Friday, November 12, 2010

Some Process

I thought I'd share some progress pics on a recent painting. I actually have an inspired thumbnail here that I was pretty happy with on the first doodle. It's a rare thing. I would always suggest doing extra thumbnails just to flesh out ideas but I had a pretty good idea how I wanted this to look and decided to roll with it. Originally I was thinking ethereal white dress. But then I thought pink could be interesting. I was on the line about the color choice but throughout the day I had received several signs that lead me to my decision: Pink bicycle frame with gray tires, grey shoes with pink laces etc. When I'm unable to see the signs like this I toss chicken bones to help me in my decision making. If you're vegan carrot bones work just as well. I loosely transfer my sketch onto the paper with a light table. Using my photo reference(get a friend or family member) I refine my drawing trying not to lose the integrity of my sketch too much. It's a careful balance of my natural stylization in the sketch and the information of the photo ref. I try to leave some areas not so tied down in the drawing stage in order to have room for some spontaneous goodness. A little shading in graphite then I start laying in thin washes of acrylic. It's a slow process but it gives me results that I'm pretty happy with.


  1. Hey Eric

    Could you show us the family photo ref? I am curious as to what elements you use from your ref.

  2. It's always nice to see more steps. Most often you are unable to reconstruct what happened inbeteween. And it is always nice to see the reference.

  3. Eric, i know you've answered this somewhere before but I can't seem to find it. My students asked me what you use for a mask.

  4. Carrot bones... delicious crunchy carrot bones. Thanks for the post!

  5. Is that middle section the Photoshop stage? It seems Photoshop is pretty good for roughing out what color combinations you want to use and figuring out placement... it would be gratifying to know a Pro like you does this too...

  6. I'll be putting up a comp of some of my ref that I took here soon. There's a lot of unused ref as I try to distill the images down to the most useful. I've never had the "perfect" one shot ref. It's always a frankensteining of multiple shots.

    Bill- I experimented with some liquid masking fluid(redundant) with "Moon Rising" and "In Passing" mostly just masking the figures out. I don't normally use masking fluid and tend to work around areas. And I don't really like the sharp "edge" that's created by the build up of medium around the frisket. But I may find use for it again.

    Andrew- Yes. I may do a really rough color study with the sketch. But it's nice when I get the final drawing laid down to do a more precise study. Which is still kinda rough. Pros- Obviously, figuring out the color ahead of time to avoid major mistakes during painting. However, I wouldn't want to have a fully realized, super refined final to work off of because I like to have some room for spontaneity and surprises. However, these surprises can also be somewhat of a curse at times. These spontaneous sproutings can be cool and at the same time problematic. So I'll have to start to readjust things around and find solutions to unexpected problems mid painting. Putting everything to a halt in order to find a solution tends to be what is needed. I usually take a progress pic to fix in photoshop and then I'll use it as my new "color comp". So my color comps become updated throughout the process. I hope this is making some sense.

  7. Thanks for answering our questions. It makes perfect sense. =)

  8. Thanks for the answers Eric! I'll look forward to your future posts!


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