These are the steps I took while painting my recent caricature, 'Aretha Franklin'. The sketch was drawn in Photoshop (Fig.00), using a small round brush. For the painting I used Photoshop CS and a Wacom Cintiq; the size of the final painting is 13 inches wide by 14.5 inches high, at 300 dpi resolution.
After I finished my sketch, I chose Select All, copied that layer and pasted another copy of the sketch above the background layer, one above the other. I then switched to my background layer, hit Select All again and deleted the sketch from the background layer. I then selected Layer 2, which had the sketch on it, and set that layer to Multiply.
I painted in a flesh tone directly under the sketch layer so as not to lose my sketch lines. The brush I started with was a size 13 round brush (Fig.01a - 01b). I made sure that Other Dynamics was turned on and that the Opacity Jitter was at 0%; Control was set to Pen Pressure, Flow Jitter set to 0%, and the Control below the Flow Jitter was turned off. These settings gave me the control that I prefer. I usually paint with my Opacity set to 85-90% and my Flow set to 100%, although this sometimes differs depending on effect.
Fig.01a Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Fig.01b
I made sure that Shape Dynamics was turned off. The flesh colour I chose to use in RGB Mode was R: 190, G: 124, B: 104. I don't always start with this colour. In fact, I rarely start with the same colours twice because each subject I paint presents a new mood or feeling that I want to capture.
My photo reference had unnatural lighting and felt too pink. I knew from looking at my reference that I wanted to go in a different direction; I wanted to end up with a warm painting, as well as a painting that looks and feels like a piece of art, rather than a manipulated or distorted photograph. So I chose a violet red colour (R: 98, G: 17, B: 25) that I essentially filled the background with. I didn't want any whites in my painting just yet. Because I tend to paint from dark to light, the background here was used as a foundation to build from.Â
I created a palette layer at this point (Fig.01c). It's important to create a colour palette that has harmony. My main priority was getting the values right and I knew that if I could succeed in that, I could do just about anything with the colour. When I paint, I usually create a variation of red, yellow, and blue. With these three colours most colours can be created. You'll notice that in this painting my colours are very warm: reds, oranges, browns, violets, and greens.