Christmas and beyond

On 11 February, 2014 by eraza

Hi again,

So yeah… gone for about four months’ time… explanation is due I guess. Since the last post at Halloween I started the project below which finished just before Christmas and took up a lot of my time. Since coming back to London I’ve been sort of disconnected, second guessing myself at every turn and just not had focus to think about the blog. I’d like to change that again though (having said that in the past again and again let’s see how long this lasts…)

So! To start off with again I thought I would do a write-up of how the below painting came to be.

My not-so-little-any-more cousin had seen some of the dinosaur drawings I had done and asked me to paint him one. This was just after Halloween and with Christmas right around the corner I thought I would do something more than just a marker drawing for him like I had done before. This in essence became my first faux-commission (no to low payment, lots of hour of work, stress, failure. That’s what commissions are like right?)

Having firmly implanted in my mind that this would be a project and not just a piece I decided to start off with doing some studies as I haven’t painted a lot of animals in the past. First I did a bunch of dry-marker photo studies from movies and other drawings since I couldn’t exactly go to the zoo and get a triceratops to pose for me. So I thought I would draw the next best thing: Rhinos!

Tritops GIF

Rhino GIF

Since the painting was going to be a full illustration and not just a character piece I realized I had to draw the environment as well! aaAA! So I did some sketches of jungle plants as well.

Jungle Sketches

Seeing as I have mainly worked in grayscale and not used colours a lot I thought I would do some basic colour studies as well to become more comfortable with the colours I would be using. Had a green/blue/orange colour scheme in my head so found some reference images as close to this as possible. Stuff like Jurassic Park photos, Tarzan paintings and even a couple World of Warcraft screenshots (geekout!)

Enviro Sketches

Then it was time to stop doing studies and start applying what I had learned. It was time to DRAW FROM IMAGINATION! A phrase that sends a chill down my spine as I don’t do a lot of drawing from imagination which has probably crippled my skills beyond belief. So I started off doing some rough sketches. So rough that they should show up in the dictionary next to the word “Rough”!

Sketch GIF

After having figured out the general pose I wanted to do I thought I would run it by a good friend and great artist, Angel, to see if she could pull it apart as much as possible to get rid of as many underlying issues as I could. She sent me a quick drawover critique which I studied:

Angel's drawover

Then I started painting the actual painting which I regretibly have no process shots of ! So here’s the finished piece:

Xander's Christmas Gift RGB SMALL

Took me between 30-40 hours to paint this excluding all the studies and preparation so yeah. My cousin seemed happy with it though when he opened his presents so that’s all that matters =)

In the future I’ll try and upload more images and write less. I think the writing and time spent makes posting too much work for me. I have been working on a bunch of stuff lately but I just haven’t felt like posting it.




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