My new project was completed two weeks ago: an illustration for the cover of a book to be published by Sourcebooks. My first real book cover. Here's how it went:
Started with my initial sketch. Printed it out and threw some paint on it to test the color I was thinking of using.
Made notations of the colors so I wouldn't forget the combinations when I actually started painting.
Photo reference came next, using props I either made or bought.
Drawing on the canvas.
Laid down the initial color layer, using the same colors as my test, but thinned with solvent. I use Gamsol, as it has the least amount of odor.
Started blocking in the face, using the established color, but in thicker applications. I like to start with the face since it sets the mood for the rest of the piece.
The pattern continued down the body; blocking in color in thin applications, then finishing off one area at a time.
With half the body done, I moved to the background. Since the top half of the body was going to blend into the background, I needed to establish both areas first so I could blend the two together on the lower half of his body.
The ground was next, followed by the feet. I then moved upwards to merge the two halves of his body.
Let it dry and varnished it. Photographed it and sent it off to the client. Click the image for a slightly larger view.