Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 396

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

BLACK PANTHER VOL. 7 #6. 2018.
Gouache and acrylic on bristol board, 11 × 17″. Full details.

For this cover, I received some help from Massimiliano Failla, an Italian artist I'd been corresponding with over the years. Aside from being a traditional artist, he was familiar with DAZ Studio, a 3D app that's been sitting, unused, on my iMac for years. He was kind enough to create a lighting mock up for me, and so I hired him to do more. I'm slowly learning the program myself, but he helped me out when I was in a pinch.

The other 3D models are from Anatomy360.info (which is not just great, but easy to use). The Colt 1911 is a model that I lit in Photoshop. As usual, the stellar layout was provided by Daniel Acuña. The issue is out today, full details at Marvel.

Almost too much reference... almost

digital color study

digital pencils

layout by Daniel Acuña

detail of raw scan


  1. Beautiful work as usual Paolo! I'm always drawn to your color choices and wanted to ask you... when you are doing your color roughs, do you approach color from more of a James Gurney/gamut mask method or do you just jump in and work them out intuitively? One of the struggles I always face is figuring out temperature shifts. Digitally I usually start with value and local color, and then using adjustment layers figure out the temperature relationships between my shadows and lights. The only thing is, when I do traditional I don't have that luxury, because I feel like I need to jump right into temperature shifts without local color due to the unforgiving nature of traditional paint. Then on top of it I am always concerned about not using a gamut mask and just trusting my eye. How do you go about it?

    1. Thanks, Jeremy! The answer is simple: I always do a digital color study first. That allows me the freedom to experiment, but provides a solid framework for real paint.

      As for process, I mostly go by gut instinct, but your basic approach is the same as mine. I begin with value, then add some local color, then experiment with with global adjustments and background tweaks. Basically, just trial and error.

  2. Awesome Paolo, thanks a lot man! I feel like I've learned more on your blog than I ever did in art school, haha. Thank you!

  3. Hey Paolo, Hope you are doing well! I've been watching your youtube channel and your demos are so helpful, thank you for sharing all of your methods. I've learned so much from you as an artist man.

    I wanted to ask you based on your "Gouache vs Arylic" video going over your underpainting wash to your acryla gouache pass. When you use acryla gouache, you had mentioned in the video you normally only use white and black with an acryla finish, does that mean you just add white and black to your regular gouache colors to get tints and tones for your final color pass? Or are you using a variety of acryla gouache colors in addition to white and black when you glaze over the top of your sepia wash?

    Also, another comment you mentioned was using 3 to 4 pre made grays during your sepia pass when doing a face with a variety of flesh tones. Are you just mixing those grays to your sepia to get the value you are going for? I saw that holbein sells 3 different gray values and I was going to pick some of those up to experiment.

    Lastly, when you mentioned that you use a variety of base colors... from sepia, to burnt umber, burnt sienna, or yellow ochre. Are you mixing all of those different warm browns together while doing your wash pass? Or are you just choosing one hue (sepia vs burnt sienna) depending on the underpainting you are going for?

    Sorry for all of the questions man, I've read a ton of your process posts, just had those questions that were a bit confusing for me. Thank you Paolo!


    1. Hey, Jeremy! I'm happy to answer, but I think the response needs to be a post on its own. Hopefully next week! Thanks!

  4. Paolo! Thanks so much, I really appreciate it! And I know you are a busy guy, so whenever you can is great! Thanks again man!


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