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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.

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.