Painting of "Jon Snow"

So here’s the first work-in-progress documentation on the blog. Doing progress descriptions is so much easier in this editor than pasting it all together in Photoshop. Join me for a gigantic multi media show – video to come later, too!
For this image, I used (surprise!) a limited palette of Sepia Brown, Indigo, and Madder Red. The only exceptions were some Burnt Sienna and Cadmium Orange for the skin, toned done with a mix of the other three.

First, I wet the paper with a sponge, laying down a faint indigo tone so the skin will remain pale later on.
Next, after everything is completely dry so the paint doesn’t bleed into the figure, I lay down a generous background wash of my main three colours. I allow the paint to mix on the paper as opposed to putting down a smooth layer of one colour. Those little swirls you see are done using nail polish remover.
Next (again after waiting for the background wash to dry) I lay down my first skin layer, using Burnt Sienna tones down with my dirty water. I use much water on his right cheek, the side of his nose and other highlighted areas. My light source is upper left.

After the first wash has dried, I apply some Sienna with Madder Red for the areas where the skin is thinner – around the eyes, nose, mouth, and the ears. Then I let this dry too.
The problem with working from light to dark often is that such hues appear much stronger when hair, eyes, and clothes are still white. So I put down some more red than I usually would have, but I still had to add some after the hair and eyes were done.
Next, a novelty as of this year – I finally accepted that the fighting men I like to draw would not be able to be clean-shaven at every moment in their lives (thank you, Peter Petrelli!) So, next up, a video tutorial: Painting a five-o’-clock shadow! XD

You see me carefully applying a mix of Indigo and Madder (toned down with dirty water) whilst trying to keep the camera on the picture or on my brush, and finally dabbing off the paint again where I want no hard edges.
I might train my son to do the shooting for me next time… Having no hand free to keep the paper still wasn’t the coolest of ideas.

This is what the finished shadow looks like.I also darkened the shadowy areas under the nose, the eye sockets, under the lower lip, in the ear, on the forehead (from the hair) and under his chin.

Then I proceeded to paint the hair. I started with a gradient wash, dark on the right and getting lighter on the upper left, to allow for my light source.The hair is mostly Sepia, but again with quite a lot of Madder and Indigo mixed in. I have all three of those in pretty much every area of the image.
For the next step, I waited for everything to be completely dry again. I love doing hair in a sort of cell-shading, and that means no wet-into-wet bleeding.

I did the eyes while waiting for the hair to dry; starting with a more purplish tone, I just left a lighter speck at the bottom of the eyeball.
 After drying, I apply a second layer, darker this time, mostly in the upper portion of the eyeball – the lid casts a shadow.
Finally, a last, very dark layer in the pupil and along the upper rim again. A white speck will be done later in white pigment marker – after everything is dry.
You’ll notice I’ve already drawn the next hair layer at this point.

This is what I meant by cell-shading – one of the few anime influences I allow myself. I just love to paint hair like that. I kept very few highlights on the right half of the image, and left loads in the left.
(The eyes aren’t yet shaded completely.)

While working on the hair, I put down the first fur layer, allowing the paint to dry in places and painting over others while it’s still wet, to allow a certain amount of blending. I use a very thin size 2 marten brush for a long fur effect.
When this layer is again completely dry, I’ll add some darker shades, again with the same brush.

The finished painting!
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5 thoughts on “Painting of "Jon Snow"

  1. I do really love your vision of Jon Snow better than the shows. He reminds me too much of Orlando Bloom. Yours looks more like the young man with so much on his shoulders.

  2. Sarah: Orlando Bloom? Wow! Now that you say it – I never noticed that, but he does. They were probably aiming at the same fan group… O_o Ester: Glad you find them helpful. :) I certainly enjoy doing them – and Blogspot is a much better way to share them!

  3. Jenny, thank you so much for this tutorial! I started colouring a picture yesterday and followed it, and though I was a bit sceptic about the indigo wash, it's shaping up to be awesome :).Now, can you do a tutorial on painting fur next *makes puppy eyes*? Or even wolves? (That's the part of the picture I'm working on right now, and I desperately miss a good tutorial …)

  4. Flowerstar: You're lucky! I'm planning to do Robb with his wolf next. That said, I utterly suck at wolves. But I'll give it a go! Glad it was helpful! :)

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