Every once and a blue moon I hook up with someone whose work I really enjoy.

Elias Plagianos is one of those people. We started working together on illustrations for his Indie films a few years back. I’ve watched him and his company ESP Films Ltd. slowly win award after award. A few weeks ago, he asked me to draw a promo piece for his new film City of Lies starring the great Michael Madsen. The problem was that he needed the painting completed in a very, very short period of time.

City of Lies Sketch

I decided the only way I was going to make the deadline was to render it using a “colored pencil” style. Basically, that means getting the values down in pencil and applying color in transparent washes and colored pencil over top. This is a technique that if planned out properly at the very beginning, can greatly speed up the process. I used Photoshop CS3 to create a digital pencil and rendered a tight comp.

City of Lies starring Michael Madsen finish Painting

Once the sketch was approved, I applied color over the digital pencils. Photoshop was used for this step as well. Even though this painting is a bit rougher than my normal paintings, I’m very pleased with the overall image.