I got the image in my mind of a sun coming out of an umbrella.
It seemed like an interesting visual so I whipped up a sketch.
I often create a sketch in my sketchbook then take a pic of it. This pic gets transferred to Photoshop so I can easily move shapes around and fiddle with colors.
I threw a wash of blue into this sketch because blue (from the rainy skies) was the core color I’d be working with. I also knew I wanted the umbrella pink so it would contrast and pop out against the blue background.
I first did this sketch without a lot of thought to the location. After completing this I decided to create this in an Impressionistic painting style. And nothing says ‘Impressionism’ more than France. So it just seemed natural to set this story in Paris.
This was my original sketch.
This dress certainly fits the mood. The colors and design are great!
Nothing says Paris to me like the Metro sign!
Paris is so romantic, so this impressionistic rendition of me really captured the vibe I was after.
I found this cool handbag and thought it fit the scene.
Once the research phase was completed I started sketching a few variations of the scene and character.
As you can see, the location is very different than what I ended with. Instead of the storefront location you see below I went with more of a park like location (I specifically was thinking of the park next to the Eiffel Tower).
Too sexy and mysterious with the dark hair. Better to make her blond!
I then sketched the image up in Photoshop to lock down the line work. Once this phase is done I divide the images into rectangles (that equal the size of an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper). I then have to create individual 8 1/2 x 11 images (note the white and pink rectangles that are individually numbered.) Each of these gets printed onto a sheet of paper and then transferred to carbon paper. I then place the carbon paper sheets and 8 1/2 x 11 printouts over the canvas and ‘trace’ over the lines so the carbon paper leaves guide lines on the canvas.
Often I’ll take a picture of the work in progress oil painting to fine tune it. The key to a great image is contrast. Therefore it helps to only look at an image in black and white. If the viewer can easily tell what the image is about (the story its trying to tell) in black and white then the artist is on the right track!
Once all the planning and painting is done I’m left with a final image! Enjoy!
The completed painting.
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