Love’s Call – Painting Work in Progress shots

This is the 3rd post in this series. You can find the first one here (describes design & composition notes), and the second one (colour concepts) here.

This painting is finished, it is in the galleries under the Love’s Call cover art page. I’ve also posted it at my other haunts, though without the layout work done by the publisher.

I don’t normally paint this way, I just decided to try a different way.

Colour blocking and starting with a gradient for the background

  1. This shows roughly how I have things set up in Photoshop. I often have the one painting opened in two windows so I don’ keep on having to zoom in and out on certain areas.

  2. On a few separate layers, I defined base colours for the major features in the painting. This helped me with selections later, so that if I wanted to paint only the columns, I could load the selection, and paint on a new layer within the lines of the selection. I also created a gradient to roughly match the colour concept, and created the base sky colours. I’d already started on the wolf, since fur, like feathers is still evil to paint It will continue being evil until I get more used to it.

  3. I started working on the costumes. I work all over the place. I did Leargan’s shoulder plate/ pauldron. There’s a wolf insignia on it which took a fair amount of time. I started on one of the columns, still unsure as to the perfect colours.

  4. I started adding volume to the central columns, and added some mountains. I wasn’t sure I liked them so I left those to focus elsewhere in the painting

  5. More working out the stone work and columns

  6. I’ve done a lot of work on the female character by now. Her face is mostly complete, her clothes are near done. I’ve started adding in the purple flowers in the middle ground, and roughly working on the greens for the background fields. Added rough shading to castle towers, loosely painted mountains on the back cover.

  7. Minor fixes to her hair

  8. Minor fixes to her skirt

  9. Mountains have been given more detail. I started work on the male character’s face and sword

  10. Added details to the male’s costume, gave him hair, started playing with fields in the background.

  11. Worked on the central columns. These were not working at all and I repainted them a dozen times.

  12. Hydrangeas are evil to paint. But that’s what I’d chose to paint, so that’s what I painted. I worked from several references, winging the flowers in a lot of bits.

  13. This was the ‘smack me upside the head, gosh I’m stupid’ moment. The castle behind them is supposed to be the same castle from the first book cover… which has round towers mostly… and is more white stone than yellow stone. So I completely repainted that. I repainted all the fields on the back cover, because I liked the way they looked on the front. The stones floor and columns were simplified.

Also, just to show you  how crazy I am with details, that never show up in the small view of the painting, here’s the hydrangea process:

Animated gif of how I painted the hydrangeas

Details from Love's Call

The final painting