Friday 31 December 2010


Just a photo study from last Friday, from a photo by Jack Davison. Used with kind permission. (thanks! :))

Photoshop, about 2 hours. I used a technique similar to the one I used in Spaceborn, i.e. low opacity brushes with no pressure sensitivity. This involved a lot of colour-picking within the sketch (not from the photo!) from an initial limited palette of blue, brown, cream, green and red, and multiple brush strokes to get smoother blending for some areas, but overall speeds things up and helps me paint more deliberately. I varied opacity manually, at around 70% for defining features, 40% for most detailing, and 15% or less for larger areas of the skin. Looking at it again now, it's still a much sloppier job than Spaceborn, but I wanted to keep a messy look anyway; my main focus was colour to begin with. As a note, colour-picking WILL muddle your colours. A good way of countering that in Photoshop is to use a Vibrance adjustment layer at the end to make the colours pop a bit more, and a Curves layer to fix contrasts.

Progress shots:

Also, Happy New Year, everyone. :)

Saturday 25 December 2010

Saint Basil

This should probably wait until 1st January; but I suppose it sprang from my annoyance at the Americanised figure of Santa Claus, red and fat and jolly, and all the ho-ho-ho's and rampant consumerism that goes along with it.

In Greece gifts were traditionally exchanged on New Year, which is Saint Basil's day. There's a carol for New Year's Eve that describes him as 'coming from Cesaria, holding a picture and paper and inkwell' and a young boy trying to draw his attention. So I guess it could be an illustration for this carol.

My mother (who is an iconographer) has painted St. Basil numerous times in the traditional byzantine style, which I think shows here as an influence too.

Anyhow: couple of minutes at Photoshop, no reference. I'm quite fond of this clumsy little sketch. :)

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Sunday 19 December 2010

Ithaka, sketches

Back from Italy!

Painted this on the ferry on the way back to Patra. The view is of the Ionian sea, or a collage thereof, since the clouds and light kept changing. :)

Also, some sketches: 
(My dad ended up looking like Lenin in the top left one. :p He also handed me a new sketchbook, identical to my old one, which was probably the handiest sketchbook I've had!)

Thursday 9 December 2010

First Snow, Heather Elizabeth

I'm seriously addicted to painting these days. So much that I dread my upcoming, 10-day or so trip. I need a new sketchbook.

From this morning (and for the Daily Sketch Forum at CGSociety, topic First Snow):

Photoshop, about half an hour.

And also, a tiny pencil drawing of Heather Elizabeth Sumpter I did yesterday. She's pretty! :D Also, make sure to check out her lovely photography at

Whiteout, in progress

Where did she come from? I'm not sure. :) I do, however, know she's a character in an old story that was discarded (and then worked into a different one). In that story, she was bound by an infernal influence – or artifact – to an icy hell, eventually absorbing its essence and becoming its warden.

Latest update, 9/12

Previous steps:
Couple of hours on and off. No reference so far, but I'm probably going to need some for the hand. :}
I like the face.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Dreamscape Challenge: early concepts

I've entered this year's CGSociety Challenge, Dreamscape. I've no clear idea of what I want to do, but probably an assemblage of strange but intensely scenic dreams I had.

Putting some draft concepts together:

Tuesday 7 December 2010

More pose sketches

These should come in larger quantities, but I'm only stealing some time from work to do them.

I did a couple more from Posemaniacs, but I'm not quite pleased with them. Most poses look stiff, and joints are often downright off. So today I started working from photos. These are from M.J. Ranum's deviantART stock account.

I've got more stuff in the works, will show some later in the week, I hope. :)