Andrew Theophilopoulos


This painting was done for Illest of Ill 2011. The painting didn’t get in but it was fun as hell! I put together my process just to share the experience. 


In this case I started traditionally drawing thumbnails on every piece of paper I could find. The thumbnails were all smaller than a inch each, this gives me the ability to cover a lot of ground extremely fast. My idea for the project was to have a character with their animal companion and I took it from there. At this point there is no character design, no reference, nothing besides the shapes of the elements I planned on using. I pushed these 1 inch thumbnails until the composition was perfect for me… using things like tails, vines and cracks in the rocks to bring my eye around the composition.

Draw over

This was a technique I leaned at Digital Domain over the summer. Basically, in Photoshop throw a white layer on top of your drawing at a low opacity and you got yourself some tracing paper. I blew my 1 inch thumbnail up to about 15 inches and drew directly on top of it, roughly fleshing out the shapes I made with the pencil. Trying to give the characters somewhat of a pose while staying within the shape I gave them in the thumbnail stage. Continue adding tracing paper over and over until you settle on a decent final drawing.


I use the hard round brush in mostly all of my paintings. Im not a fan of searching through a billion random brushes for texture… It really slows me down and I don’t know how to use them that well. My process is more of an Alla Prima painterly approach. I have my Hard Round Brush equipped with pressure sensitive size jitter and opacity jitter to give me a butt load of control. With this one brush I can imitate any texture and any edge. I don’t use the soft round brush because it dictates how soft my edges are and EVERY edge is different and unique in its own way.

Once I have my drawing done I will change the color of the lines to a dark warm red, Just so I don’t pick up any muddy black. Under the line layer I will start painting with color. I tried this website that gives you a color scheme for the first time and it went pretty well. I grabbed the colors from the website and pushed them towards the colors I needed for a tree, a rock or a person etc…Color is relative by the way… Once my values are reading I make a new layer on top of the lines and RENDER AWAYYYYYYY

At this point the only reference I had was for the female character. I had been painting so much of this stuff from work I didn’t bother getting reference for anything. Besides stripe patterns that is** 

For me the painting process is just working edges and filling the world with everything you imagine would be there. Constantly questioning everything about your painting and bringing it to a stage where you have all the answers. 

This painting took 20-30 hours. Hope you enjoy.

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