Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Firefly Hunters Sketches

A new piece that I'm ready to start painting tomorrow if I can drag myself to the desk to feel up for it. Sniffly with another cold. It's ready to go though, sketched out on the board. Some of the sketches that sparked this final form:

An extremely rough thumbnail scribble when I was brainstorming for "Breathe". This was a tiny composition idea. A coiled up dragon nestled in the hollow of the tree roots. It never took for "Breathe", but when I was flipping through my sketchbook a few days ago, it caught my eye again. I started to play with the dragon's shape and in particular that spiral that unfurls from its body.

As I sketched a more detailed dragon, the rest of it quickly started taking shape in my head. Ghostly shapes moving through the woods. Firefly Hunters. Some alternate titles: Ghosts, Silent Shadows, Ghost Shadows. I scribbled a new thumbnail as well, for a more horizontal composition.

After I had the composition decided, I started sketching a whole lot of foxes from various angles, with the plan being to scan these and then play around with size and position digitally.

A shadowy figure wanted to make an appearance in the distance as well. Sketched a few thumbnail possible poses for her.

Scan the disparate pieces, and fit everything into the initial thumbnail composition with layers, cutting, cropping, resizing, flipping.... Until I'm happy with where all the pieces are, and how it meshes into a whole. Then I print it out and transfer to the final sketch, redrawing and refining much of it in the process!


  1. I am so grateful to you for sharing your techniques!

  2. I ordered your book Dreamscapes in my dutch bookshop and I got it just after 4 days! I am so happy with it, it is so beautiful. A great inspiration, though I doubt my paintings will ever become so refined and beautiful as yours are. Love it when you tell how you work.

  3. So many ghosts to paint, so little time.

  4. Enchanting and hypnotic! I love the flow of the composition and the way the foxes are bonding through the landscape.