Green Demon Mixed Media Painting by Fantasy Artist Jeff Miracola

by: jeffmiracola

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hi everyone I'm Jeff Marek Olaf a nasty artist an illustrator and welcome to another edition of watch me to face this sketchbook

destroying that I am doing is done on the inside cover of an art book of mine a sketchbook really a book of drawings the surface is is called chipboard it's like a very dense cardboard it's not the best surface to work on but it is fun and it has its own special qualities I

didn't have any kind of plan as I was doing this sketched this is ultimately what I consider just a color sketch it only took me about an hour to hour 15 to do this entire color sketch no plan just putting pencil to paper basically and seeing what I come up with started drawing the head and just let it grow from there

most of the time I use evany pencils when I do my drawing but occasionally I'll use mechanical pencils as well there's really no rhyme or reason to it sometimes it just depends on my mood sometimes I I don't want the struggle of the soft lead that you find in ebony pencils sometimes I just want it to be easier I use the mechanical pencil because it's got a tighter line and I don't have to keep sharpening it here I'm just using a low cornel brush probably a 3-0 or a 5-0 brush dipped in a waterproof black India ink by Kohinoor it's important that I use waterproof ink because a little bit later in this video I start adding color with acrylic paints of watered-down acrylic paints if this wasn't waterproof ink than that black ink would run again I'm just making this up as I go along I mean this is really just you know sitting down for an hour and sketching having fun seeing where it leads me and I like this stage too because I really enjoy inking a lot I never used to I used to be really really bad at it but I've gotten a better handle on inking over the past decade and I think that's because because of all the painting that I've done in my career all that that brush handling has made me better at inking I don't often use pens for my inking I almost always use a brush or more recently I've been getting into brush pens as well I don't use any brush pens on this drawing in this video just a regular brush but I love the varied line weight that I get from a brush I like to control being able to get thin and thick lines I just can't get the same thing with mechanical pens with mechanical pens the the line weight is always the same and I know I can just I can you know do different things with pressure with mechanical pens as well but I just never got into it I never went down that route to learn how to use mechanical pens effectively we can only do so much right got to focus on uncertain things and uncertain tools and I happen to focus on brushes

so you can see I'm treating this like line work or like you know like as if I were sitting down to do the line work for a comic or for a coloring book I'm not doing a lot of shading with the ink I'm not putting in large areas of black ink that's because I'm gonna be doing all that shading with the color with those acrylic paints that I'll use a little bit later in the video right now my concern is just getting all those lines right you know getting the Anatomy right for the creature and creating elegant lines and shapes of things that make sense

this is why I say it's so important for you to learn anatomy as a fantasy artist because I'm not using a reference for this I'm just sitting down and drawing and I wouldn't have been able to sit down and draw this monster's bicep and delt and forearm and everything if I hadn't taken anatomy classes most of my life if I hadn't done figure drawing in school or or after school in private figure drawing sessions and whatnot or just studying Anatomy from books if I hadn't done that I wouldn't be able to sit down and do this from memory a lot of young artists a lot of beginning artists want to jump right into creating awesome images and they skip the fundamentals of learning to draw because no matter what you do with your your art paintings drawings ink drawings whatever they are the basis for all of it is going to be drawing if you can't draw well oftentimes your paintings don't look good either that's just the way it is you've got to be able to have those fundamentals and figure drawing is one of those things that will take care to the next level really well I mean if you can draw the human figure and you can draw animal Anatomy and things like that you'll really see a difference in your fantasy art and I'm not talking about trying to learn the muscle groups and the bones and all the names of everything and you know that's not necessary which you've got to learn is what the muscles look like what they look like in motion and you don't have to study anatomy like Leonardo da Vinci would have studied Anatomy you want to study Anatomy so you can understand structure and movement and the dynamics of anatomy whether that be human or animal and spend a lot of time observing I mean that's really what it boils down to people will say Jeff how do I get better drawing Anatomy or how do I get better at drawing this or that well obviously practice drawing all the time but you've got to be observing all the time - I am constantly observing stuff everywhere I go the way people walk or their mannerisms and you know everything you go to the zoo you watch the animals it's just it's constant observation of life whether that be Anatomy and lighting mood and composition you see it everywhere as an artist you should you're you're really never turning it off that ability to kind of observe the world around you and you'll get to that point where you observe life so much that when you got to sit down to draw something like a rabbit you can just draw a rabbit because you know what you've seen a rabbit so much that you know what it looks like and you don't necessarily need to go hunting down Anatomy for that

all right so after my drawing is complete here I'd just erase all those lines with a kneaded eraser the ink dries rather quickly so it's not a big deal and I jump right into painting with some watered-down acrylics now I haven't sealed this ink drawing at all beforehand and some of my other videos you will have seen me do that and that's because and those that was probably not using waterproof ink but I'm using waterproof ink in this one so there's no need for me to take this drawing outdoors and spray it with spray fix - to lock that ink drawing in place because no matter what this watered-down acrylics are not going to mess up the black ink now here I'm leaving a little bit of unpainted area on one side of the monsters face that's me saying this is where the lights coming from this light is gonna be coming from the right side of the monster and I'll give them some of that rim lighting that I like so much I on my paintings and drawings and this is just a matter of building it up using just a burnt sienna Brown to start with and then darkening it a little bit further with some burnt umber Brown I also know too that when I'm working on this surface the chipboard when I initially put the paint down it looks really rich and dark and whatnot but once it dries it starts to lighten up a little bit and lose some of its intensity so sometimes I will have a tendency to put down a lot more paint then you might think I should but that's because I know it's gonna soak into that chipboard and disappear a little bit

again I'm just figuring this out as I go there's been no conscious effort at the beginning of this drawing or painting stage for me to plan it out I'm just picking a color that I think would look nice in this case the blue against the brown and I'm just going with it


on the horn here you can see I'm just putting straight water down first and that's because I want this to happen as soon as I put that paint on it I want the paint to kind of run a little bit create a little bit of shading for me

it's a tricky balance - and you're working on this chip port now I should say that this chip board is something that I'm painting on simply because it's the cover of my sketchbook I wouldn't necessarily recommend working on this material for client work I mean I suppose you could there's really nothing wrong with it I always thought of this material is something that I would just do sketches on color sketches like this it's not something I would ever do a full fledged painting on

but look at all that interesting stuff that happens in the horn with because I put that water down you get all these really interesting shapes and the water running together and you know creating a lot of fun stuff but here's another example of what I said earlier when I said when I put the paint down it's really dark and then when it dries it's not look at that on the horn there once it dried see how light that turned that's something that happens with this chipboard if I want to return that horn to being a little darker than I have to go over it again and sometimes a third time

and you've got to be careful working on the chipboard too because because I didn't seal it the chipboard is you know soaking up some of that paint that water if I put too much water onto it then I could severely warp the chipboard so it's a delicate balance knowing what to do comes with experience experimenting and trying this a few times so that you know you know just how much water you can get away with putting down on this surface I've done some in the past on this chipboard and too much water and all of a sudden it really curls up and then you've got to put a pile of books on top of this thing for a couple days to get it to flatten out again

and the nice thing about the chipboard is it acts a little bit like watercolor paper and that the paint you put down on it stays wet for just a little bit longer which is really nice because I can do stuff like that where I put a color down go back to my palette grab a little bit more paint come back to it and I can work into it and it's it still got that wetness so that it gives me a nice blends and the color runs together real nicely

now you know me I can't get away from my green gold I do love that color so I decided that's what I'm gonna do I'm gonna make that green gold the highlight for this piece so all those areas that I left unpainted before I start to work over with the green gold now I remember right there when I painted that entire horn with the green gold I was like oh that's what I want for this piece I want the whole piece to be warm like that so like I said I was making this up as I go I decided that well I'll just do the green gold for all the highlights but then when I saw what I did on the horn there I was like I'll just cover the whole thing in green gold will make the whole painting warm why not you know me I get carried away with that color

say now my entire monster is bathed in yellow light but it's nice it kind of took all those blues that I had and on his head and the horns and pushed him green and it feels a lot better to me

just lay in a color on the cheek like that and then I can come back into it with some water to soften up the edges of it and and blend it into the to the colors that are already there

I do like the texture that I get with the chipboard you know you've got some of that stippled surface that little interesting texture to it that's permeates across your entire painting I think it's pretty neat

and here I just felt that I needed to have a color that was pretty opposite the greens and yellows so that the creature would stand out against it and what better than a blood-red right nice and bright


so now we get into the fun part of highlights I love putting highlights on the painting because that's the stuff that makes it come to life

so here I just put down some white paint with one brush and I grabbed another brush that was clean and just kind of dry brush that paint a little bit and move it around and try to work it in to the background there's no water added to that new clean brush I'm just dabbing away wipe it off and then come back and work into it so that I can kind of create that blending again no water added to it just dry brushing that white paint dabbing it away Dada Dada Dada

the same thing happens with white paint that happens with the other paints when you're working on chipboard and that is it looks very intense at first when you put it on and then when it dries it will soak into the chipboard and dull down a little bit that's why if you look on the on the face of that monster there where I already put the white on the nose and the the right side of the face it's not as intense as as what you see me putting down with the brush right now I'll go back into that and add a little bit more paint a few more layers to get the intensity of that white up a little bit

this is fun you know it's it's good to do this once in a while to just sit down and sketch and work on something don't really have a plan maybe you have a general idea but choose an easy subject to draw in this case you know a monster head and an arm I mean it's not a complicated composition he's not wearing all kinds of gear and armor or anything like that it's just a simple drawing that you can sit down and work on and put some time in on working on your techniques because that's really what's important here I mean there's a lot of things that are important here you know how to draw anatomy and drawing monsters and using your imagination to come up with these ideas sure but sometimes you just want to sit down and work on your techniques your painting techniques your blending and coloring techniques and giving yourself something simple to work on is sometimes really key don't overthink it you don't always have to sit down and give yourself something complex and multiple figures and character wearing all kinds of crazy armor and gear and things like that that's going to keep you busy for hours and hours and hours you know give yourself something that you can do in an hour to an hour and a half see what it is you can pull off in that time

and that once everything dries I grab my trusty white prismacolor pencil and just start drawing over it to a little bit that's the fun part I like about doing these mixed-media color sketches is kind of using all these different materials the ink and the paint and the color pencils and if I could glue macaroni to this and put glitter and sparkles on it I probably would too well maybe I should do that for the next one it's like craft time for monsters but I do enjoy it very relaxing and like I said again it'll gives you a chance to sit down and work on your techniques and you're pulling some of your skills put a little too much color pencil down just rub it away like that rub it in to blend it

you can start to see how this could be a really fun technique to do for an even larger project I mean this drawing like I said is only done in an hour an hour and 15 minutes you know if I sat down and use this technique to do something over a matter of days it could be get pretty cool and pretty intense and you probably have an awful lot of fun with the different textures and the blending and everything that you can do

that cross-hatching is pretty important too that's something else you can practice I mean you can see how those lines are following the curvature of all the muscles that helps accentuate the shape of those muscles by knowing which direction you're hatching lines should be going in order to give form to that that muscle

and that's it all done this sketch goes off to some happy home thank you for watching I hope you enjoyed it too hope you learn something by watching this even if you didn't learn anything I hope you just enjoyed the process of watching me create it because I had a good time doing it take care until next time bye bye


More from this creator:
Watch as I create a mixed media painting of a Green Demon on the inside cover of a book of my drawings (the book is now sold out). To help you learn more about acrylic painting, I've created a DVD that features an in-depth look at my painting process. The DVD has over 6.5 hours of content on 4 discs showing the creation of a forest angel painting and lots of extras like: - Studio Walkthrough - Building an Art Portfolio - Painting a Dragon Demo - Color Mixing Exercise - 20 Questions with Jeff Miracola - and More This super long video is also available as a digital download for those that don't want DVDs. The DVD can be purchased here:

Digital Download versions can be purchased here:

Thanks for your support. Have a great day! Jeff MUSIC: Candlepower by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (



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