Monday, July 20, 2009

A WIP/Tutorial from McHugh.

Hey All,

As many of you know, Art Order ( is featuring a cover contest right now and, after deciding to give it a go, I figured it would be a great opportunity to put together a WIP/Tutorial.

The joys of not being locked into a Non-Disclosure Agreement. :)

This is a more detailed description of how I go about generating a finished illustration and it builds off of previous discussions on the show.
The article is in 4 parts---

Part 1: Rough sketch
Part 2: Detailed drawing
Part 3: Grayscale underpainting
Part 4: Painting

I hope some of you find it useful.
Thanks for reading!
---Jeremy McHugh


thedarkcloak said...

Nice walkthrough, Jeremy!

It's really interesting how so many artists sometimes use similar, yet VERY different approaches and solutions in their processes. Or other times, just methods that are 'backwards' to what you or I would use.

Like for example, the way you go about making your grayscale layer, I usually work from the middle and build up to shadow and light... or other times I'll use adjustment layers to create lighting and shadow effects as well, once I start splashing on color.

It's also pretty neat how (especially in digital art) 2 artists could go about solving a particular problem or achieving a particular effect in two VERY completely different ways. Either through the use of various layer combinations, or clever use of layer styles, clipping masks, etc etc ad nauseum.

Thanks for sharing, man!

maspen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Aspengren said...

Thanks for posting this Jeremy!

Your main characters remind me of Jon Foster's "Dirty Fight" (Alien vs. Predator vs. Terminator). All Action!!!

Maybe you can talk some fellow Ninjas into WIP posts? I think all artists love to see how other people approach the process.


Ninja Mountain said...

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it!
I enjoy learning about other processes as well.

Using the eraser tool is something I stumbled on when dealing with a tight deadline.
I often draw as much with the eraser as with the pencil in my sketchbook and it finally dawned on me that I should try tackling rendering from the other direction. Work subtractively.

I've used the method you describe as well, Dark Cloak.
Good stuff!
Mike--I totally know the piece your talking about and that image certainly flashed through my mind while roughing this piece out. I LOVE Jon Foster's work. It is made of Win! :D

Unknown said...

Hey Mike - here's a simple one I did recently:

Unknown said...

Hey Jer - great work-process stuff. Very elucidating!

Andy said...

Interesting to see how you work the spell, Jer. I'd like to point out that if you are working on a multiply layer which you're going to drop, the only reason to use the eraser is to avoid any brush marks. White colour on multiply works exactly the same way.

ATOM said...

Thank's Jeremy, it was great to get a little insight into your creative processes.And the greyscale eraser idea is pretty neat, I will have to try that out myself.You realise people (myself included)will be hassling you daily for more tutorials now, don't you?

Ninja Mountain said...

Hey guys,
I'm glad you're diggin on this'un.
If other ideas for tutorials occur to me, I'll be sure to work them in. :)

Good point, Andy.
In my first pass, I tend to avoid brush marks in order to preserve the pencil work beneath. I saved the white paint for another layer.
But your suggestion really intrigues me!
I think I may give that a try and see what it brings to the work with a 1/4 page piece I currently have on the schedule. :)

Jon Hodgson said...

Hey all,
Here's a really quick walkthrough of my basic painting process in ArtRage. I'm planning some more detailed and considered walkthroughs to accompany my "how to" artbook which is published in November, but this is just a quick trial run. Might be of interest.

Jan said...

That was good, Jon. Makes me want to try ArtRage finally.

Can you share some more info about the art book? (page count, price, availability..)

Hmm, seems I've been just bugging you for info lately. :D Sorry about that!

Jon Hodgson said...

Hey Jan, no worries!

Here's the Amazon link:

I do feel I should point out that by design of the publisher the book is soundly aimed at level zero beginners, rather than you good folks who can already draw and paint.

The meat of the book is ten images broken down into simple steps, and taken to a beginner-achievable level. Rather than a "here's how Jon Hodgson produces his final professional finished work". The cover shows that pretty clearly I think.

I hope that makes sense. Don't get me wrong, I think it will be a great book for the intended audience. I just don't want to disappoint anyone who's beyond the point where the book is aiming!