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.
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.
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.
I tended to draw the face a little too long. You’ll notice that I “squash” it a few times with the transform tool.
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.
After I created my initial block-in, I created a new layer and started putting in some details.
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.
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.
Here’s the finished painting and close-up look at the eye.