Painting Process: Reflected Robots

I was just looking at my blog, and realized that I haven't posted anything for several months. I need to rectify that right now.

Here's another in my series of procedural posts, detailing the overall process for doing one of my robot paintings. As with all the paintings in this series, these are painted in Photoshop, at 12"x18", 300dpi, in RGB.

I started with a basic illustration of the various characters, all based on my friend Marie. We had set up a shoot with this composition in mind.

The next step is designing the overall cityscape behind the characters, and creating the interior space of the nightclub they are in. The curving lines of the interior space serve to keep drawing the eye toward the characters, keeping them the main focus of the piece.

The overall robot design is laid out for all the characters. I am keeping the designs fairly consistent, making it obvious that they are all copies of the same robot model.


The interior and exterior background designs are tightened up.

Flat colour layers are laid down for the first three robots. As always, the colour scheme here does not reflect what the final painting choices will be, but just serve to visually distinguish between the various painting layers when painting begins. Generally, all of these layers are collapsed [on each individual robot] once the initial painting is done, to make further painting adjustments easier.

Flat colour layers for the remaining two MarieBots dropped in, including the chairs they are sitting on.


Flat colour layers for the interior space and deep background laid in.


Initial painting done on the deep background. This is all hand-painted with traditional methods, as is all of the painting throughout the process. I'm going with a cool colour scheme in the background, as I'm thinking that the foreground will be more neutral (with purples and greens on the figures themselves) to assist in separating the visual planes.


The metal on the rear two MarieBots painted.


The metal on the central figure painted.


The metal on the remaining figures is painted.


Basic painting done on the foreground, going with the more neutral tones I discussed earlier, with some cool tones to reflect the light from outside of the windows, Also, lighting effects both inside and outside the windows are painted in.


The interior green lighting of the figures is added, as well as adding in reflections on the floor from the figures. I went with a very smooth, almost glassy quality to the floor, so there is very little distortion in the reflections of the figures.

And that is the basic rundown on how the piece was put together. The final version of this can be seen (and prints and other products featuring this image are available for purchase) on my RedBubble Gallery.

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