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Designing Creatures and Characters by Marc Taro Holmes

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DemonstrationPainting Basics: From Blocking in to Selective Finish

1 Block in Values

In general, while a sketch will often start with a line drawing, an illustration usually starts as a painted value study. An image built from the start in value and color is more suitable for dramatic lighting, which is the secret to conveying emotion.

To achieve strong lighting, I start on a dark background, working from dark to light in the same way as a traditional oil painter. You can begin by blocking in the silhouette shape with broad brushstrokes. You want to set up the composition of the image before painting small details. Get the movement right before ...

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