Thursday, September 24, 2009

Process...or something

I was asked recently to post some process stuff to show how I put a painting together. I've actually only photographed my process once, it was for a larger scale packaging illustration I did for Magic in the summer of '08. This was a while ago and I've changed things up a little since then but this is still pretty much how I go about working. Click to enlarge.

1 - value thumbnail, usually I do this in pencil but here it's digital.
2 - color sketch, this is what I submitted to the art director for approval.
3 - final drawing (they're never pretty).
4 - final drawing transferred to masonite over acrylic tone.
5 - acrylic underpainting...I don't really do this anymore.
6 - oils!
7 - everything's in but unrefined.
8 - final painting as I submitted it.


  1. Cool! I like the color rough. Sometimes when I do a painting, I like the color rough more. I hate that.

  2. Wowww! You just made my day Chris! This is one of my faves from you so it's great to see the process! I can't believe how close the final stayed to the color study. God I have to pick up a brush again!

  3. Damn, man. Great process shots. Awesome post!

  4. Thanks guys.

    Ben - Yeah, that happens to me a more than I'd like. It's good to hear that I'm not the only one.

  5. ya brave son of a gun, hats off t'ya. really cool to see.

  6. Hi

    Im a friend of Zack Jones(who you are mentoring) and a big fan, and I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your process! great work

  7. Hey Chris, any chance of making a hi-res one available for download? I love seeing all those sexy brush marks :-P

  8. Holy Smokes! This is fantastic Chris. Thanks a lot for posting this.

  9. Capprotti - I would post a hi-res file but I think Wizards of the Coast gets a little weird about posting reproduction quality files online. Sorry man, but there's a decent sized file in one of my earlier posts.

  10. Cool! Nice to see the process and it's a great image - for sure.
    Was the reason for dropping the acrylic underpainting just a speed issue?

  11. Scott - yeah, the acrylic underpainting started to feel a bit redundant because I wound up painting over it with the same color in oils anyway so that I could blend a bit.

  12. Chris, I got some questions.

    1. Do you draw directly on board with gesso or do you draw at a paper, transfer it to the board and paint it over?

    2. How do you transfer your drawings to the board? Do you use tracing?

    Thank you!