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March 19th, 2012

The Forever Knight

New cover art for The Forever Knight, by John Marco, from DAW Books

Detail images on my website, here.

©Todd Lockwood 2012


Below is a video I captured as I was working on part of the background of bones. Click on the image to open the video in another window.

Click the image to watch

I’m working here in Corel Painter 9.5, using the Digital Water brushes. Prior to starting this post, the entire area was colored a pale yellow, going darker and more purple as I went toward the top of the painting, off screen. That color will serve as my “highlight” color for the next step. Then using a Broad Water Brush, I washed the whole area with a middle value, the tan you see in the unpainted spot. I then used the Round Water Blender, as you can see in the upper right, for 99% of the work, alternating between a dark color for shadows and pure white. I pick the highlights out first with the white, essentially wiping out the middle value and revealing the highlight color. Then with the dark color adding shadow detail, back and forth. It’s a very expressive brush that acts more like a blending tool with a light touch, and punches in the color it’s loaded with when pressure is increased. I change colors with hot keys on my keyboard, so the painting goes very quickly and spontaneously, with very little time wasted visiting menus or changing tools.

Occasionally you will see me using the Pure Water Brush to adjust areas. In particular, at about the halfway point in this video, I use the pure water brush alone to reveal the paper texture; in Painter, the texture is in the ground or canvas, not in the brush. Initially I had a paper texture with very little grain, in order to get the flat washes, then switched to a robust, organic texture. It is lurking in the background and doesn’t really appear until now. Some brushes reveal the texture and others don’t. The Round Blender does not, but the Pure Water Brush, even though it has no pigment, will darken the troughs of the texture. I used it to get some happy accidents to build upon.

Later, with the Digital Water dried, I can add washes with the Broad Water brush to refine shadows, and use an Oil Brush to pop select highlights.

Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home


This entry was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 5:53 pm and is filed under Art!, Blog Home. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 Responses to “The Forever Knight”

  1. Javi says:

    Masterful cover art, as always Mister Lockwood.

    Best regards

  2. Massimiliano Zandri says:

    It’s beautiful paint 😉 compliment; i love all your paint todd hallo todd and good works futures :)

  3. Casowa says:

    It looks awesome! And that video of yours was interesting to watch as well. You make it look so easy to draw backgrounds, it’s the thing I’ve the hardest with when it comes to the things I draw.

  4. Renee says:

    Wow, absolutely beautiful as always!

    I’m a long time fan and was ecstatic to find that you had a blog and beyond overjoyed to see the progress video and read a little bit about your process. Thank you very much for sharing!

  5. Todd lockwood | Sellukus says:

    […] Behind the Water Heater » Blog Archive » The Forever Knight […]

  6. Mark Tedin says:

    I noticed that you’re using 9.5, which means that you’re probably using an older OS X system. I was curious if you’re not using a more recent version of Painter because of interface issues, crashing, etc. If you upgrade to a more recent OS X (Lion, Mountain Lion), will the necessary Painter upgrade be done kicking and screaming?

  7. Todd says:

    I’m a stick in the mud, is the simple answer. I didn’t care for Painter 10; it was slower, but had one -ONE- new brush to accommodate a new stylus with multiple nibs. I never tried Painter 11 but briefly; it had some new features, but it was slower too.

    To use Painter 12 I would have to buy a whole new computer, so I trapped myself a little bit. I had occasion to work with Painter 12 when I temped at WotC on a Magic crunch, and it works, but I had to strip it down to get it to stop hiccuping as I painted. That may be because WotC didn’t give me a top-of-the-line machine to work on, I don’t know. But the truth is that I really really like Painter 9.5. It works for me.

    Oil paint manufacturers don’t make you buy a whole new studio every two years…

  8. Todd says:

    That said, if you know what brushes you like and which brushes you will never ever use, go into the source files and remove those brushes. Painter, stripped down, loads a little faster and runs a little cleaner. Don’t know why.