Friday, 24 December 2010

Half life 2, Episode 2 completed

As promised, here's the painting of Half Life 2: Episode 2 I did for my secret santee. It now resides near Edmonton, Canadia.

Here it is slightly closer, showing the left hand side:

And the showing the right hand side of the picture:

I really enjoyed painting this; I love the changes in the sky, the different light effects and the swirly-ness of the portal storm.

I'm going to have a short break from painting for Christmas, as I'm going to be very busy with family stuff for the next two days.

Have a peaceful Christmas.

More Half Life 2: Episode 2

As promised, here's a bit more of the Half life painting done:

This painting "grew" incredibly quickly. Some do, possibly because I find the style easier to paint, or because I enjoy them more, maybe thats the same thing, I don't know. Paintings take me on average about 20 hours to complete, from blank canvas to signed picture. This one took about 11 hours.

A close-up of the left of the picture, but with no detail of the buildings in the mid-ground yet.

A close-up of the right hand side of the painting. The sky still needs some work on it, I'm not quite happy with it yet.

More Final Fantasy XI

I've done a little more - I've started the foreground on the left, painting in the pavement. I'll be doing the grass next, I think.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Half life 2, Episode 2: the sky started.

Here's the start of the sky:

To the left:

And to the right:

It took a while to get the swirly bits of the portal right, and the clouds on the right, as well, but this was fun to paint!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Half life 2, Episode 2

I painted this for my Secret Santee, but couldn't post it, in case he saw - it was for someone in Edmonton, and I wasn't sure if he checked here. At first, I thought I'd just post the finished image, but have decided to do a step-by-step, and unveil the finished image on Christmas Eve.

This is the source image.

Here's my pencil outline - the whole thing, then left and right sides of the canvas. I managed to buy a canvas the right dimensions - often, that's really difficult, and I end up having to either crop the source image (which I hate to do) or extend it and imagine extra bits at either the top and bottom, or on the sides.

Check in tomorrow for the start of the sky.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Final Fantasy XI skyline almost complete

I painted for a while this morning, about an hour and a half - this is what I've got done:


I need to complete the middle section, then the background is done. I'll do some more of the centre ground tomorrow - I've had a busy day today, and am quite tired.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Final Fantasy buildings started

I've had to leave this alone for a week - I've been busy painting 2 pictures for Child's Play - one for a small, on-line auction - I did an A4 sized screenshot from Limbo for $130, and a 40x50 cm one for the charity dinner auction in Seattle next week. I've also been painting my Secret Santee's picture, which I'll post when he's received it, in case he checks here and sees it before it arrives.

I'm back on this painting now, and here's the buildings started:

I'll be doing some more over the weekend, aiming to be ready to paint the foreground next week. 

Friday, 19 November 2010

Final Fantasy XI sky completed

I'm tired today - I did lots yesterday, so I've decided to spend some more time with FF XI. I've done the sky, had to paint it upside down at first, as I didn't want to smudge the rest of the picture, then turned it the right way round once I'd got the bulk of the colour on.

I find it hard painting at an easel, as my arms ache after a while, so I paint with the canvas either flat, or slightly propped up on the table.

I've included a step by step of the sky in the How do I do it? section, if you'd like to see the process.

Final Fantasy XI pencil outline complete

I've finished the pencil outline for FF XI. I'm not happy with the faces - I never am, I find faces hard to do, but I think I'll be able sort them out by the time I come to paint them.

The image I'm working from is very dark, so I've ended up propping my canvas up against my monitor, and drawing the detail directly from the screen. I've had to do that before now - when I painted the Okami bamboo forest painting, my printer distorted the colours a bit (its a rubbishy printer) so I used my PC for the colours. I guess the solution is to buy a better printer at some point.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

More pencil outline of Final Fantasy XI

I've almost finished the pencil outline - I woke up at 5:00 am today, and couldn't get back to sleep, so by 5:45 am, I was downstairs, with a cup of Lady Grey, pencil in hand. Beats being bored!

Then, I started adding the figures in the foreground, first one, then the other. 

I'm planning to have the figure on the right holding onto the arm of the figure on the left.

Once I've got the two figures finished, I'll start painting.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Final Fantasy XI

This is my next commission - slightly delayed, but started at last. This is a composite image, rather than a straight screen shot, where I'm placing two characters into a background. These are characters the commissioner of the picture has requested.

Here is the start of the pencil outline - the background skyline. I'll be completing the foreground and building details tomorrow.

The picture in front of the canvas is the source image I'm working from - just after sunset in a very open area with buildings running round the edge, and a fountain in the middle. I'll be placing the characters in the foreground, standing with each other, conversing.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


I've been working on Limbo this evening, following on from my practice piece I posted yesterday (with Lewie's help).

I started off with the pencil outline:

Then the sky. That was a bit tricky, trying to blend the different shades of grey on the sky. The mess on the bottom half is where I kept wiping my brushes clean to re-blend the sky. I knew I was painting over it with black, so wasn't too bothered aout the greys jumbling up.

Then I went on to do the black on the bottom half, this was the easiest bit - very little shading, just loads of black!

 Then I did the boat and the boy, and dotted his eye (only one visible in this screen shot).

Lastly, I did the bullrushes and grasses on the bank on the right hand side of the picture.

I really enjoyed painting this - it was a surprise, as I was expecting to be painting a Super Meat Boy, but the person who won at auction wanted Limbo instead. I'll be posting it off on Monday, to somewhere in the USA, wrapped in copious amounts of polystyrene and bubblewrap, of course.

Friday, 12 November 2010


Here's the pencil outline for Limbo - this one shouldn't take too long, as a) its only A4 size, and b) its only black, grey colour wash, and a tiny bit of white.

[I've fixed that, and it's a slightly updated photo - Lewie]


Professor Layton is finished!

Yay, I've finally finished the Professor!

Well, I've finished painting him, anyway. There's a little re-inking in to do, specially around the couple of bits I'd missed off in the first place - clock hand, the side of one of the clocks, and the numerals on the clocks - I don't have a steady enough hand for very fine detail with a paintbrush.

Then, all I have to do is sign it, wrap it up in polystirene and acres of bubblewrap, then post it to Kristen at Child's Play.

I really like the style of the Professor Layton games, and I enjoy playing them, too. I think puzzle games are my favourite games, whether on the DS, PC Machinarium is wonderful) or on PS3 - I can't wait for Portal 2 to be released!

I will have 2 paintings on the go next, one for Oxfam, a Final fantasy picture, and a small one for Child's Play, that someone bidded on and won last night on an online auction on Penny Arcade - Limbo, another beautiful, if slightly dark, game.

Here's the Professor:

I have no idea why this one is so blurred - I've used my iphone as normal, I'll did out my camera tomorrow and have another go.

[I've fixed that - Lewie]

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Professor Layton - a Child's Play painting

This one is for Child's play. I will post images of the painting in progress, as I do it.

The pencil outline:


Inking in started:

The next stage, fully inked in, ready to start the painting.


Here is the background started - I work from left to right, cos I'm right handed, and worry about smudging the paint. I'm painting this on canvas board using acrylics - I prefer acrylic paint, as I find it easier to work than either oils or water colour paints. Oils take to long to dry, and watercolours are unforgiving of mistakes, whereas acrylics are more forgiving, and dry pretty quickly. They are also more adaptable, you can thin them to watercolour consistency if you choose, or use them like oils. I tend to thin them a bit, but not lots, unless I'm colour-washing.

Here's a close-up of the clock face. I missed a hand off the pencil outline, and only noticed it as I started to paint the face! Whoops-a-daisy, good job I noticed it! I have 2 friends who regularly give me feedback on my paintings - they are excellent at spotting where I'm going wrong, and help me get the painting back on track.

Here is a bit more done - the clock face, with the missing hand drawn in, and more of the time machine painted.

Even more done, now. I think I've got another 3 - 4 hours left to do, then it will be ready to post off to Seattle. I've had to paint the clock hand darker than I wanted to, to cover up the inking in. I'll lighten it up later, when I finish the clock face.

Professor Layton almost finished

Here's Professor Layton almost finished I expect I'll finish it in the next couple of days, then start the next Child's Play picture,  from Super Meat Boy.

I've really enjoyed painting this, I love the tones and style. 

I've also realised that you can see a little bit of the room I paint in, in almost every picture. I paint in my dining room; what you can see here is the striped fabric of a dining chair, and an oak cupboard, as well as a bit of the table. I swathe the table in waterproof cloth, just to be sure of not getting paint on it. So far, so good ...