Many people have written to ask me about my process of creating some of the works on Gallery of the Absurd, so I thought I'd slap together a post about it. Some paintings are done traditionally with acrylics or oils, while others are created digitally using a wacom tablet, but all start with a graphite sketch. I do several quick messy sketches before settling on one, and then I tighten it. In the case above, I used a messy and unfinished sketch because I planned on painting this one digitally and only needed minimal guidelines. I wasn't happy with the angle of Mel's mouth in the sketch, so I used Photoshop to revise it.
The sketch is scanned at 300 dpi and cleaned up. I then use dozens of layers of varying opacity to lay down color and texture. Some layers are blurred, while others maintain crispness. I use a variety of brushes and strive to allow some of the graphite lines to show through because I've never liked my paintings to look neat and perfect. I'm still learning how to paint using a wacom tablet, but have found practice works better than using lessons in books. It's fun to let loose and make mistakes as I tend to thrive in chaos.
Occasionally I'll get obsessive and will play around with several different layouts, compositions, and colors. Since I was making a movie poster set in Malibu, I wanted to see what a beach and a few palm trees would look like. To make things quick, I'll often use bits of photos for background images. I found this version to be distracting and not eye-catching enough, so I scrapped it. In the final version, I changed the angle of the Mel puppet and cropped the image for more visual impact. Above all, I have fun painting these things and try not to get lost in the details. Each painting I do, whether digital or oil is a learning process. I never went to art school, so I'm making up for lost time.