Today, I continue preparing the canvas. Usually, I use Yes brand canvas, which is halfway between canvas and paper. It provides a fine grain texture that is easily adjusted for your specific use. I’ll usually go over the surface a few times with gesso. I’ll usually leave brushstrokes going in a horizontal direction or get more creative, letting the brushstrokes follow the action.
Once there are enough layers of gesso, I’ll sand the dried surface gently to smooth out the sharp bumps and brushstrokes. After sweeping away the gesso dust, I will usually prop the canvas against the wall and coat the entire thing with a layer of water, starting at the bottom and moving up.
Pictured above is my color study. We have a defeated knight, surrendering to a dark queen and her minions. Or, perhaps he is willingly joining forces with her. The story doesn’t matter to me as long as there is a story. Being ambiguous is good; it allows viewers to interpret their own adventure.
As for the palette, I have a small variation on a combination I discussed earlier: Ultramarine Blue, Transparent Red Oxide, Yellow Ochre, and Winsor Red.
Tomorrow, I will try to shoot photo reference.
See full post here: Ryan Pancoast Illustration2011-04-15.