Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Making of "Unfinished Melody", and videos for Noah's Art Camp

Yesterday, I posted about my new digital painting, Unfinished Melody.

Apart from being a deeply personal piece of artwork, I screen-captured most of the process to create some digital painting tutorial videos for my colleague Noah Bradley's 12-week online summer course, Noah's Art Camp.

You would need to sign up for the camp to gain access to the full one-hour tutorial videos, but to give you a brief overview, I made four videos, each covering one of the following topics:
  • I. Painting the Female Figure
  • II. Painting the Female Face
  • III. Painting Hands
  • IV. Painting Fabric

Apart from lots of process footage from Unfinished Melody, there are shorter mini-demos, live segments, and slide shows in each video, covering a variety of more specific related topics from basics like gesture drawing, to more advanced stuff like how to properly shade a young woman's smile lines.

In this video still from "Painting Fabric," I'm ranting about explaining the benefits of keeping fabric samples in your studio to use as live reference.

The origin was a humble sketchbook thumbnail, which evolved into a sketch from imagination, then a sketch using reference, and so on, all of which is documented in "Painting the Female Figure."

Noah's Art Camp also has weekly assignments with instructional video demos by Noah himself, and other artists like me have contributed tutorials and footage of their work. Go check it out to learn more.


  1. Wow, this piece is amazing. I was already interested in Noah's summer class, and now I'm REALLY interested!

    1. It's a solid class. I crashed in on one of his critique sessions last night- it's a committed bunch of students from various practice levels and backgrounds, and I feel like there's something for everybody. Thanks, Kelley!

  2. Wonderful work Cynthia. I love it.

  3. I left a comment on the vid on Noah's YouTube channel, wanted to re-post here in case you aren't checking there because I believe you've got the format for the bid spot on:

    This is the best digital painting tutorial I've seen. Just enough explanation and about what counts, clear, structured, well paced, uncluttered and the demo parts are followable, instructional and of a watchable length. Very much looking forward to part two. One question - you mention you use 'multiply' layers to 'add some colour' (other than colouring the line work, I got that part), when do you use multiply layers for colouring and when do you use, 'normal'?

    1. Hi there- thank you so much for the compliments on the video, and for your question!

      There's no hard fast rule, but I tend to use Multiply to add a local color to a large areas while also darkening the area, and Normal for the more specific details on top. If you're familiar with oil painting, using Multiply or Overlay is like achieving a thin underpainting of color, and Normal would be like the opaque paint on top. I really hope that makes sense...


  4. great video, could u release the brushes?
    keep up the goood work