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March 12, 2010
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Painting Tutorial 3 by MarkRaats Painting Tutorial 3 by MarkRaats
In late 2009, publisher Don Shay, commissioned me to paint a portrait of Visual Effects wizard Phil Tippett for the cover of CINEFEX - [link]

The March 2010 edition of the magazine carries an in-depth editorial on Tippett along with a feature on Tippett Studio's 25 Anniversary and even though this highly regarded magazine has never featured an illustration on its cover before, Don kindly granted me an enormous amount of freedom with the design.

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CINEFEX is unique in the way that its published because it comes with two cover versions: a) a cover without the Barcode Strip and text banner for individuals who are subscribers to the magazine and b), a cover version including the Barcode and text banner for in-store distribution. This unusual configuration meant that I needed to design a piece that not only featured all the the characters and movies Don and I thought would be appropriate, but I also needed to come up with a finished painting that served three purposes: 1) A painting that could stand on its own, 2) Artwork that looked perfectly normal with only the "CINEFEX" title covering part of it and 3), an illustration that could also have a big barcode and the text bar included - without looking cramped or compromised.

Top Row:
After the usual process of working through a number of rough concepts, I put down the final layout on sheet of acid free paper, making sure to include the characters Don and I had agreed on. I scanned the final concept and marked each character so we could be sure I had not forgotten anything and then once that was done, I made a mockup of the complete cover so he could see how I intended to solve the issue of text and Barcode overlays.

Second Row:
My preferred painting surface is a sheet of MDF board because, not only is it a firm base, but I really like the board's warm, rich color. Using a piece roughly 24 x 21 inches in size I transferred the layout to the board using traditional pencil followed soon thereafter, by the application of a tonal wash (I use Acrylic paints by choice) which gave me a good idea of where the deeper tones and punctuation points were going to sit in the composition. With Tippett's face in the middle, I decided to play the left off against the right by making half of the illustration red and the other half blue so, once I had settled on the tonal values, I used a wash of Napthol Red Light behind Phil's head and an Ultramarine blue wash over the remainder of the board.

Third Row:
I then started blocking in the flesh tones all the while keeping in mind that I wanted to feature a rich yellow and red slab of light bouncing off his left temple. From there, keen to get some form into his face, I used a mix of red, yellow and light blue's - laid down in progressively thicker washes - that was to serve as the foundation over which I would apply my colored pencil (I use a combination of Prisma Color, Faber Castell and Derwent pencils for this purpose). Once his face had a reasonable amount of form, I started working clockwise around his head starting with the ATAT walker from Empire Strikes Back followed by the T-Rex animatic model used in Jurassic Park. Because of the predominantly blue pallet I used a mix of Ultramarine blue, Aqua and Colony Blue to build up the detail.

Fourth Row:
The creature from Starship Troopers afforded me the opportunity to start shifting the blue pallet towards the more vibrant reds and here, I opted for tans, greens and browns for my paint. I purposefully placed a 'bar' under the character so that it could act as a neutral backdrop for when the cover needed to feature the text banner and the little mouse - Templeton - was also positioned in such a way that his head would be able to peek over the text box. The vicious Goblin from Spiderwick Chronicles needed a cloud of explosive gas around his feet and legs and because I don't use an airbrush I built the cloud up using layers of paint and softening the edges by dabbing the paint with an absorbent paper towel. For added texture, I used paint splatter and pencil.

Fifth Row:
Draco from Dragonheart and ED-209 from Robocop finished the surround and as I did with the Goblin (I had to make space for the Barcode block), I dropped the head of ED-209 so that the robot looked out from under the CINEFEX title banner. I then went back over the entire composition lifting tonal areas and adding detail with paint, paint splatter and carefully applied pencil strokes.

Bottom Row:
The painting was contact scanned and I used the CINEFEX cover template to drop in the artwork for Don's consideration and once the official cover was finalized, Don sent me a reference copy with a light blue CINEFEX logo on the top left hand corner.

Paint colors used: Ultramarine Blue, Aqua, Colony Blue, Titanium White, Carbon Black, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Napels Yellow Medium, Napthol Crimson Light, Cadmium Scarlet

Pencil colors used: Ultramarine, Kingfisher Blue, Light Blue, Indigo Dark Flesh, Deco Peach, Venetian Red, Poppy Red, Terracotta, Golden Brown, Burnt Umber, Black, White

The final piece can be viewed here: [link]

Download for full 1115 x 2200 pixel file.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkarinamacgill:
KarinaMacGill Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Truly amaizing! I hope to be at least half this trained one day. Thank you for sharing and helping!
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
Thank you very much Karina!

Best of luck and thanks for your kind words...
Reply
:icontama-o-hoi:
Tama-o-hoi Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
is that george castanza?
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
No, as it says in the text, its visual effects guru Phil Tippett who did the original effects for Star Wars, Indiana Jones etc...
Reply
:icontama-o-hoi:
Tama-o-hoi Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol
Reply
:iconrav3nway:
Rav3nway Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amazing works!
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconrita-ria:
Rita-Ria Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I am just blown away by your artwork!
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2011
Why, thank you very much!!

I appreciate your support.
Reply
:iconrita-ria:
Rita-Ria Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
very welcome - I could fave ALL of your work, because they are so BRILLIANT!
Reply
:iconfarida:
farida Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010   Traditional Artist
Thank you so much, that was very helpful. It's very kind of you to share this, as many artists like to keep their special ways and styles to themselves. Thanks again :) waiting for your next masterpiece..
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010
Thank you Farida - thats a very kind thing to say ..

I don't know why how we work should be a 'secret' after all we all learn from looking at each other's work!

Cheers again for your support.. :D
Reply
:icondenis-peterson:
Denis-Peterson Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2010
Mark, this is an astounding journal of your thought process and your work process all wrapped up into one. I have reread it several times, finding much to think about each time regarding your novel approach to the diligent work and its amazing outcome. I guess what comes through to me the strongest is your intuitive path to a clearly set goal, and it is simply exhilarating to see that the art ends up in total sync with your foresight. Even more impressive is the fact that your artistic interpretation is so totally original and yet quite fitting for the chosen commercial application.

Over the top, as usual...
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Not sure that looking at my scribbles and dribbles that someone of your skill could find much to think about.
I often think that some of the astonishingly gifted people here must look at my process and say to themselves "what on earth was he thinking!"

I appreciate that you noticed the path and goal. I spend a huge amount of time trying to get everything 'just right' before I start painting so I'm pleased to hear you think its worthwhile.

As always, your thoughtful comments are sincerely appreciated Denis!

Best as always :D
Reply
:iconnurboyxv:
NurBoyXV Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2010  Professional General Artist
What a tribute to such a talented veteren in the movie industrie.
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Thank you mate! I appreciate you taking the time to comment!
Reply
:iconnurboyxv:
NurBoyXV Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Professional General Artist
Your welcome sir. :D

Can't wait for your upcoming greatness. Keep it up! :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconhodges-art:
Hodges-Art Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2010  Professional
I met Phil at Ralph McQuarrie's birthday party last summer (sorry for the name dropping but screw it, I KNOW RALPH MCQUARRIE!) such a great guy. He gave Ralph a framed picture from the production of ESB that was never published. it was amazing. That was a room one could be intimidated in.
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Cheers my friend!!

I know what you mean about people you know and the pressure not to name drop. I get asked ALL THE TIME, If I know Tom Hodges!

:D
Reply
:iconkevmullins:
kevmullins Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Great to see the steps to this amazing piece of art.
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Thanks Kev. I'm glad you found it interesting!
Reply
:icondanmartin26:
danmartin26 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010
Beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing it with us and for sharing your process.

What does "contact scanned" mean?
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Thanks Dan!!

Sorry.. using the word 'contact' shows my age unfortunately. It used to be that all artwork was photographed. These days however, large format scanners do such a perfect job of scanning that I sometimes forget how tricky is used to be.

Contact really just means that its in direct contact with the scanner glass which was seldom possible in the old days!
Reply
:iconevarcha:
Evarcha Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010
You are an incredibly kind artist to show the world your technique, I learned several things studying this step by step!
It's also so awesome that my tiny mind nearly popped.
I watched a great youtube video of Phil 'The Making Of Ed-209' and it just gripped me, of course, the man is legendary and you have done him justice with this amazing piece.
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Thanks very much Wayne!

I enjoy doing these pieces that feature the people who we would generally never recognise - but whose work we know so well.

Many thanks mate. I appreciate your thoughtful comments!
Reply
:iconkeight:
keight Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010
Phil has done so very much for the industry. Well done my friend.
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Yes he has and it was very cool to be asked to do this as well.

I'm delighted you like it!
Thank you!
Reply
:iconoriginalnick:
OriginalNick Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010
that is freaking amazing!!
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Cheers a bunch mate!
Reply
:iconchoffman36:
choffman36 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010  Professional General Artist
Excellent, thoughtfull of you to post this tutorial. I am learning new things here..great job Mark.
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
Dunno how much someone like you can learn from me but I'm delighted you feel the breakdown has some worth.

Always good to hear from you mate!
Reply
:iconchoffman36:
choffman36 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2010  Professional General Artist
Definitely has worth..I really like to see how the good guys get it done. And...always a pleasure to hear from you my friend.
Reply
:iconmr-ripley:
Mr-Ripley Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Amazing steps. Thanks much for sharing. :)
Reply
:iconmarkraats:
MarkRaats Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010
My pleasure - many thanks for taking the time to comment!
Reply
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