In Progress Demo: Zombie

-By Mike Butkus


On this project I started on a Crescent cold pressed illustration board that I prepared with a mid value mixture of paynes grey and gesso. I applied the mixture using a 2 inch nylon brush. Once the ground dried thoroughly I projected my drawing using a black prisma pencil for everything except for the girls face and hand. I used a red prisma pencil for those to keep her features softer. At this point I use my sketch as a guide making adjustments on the board as I need to.


At this stage, I make sure to keep the painting very transparent. That means using a lot of water in your acrylic pigment. The key is not to lose your drawing. The opaque paint should be reserved for the highlights. The colors I started to lay down with both brush and airbrush are blue greys and reddish tints. A medium sized round white nylon brush will do if you don’t have an airbrush, just be sure to keep the paint transparent.


For texture I splatter the zombie with reds, blues, and greens with an old toothbrush. This tool works great for this.


After laying in a little color and texture I start to define the shapes using transparent flesh tone washes with nylon brushes. A blow dryer always comes in handy to dry the layers quickly as you start to build them up.


Once I have enough transparent layers of paint down, I follow up by drawing back on top with more prisma pencils. They work great on top of the acrylic washes. To create some of the translucent washes I mix gesso with acrylic to give it that creepy wet look.


Finally, I add the finishing details with small nylon brushes and well pointed prisma pencils. For opaque highlights you can use white gouache or acrylic. Hope that helps!

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