Monday, March 8, 2010

The Safari Inn

  I want to stay one night at the Safari Inn. Maybe I will the next time I'm out in LA. Just look at that marvelous sign. It seems to declare "Adventure waits herein, weary traveler!" Looking at it, I have to wonder if marauding natives and wild animals of all sorts are lurking nearby. I can imagine the pounding giant kettle drums down in the courtyard under a moonlit sky while I lay on my tiger skin rug watching some TV. Yessiree, that sign paints some pretty vivid imagery in my mind. No doubt, if I really did check in, I'd probably just hear police sirens and runs to the ice machine all night long while I lay pondering the strange funk that permeates the room and why the bed sheets are itchy and look suspiciously unwashed in the glow of a worn, flickering TV screen. Well, cynicism aside, that beautiful, kitschy sign bathed in golden light fired me up. It's the light itself that I wanted to capture some how. I had been kicking it around for a couple months now. I just didn't know how I would go about it. I still didn't at the time of getting this going. I chose to paint this right after completing the painting of Kuma the dog, the subject of my last post. Kuma took about 4 hours or so to paint. An hour after completion I began to work on the Safari Inn. I mention this because at this point something interesting happens. I had gotten one painting done that I felt pretty good about. I had a little brain fatigue but I thought I would plow ahead and see what could be done with a whole new set of visual problems to solve. The canvas measures 9x14 in size so I knew it wouldn't take long to complete.  So, the tiredness aside, because I was already "warmed up" with the previous hours of work it didn't take long at all to get back into the zone and have some fun. This time around I was going to just shoot from the hip and see what happens. The sign is what I wanted to be the focal point and I wanted to get the overall painting down in a high key approach. That didn't quite happen in the end, but that is how I started out.

  I wanted to get down many different colors all through the piece. It is a warm light in the photo and I remember seeing a bunch of colors all over the place that day. In the air, the mountains, and everything else I see color and more color. Okay, that said, how do I get that down on the canvas in some way that makes sense? I wasn't sure. So, I just began to paint and solve that problem as I went. First off I put down a wash of Aureolin to get rid of the hard white of the linen. It is a yellowish type of color that is really wonderful. In what way? I dunno. It just has some aspects about it that really appeal to me. Not only will knock out the hard white but will also mix in with the color I put down thus "connecting" them. By that I mean, there is a little Aureolin getting mixed in with the other colors, thus connecting them. To be honest though, in the end I have put the paint down so thick that this may no longer be applicable as it would be if the color application stayed thin. Next, I put down the basic shape of the sign itself and the trees. The plan was that as I eventually got down to the lower portions I would break them down to simple shapes so the shape of the sign would remain dominate.

  Once the darker shapes, the trees, sign and building, were placed I began to build up the color in the sky and hills. The hills I purposefully knocked down in value so that the building would stand out more. Because of the orange roof I have orange at random places in the sky and hills also. The blues and greens of the sky are also in the building shapes. Here we have some connection of color going on. This is a unifying tactic. It is a way to portray that all objects are bathed in the same light. Cadmium & Lemon Yellow as well as Aureolin have been used in the sky and other areas.

  Here I have knocked back the trees and sign a little. As you can see the focal point has now changed. It's going to be the dark shape of the building. I didn't plan it that way but I didn't care either. I chose to continue in this direction and see how it all played out. Warmer colors have been added to the sky. Pinks and soft oranges, which are also picked up in the hill. I have used the palette knife quite a bit at this stage. The knife is a fantastic tool that can pull off effects the brush can't. The upper left and and far right are the results of the knife. As are the wall and driveway down below. Colors blend beautifully with the knife. It is also a lot of fun to use and experiment with. I'm pretty happy with how the overall piece has come together. At first I didn't quite know how to wrap things to together. As I put down more color it started to click and I found a rhythm I was comfortable working with.

  I made a few adjustments with the knife in the sky and proceeded to put in the sign's letters. The roof on the left I blended into the hill shape behind it. I softened some other edges here and there and that was about it. It has a spontaneous feel about it that I like. It isn't a high key painting that I had started out with to paint. This makes me admire those, like Monet, who make that type of painting look real easy. I would like to see if I can do a larger version of the Safari Inn and cut it out in the same manner. At any rate, two and a half hours later, a crazy looking sign has been put down on canvas in a suitably, wild manner that I hope captures the feeling I wanted to convey about it. A wild manner that still has some logic and thought put into it. I do think that jumping into this piece right after the Kuma painting did have some positives to it. I didn't try to over think any thing. Afterwards I was definitely spent and would not have been able to do a competent third installment. So all in all, it was a good and productive day behind the easel.
Which is much more satisfying, I'm sure, than a night at the Safari Inn.

A Dog Named Kuma

My dear sis in-law owns a beautiful beast who I thought would make a nice painting. She is a Bernese Mountain Dog and with patient coaxing I was able to get a decent shot of her. I wanted something that captured some aspect of her playfulness and also get a pose that would carry over to a piece of art. I had my trusty assistant, the ever capable Mrs. Slemons, grab the dog's attention in various ways enabling me to get the shot I was hoping for. This is the pic one that won out. She looks spunky and she's seems to be engaged with whatever it is outside of the framework of the photo that has roused her from napping. Yeah, WE know who did that, but once this scene is transfered over to being represented in a painting, I would like the viewer to fill in that part of the story themselves. Maybe it's a bird at the window, some sudden noise in the house, or the funky scent of a nearby mailman has been picked up. A playful spirit is indicated here, to me anyway, and it is my job to carry that over to the canvas. 
  A note or two on what motivates me as an artist to paint this or any other type of subject matter. For me, there has to be some sort of emotional charge that gets the creative juices percolating. It can be anything. The play of light on a subject, the colors at hand, a sense of solitude or loneliness perhaps with a snow covered tractor in a cornfield. Something has to click and it stays with me. Something wants to be said and I just know I gotta get it down. In this case, as a dog lover, a big beautiful hound lazing around the house grabbed me. There were a lot of blues in her coat and around the room in general due to the north light coming in from the window. Conversely, if I try to paint something and I'm a little flat about it or not really certain about what aspect it is I'm trying to capture, it comes out looking labored, or uninspired or it just gets wiped out. Looking labored can result from other issues, like trying to put down everything in a photo, but I'm just generalizing here.
So, let us move on and see how this experiment turned out.


I wanted to just concentrate mainly on Kuma with hint of her surroundings. Most of what is in the photo is not at all important. I have cropped in and eliminated the cabinet and  table legs. They are not important in any way. This is a 8x10 size canvas and I want to paint an image that is not bogged down with the incidentals. I also approach this with the intention that there is certain amount of time to use so I won't allow myself to get caught up trying to put down everything the photo capture. Again, the photo is a liar in virtually every aspect. Color, temperature, and etc. etc. I have to remind myself of that all the time. To have a sense of spontaneity I won't allow the photo to dictate to me anything really beyond the general layout of the model and the basic play of color.    

  I want the general focal point to be her head and that white patch below it. There is a lot of fun stuff going on in her muzzle and eyes. There is quite a bit of temperature change going on in the white patch and sheet she is laying on. You have to be consious of this. In consideration to the patch, a white in one area is NOT the same type of white in another section of the same shape. It will vary in temperature and perhaps even a bit in value. That is the case here anyway. I want to carve that patch out as accurately as I can to stay consistent with the atmospheric conditions that I interpret to exist here. There is a lot of interesting shifts in color and temperature going on around the head. The nose and mouth in particular offer fun challenges. As do the areas of fur with the light on it vs. the shadow sides of her coat.  

  Once her head is established as the focal point, it's pretty much downhill from here. The thinking behind a focal point is, that the viewer needs to know what it is they're supposed to be concentrating on in the picture. In life, whenever you are looking at an object, everything around it is subordinate. You can only look at ONE thing at a time. If you are starting at someone's nose, for exampe, you can not also see the person's eyes or mouth with the same clarity. I want Kuma's head to be what you as the viewer hone in on. Therefore, I will render those shapes around her head as secondary considerations. How far I want to exaggerate and push these areas is up to me. That's another fun part. I get to chose how to manipulate these areas in order to enhance the overall piece and direct you through it. The eye should be able to move around the composition with as little confusion as possible. If I cut out the whole dog and her surroundings all equally, it would be confusing to look at. What is it exactly, you would ask, am I talking about.

I wanted to put in just enough information into the background wall and blankets so that they would read at a glance. For the carpet and sheet in the foreground it was pretty much the same approach. The bed sheet is a white, but not the same kind like in the white patch of fur. It is distinctly different and should be done in a way not to detract from the dog. The value is lighter the closer it is to the light source. It gets cooler and a bit darker as it recedes to the right. I try to make the edges softer out here too. No doubt as this thing tacks up I'm see somethings that need to be tweaked or handled differently. That's the way it goes for me. For now though, it's pretty much done and I've captured some of what I had hoped to when I started. Perhaps I'll take another stab at with a different take on the color schematic. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Or paint a dog.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Inking Up Some Comic Book Pages

I've always been amazed by great black and white ink work. Well executed pieces done in pen or brush, or both, can be grand stuff. There's a whole slew of embellishers in the comical book industry alone whose styles have fueled the fires of inspiration for me. Tony DeZungia's inking on John Buscema's pencils in Savage Sword, for example, seemed to make Conan even more of a force to be reckoned with. The dark shadows around the eyes always stood to me. Recently I've been flipping through my hard cover edition of "Earth X" which showcases the stunning work of John Paul Leon. It's printed in just black and white and really makes a statement in regards to the man's incredible draftsmanship. Solid blacks in the both the background and foreground fuse together creating beautiful effects of atmosphere. It is truly great work and worth checking out if you are unfamiliar with Leon's art chops. This is how I decided to do things a little different on some comic pages I had to work on. Rather than use the brush to lay in the line work and manipulate watered down ink in various places like I had been doing, I thought I would rely more on the usage of solid blacks and see what I could pull off. Okay, enough blah,blah,blahing. Let's see how things went these pages.


  Usually I have 3 types of ink out to be used. For the darks I use undiluted "Super Black India Ink" by Speedball. This is really good stuff. Once it's down and dried, the pencils can be erased and the inks sheen isn't really dulled down. I like this stuff better than "Black Magic", which I had been using for quite awhile.
  Next, is a watered down bottle Pelikan "Drawing Ink A". I have several bottles of this type that has lain around in a drawer for years. To the point that the pigment a globbed up a bit and had to be diluted to break it up. In general, this bottle is watered down so it isn't so dark. It's wonderful for toned effects.
  Lastly, I have a batch of super diluted stuff that put into a plastic lid. Because of the dried ink residue that is never washed out, particles come loose that have cool effects when put down in a wash. Even though this time around I'm pretty much gonna just use the "Super Black" and a little wash effect here and there, I thought you might like to see the whole ink arsenal.
  The brushes are Steve Quiller synthetics, sizes 2 and 5. The nibs are a 512, 513 and a fine tipped piece made by a Japenese maker. It's for Manga type work but I got a bunch of them because they are good tools. The 513 was nib of choice for this batch of pages.


  I pencilled out the pages on 15x20 pieces of Strathmore plate bristol board. I can see that I should have scanned these pages instead of just shooting them on the table. Next time I'll do that, so please bear with me. On this page and the other three, I have a general idea of what areas will be the darks. There are places that I'm not sure about, so I just work those out in the back of my head while I concentrate on the areas that I do have a solid direction on. As long as I have a overall idea of how the page will lay out I trust the smaller uncertainties will just work themselves out as I go.


  I used the 513 size nib to outline the shapes and their shadow areas. I'm not really doing any line work here such as crosshatching. I do this just to place the items in each panel and to start getting an idea of how I can pull the shapes in the back and front together. The 513, to me, has a nice feel to it. Because of it's size it is less likely to get stuck in the paper and spatter. They do tend to wear out fairly quick depending on how hard you press down. How you hold it can also make it not put the ink down. In the end, you just have to get a feel for it to maximize what it can do. It's like anything else I suppose.

  Next I just laid down the darks areas and put in bits of actual line work here and there to create a sense of depth and to add some texture. There are still some parts that I know need some sort of treatment but what exactly that may be, I'm still not sure. So I move on to the rest of the page and leave these "unknowns" to be dealt with later.

  Here's the lower portion of the page just in outline form. At this point I'm cruising along pretty good and I'm pretty confident in getting what I need to established. 

  This is the finished page. I added some thinned ink in the smoke rising from the wounded mechanical creature. 

Here's another page in outlined inks.

  Once everything was in place, I went in with some white Gouache to put in some more webbing and break up some of the line work on the downed spider's abdomen to accentuate the highlight.
On this page, my tendency to use line work came out a bit more than on the other pages.  Sometimes it's hard to turn off a certain way of working. That said, I still like the results. Hopefully the colorist can take these pages to the next level. For my part, I want to create a finished inked piece that can still stand alone by itself. Though far from perfect, I think these pages do that to some degree. If you would like to see them all, you can check them out at my Comicspace site with the link at the very bottom. The pages that I worked on for this post are pages 59-62. This particular comic will be an online item that will work in conjunction with a video game called "SCAPS Agent". It should be green lighted by September of this year.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bag of Oranges

   Just after the new year began, the fetching Mrs. Slemons and I took a trip to LA. One day we were down along the theatre district and wandered into an indoor food market. This place carries baked goods as well fresh fruit and veggies. And there was a lot of foot traffic which can offer up some pretty good photo ops. At one point while I was waiting around I noticed a gentlemen who was picking out some fruit. Quick as I could I got some shots. The vender came out to talk to him and it seemed as if he was a regular. The two of them together made for a great scene but due to passerby's the camera never got a decent opportunity to capitalize. So this was all could get. But I really liked it and I had a good feeling about at the time. There was something to say here. Was this his weekly visit to get his allotted amount of oranges? Was he having seconds thoughts and wanted apples instead, maybe? Did he live alone or was there someone to share this bounty with? I will never know, but it is my job to communicate clearly what I do want to say about him and his purchase. A writer friend of mine strongly adheres to his belief that great art has to emote clearly a distinct emotion. To a point I believe that, but part of me still feels that the viewer will still interpret what he sees in his own fashion. How he extrapolates what I put on the canvas, at some point, is no longer in my control. I may be wrong with this particular stance but that's where I am currently. With more paintings under my belt in the future perhaps I will have a stronger grasp on this particular aspect of picture making. Anyway, I did a nice 9x12 of this image and I thought I would attempt to do a larger canvas of the same. So let's see how that turned out.

The Painting Process

  I usually paint on linen that is glued to gatorboard. Linen comes in a variety of textures. The weave is fairly tight on what use here. It's not as rough as say a duck canvas. Rather than paint on the harsh white of the linen I put down a wash of Red Iron Oxide to soften it up. Plus it will pick up a bit when you begin applying the paint which yields some nice results. It also looks nicer when the paint breaks in areas and parts of the  naked canvas remains exposed. Usually in my case that isn't an issue because by the end I've painted so thick that there's not much area left that hasn't been covered. 
  Anyway, the focal point of the painting is going to be the man so I loosely paint a shape representing him. I'm not concerned with all the miscellaneous details that surround him. As long as I have a good idea where he is going to be on the canvas and the general placement of the cabinet in front of him, I'm good. Everything else will just fall into place in their own time. It's important to note something about painting from a photo. First off, it lies. It's just a reference tool and not to be taken literally. The color and temperatures are off and it's easy to get into the bad habit of trying to get in every inch of detail. I've give my self a time frame to adhere to and try to just capture the important stuff and dismiss the rest. I haven't mastered this. Painting from life is the best way to go. Obviously there are situations where that can't be done. Like a fella shopping in a market, for instance.
  After I paint in some of the other shapes around the figure I concentrate on getting the man's face put in. I try to see the face and any other object as a shape. I paint in the shape of the ear. I paint the shape that will be the nose. So on and so forth. When the ear shape, for example, is correct I will paint the smaller that are there and when completed, we have an ear. Once the head is cut out as accurately as I can get it I will use it as a way to measure accurately  the proportions for the rest of the figure.

  Unfortunately, I just noticed I didn't shoot those stages, so there isn't thing to show of the hands and oranges being put in. I'm gonna have to do better the next time I put up a oil painting post. Here I have blocked in more of the background. With the focal point put in, it is pretty much downhill at this point. 

  Here I have put in the foreground and a good portion of the background shapes. There are a lot of fluorescent lighting as well as the green neon lighting. It all makes for an interesting atmosphere. I see lots of green and blues reflected in the metals
and other surfaces.  

  The fruit piles and some of the shapes in the background I want to use to emphasize the man. The bunches of fruit I will try to simplify. They are basically reds and yellows. Now that I'm looking at it I probably should have made it one or two shapes. That's one of the problems with going of a photo. One can spend too much time noodling over this type thing. In the field that wouldn't happen. You would put it down and move on.

  The background shapes and the rest have pretty much been put in place. Best to leave things alone now, unless there is a glaring problem that needs to be taken care of. Like a piece of color that is the wrong temperature for instance. You will notice in the final that the lamps above are not the same color or temperature. The light above the man is rendered the brightest. In life, if you were watching him and only him, nothing else would be in focus in the same fashion as the model. Therefore the lights are rendered in cooler colors and temperatures because the man is the focal point. Make sense?

Well anyway, 5 or so hours later, this is the end result. There were some quick tweaks I did here and there after the fact. Things like the softening of edges or scumbling some color which is easier to do once the paint has dried for a few hours. I think I like the smaller version better. There's more of a sense of immediacy about it. That's the way it goes. Every painting is a new set of problems that have to be solved. The second time around with this image and at a bigger size created different issues to be grappled with. The trick is to figure how to solve them at the time of executing the piece. Sometimes that seems easier to do after the fact. At any rate, it's done and that's a wrap, kids.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wrap Around Book Cover Illustration for "Cryptozoica" by Mark Ellis

 I've loved to draw dinosaurs for as long as I can remember. Up until the 6th grade I aspired to be a paleontologist. Mr. Ravenelli's art class changed all that. It was there that I decided I wanted to be an illustrator instead. Getting paid to draw dinosaurs rather than digging them up in a dusty desert sounded pretty good. Plus, I could avoid any risk of heat stroke. So, about three decades or so later I get the opportunity to do the interior pages and cover to Mark Ellis' new novel. Maybe for a future post I can put something up concerning the interior pen and ink pieces. The creation of the cover though, will be the topic of conversation for my first post. I will show my method of working and how I went about getting this assignment completed.

Initially, when all this started, a full color cover wasn't even discussed. While doing the interior pages I started kicking around ideas that would possibly make for an interesting cover. Now I'm a real sucker for a good cover. I've bought bunches and bunches of comics just for the cover art alone, done by the likes of Alex Ross and Marko Djurdjevic, to name a couple. There's just something magical about a well done cover. Case in point would be the illustrations that graced the Conan paperbacks by Frazetta. Those stories were all the more alive to me due to Frank's art being stuck in my head. Gregory Manchess did a beauty of a cover for the latest printings of REH's sword swinging barbarian. James Bama's, "Doc Savage" covers are another fine example of work that just brings life to the printed pages between the covers. This type of work is a bygone era, I think, due to the digital age and all the change it has  brought. Robert McGinnis and John Berkey are couple more greats from a list of many who's work I find engaging and really well done. With all that said I aspired to create a cover that would live up to the merits these guys executed so well. I'm not sure I did that in the end exactly but I did have a lot of fun with this piece. And why shouldn't I? I was getting to draw dinosaurs.

Step 1 - Thumbnails

As is usually the case when I get an assignment or have something I want to do just for the fun of it, I start doing thumbnails in a sketchbook. This is a necessary step that helps the artist figure out what can work and what will not. Also, it helps the intuition kick in and you can end up doing some really nice line work that captures the feeling or mood that you were going for. The trick will be to later recapture that when you start to build up that particular thumbnail into a bigger and more evolved layout. Very soon after I started doodling out ideas for the cover layout I started thinking it would be cool to do a wrap around cover. With this kind of layout I could showcase all the characters in the story and get a few more dinos in to boot. Also, if the interest was there after the book came out, it could also be a nice poster or print. I wanted a T-Rex to be the predominate figure on the front cover. He had to be in some sort of action pose that would hopefully get potential buyer's attention. He would be a real ramrod smashing through anything that would get in his way. His quarry would also have to be in some interesting pose to convey the urgency of his or her situation. On top of all that I would also have to come up with a way to show the rest of the cast in a way that would be visually clean and not hinder the viewer's eye in moving around the entire composition.

I went through about four pages in the sketchbook until I got something I thought I could work with and build up into something. The two images in the lower half are what I ended up with. At this time I thought I would have some extra bleed on the right that the viewer would never see in the printed cover form. Once it became a poster then that extra stuff would be seen. I had designed it to be in a widescreen format, which for whatever reason appeals to me. Jack (the lead character) and one of the ladies would be on the cover attempting to keep their cold blooded hunters at bay. What would be the back cover also shows the rest of the cast doing their best to keep alive as well. Well, this was a start anyway, so now it was time to move on to the next stage.

Step 2 - Pencil Roughs

  At this point I did an accurate layout of the cover's dimensions and made several copies of it. One of which I sketched out loose concept on based on the final sketchbook thumbnails I did. I sent it to Mark to give him an idea of what I was thinking of. Nothing in this was set in stone. There was much more work still needed in getting to a good, workable composition. After sending him the above sketch I began to work all that out.

Rough #1. It's a start. The first of many. 
Same thing basically here in #2, just moving the people around a bit.

By #6 I'm getting closer to something I think that may work.

#8 has some things I like but, yet, it still isn't clicking and I'm getting a bit frustrated. Something is there in the back of my skull, but it hasn't appeared yet. What I do know is, is that there will be 3 figures on the front cover. Jack and two of the ladies. Just which ones is unclear at this point.

Step 3 - The Final Pencil

Now here is where I take an unconventional turn. In my mind's eye I have a semi good idea of what and where things are gonna go. So I decide to just start laying out the final pencil on some illustration board. The board is double thick cold press Crescent board measuring 40" across by 20" high. I wanted to do a big piece in hopes that eventually it could be a big poster or print some time in the future. Also, I was still intending to draw the extra goodies in the bleed area, never intending for it to be seen in the cover version. This would prove problematic in the end. Normally, one does not move onto creating the final pencil until a layout has been decided upon. I'm taking a chance here.

As I began to draw this out, everything started to click. The charging T-Rex is now coming in from a different direction. Just seemed right to do. I have also shot some photo reference to get an idea of how the poses will work with clothing and holding weaponry.   Then I figured out how I wanted Jack and the girl next to him to placed. He sees the trouble behind them, she sees what is coming at them from the other side. I place the other girl close to the camera with a pistol drawn. Seems to be balanced. At this time I know I want a real big close up of the character on the far left and that he will be a dark shape in the end. I then find a way to get the rest of the crew in there and still keep it open enough so the viewer doesn't get bogged down. On the far right I put in the charging raptors who basically are put into the area that is the bleed. I get it all drawn in and then make a copy to send to Mark to get final approval.

Now here is where things get interesting because of my decision to just cut to the final pencil without finalizing a set layout. Mark decides all of this should be on the cover. Which is fine. Because the layout is so wide, it creates spaces on the top and bottom that needs to be filled with new drawing. I transfer what I do have onto a new piece of illustration board. This time the size is 40" wide by 30" high. This going to be bigger piece than I intended. After transferring what I already had done I pencil in the new stuff. A little bit more along the top than the bottom to compensate for the title. The illustration is better off in the end, but all this time wasted redoing things would have been avoided had I stuck to the rules. Oh well.

Step 4 - Color Rough

Before moving onto the final painting I want to get a good idea of what the color scheme as a whole is gonna be. So I do color study on a watercolor block. It measures 15 by 20. I don't spend too much time on it because I still want to have "something" to pour into the final. I put the color down pretty loosely using gouache and watercolors. I solve various problems this way so I don't have to figure them out while working on the final. This way I will know what can work and what may not. With that out of the way it is time to get to the main event.

Step 5 - Under Painting

Sometimes I do an under painting. And sometimes not. In this case I wanted to do an under painting for the whole piece. After starting I realized that if I did I may not have enough energy to finish the thing. So rather than burn up valuable fuel I just painted in the focal point area and decided to just go directly to the painting. Time was also an issue. I wanted to get this thing done and move on to other work. For me it is best to get an assignment done as quickly as I can. If it sits around for one reason or another I can lose interest. Not so likely on dino art, but it can happen with other types of work.

Step 6 - Painting

Normally I paint in the focal point first. Then paint in the subordinate areas. I'm using gouache and in this case I opted to put in the background and work forward around the focal point. This way I could create the illusion of distance easier. By adjusting my values appropriately as objects get closer, depth is created. I put in a light wash of naples yellow in the rock area to give it a look of warm sunlight. This will be built up as I go.

Here the rocks are pretty much finished. There will be some alterations to them as I paint in the figures. An area or shape may be made darker or lighter depending on what is next to it. The is done to create contrast and make a shape pop out more. I want to get more of the environment around Mr. T first before I start to embellish him. I know he will be some sort of sienna brown but that will fall into place easier once the components around him are established.

At this point it is pretty much down hill. The Tyrannosaur is fully painted and there is no missing him. You may notice that red and black patterns on the raptors are different here than indicated in the color study. After the study was done I realized that I had my color patterns mixed up. Now they are consistent with the interior raptor illustration I did. There's always something. 

This is the final illustration with a bit of airbrush in certain areas to give it a bit more atmosphere. The little pterosaurs were the last items on the docket to get painted in. I'm not sure how much time this piece took from start to finish but I think it is safe to say it was around 40 to 60 hours. And that is mainly due to the size of the art. I don't normally work that large on commercial assignments. Anyway, the job got done and the client seemed to be happy with the final result. I can't ask for more than that.