More Head Sketches

Sunday, November 30, 2008

In the midst of a convention, while signing books, answering questions, and selling my wares, a simple pin-up can take more time than it would otherwise require. These head sketches typically take about an hour to complete, despite their simplicity. This is the main reason I don't attempt more complex compositions anymore (at least at cons).

Also, here's a quick tip regarding lightboxes. Don't throw away the black pieces of paper that come with those plastic sleeve portfolios!

When I was painting more, I often had to trace a rough sketch onto very thick paper. The secret is not brighter light, but blocking out the light you don't need. You're eyes will readjust to the lower light levels, thus allowing you to perceive more information.


  1. Wow, that is an awesome tip, man! Never thought of that.. I transfer my sketches from a projector straight down onto a table top, but I wonder if rigging a black sheet around the projection would work the same way....

  2. Hey Paolo, your art is amazing!

    I read the whole "step by step" of the Captain America Mythos and i enjoy it a lot! It is great that you decided to share your work process with us. I have just a question about it: How long does it takes you to do a full page like that?

  3. Eric,

    I'm not sure if it would have quite as dramatic an effect, primarily because you're looking at reflected light as opposed to the source. Our eyes actually behave very differently depending on that distinction, so much so that scientists classify colors accordingly.

    What does work, however, is increasing the contrast of your image (using levels or curves) before you put it in the projector.

  4. if that's a sketch, i'd hate to see what you call a composition. all in all, nice peices.

    peace out

  5. Perhaps pin-up is a better word. They're fully rendered, but limited in extent.

  6. That Hawkeye piece is one of the most impressive characterizations of him that I've ever seen. The flames surrounding Ghost Rider's head are also amazing. Not everyone can render flames well with paints, yet you seem to handle them with ease.


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