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Glasgow, United Kingdom
An illustrator and games artist living and working in Scotland. I have various hobbies: coding, travel, art and games; and I enjoy writing about them.

31 January 2014


Here are some more speed paints I did in the last few weeks. See if you can guess which one took 80 minutes and which one is a half an hour job.

26 January 2014

Following James Zapata's Live Session

James Zapata is a great guy and even though he says he's a terrible teacher he actually is a great one. His seemingly chaotic approach resonates deeply with my inner apathetic teenager. Throwing paint on canvas and deciding on what the painting is going to be only about 20 minutes in is the best way to relax, clear you mind and just do it.

So here's a step by step breakdown, with commentary of how I understood James' words.

Step one. Throw random black and white strokes on the canvas and see where it's going to take you. Very fun, very quick and very satisfying.

Step two. Add a background and start painting "with light" by sticking a solid black layer on top, setting it to multiply and removing things with an eraser.

Step three. Add colour with a multiply layer.

Step four. Add highlights and texture with a colour dodge layer. I also stuck a normal layer in between to add a bit of detail and polish.

Final step. Add various atmospheric effects with various screen, lighten and hard light layers. Sprinkle with adjustment layers according to taste.


Unfortunately I couldn't sit until the end of his live stream so I probably missed some crucial parts for finishing things off properly, so I had to use my own judgement here.


13 January 2014

Speed Painting


Here's a bunch of speed paints for the Daily Spitpaint group on Facebook.

2014 is kinda slow. My aim is to do more quality practice this year and maybe throw some 3D in as well.

6 January 2014

Watching Shaddy Safadi's Tutorials

Following a great session by Wojtek Fus and Darek Zabrocki I picked up a great series of tutorials by Shaddy Safadi on YouTube and spent an hour and a half following them.

His process is a very interesting one but I won't go into the details of it here. If you want to check it out, and you should, go and watch them yourself. Below are my results.

Starting off with a nice landscape to copy and a painting by the awesome Jamie Jones whose style I want to study.

Then looking at the mountain start blocking out the main shapes. Shaddy simplifies the shapes into their "essence", which is the basic of forms, and then adds interest by adding small detail.

He then starts filling these shapes in with ridiculous colours. This is done to create vibrance in the underpainting when these colours ultimately do show through in places.

Then we start adding highlights and detail using layer masks. Painting the mask directly.

Finally you fill in the gaps using local colour. Because of the layer masks you can add detail into the shadow parts without worrying about messing up the highlights. This creates nice crisp edges, which is always nice. Then plop some environmental effects the blend things together and voila! You get a nice, crisp edged, painting. I'm liking this method a lot, so I'm going to do a proper painting using this technique in the near future and we'll see how it goes.