Digital Painting Technique

In mid-January, I set a goal for myself to level up in 6 months. As part of that goal, I started developing this technique where every stage of my digital painting looks like a complete yet different style.

  • Black & White Silhouettes

  • Greyscale (Solid Values Only)

  • Introducing Colors (The Under-Painting)

  • Edge Work

  • Finishing the Painting

  • Final Touches

I wrote about my journey as a digital portrait artist in my previous blog, and here I continue sharing my progress.

The initial motive behind creating these 3 portraits using this new technique was to make my process well-planned and more efficient. As I shared the different-styled stages, I got more attention and was offered to work on varied projects.

Black & White Silhouettes

The more time you spend looking at your subject the better the results you'll get at the end. This stage does at least 2 things for your portrait

  • gets color out of the way temporarily

  • lets you focus on your subject in terms of simple shapes

as you may have noticed, light and shadow play a big part from the get go.

Once you finish this stage you basically have something that looks a lot like what you see in black and white comics. Check out the work of the great Will Eisner as an example. He also wrote Comics and Sequential Art that I found very informative.

or have a look at Sin City comics...below is a sample from That Yellow Bastard:

Since at this stage, my portraits were in this style, I started to get offers to work in comics.

Greyscale (Solid Values Only)

Instead of using only 2 values, solid black and white, you now get to use 3 to 5 values.

You now need to flesh out the tones between the 2 extremes.