Painting Process: Sinister Angelic Robot

The last Painting Process blog post for 2014. As with all of these robot pieces, they are painted in Photoshop, using an Acer laptop running Windows 7 and a Bamboo tablet, 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB.

This was from my shoot with Emily and Tara, in this case with Emily in the background and Tara in the foreground. I wanted a heavy industrial setting, where they were both standing on scaffolding elements quite far apart from each other, with the scaffolding extending into the deep background. I laid out a rough pattern for that deep background, but I knew I wanted to make it more complex than this, with lots of light sources back there. I also wanted to make the wing pattern on Emily somewhat relaxed to go with her body language here.

Basic colour layers created for the robot elements on Tara. As with all of these, the colours chosen for the individual layers won't necessarily reflect the final colours used when painting, but just as a guide to show which elements are on separate layers. I actually have a rough colour pattern I use for robots when doing these initial layers that remains fairly consistent over time.

Initial scaffolding colour layers created. These are done in a colour scheme separate from the robot pattern to keep them visually distinct from the robot painting layers.

Colour layers for the Emily robot created. The robot parts use the same colour pattern as on Tara, but due to their placement and separation by the scaffolding pattern, I'm not worried about getting confused as to which layer belongs to which robot. In fact, when I create these various layers, I do label them as to which robot they belong to (Emily 01, Tara 01, that sort of thing).

Basic background painted. Very little non-scaffolding is visible back there due to creating multiple scaffolding patterns, as well as the inclusion of wiring hanging down from multiple locations (and adding wiring layers to the foreground scaffolding). The rough upside-down-cross lighting pattern wasn't initially planned, but came about when playing with light sources and reflections, and seemed to work with Emily's character, so I went with it.

Basic painting completed on the Emily robot. With the background colour being so warm, I went with a very neutral palette, so I know that I will be going with very cool colours on Tara now.

The wing pattern on Emily is painted, using the same colour scheme as the rest of her.

Polishing and other effects added to Emily, including some lighting effects brought forward from the light sources behind her. That will help to separate her from Tara, making Tara look more like someone in front of her, rather than just a very large robot or anything. I also painted the rest of the scaffolding to tie in the background lighting effects, and added in a foreground off-camera bluish light source.

Basic metal modelling on Tara. She is very blue, much more so than I normally go with, to provide lots of contrast with Emily and the deep background.

Final metal polishing and lighting effects added to Tara, completing the piece.

The final version of this can be viewed (and prints purchased) at this link.