Sunday, September 12, 2010

Halloween's Coming!

I'm so excited to finally be starting my own blog. I've always agonized over what I would write about. Recently, I've come to the realization that I can just talk about whatever the hell I like.  I'll mostly discuss my illustration process and try to explain, step by step, what I'm doing and why. 

So, I'm excited that my first post is Halloween related.  There are so many things to be inspired by, this time of year.  Halloween is one of the few occasions people get to escape reality and be creative. 

Anyway, this is the oil sketch for my entry for a Halloween show (Ill post the details about the show soon). I chose to Illustrate part of the story of how the prankster "Jack" became a Jack O' Lantern.

I first primed the canvas with white gesso.  I prefer to water down the acrylic gesso until its just about the consistency of heavy cream.  Three coats over the canvas or illustration board usually does the trick. Let it dry overnight, or until it no longer feels cool to the touch. 
Priming the canvas insures that the oils don't get absorbed into the fibers of the canvas, and helps the paint to move more easily on the surface. 

For my oil sketches, I usually use burnt umber watered down (a lot) with turpenoid.  Any earth tone will do. They usually dry much faster than the others and provide a warm/ neutral under painting, which I like.

I just grab a brush and sketch just as I would if I were drawing.  Don't worry about being too neat yet because you will generally try to cover it all up with paint anyway.  Just concentrate on your composition and proportions...depending on your style, you may need to do a more involved under painting.

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