Video Notes: Painting a Hero

Painting a Hero video notes

Here is a further explanation for the process behind my Hero video I posted earlier. I was specifically trying to make a more traditional image with this piece. My digital process here mimics how I make an oil painting.

To start, you’ll notice I have my reference in a separate window off to the side.

Hero 1

I start by creating my drawing. It’s on a separate layer. I usually scan in a sketch because it is easier to draw on a piece of paper than it is to draw on the computer, but for this painting I started and finished with software.

Hero 2

The beauty of drawing on the computer is that you can fix things more easily. Using the lasso tool, I’ve selected my eye and moved, rotated, and resized it. Eventually I erased them and redrew them anyway. Figures.

Hero 3

I tended to draw the face a little too long. You’ll notice that I “squash” it a few times with the transform tool.

Hero 4

Now with the painting…

I began by coloring my background layer. Then I created a new layer on top of my drawing and started to lightly block in some color.

Hero 5

After I created my initial block-in, I created a new layer and started putting in some details.

Hero 6

At one point, I flip the painting horizontally. This trick will help you see your drawing mistakes very quickly. In this instance, the shape of the hair was a little off, and my eyebrow was a little skewed. Once I was done fixing my mistakes, I flipped it right back.

Hero 7

While I was painting, I opened a new window and kept it off to the side. This way, I can see my painting close-up and far away at the same time. You can do this by going to Window–>Arrange–>New Window for [your file]. When I was finished painting, I put in some adjustment layers to help with the contrast.

Hero 8

Here’s the finished painting and close-up look at the eye.

Final Hero Painting Hero detail