Last year for Macworld 2011 in San Francisco, I was invited to deliver a talk about digital artwork. As part of my talk I produced 2 paintings which were printed as large posters and displayed at the entrance of the main conference hall. This year I was asked if I could again produce a painting especially for Macworld 2012. I went on to create the painting in 7 days. The process can be seen in the following step by step breakdown.
My initial idea for the painting was to feature a futuristic female super hero with a dramatic San Francisco background. I had a clear vision of the colors that I wanted to use, so using Adobe Ideas iPad app and my NomadBrush stylus, I began sketching compositions for the painting.
Having setteled on a composition and the colors I wanted to use in the painting, I asked my friend Jayne Beesley if she would be my lighting reference model. Using my 2 iPads as colored lights, I staged a series of photos to help guide me when painting the female hero.
I then imported my final sketch from Adobe Ideas into Adobe Photoshop. Using a separate layer I then blocked in the basic colors of the painting. Once the basic features emerged, I removed the sketch layer and continued working.
Over the next few days I gradually worked around the painting adding details to the face and hair.
In a separate document I then began painting the San Francisco background. I started by making a series of building silhouettes and arranged the buildings to fill the available space in the painting. I isolated each building one at a time and painted in details such as windows and roof tops.
With the city complete I imported the image as a layer into the main painting and inserted it between the sky and the female super hero. I colored the buildings red and yellow and used a mask to fade out the furthest buildings. Last of all I added details such as the glow from the sunset and the light on the top of the Transamerica building.
The final painting was printed 6 foot squared and displayed at the entrance of Macworld - iWorld 2012 in San Francisco.