Learning from Zombies
Back in late October and early November I began to work on a piece that would lead to another breakthrough for me. I’d been commissioned to do a piece for my friends gaming club, Laughing Corps. My buddy said that he wanted a picture of zombies playing Dungeon and Dragons based on the pictures of dogs playing poker. It sounded like a fun project, so I did some research and got to sketching.
I found these two pictures when I did a Google search for “dogs playing poker.”
I decided to base my painting off of the one titled “Waterloo.” So I did a sketch.
Once I had a sketch I liked, I transferred it onto another sheet of paper using carbon sheet paper and worked up a drawing.
Once the drawing was complete I scanned it in and began an under painting.
After getting the base colors blocked in I began to work on the over painting, the same way that I had done in the Hooded Woman piece. This is where things started to get shaky for me, as I was not at all happy with the results. When I used this method on the Hooded Woman everything seemed to flow at this point, but I really hated what was happening with my zombies.
I contemplated giving up or taking a break from the piece, but I didn’t. For reasons I can’t completely explain I came up with the idea to start drawing over the top of my painting. It had become fuzzy and loose, and it was loosing its coherency, so I took my tablet selected a dark green color and started working up the drawing over the painting. The results were immediately satisfying, and I started selecting different colors and adding in little details. Very slowly I worked up each zombie, and then turned to the background. After hours and hours of detail worked I was really excited about where the painting was going and the results I was getting.
Pleased with how things were going I added in the some really specific details: the DM screen, character sheets, and the dog paintings. I then painted over them to make the details fit within the rest of the piece.
My final step was to ad in some texture to give the piece a three dimension feel, and adjust the color settings to ad a little brightness to the final painting. In the end I really felt like I had learned a lot from my zombie friends, and once again made a discovery brought on by frustration.