Want to see behind the magic?
Here’s a peek into the creation of my new digital charcoal series.
First, I prime my canvas
Like any painter, I start with a blank canvas. For this series, I wanted an inky dark background. So, out came large, soft watercolour brushes to blend into a dark grey texture.
Then it’s all about getting messy with black & white charcoal brushes
My next step is to block in a messy, tonal underpainting. Then, layer by layer, brush stroke by brush stroke, I smear tones around and pull out the details. But not all the details – I smudge back certain lines so that your eyes are drawn to the central parts of the image. I keep experimenting, deepening or lightening tones, until my dancer pops from the background.
So, how is this different to actual charcoals?
Instead of paper and charcoal, my canvas and paint are pixels. I move my virtual brush with a pen and tablet. And because my original painting is just data sitting on a hard drive, it means I need to print my art to bring it into the real world.
Watch it all in action
I made a video for you! And don’t worry, I’ve sped up the process so it’s nice a quick to watch.
Love these prints?
For the prints of this series, I chose a thick, textured fine art paper which adds such a luscious depth to the blacks. They’re a limited edition of 10, a handy 10” x 12”, and come unframed for $150. If you’d like this image (or the ones from last time) for your wall, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you’re enjoying this series as much as I am. More next time!