Digital Painting – Poppy – Part 2

My previous post showed the first stages of a work-in progress. Work has continued and the next stages are shown here today.


Continuing from my earlier steps, I added layers of colour to the image, building up light and shade to define the character’s form. I then went on to add a little more definition, as well as adding details to the facial features.


With these steps completed, I’ll put the image to one side for a few days. When time permits, I find a few days distance from an image is incredibly useful, as it allows me to view the piece with fresh eyes before adding any finishing touches which might be needed.

Happy weekend! 🙂



Digital Painting – Poppy – Part 1

Today I thought I’d share a work in progress. The images show the early stages of work on a character project. This little figure – her name is Poppy – will eventually sit with a logo, so the layout has been chosen with this in mind.

The image shows my first three steps on the project, all done in Photoshop.

First (page left) I made a very rough thumbnail. I wanted the figure to fit roughly into a circular shape, so I started by marking in a circle to guide me. At this stage I’m mainly interested in getting a feel for the pose I want, and don’t worry much about the drawing… as you can see from the super-messy doodle!

Next (centre) I made a more precise sketch – still not a ‘proper drawing,’ but enough to help me block out the figure more clearly.

Using the sketch, I then laid down some colour (page right). In this step I’m laying the foundations for the digital painting work proper; it’s a little like the underpainting you might make when using natural media.

With these stages in place I can get stuck in to some more detailed, delicate work; more on this in part 2 🙂


I thought it might be fun to share a work-in-progress.

This project was inspired by a song lyric. At around 3AM I was saved from the tedium of insomnia by a documentary on the music of the 1960s. The show offered (amongst other treasures) a rendition of ‘High Flying Bird’ recorded by Richie Havens in 1969 (authored – so far as I can see – by Billy Edd Wheeler).

The vocals were wonderful…and one line in particular kept leaping out at me. It needed to be drawn.

Above is my initial (very rough!) sketch, along with the snippet of lyrical inspiration from which it sprang.

I then used the rough as a guide to block out the figure in more detail, adding some light and shade to solidify the form.

I’m quite pleased with the sketch so far and looking forward to tackling the next stages … watch this space 🙂