How to Paint Batman

Just finished a  painting of Batman and Joker. I’d like to take this opportunity to show you a little bit of my process. Please forgive the awkward cropping on the following images. The painting is too big for my scanner.

Step one is a messy graphite drawing. It is quick. The point of this drawing is to decide on composition and overall mood of the piece. It also establishes a light source. Values are distribution of lights and darks. The values in the drawing are what will be employed in the final piece.

Step two is to redraw the initial sketch, but with ink. This results in a very clean, but somewhat boring, under drawing. Some people use a light board to trace the proper lines from the initial drawing. Some people ink on top of the graphite and then erase the messy pencil marks. I usually redraw the entire image. Anything you can draw once, you can draw again even better. Notice that Joker is holding a rubber chicken instead of a knife in the refined drawing.

Next is an initial light wash of color. I paint directly over my line drawing. This results in a lazy looking, lightly colored illustration. This step in essential to finishing with interesting highlights.

The next step is what I often feel is the awkward teenage phase. The colors are almost where I want them to be, but the illustration is still sloppy. The piece looks like it could be  finished but something is wrong. The main purpose of this stage is to establish proper mid tone colors, and ensure my final shadows have depth.

The last step is to clean up my lines with ink and pump up the dark shadows with paint. Visual interest is added with line weight and watercolor spatters. Any fine details, like the face of Joker’s card, are drawn in. Here is the final image:

Order from Chaos. Watercolor and ink on paper. 12″ x 9″.

SOLD

Prints available.

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