I thought it would be fun to show a little bit about my process when I work on an art piece for those who might think it's interesting. I don't know about you, but I love behind the scenes and learning how things happen. I love watching special features on a movie, and my favorite part when I went to see a David Letterman show in NYC was not the actual show, but watching what went on behind the camera and between the commercials.
I also wanted to show the process because I think a lot of people think artists just come up with everything in their heads and they can draw anything just like that, when usually it's the opposite. Yes, there are times I can draw something right out of my head but usually I have reference. I wished I had known this information at a younger age as an artist, I always wanted to draw stylized or "Disney-like" or "cartoon" but I never could make up stuff in my head so I thought I was just a realistic artist because I only could draw what I saw, little did I know I was like any other artist.
Anyway, here is my process:
I was asked to illustrate a Peter Pan poster for a children's theater in Arizona and that it was to be a 10 foot painting and that they wanted a lot of the characters in the poster and that they didn't want the Disney version.
First thing I do, I usually start sketching and flushing out ideas or look for reference, in this particular case I decided to look at reference, So I started pinning like crazy:
Then I started sketching, I did probably 10 thirty second to minute sketches, and asked Dustin his top three. After we discussed we picked the top three, after that, I cleaned them up a bit so they are little more readable then I send the sketches to my client and have them pick what they like, so here were the three samples I sent them:
So a little trick us artist's do, if there is one sketch we like better than the others we usually work on that one just a little more because that usually persuades the client to pick that one because it looks just a little bit better!
After they pick a sketch I look at more reference and start cleaning up the drawing. A lot of the time artists ask people if they would model for them, but usually I just do it myself. Not the most flattering picture but it was late and I hurried and put my hair up so I could see my ears and neck:
So I take pictures for posing then I use pictures for reference to help create my characters:
For hook, I used a lot of Dustin Hoffman, and some famous baseball player that had the perfect mustache.
Then I found this painting and fell in love with it, and it became my inspiration for Wendy:
Then I used Thomas and Oliver for John and Michael ( I like to tie my kids in my paintings sometimes). Then Shmee, I don't know how to spell his name, I mostly made him up with some inspiration. The crocodile is drawn by Dustin and I actually, so that one was a combined effort.
After I flush out the drawing I send it to my clients to get an ok before I start painting:
At this stage there is usually changes but this time they said it was perfect and to carry on.
I'm not the best painter, I feel like drawing is what I'm pretty good at and that painting has always been my weakness, so a lot of the time I get reference for my painting as well. I try to find an awesome painting that inspires me. So The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe painting I used for color reference along with the 2nd painting, that also inspired my flowers. Then I used a Norman Rockwell painting because he is awesome at painting faces, so I was looking at these 3 paintings the whole time I was painting along with my other references:
Then after many hours of painting and watching movies, all that work turns into this:
Then I send it to my clients. I love when I do more than my client's expectations, I usually try to do more than what they ask because I want them to be happy and have them love my work so much they will use me again.
This client has been one of my favorite clients I have worked with, I feel like we have a good relationship, they always have fun projects for me and they usually let me do whatever I want to do. This is my 4th painting I have done for them and I hope to do more!