Painting Process - The Wasp

Here's the breakdown on the painting of my recent Wasp piece.

The basic illustration. I know that the headphone antennae aren't really worn with this outfit, but I like them a lot, and thought they added a lot to the piece.

I liked this relaxed pose when I came across it in some photos I had taken of my assistant, Kelsie, a few years ago. It was good to work on a photo from early on in our history of working together.

Separating the various colour layers. It looks rather odd having several different skin tones but, as before, that's to denote the various colour layers, more than to indicate actual colour schemes.

I deliberately chose to use the movie version of Avengers Tower with one of the comic versions of the Wasp. I like mixing elements from both comics and movies from time to time, as in this Iron Man 3 piece.

Starting in on the modelling. My normal procedure is working from back-to-front, starting with the background and then painting the characters. For this one, however, with the background being so simple and the lighting in it dependent on the lighting I used on the figure, I decided to paint Janet first and then adjust the lighting on the brick wall and window glass accordingly.

Painting continuing on the arms. I'm starting to see where I want to add secondary light sources on the left side of the image.

Face painted in. The contrast between the detailed painting on the figure and rather cartooney-looking background is quite striking, but does serve a purpose to highlight what needs to be completed.

With the skin modelling completed, I wanted to get working on the background. This way, the differences between background and foreground aesthetics won't be quite so pronounced any more. Also, I turned off the wing layers so I could more easily work on the background, as I knew that I would be playing with the opacity on the wings, making elements of the background visible through them.

Modelling the hair.

Modelling the golds. Most references I've seen for this particular costume vary as to whether it is a gold metallic look or just 'yellow spandex', so, when in doubt, I prefer to go with metallics.

Black leathers painted in. The secondary light source from the bottom left is more prominent now, really rounding out the figure and giving it more mass.

Cityscape painted in. I went with an extremely simple and out-of-focus look for the buildings, to keep attention focussed on Janet. Also, I added in a glow reflection at the top of the window frame, and on the glass itself, from the light source just above and to the right of the figure.

Wings added back in, painted, and the opacity pulled back to reveal the background behind them. I like the body language and expression, keeping it quite far away from just a 'cheesecake' image or anything like that.

And that's pretty much how that is put together. As with the previous process posts, all of the modelling is hand-painted, with no real use of textures or other Photoshop effects. There was a bit of use of Crystallize with the wings, but even that was so heavily modified as to give me more of a starting place for painting rather than as an end result.

Information on commissioning digital paintings like this one can be found on my paintings commissions page. And more of my comic book character painting can be found at my Comic Art Fans gallery.