Last weekend, I painted superheroes. You know, Captain America from Civil war and Wonderwoman (2017 Batman vs. Superman Version) and enjoyed a bit of a challenge since it has been a while since I last painted a portrait of any actual human being so this was a really good chance for me to see if I still had it with portraiture.
Today, I want to share the process on how I painted Captain America and Wonderwoman. For Captain America, I painted him on Khadi Paper (Cotton Rag) and used Winsor Newton Watercolors on him. I actually used the small pallette to do this so I can create my own way of superhero painting.
Wonderwoman was a bigger piece, A4 Arches 300 GSM hot press paper and winsor newton watercolors.
Everything begins with the sketch of Captain America. This superhero sketch is actually a long time request from a friend. I started by copying the figure out using my light table and hoping I did it right.
There are a lot of details with Captain America that I needed to leave out, like details on the straps which I plan to just imply later with paint. Leaving the fine details out gives me room to be creative in my rendering.
Next I decided which areas I need to mask and used a masking fluid to mask the area out so I don’t hit it when I paint.
I got a bit impatient so I decided to use a purple for the background . I wanted to keep it dark and dramatic without having to use black. Purple also is deep enough to be able to show contrasts for my superhero’s light skin.
Chris Evans , the actor for Captain America was really hard to render. Aside from the fact that I haven’t painted a person in a very long time. I had to remember how to do shading on skintones. So I blocked the shadows firts with a purply wash and hoped for the best.
Here’s the moment of truth. Once the shadows were dry I used a mix of ochre, red and yellow wash to create my skin tone. I wanted really natural shades so I decided to layer it really slowly using really light watercolor washes to create the skin.
And that was torture since I am not known for my patience when i paint or draw. But I guess patience really is a virtue and it pays off. Since Captain America started to look human and not smurfish at all.
Watercoloring portraits is a real challenge. Not only do you capture light and shade but also the expression and intensity of the character. The mood that they are in and the atmosphere around him. For me, the biggest challenge with the superhero painting is showing the intensity of Captain America and Wonderwoman.
Wonderwoman as shown above started pretty much the same. Since she was a full body piece, I decided to block out the colors of her top and skirt. The detailing was much smaller and I had to frisket out most of the ridges on her top so it was a harder piece.
I also took my sweet time with this piece doing layer upon layer of work and photographing each layer. I actually like the first and 2nd layer pictures the best. I love the look of the unfinished work .
Since this takes so much fine details, I decided to take the colored pencils and the copics out and make it a mixed media piece. That made it easier for me to map out the fine details of her belt hair and top.
This piece took me almost all day. Which really tested my patience. But I think that it was a real lesson for me to not rush my paintings.
Although, there is much to be desired in this art, I still feel that I can get better.
Welp, I guess next time I should try a villain…. who do you think I should try?