Where we fought the old witch (wips and done)


As promised, indulgent fantasy stuff is back! (Slowly РI caught a bad cold this week which is slowing me down these last few days!)

I was eager to start a new scene painting after finishing all those still lifes last weekend. Rolling around my head was this idea that Vince and Airika might go adventuring in some kind of hall of mirrors, so I sketched it out…

Then I decided this scene needed Tren – after all, it’s always wise to bring a healer. ūüôā


Render, render, render… here I am trying to get a good sense of where the light parts are and where the dark parts are.

Tren tends to wear brighter blues/greys but Vince and Airika both wear black and browns/neutrals at this point in the story when they’re still n00bs.¬†mirrors_wip03

I’ve been trying to give my scenes a stronger sense of depth, so I pulled Tren into the background and made her lighter. So far so good.¬†mirrors_wip04

More rendering – mostly trying to get faces established, because if the faces aren’t right, nothing’s right. ūüôāmirrors_wip05

More rendering. At this point I decide I don’t like the boxy hallway scene over Airika’s head on the right, so…mirrors_wip06

…I open it up a bit! (See below)

Much better. I also turn the wall to the left of Tren into a series of windows. At this point, I’m thinking this is probably a palace room belonging to a certain necromancer we met earlier on this blog, which gives me an ideal I’ll reveal further down. ūüėČ

Below, I changed Tren’s staff position after Jim suggested she was opening a can of whoop ass. Not that she isn’t, it’s just that she’s putting the staff together, not taking it apart, and I think the previous version looked more like the latter than the former.


From here, we get into smaller details that are harder to pick out. I kept trying out different faces and sword poses for Vince. That blue sword has to go in his right hand, and I didn’t like the way the scene looked when flipped horizontally, so I¬†just changed the way he’s holding his weapons. Plus, Airika is right-handed as well, so this keeps things accurate for her, too. (Now if only I kept their clothes this consistent across paintings :P)mirrors_wip09

More faces and minor details. It’s¬†always hard to get their faces right.¬†mirrors_wip10

Final lighting touchups, more spiderwebs, repainted Airika’s face again, and the mirror reflection.


I didn’t want to spoil it earlier, but that’s totally not Vince. It’s a trick by Lady Jozlynn, the necromancer and illusionist Airika woke up earlier. ūüėõ

How long has it been her in disguise?¬†Tren is already suspicious and putting her staff together, but Airika’s just now realizing that they¬†are¬†about to have their¬†first¬†battle with a very powerful foe…

Meet me on the stairs behind the market (wips and done)


I told you they would get to meet again. ūüėÄ The sketch looked like crap here in this first wip, but it got the idea down.


Next, I added some faint color to get a feel for the palette. I knew I wanted to do some kind of bright day light / dark shadow contrast thing, so I roughed the color palette in before starting on any details. (Later, it would turn out, I’d have to go a lot darker on the shadowed part. But eh, this got the job done enough to keep going.)


Next up was a first pass on details to get a better feel for what the composition might look like when it’s done. This is about an hour in and this is often the point at which¬†I scrap a painting if I’m not enjoying it, but I liked this one enough to keep going.

In the next step, I worked mostly on the two foreground characters. I used darker colors and tried to get a better sense of what will be light / what will be dark. I work all over the canvas, trying not to neglect any one part for too long (lest the part I neglected until the end become impossible to fill in with something decent).

I draw these two characters a lot, and since they both have dark hair and are about the same height they sometimes they blend together if I’m not careful, so I like to figure that part out early on, too.

Render render render render.¬†Here’s where the next hour or two went, but at this point I was¬†certain I’d be finishing it.


And done! I spent (probably) another hour and a half from the previous step¬†to get to “done”, and I mostly spent it nitpicking little things like canvas width and coloration. I find¬†“Auto Tone” can sometimes work miracles, hence the nice “warming” the final piece¬†has over the previous step.


Anyway, hope you enjoyed!

My new job is awesome, by the way, and its reasonable¬†hours (ie: not game industry hours) are leaving plenty of time for painting. I think I’ve already made more art in 2015 than I made in the previous 3 years combined.