Painting Process: Two-Sided Robot Angel

Here's another in my series of work-in-progress blog posts, where I break down my approach to painting. As with all of these robot pieces, this is in RGB, 12"x18", 300dpi, painted in Photoshop.

The genesis of this piece was from an idea that my lovely assistant, Kelsie, had. She had the idea of a painting featuring a robot that was showing two different sides of its personality, perhaps by being composed of two different robot styles from my various robot types. So, with that in mind, we took a few shots of her in a variety of poses that would work with that idea. While we have other compositions that will show off that idea even more dramatically (one of which I will be working on soon), this was the first piece from that shoot that I decided to develop. Working from a shot of her sitting on a desk, I drew out the robot pattern, one half of which was a simple 'organic' style of robot, the other half much more angry, based on my 'glass energy' robot style. I also developed differing wing patterns based on those two ideas, keeping them with fairly similar sizes and silhouettes, but still quite distinct from each other.

I then drew out a pattern for the pillar she was sitting on.

Laying down the flat colour layers. Note that, as always, the colours used here will have no bearing on the final colour scheme of the piece, but just serve to visually show the various painting layers.

Wing pattern layers dropped in.

Pillar and background layers created.

Basic background painted. All of the textures created here are hand-painted, mostly using custom brushes that I've made myself.

Pillar and some foreground atmosphere painted. I deliberately went with an extremely simple background with this one, rather than the much more elaborate cityscapes or planetary scenes that I've been playing with lately, to let the storytelling of the figure herself stand out.

Basic metal painting done. I didn't separate layers between the two halves of the robot, but rather painted the separate colour schemes (one side cool, the other side warm) within the same layers so that there was no hard transition between the two halves. I wanted a nice organic feel to that transition.

Internal lighting added and hair painted. While I did add the light sources, I didn't have those sources cast light onto the figure yet - I wanted to leave that until after the wings were painted.

Wings painted. As with the rest of the figure, there is a slight difference in colour scheme between the two wings to reflect the two different natures going on.

Polishing and lighting effects added, including allowing the internal light sources to reflect light onto the figure (wings, leg, arm, ribcage), giving more weight to the figure.

That's the basic rundown. The final piece can be seen on my Redbubble page, and prints can be purchased of it, as well as t-shirts, phone cases, and a variety of different products.