Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hit the Decks!

The last Wednesday of January I received my first shipment of blank decks. I was so stoked that I got to painting immediately. As I worked I thought I'd share the process for other artists.

First I sand the board down with a fine sandpaper, just to make sure there are no little imperfections, and I have a nice surface to start with.

Then I sketch the design out. I go right to sketching on the board with little to no work on paper to prep. This design did have some elements like the opposing snakes that I used tracing paper to transfer the outline to keep things fairly symmetrical.

Then its time to paint! I start out with the light colors typically, because they're easier to cover up later if I need to.

Next I start laying in the colors. Still keeping pretty loose, at this point my edges aren't refined and it often looks like bright blobs.

I continue with color until the entire board is filled in. Working with paint pens you have to go quickly blending colors while the paint is still wet. This is not to difficult if you only focus your efforts on working in small sections.

Once the color is done I lay in the black outline. I do the entire outline first, not really focusing on line thickness, just putting down a basic bold line.

Next, I go back and add thickness to some of the lines and add shadows. I then clean up smaller areas and add details with a fine black paint pen, and go over it once more with an extra fine paint pen adding the real subtle details, cross hatching and other shadings. The variation in line depth really makes the colors stand out and solidifies the painting. Lastly I will go back with fine and extra fine white paint pens and add highlights.

Finally I spray the whole thing with a krylon clear gloss finish. I give it 3 or four good coats to protect the painting and give it that shine. This clear coat really darkens the blacks and brings out the colors too. After that is dry I rub the whole thing down with a super fine (600 grit) sandpaper very lightly, just to make sure its nice and smooth.

For a look at the final piece check out my website.

Now grab some paint and a blank deck and see what you can do!