Since being introduced to digital art, one of the most fun and useful exercises I’ve discovered is speed painting. These are simply quick colour sketches that can emulate the quality and mediums of an extensive painting session.
Digital art has provided the efficiency needed to create true speed paintings, with emphasis on the word “speed”. With today’s technology and art programs there is virtually no time-consuming paint mixing, no brush cleaning, no canvas prepping, or any of the other side jobs which would normally slow down an artist who has ideas they want to put on a canvas quickly. Aside from a quick way to create art, speed painting is a great practice exercise, which has helped me loosen up my style. I’ve found that going crazy with super-tight detail and over-thinking a painting often makes for a stiff and lifeless piece. Speed paintings seem to force your artistic side to make choices quickly before your technical side has a chance to interfere. Whenever I find myself stuck on artwork suffering from blandness I’ll open up a blank canvas, give myself a limited time frame (anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes) and throw some paint around in a speed painting session to loosen up, or sometimes I’ll just squeeze out speed painting just because I have free time.
Okay, enough talk; let’s move along to the workshop where I’ll be sharing some of my speed painting methods and techniques for creating a macabre comic style character design in Painter IX.
From issue 12.