As always it starts with a sketch on cheap printer paper. Its low detail and there just to establish the proportions and composition. It has way too many guidelines and stray pencil marks to use for the painting. It needs to be cleaned up and enlarged on higher quality paper.
I use an opaque projector
to project the rough sketch on to watercolour paper.
I use Arches 140lb Watercolor Paper Block, Cold Press. Its over $60 for 20 sheets.
there's cheaper paper to be sure, but this paper holds paint and water without warping better than anything I've ever used.
When that's done I'm left with much cleaner pencil lines on paper suitable for ink and gouache.
Now I mask with this.
Just scotch masking tape.
The cheap stuff works just fine and it never tears the Arches paper. (it has been know to tear some of the cheaper bristol board I've used.
It's important to lighten the pencil lines as some of the colour will be semi-transparent when used with water and the lines can show through.
I use PrismaColor Kneaded Rubber
I snap off a piece and roll it into a cylinder. It molds just like silly puddy--its fun!
Then I roll the cylinder lightly over the pencils with the palm of my hand. This lightens without erasing all together.
Now the piece is ready for ink and paint.
I paint with gouache, generally and though I use many brands, I usually prefer either Winsor & Newton or the Royal Talens Art Creation line.
I've basically divide this piece into two parts. outer and inner.
I've decided that the framing of this piece (the gate from Star Trek's "City on the Edge of Forever" and the Borg and Dalek on the other side of it) should be much darker and have a greater contrast than what's inside. I'll be painting that last and using primarily ink.
I start my gouache painting with the almost monochromatic background on the inner part of the painting.
Then the blacks are added. There are 3 important factors I'm considering when i chose where to paint next:
Left to Right
Top to Bottom
Dark to Light
I've completed the inner part, now onto the outer. The dark stuff.
Here I switch to ink.
Here I switch to ink.
I use Speedball super black, which I order in the largest size(cheaper to buy in bulk)
I have a separate aluminum pallete I use for ink and for the brush I like to use a Japanese Sumi brush.
I start with the solid blacks
Then I fill in with greys. I achieve darker and lighter shades based on how much water I use with the ink.
Finally the masking is removed
and the piece is scanned in.
I add some airbrush enhancements in the highlights and adjust the colour a bit to brighten it up.
and its done.
The T.A.R.D.I.S. on the Edge of Forever! featuring Kirk, The 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory Pond, The Borg and a Dalek!
This commission was done for my pal (and one of the writers of Star Trek:TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation2), Scott Tipton. It's to be hung in Blastoff Comics, his comic book store in North Hollywood, CA! If you're in the area swing by!