One of my favorite things on the internet are art tutorials. This is my little contribution to the genre. Except, I'm calling mine a "procedural," because I'm not sure anyone should tutor themselves in my process. See, despite years and years of art school, I didn't take a class that was actually about how to paint until I was well into my freelance career. So, in my ignorance, I cobbled together a relatively consistent way of making my way through a painting. It works for me, but there are probably much smarter ways to go about it.
This particular painting is not a commission. This is my little way of celebrating the end of the McGraw-Hill jobs. That had kept me so busy that I hadn't really painted for the past two years. As a result, I've been a bit fiddlier with this painting than usual. This is partly because I'm a little rusty, partly because I'm self-concious about presenting it as a tutorial, but mostly because I'm just having too danged much fun playing with the colorful wet stuff.
Here's a quick sketch, drawn out on xerox paper. Why xerox paper? 'Cuz it's cheap, and plentiful, and quality is not an issue at this stage.
Costume reference, and inspiration. How could I resist drawing a get-up like this?
A xerox of my xerox, which then becomes a value study with the application of a little more pencil. I would normally do this on the original sketch, but I was working at school, so it wasn't much effort to make a copy. This preserved the original as a line drawing, which will be useful at the next stage.