Monday, April 23, 2012

Exquisite Blood: Digital Painting Process of the Hand

Here's a vignette from "Exquisite Blood," my first card from the upcoming Avacyn Restored release:

I always cherish the opportunity to do close-ups. They let me get really detailed with a body part or two, and it brings me back to that calm peaceful state of mind I always had in art school figure drawing classes. The art direction for this card called for a close-up of a vampire sucking blood from a wrist. As I often do when a female hand is needed in a painting, I used my own arm and hand as a reference for the victim's:

1. Added a Color layer over the black and white rough sketch.

2. Started painting over the sketch, using smooth hard round brush at high opacity.

3. Continued adding detail, and smoothing the dark edges left over from the sketch.

4. Used grunge overlays and texture brushes to give the skin some roughness. Used Dodge and Overlay to enhance the highlights and color.


  1. That's solid work - the tones on the hand and face are great, but the play of warm and cool by the shoulder on the lower-left of the piece is also very pleasing to look at.

  2. I love the lighting on the hand, and the tones as Sam Manley has forementioned are beautiful as well.

    Thanks for sharing the steps with the rest of us. Great, great tutorial!

  3. This is quite awhile after this was posted, but this is by far my favorite art on any magic card ever. I love the work you did here!