piece of clothing to discover the nature of the fabric. Thick, stiff fabric such as the jacket will have larger, softer folds. A thin, tight cotton shirt stretches more than folding, and the denim shorts are thick but also tight, so the folds there are pulled taut against the form. While drawing each of these elements I picture the volume beneath the clothes to remind myself of the larger mass; the folds are just detail on top of form.

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local colour of skin and clothes 8 Introduce Now that I have the basic drawing down and am satisfied with it, it’s time to start developing the local colour of the skin and clothes. Local colour is the inherent tone of an object unmodified by adding light or shadow. While I want the lights and shadows to have a temperature shift – in this case, warm shadows and cooler lights – each object also needs to show its own inherent colour.


In depth Painting the clothed figure 10

Gamsol 9 Apply Turpentine or Gamsol has an interesting

Carve with light

After a 20-minute break for the Gamsol to dry, I start to add light back in over the midtones with yellow, cream, pink and light blue. The piece seemed to lack yellow, so I add some to the buttons and spread it around other places. Although I’ll cover some of it up by the end, I know it’ll add vibrancy peeking through the layers.

effect on the pastels. It melts the layers together, achieving a different type of blending than with a dry brush. I use a clean soft brush dipped lightly in clean Gamsol to go over my drawing, especially the shadow shapes. This adds a painterly quality to the marks and it also pushes the pigment into the paper, making it resemble a stain. The values look a lot darker while the Gamsol is wet, but when it evaporates they’re only slightly darker.

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Push and pull

One of the great advantages of pastels is that you can layer lights over darks, pushing and pulling colours and values for quite some time. This flexibility means that you can make changes without erasing, instead just covering the area and redrawing. The process is a lot like painting, but even more immediate.

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Details and pattern

At this point, it’s time to commit to some areas of complexity. I carefully fill in the striped pattern on the shirt, looking particularly for areas where folds distort the regularity of the stripes to add interest. Keen observation is the key to conquering a complicated pattern. Stripes are a great way to show the form of the body beneath the shirt: the direction and degree of bend in the stripe follows the volume below..

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Develop texture

As I build to a finish in some areas, I want to develop some variety of texture in the various fabrics, skin and hair. I finished out the light and shadow on the shorts, and left a lot of the pastel grain along with some fine, scratchy lines to mimic the large, rough weave of denim. As I finish out the very smooth skin, the contrast will make this texture stand out even more.

HOLDING THE PASTEL Break your Nupastels into two or three pieces. Draw with the piece of pastel turned longways on its side. Practise pulling feathery marks with soft edges and also experiment with pressing harder on one edge of the pastel to produce a mark with a hard and soft edge. Twist the pastel as you draw to create a line that expands into a shape. Simple Nupastels can yield an amazing variety of marks, so keep on experimenting!


Workshops ARTIST INSIGHT

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WHITE IS BLEACH Colours have varying degrees of saturation from bright to dull. As colours approach the light or dark end of the value scale, their saturation decreases. The most saturated colours are in the midtone band of values. Mixing with white, or a very light colour, is like pouring bleach on your painting: it’ll make the colours lighter but also desaturate them. You should plan for this by layering bright colours underneath or adding glazes on top. Otherwise, your lights will tend to become chalky.

Gamsol again, then finishing

The stripes in the shirt could use a bit more definition, and I have covered over most of my brush-stroke-like marks from the first pass of Gamsol, so I do a second pass. Then, with my colours, values and shapes in the painting all established, it’s time to finish. “Finishing” is mostly a matter of increasing the resolution – the level of detail and contrast – in my focal points, and making subtle adjustments to the drawing and edge work to support those focal points.

elements 14 Soften I use a dry brush to soften all of my shapes and lines again, enabling me to redesign hard and soft edges to lead the eye to the areas where I want the viewer to focus. On a piece this large, it’s important for there to be areas of crisper focus and places where the eye can glide past. If everything is equally defined then the viewer’s eye will bounce all around rather than moving through the piece naturally and resting on the focal points. I also covered some of the jarring colour in the face with a cream pastel.

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Expression and likeness

The general foundation of the face is there, but I feel I just need to continue to refine it to capture her expression. When dealing with small areas such as the eyes and nose, it’s important to remember that those areas are made up of small shapes rather than lines. A shape describes volume and has a specific, considered edge quality on each of its sides. In the lips, for instance, I think of each lip as a set of very small shapes and think of the transition (hard or soft) from one to the next, rather than simply drawing them as a line around the outside.

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Hair and final touches

The hair needs to be darker, and I also want to keep part of it “unfinished” to mimic the lost edge in the jacket. So I build up the value there slowly. During the final stages of finishing a work I’m constantly stepping back to see the whole piece. I look for things that stand out but shouldn’t and anything that isn’t standing out enough. Not everything has to be rendered, so I try to correct any issues with a light hand. At the point when I feel my eye is guided to the right areas and I can’t determine what else is bothering me, I put it away and take another look a day or two later with fresh eyes. It’s usually done.


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Workshops

Oils

EMBRACE GOLD LEAF AND OILS

THE REAL DEAL I use real 23 karat gold leaf. The fake stuff is fake looking. I also glaze and paint over it as required, to make it feel part of the painting. WORKING THE SURFACE My use of layers and glazing over the drawing is key to creating the complex surface finish. I use transparent glazes as well as opaque paint, followed again by transparent glazing. This results in a subtle surface and interpretation of colour.

REBECCA GUAY exposes the secrets behind her unashamedly romantic artwork

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ed Sugar is a 48x60-inch fixed diptych in oil and 23K gold leaf, on two canvases. It’s a very personal work that was shown at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City back in 2015. The painting explores the ideas of sensuality and surrealism that have been central themes in all of my work since I made the shift to gallery work in 2011. I drew the artwork in graphite and powdered graphite and water over canvas, which had been gessoed and sanded multiple time to achieve a smooth surface. I then worked in oil to complete the final piece. I wanted to convey the sensuality of the embracing figures in a dream-like environment while depicting the weight and the gravity of the metallic in the gold. Thus there are two contrasting aspects: the

heaviness of the gold versus the fleeting quality of the embrace. My figures are drifting over a graphic and barren yet beautiful landscape below, which again underlines the surreal flight of passion. Red Sugar is an unabashedly romantic piece that I painted in earnest and without irony. But I believe it exists beyond its surface beauty. My hope is that there’s emotional complexity on show as well: complexity in the dark and the light of the piece, the grip of the figures, the intensity of their bodies, the hands and faces, the gravity of the embrace – within the floating, surreal world. Rebecca’s early work comprised artwork for RPGs, card games, comics and children’s books. She’s since moved towards more gallery-led work, with large pieces created in oils. See her art at www.rebeccaguay.com.

SOLIDIFY THE SCENE Large, abstract elements, such as the area of red fabric around the figures, help to anchor the composition.

Step by Step: Merging human gesture with gold leaf

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GESTURE SKETCHES

I start all my images with emotion-based thumbnails in my sketch book. These are not beautiful or impressive drawings; rather, I see them as useful thinking tools driven by the feeling I want to convey. You can see in this preliminary sketch that I’m working out the emotion and the gestures between the figures. The unusual moment as their torsos press together and the position of the hands is very important.

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PREPARING THE CANVAS

I take two 30x48-inch stretched canvases, sand them down, coat them with gesso and then carry out wet sanding between five or six layers of gesso. I want the surface to be velvety and smooth with very little “tooth” of the canvas left. In most cases I’ll freehand my drawing on to the canvas (although I’ll sometimes use a projector). I draw with a large, woodless graphite pencil and a brush with powdered graphite and water.

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FINISHING TOUCHES

I usually use gold leaf in negative spaces and large graphic areas. Then I glaze the piece with Galkyd and finish it in oil paint. The final piece is given a coat of Gamvar to protect it. I prefer simple framing for my work these days, because ornate frames are a distraction and don’t allow for the work to be seen in its own right. I use painted black slats: the most basic finish framing. I love its clean presentation.


In depth Gold leaf and oils SHAPES, NOT OBJECTS Think of the elements in the image as tools of composition, rather than real-life objects. It’s the shape of objects that matters, not the fact that it’s hair, cloth and so on. The shapes work to bolster a strong composition. FACE FACTS If a face is shown in a piece then I make it as wonderful and enigmatic as possible. A boring or simply “okay” face won’t engage the viewer. Make it special!

MATERIALS MEDIA Q Galkyd and Gamsol by Gamblin PAINTS Q Gamblin, David Davis, Grumbacher and Old Holland

HUMAN TOUCH I consider where to depict specific and recognisable physical gestures, to make that emotional connection with the viewer.

BRUSHES Q Winsor & Newton and Rosemary

THE HUMAN ELEMENT A clear and deliberate gesture with the figures in the piece is essential. If the gesture between the two characters falls short, is static or uninteresting, then the piece itself fails.

LEAF Q 23K gold transfer sheets from Gold Leaf Factory VARNISH Q Gamvar by Gamblin

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Workshops GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

Pencil

Pens

Acrylics

Ink

Photoshop

CREATE LINE ART FOR A COLOURING BOOK KEV CROSSLEY shows how he produces the detailed line art for a colouring book based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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uch of the work I do as a professional illustrator is in colour, but my first love is pencil art, and inking over it is a close second. So in this workshop I’ll show how I approach the more complicated pieces I like to do. In 2015 I was asked to illustrate Jonathan Green’s adventure game book Alice’s Nightmare In Wonderland, which presented a dark and twisted Wonderland populated by nightmarish versions of Lewis Carroll’s well-known characters. We produced a colouring-book companion volume, which was received so well, Jonathan decided to do a second volume entitled Through the LookingGlass and the Horrors Alice Found There. Again, I was asked to illustrate it. Right away I knew I wanted to indulge in the detail I love so much. To do this for all 23 illustrations for the book would take far too long, so I picked out five drawings to become the stand-out pieces for the book and started to sketch out ideas for each of them.

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MATERIALS Q HB and 2H pencils Q Blue Col-Erase pencil Q Blue Rotring automatic pencil Q Black Biro pen Q Black drawings pens, various brands and sizes, 0.1 to 0.7 Q White paint, acrylic and ink, applied with fine brushes Q White gel pen

Some colouring books are filled with fairly basic line art, but I wanted these illustrations to be almost as fully realised as any other commission I’d done. So, although the finished art had to be clean with limited shading (so it wouldn’t hinder the colourer), the development process of the art would be business as usual for me. This involved thumbnail doodles in my sketchbook, followed by pages and pages of ideas, lists of elements and characters I wanted to use, and further rough sketches exploring and experimenting with layout options. For this sort of illustration, I fill page after page with sketches, often far more than I’ll actually need, then I scan them all into my computer and digitally adjust, arrange, then re-arrange them until I have a digital composite sketch that looks good. I then use this guide to build the finished illustration. I don’t always work this way, but it is an efficient, creatively rewarding way to work and encapsulates what I love about the way that working traditionally can be augmented digitally.

After 15 years designing video games, Kev became a freelance illustrator and writer. He produced comics for 2000 AD, and text and art for numerous art books. He’s written three books on fantasy art. See more of his art at www.kevcrossley.com.


In depth Line art

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Workshops ARTIST INSIGHT DRAW LOTS! Always produce more sketches than you think you need for big projects. It’s always better to have too much than too little!

ARTIST INSIGHT MAKING MISTAKES IS ABSOLUTELY FINE Don’t worry about making mistakes when sketching. No one needs to see the drawings that don’t quite work, and they can be easily fixed digitally!

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Visualising my ideas in sketch form

I begin by filling pages in my sketchbook with ideas. For an illustration of this scope I’ll need as many ideas as I can muster, and not just characters – interesting shapes, embryonic layout elements and variations are all sketched and gathered. At this stage I’m not certain how things will go together, but I have all the ingredients I’ll need.

Developing a rough layout

After scanning my sketches into Photoshop, the first thing I do is build up a well-balanced layout. I chanced upon an interesting idea in one of the first thumbnails I sketched, so I use this as my starting point, overlaying other doodles and sketches to add definition. I then build a clean, line skeleton over the top of this composite sketch.

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Building the composition

Next I add some characters. Alice will sit in the central “heart” shape, with the other characters arranged in the other four circular frames around the image. This is one of the parts of my process I enjoy the most, and any version of Photoshop can be used to do this.


In depth Line art ARTIST INSIGHT THE BEST PAPER If working traditionally use the best quality art board you can find. Bristol board is a superb, smooth paper for inks and pencils.

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Introducing more elements

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Maintaining balance as the composition becomes more complex

I continue adding elements from my sketchbooks. Some parts are derived from drawings I did for the previous book, such as the clock from the Hare’s stomach, and the Cheshire Cat. The latter I copied, flipped, then flattened to create this symmetrical portrait. It looks clumsy and obvious but like the rest of the image it’s only for reference.

Among the sketches I was particularly happy with were mushrooms with books beneath the caps, but they were tricky to place in the image. Eventually I chose to obscure the right side of the “heart”, but this was balanced by the curving book-strip I positioned on the opposite side. I also add white fill into the border lines.

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The finished digital layout

When I feel that the layout is complete, I desaturate each layer to remove any colour, turning the whole thing into a greyscale image. I adjust the values of each element (darker elements are lightened and lighter ones made darker), balancing the image. Finally I flatten the image and turn it blue. It’s almost ready to print!

COOL TOOLS PENCIL TIP

2H pencil keeps a sharp point really well, making it useful for fine linework.


Workshops 7

Tweaking the layout for printing

The fantastic versatility of working digitally means that changes can be made at any stage. Before printing the digital layout out on A4 Bristol art board, I change the positions of the cat and the hare and replace the dormouse head with a new version, itself cobbled together from two digital sketches. Now it feels ready for the next stage.

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In depth Line art

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Pencilling over the digital layout

Although I could ink directly over the digital rough, producing a new pencil drawing first is a valuable way of homogenising the various composite parts that went into building the layout. It becomes a single whole piece rather than a collection of parts; details can be added and refined too. The cat, for example, no longer looks so symmetrical.

PEN TIP

USEFUL PENS

Bic ballpoint pens are an overlooked gem, and a low-cost solution, too. Get your hands on some and then experiment!

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The finished pencils

While the digital layout was a hodge-podge of different parts, this new pencil drawing pulls everything together: the borders and lines flow into the illustrative elements, and anything that might have looked discordant in the digital composite is now solved. I usually send the client a greyscale version to review before I start inking.

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Preparing the artwork, ready for inking

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The finished inked illustration

And so the final stage begins! I print out a light blue version of the image on smooth art board. (I’ve included the actual “blue-print” file in the resources.) When inking, once again I always do this traditionally. Many people choose to ink digitally, but I still enjoy the process of working on a physical piece of paper with wet ink.

Inking over the pencil

I use whatever pens come to hand when I ink. Although I sometimes use brushes when I’m in a painterly mood, for this illustration I mainly employ the sorts of pens you can buy inexpensively from any stationery store. That said, I did use my refillable Rotring pens for some of the finer line work. They are awesome tools!

After around 20 hours, perhaps more, I decide the inking is complete. The line work needs to be clean with minimal shading so there is still paper visible for colouring pencils to cling to, but I don’t want to keep the final image free of such detail entirely. Therefore I allow a little extra line definition here and there.

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Workshops

GET YOUR RESOURCES See page 146 now!

Oils

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH NATURE JUSTIN “CORO” KAUFMAN shows how to work in layers to create a realistic oil painting of nature – specifically, a large tree in his family’s back yard

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hile I’m an illustrator and fine artist by trade, based outside of Seattle, I’ve been working primarily as a concept artist for the past 16 years. I own and help run Massive Black, a studio specialising in concept art and illustration primarily for games and film. We’ve worked on all kinds of stuff that you might have heard of, and some that you probably haven’t, too. I paint digitally for most of my commercial endeavours. However, I fell in love with oil painting back when

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ARTIST INSIGHT IMPORTANCE OF THE UNDERPAINTING This stage is the most important one, as it not only defines the “drawing” portion, but also sets up the values for the most part as well. What we’re doing at this stage is laying the framework for this to happen in subsequent layers.

I was a student in art school, and I’ve since continued to pursue it between jobs. I dig the tactile nature and versatility of oils – I don’t think there’s a medium that I enjoy working in more. About a year and a half ago, we moved our family out to rural Washington state, and I began painting the scenery out here. I’ve been focused ever since on how to approach such complex subject matter without idealising it or getting too “techniquey” in my approach. And that’s what we’re going to be covering in this workshop. I’ve chosen one of my favourite trees to paint: a large

maple tree that takes up almost the entire clearing in our back yard. My goal isn’t so much to reproduce exactly what I see, but rather to interpret it using a variety of brushwork, marks and scratches. I want to make it appear fairly realistic from a distance, and also interesting to look at when viewed up close. Justin is a US West Coast based illustrator and concept artist. He’s one of the founders and owner of Massive Black, an artists’ collective serving the entertainment industry since 2004. You can see more of his personal art at www.coro36ink.com.


In depth In touch with nature


Workshops

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Preparing the panel

I begin with a 24x36-inch piece of birch plywood with a nice grain and minimal wear and tear, which I pick up from my local hardware store. I then dry brush between four and six coats of gesso on it with a soft, broad brush, working vigorously and using no water so it sets quickly. I take my time on this stage, and am careful to make sure the paint is even and the surface is sealed properly with a new coat.

MATERIALS PANEL Q Three-quarter-inch birch plywood panel GESSO Q Dick Blick gesso BRUSHES Q 0 Hog’s hair round Q 1-inch Mop brush Q 0, 1 and 2 Synthetic liners Q 1-inch watercolour wash brush PAINTS Q Winsor & Newton: Olive Green, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White QGamblin: Indian Yellow, Phthalo Green, Grey, Radiant Yellow, Ivory Black. Q Old Holland: Magenta, Cad Red Scarlet, Cobalt Turquoise, Transparent Red Oxide Lake

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Sketching in from the reference photo

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Setting up for the underpainting

Once the gesso’s dry, I lightly sketch out my tree using a 4H lead pencil. I lay a grid on top of my reference in Photoshop, and then draw a corresponding grid of six-inch squares on my panel to help make sure the drawing is Preparing the surface I use an electric sander to sand out any irregularities centred and sized properly. I work from a photo that I took between coats until I achieve a smooth, eggshell-like finish. out in the back yard. I’m careful to get the large branch forms blocked in as accurately as possible, but I’m not I use 100 grit in between most coats and finish with a finer labouring over the smaller branches. I’ll just paint them in grit. I don’t want it buffed “shiny” smooth, but I don’t want to have to work with any glaring surface irregularities either. directly, using the larger branches as guides for placement.

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MEDIUM Q Gamblin refined linseed oil Q Galkyd Turpenoid odourless spirits

BRUSH TIP

BRUSH WORK

Rotate your brush as you dab, and don’t repeat the same marks next to each other, because it breaks the illusion of realism.

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I’m using olive green and refined linseed oil. Olive green is great to underpaint with because it’s transparent, which allows for a broader and more predicable range of values on top of the white ground. What’s more, it’s a warm, neutral colour that isn’t too overpowering. I use mostly bristle brushes for this stage of painting. They enable me to apply a lot of paint, scratch texture back in, and easily manipulate edges and volumes. I also use a variety of mop brushes to stipple texture, and small liner brushes for branches. I use the back of the brush to scratch highlights and I also have a few little rubber tipped tools and a synthetic wash brush to help manipulate paint.


In depth In touch with nature

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And breathe…

I use only refined linseed oil as my medium. It takes a couple of weeks to dry enough to work on top of again, but I find it’s helpful to be stuck in this stage for a while so I can work back into it and fix things that are bothering me. I also like it because it’s non-toxic and produces no fumes, so it’s safe to breathe and doesn’t stink up the room.

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Painting my underpainting

I start from the trunk and work my way up. I try not to overwork things at this stage, because a lot of it will be painted over eventually. I’m aiming to establish the shadow shapes and begin to describe the surfaces. Using a mop brush, I begin to block in the canopy of leaves. It’s important to not overload the brush because we don’t want to go too dark on those leaves.

Greater control

I break out the liner brushes as I move up towards the top to paint in those smaller branches. I rotate the panel and use a mahl stick, which gives me greater control over the widths of the branches. A good rule of thumb is that they always get thinner, and offshoots are always thinner than their parent branches.

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Workshops ARTIST INSIGHT STEADY GLAZING Transparent glazing is the best way to get complex and rich colours. It’s important not to go too dark at first because you need the light to be able to penetrate the layer of paint in order to bounce off of the surface below. Several thin glazes works better than a few thicker ones.

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Glazing the painting

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It’s colour time

Once it’s dry to the touch, I begin glazing transparent colour in. I mix a solution made up of 50 percent Galkyd, 40 percent Turpenoid and 10 percent refined linseed oil. I then lay out my transparent paints. I use Payne’s Grey, Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Green and Transparent Red Oxide Lake. I mix combinations of these colours with my medium and apply it accordingly.

I begin laying in the leaves using mop brushes to blot a mixture of Phthalo Green, Indian Yellow and some Transparent Red Oxide Lake. I use Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson on the trunk, and add more Indian Yellow to the mossy areas. I lay it on pretty lightly and wait at least 24 hours before laying another layer on. After three to four layers the colours are dialled in. Glazing gives a depth to the colours that’s difficult if not impossible to achieve working opaquely. I also really like the textures that build up.

Phthalo Green

Alizarin Crimson Ultramarine Blue Indian Yellow

Payne’s Grey Olive Green Ivory Black Transparent Red Oxide Lake

Magenta Cadmium Red Scarlet Cobalt Turquoise Light Radiant Yellow Radiant Purple Titanium White 144

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Opaque application

When I finish with the glazing, I begin painting opaquely on top. I prepare a full palette of paint and begin to work into the painting, looking to correct drawing errors, accentuate highlights and shadows, and refine forms and edges. I look for opportunities to vary the temperatures and punch accents.


In depth In touch with nature

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PAINT TIP

Varying my marks

I begin to detail in the leaves and the smaller branches, and also revisit and detail the larger ones. This stage can be a few passes, where I work both wet-in-wet and dry brushing. It’s a “whatever works best” scenario. I’m also trying to break up the surface and avoid too many similar-looking marks.

MEDIUM

I vary the paint consistency, depending on what texture I’m after. You can achieve different edges and effects by mixing

ARTIST INSIGHT

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Final details and error correcting

I come back in with pure opaque colours and dot them on using small rounds and liners in a kind of pointillist fashion. This enables me to modulate large fields of colour with subtlety and control. The hard part is over, and now I’m just polishing it up, fixing minor errors and accentuating areas. This is also where you get to develop the surface of the painting and make it cool to look at up close.

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Expand your knowledge

And that’s it! Hang it on your wall and impress your friends and family. Your paintings will make great gifts too. But in the end, you reap the reward of having a deeper knowledge of the time-honoured tradition of oil painting, the comfort of completing a process and making something physical, and a better understanding of the intricate and profound beauty of Mother Nature.

OPAQUE IS THE LIFE SAVER Be sure to observe with a critical eye when you begin to detail with opaque paint. This is your chance to fix things that might have been bothering you. Don’t be afraid to make edits: you can always wipe them off if it doesn’t go as planned.

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Resources

GET YOUR RESOURCES You’re three steps away from Practical Painter’s resources…

1 To accompany this issue’s guides and workshops we have videos of artists painting their amazing art, close-up images of their works-in-progress on the canvas, sketches and more. To download the image files and videos completely free of charge simply visit http://ifxm.ag/practpaint2

Go to the website Type this into your browser’s address bar (not the search bar): http://ifxm.ag/practpaint2

2

Find the files you want Search through the list of resources to watch or download.

3

Download what you need You can download all of the files at once or individually.

WATCH THESE VIDEOS

Wet on wet with gouache

Get in touch with nature in oils

Watch over Bao Pham’s shoulder as he paints wet on wet using watercolour and gouache – it’s the next best thing to being there!

Follow Justin “Coro” Kaufman as he paints and learn how to work in layers to create a striking, realistic oil painting of a large tree.

PLUS: SKETCHES, WIPs AND FINAL ART Download the images from our workshops and guides on to your computer so you can examine our artists’ work-in-progress and final imagery.

STUDY OUR ARTISTS T’ WORK-IN-PROGRESS AS YOU FOLLOW THEIR STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES AND INDEPTH WORKSHOPS! (All images copyright and supplied for your private study only. No reuse of any kind permitted.)

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IMPROVE YOUR ART SKILLS TODAY! VOLUME 2

From taking your first steps in sketching and drawing, to painting stunning images in the medium of your choice, our easy-to-follow guides will help you get better at creating art!

EXPERT ADVICE

9000

9001

Professional artists share their techniques and tricks in step-by-step workshops

TOP TECHNIQUES

Get the best from charcoal, gouache, oils, watercolours and much more

CORE SKILLS

Master human and animal anatomy, and make your sketches more expressive

LOOK INSIDE!

Take an exclusive peek inside the toolkits and working spaces of leading artists

IN-DEPTH ADVICE: GET MORE FROM ACRYLICS HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT MATERIALS USE COLOUR MORE EFFECTIVELY PAINTING FROM LIFE IN GOUACHE OR OILS ADD SPARKLE TO YOUR WATERCOLOURS MASTER THE DRAMA OF CHIAROSCURO PERFECT YOUR PASTELS


Practical Painter – Volume 2, 2016