It's time for another digital painting demo! I've had a couple portrait commissions going the last couple weeks. Here's a video of my process creating one of them. This pet portrait is of Sherlock, a charming Chihuahua.
Some paintings go quicker than others. This one, for example, took a mere two hours. On the other hand, I just finished a portrait that took at least – because I wasn't tracking my time – twelve hours. It came out great in the end, and I'll have more to say about that portrait in a future post.
The reason this portrait went so fast comes down to the fact that I had good photo references. Not great, but good. They had the following qualities:
- Images in focus.
- Good file size (1600 x 1200 pixels)
- Large subject within the photo. Sherlock wasn't in the background. He was the center of attention.
- Natural lighting from an oblique angle which revealed interesting shadows.
- An interesting pose. Sherlock looked like he was posing for his high school yearbook.
When my photo references have those characteristics, I get to concentrate on the art side of things. In other words, my focus becomes creating a compelling portrait, and not trying to figure out missing details, or faking an interesting pose.
For these pet paintings I use Corel Painter 2019. Snagit software is my choice for capturing the screen as I'm working. For editing, I use Adobe Premiere. Captions are made in Adobe Illustrator, and the music is composed in Logic.