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Sailing Village - Process

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

This one was a ton of fun to make. I was inspired by the art you see at Disney's Polynesian Resort, and while I was making it, I listened to Jimmy Buffett's "One Particular Harbor" on repeat. Little things like that really help you get into the feeling of making a piece. Immerse yourself in the feelings you want to have when you're viewing the artwork, and hopefully those feelings will come out of your brain, through your hands, and into your work.

I didn't make a process video for this artwork, but rather, I took several still images at critical points in the piece.


This is the final image! It took about an hour-and-a-half to make, but just like everything else, it started with some bones.

Here we've got our sketch. Now for my digital work, I do the sketches digitally too, but I know some people like to draw on paper and scan it to the computer. That's not my style, but if that's yours, it works just as well.

After that, we're putting in really simple colors just to fill up the page. We don't want to leave any white space, just because we want a nice solid fill underneath whatever work we're doing. Even Bob Ross doesn't paint right on his canvas. He always covers it with that lovely Liquid White first!

Now, I always put my colors under the top sketch layer, and just turn the sketch's opacity down. I still like to be able to see the lines I made as I'm working, and once we don't need the lines anymore we can just turn the layer off.

After the flat colors go down, we go in and add all our fancy details! I didn't document exactly how I did it (I can't be giving away all of my secrets, now!) but I will say I really enjoy using Jeremy Fenske's Free Photoshop Brush Pack because they give me this loose feel I really love for environment design. The pack also features two flat brushes that I really love, since I can't find any other packs with nice flat brushes. You can find Jeremy Fenske's brushes here.

Then we add in our lighting (I feel like multiply and overlay are really fun options for lighting) and then I messed with hue/saturation a little to make the image just a little greener. These little sailor people are really loving their new home in this drawing!

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