Monster Mash – Dr Frank Head


I have been busy today digital painting. I need to make a video game and am partaking in Monster Mash 2014. Themes I have been exploring for it – Treasure Island (Krakan etc..). This continues the game I started for Public Domain Jam.

I am also interested in Norse monsters, and I really should go check out some Irish or Scottish…The possibilities are endless with monsters though!

Here are the paintings from today -

july-frank-linejuly-frank-bw july-frank-lcolorjuly-monstermash-line july-dragon-linejuly-dragon-bw july-dragon-colorjuly-octo-linejuly-octo-bw


Levin Water

I woke early this morning. 6:30. I switched on a episode of The Walking Dead and started painting. I mucked around a little but managed to get a painting finished. I’ve spent the rest of the day cleaning and getting washing done. It’s still not 100% but cleaner that what it was.

Here’s the painting I did this morning -

lvn-win-ref I grabbed random drawings from my Levin drawings folder with the intent of adding water elements into the image. All three reference images offer interesting contrast. The right side is lacking a little with drawings, but I can just fill it in with lines. There is enough here to work with.

lvn-win-lineOk Line done. As you can see I’ve changed the image somewhat, adding water behind the foreground area. Drifts into the horizon. Scatted around the edge are vehicles  trees, and buildings. I want my paintings to have a more 3d feel to them, create scenes that could then be modeled out – not just use this painting as a background – but create from within. lvn-win-TONEAnd tone. People are lacking on this work. It’s been quite usual lately for me to include them. I used my standard flat brush but also mixed it up with a watercolor brush.something different. The tree in the middle is strange and out of place. It wasn’t this dominant in the line drawings but I brought it out in the tone. Doesn’t work.

lvn-win-COLORAnd color. I’ve really gone off using that red. I even tried darkening it to see if it would help – decided to not go with it though. At least I got the yellow in – two versions of it – the light (which i always use) and the dark (which I need to use more). Blue in the background could do with another shade, the opacity was high (90%) when I painted the sky – doesn’t help. 80% is good.

Video (also includes unreleased paintings):

Till next time.

Cuban Water

Woke up early this morning and got straight into painting. Finished off one I started last night. I’ve been happy with the direction that my paintings have taken recently.

Here’s the painting: waterfron-lvn-refFor the reference images I used two sketches merged together – both were drawn on Cuba Street, Wellington. I’m happy with both of these drawings and together they offer plenty of detail.


Line. I traced over the reference material and added extra areas. Most notable is the water in the background – water has been a big in several of my recent paintings – something I’ll like to keep developing.


Grayscale tone added. I started with the three figures on the middle right and filled them in with black before moving onto other areas in the painting – the ferret, vegetation and tree trunks. The lightest gray was used for the sky and water, with a mid and dark gray used for the dark areas of the water. A mix of light and medium grays for the building and objects in the foreground.


Color.  I liked the minimal color I used in yesterdays piece . Today I managed to also color objects with a yellow – and a darker version of the yellow. These two colors work together well – I’ll keep developing it. No reds, often I find the red to be over dominating.

Bell Water

I’ve been spent the majority of my time in Unity working on a game. It’s been fun, but I still believe it’s important that I paint regularly. So I started this painting this morning, got interrupted  and had to take a break. I got back to it this afternoon and finished it. I want to take more of my paintings into Blender and model out 3d assets from the paintings. I need to get back into making 3d posts on this site – it’s very dominated by my digital work.

BELL-WATER-REFOk reference. I just grabbed some random drawings off the computer that I haven’t done alot with. Both of the pencil drawings are from Wellington, the best and most developed the waterfront. I really enjoy painting water so want to include it in more of my paintings. The third reference is a line drawing I did over a photograph. I want to include more characters in my work – normally I don’t use reference for figures. Hopefully this figure helps. BELL-WATER-LINETh[e black certainly makes t[hat red stand out. When I was drawing this I had the reference in the background, so technically I should of used a white background. The line in this is surprisingly minimal, once I get into tone I flesh it out further and add details. The line doesn’t have to be much – it’s just a starting point. BELL-WATER-BWBlack and white tone. I had fun with this. Started with the figures first and got those darks into them, before moving onto the water and background. The final area to cover was the foreground. As you can see I added lots that wasn’t there in the reference or line drawing – including land in the distance. This technique adds information and detail to the piece. I’m happy with the figure. Those eyes sure are scary…

BELL-WATER-TONEColor is minimal. I started with the sky first, covering it in blue, then the water. I used 2 greens for the ground – the same greens that I worked with previously as Wellington water. Normally I work with  just the light green but want to mix in the darker. Having a light and dark of each color is helpful.


Power Pole Giants

Yet another painting. I’ve been doing a few. I want to do a painting marathon - maybe stay up all night and produce one painting every 20 mins. It might work better to make it a monthly goal. In one month complete how many paintings.

I know Feng Zhu suggests working on five paintings at the same time – spending 20 mins on each for an hour. In one day I need to paint 30 paintings. If each painting took me 20 mins I would need 6 hours. I use to life draw for 6 hours no problem so digital painting in that time is even easier. I think the problem I have is moving onto the new piece. Of course breaks and upload/export/blogging time has to be added. I may also want to spend more than 20 mins on some of the paintings – and that’s great if I can develop them further.

Once I have started a painting I generally don’t want to stop till I’ve finished it.

Let’s get into this painting -


I worked differently with this. Not a large amount of changes – but instead of starting with a white background I went with this gradient. It’s several gradients layered – all the colors I am going to use. I guess this gives me a base to work from. From here I can just build up the scene. I need to do this same idea with Alchemy paintings.


I went with the water and ship idea again – this fits with The New World sub-theme  I sketches in lines in random directions in order to create a scene.. For the people I used thicker blobs. They look like they are traveling to the land on a ship. The background has long skinny structure’s – they could be poles or telephone lines.


I went with the telephone line idea for the structures in the background.I like the loose, rough nature that I’ve got – especially with that black. So what’s in the scene?

SEASHIP-COLOColor added. I decided to balance the color – especially that red that can be dominated in areas.

Wellington Water

I’ve been playing The Walking Dead. Good news is that it’s a game that allows me to paint at the same time. So during the game I painted this following scene, it took me a bit longer to paint than usual as I was semi engaged with The Walking Dead.

Anyway, here’s the painting:


The reference is common – both pencil sketches drawn in Wellington – the left waterfront, and right the railway. I painted the railway just yesterday so I think tomorrow I’ll have to paint something different. It is a fun scene to paint though. I want more drawings with figure sculptures in.ca-water-lineOk line. I currently have a bad headache so not really sure. I guess this line is what I expected. Nothing special or different to what I usually do. I’m just going to move onto tone which is far more exciting.


Gayscale tone. Now this is getting there. I spent awhile on this building up the tones. I’m  happy with the water areas and the interesting large pole on the right side (left of the figure sculpture). I’m not happy with the car, I had to go over it several times but it still feels wrong and out of place.

ca-water-colorColor. As always I had plenty of fun applying the color. I kept with my usual colors, but was brave and mixed them in areas.. such as the green/blue and yellow/red for the water. The opacity is set to 30% for the color so layering of colors greatly helps the depth.

Alright, that will do for now. No video for this one.


Good morning. Another painting complete. I started this painting last night and finished it this morning. It works out well even if I just get the reference sorted, I can jump straight into it. Once I get started painting I generally don’t stop till it’s finished – unless I’m interpreted  and that’s usually only by Dad.

Here’s the painting - wel-dark-ref

Reference. Several of these drawings I have used previously but like yesterday I thought I’d redo them, something fresh. May help with the continued theme of subject manner. Plus I reakon I’m better now than ever before :P.

On the left is a drawing I did during my trip to Auckland in July. It’s in the Westfield mall. It was always one of my favorite drawings of the trip.

Top left is a bridge drawing from Wellington Waterfront.

The top right is the Auckland Railway. I did this several visits ago in Wellington, but happy with the drawing, and I always get decent digital paintings from it.

This third reference is from Takaka – a drawing I did on the beach. I don’t believe I’ve taken this digitally before but I have produced a acrylic painting using it as reference.

I almost forgot about my last reference – a portrait I did of a friend – Hannah. This is in the far left. I was happy with the drawing but the portrait didn’t work well in this painting.


Line. Simple really, I traced the reference. I didn’t change the reference much, only little things like making the figures look larger than life and standing on rocks in the distance.
wel-dark-toneGrayscale tone added. This is always the most fun stage, I love tone and building up those lights and darks. It brings the scene out of plain line into something that’s real.

Again I made the characters dark and light for the background. I used the same brush in this whole painting attempting to create a range of textures with it.

I wanted to create a water type effect for the ground. I’ve been told the way to paint water is paint reflections. wel-dark-colorAnd finally color. My normal color trends here. I used the green for the sky area in the top left and for the water area on the ground. Something a little different, though I’ve used the green for water in the past. I wasn’t scared to mix the colors together, mixing yellow and red for the figures.

Overall I’m happy with this painting, time to get off the computer, take some photos and eat.