“Maleficent” Painting Process

I did something outside of my usual paintings: I made a fanart for a gallery show. This piece was done for La Bodega’s Disney theme show. I picked Maleficent because I’ve always liked her character as a kid (so scary!) and wanted to see if I could play with the design. A lot of the inspiration for my version was inspired by Final Fantasy 8’s villain Edea, another witchy character that had some rad features (even if the game was underwhelming).

Beginning stages: Digital sketch and color study

Maleficent digital sketch

I start my paintings mostly in photoshop these days. It helps to make really bad gestures without crumbling a bunch of paper. You can see some of my initial layers in previous other colors before I started to round out the final sketch.

Maleficent digital color study

Now to figure out the colors! This was easy since the film provided a rich reference to work from. I used the color schemes from where she was surrounded by green fire and played with that for the background. Those moments in the movie were the most exciting for me.

Transfer and paint!

Maleficent sketch transfer

Troubleshooting: This is where it got tricky. After transferring the sketch by projector that I was having difficulties getting the details the way I wanted. The sketch barely registered on the panel and there was some distortion. I haven’t figured out if there is a minimum size limit to the projector or if my image wasn’t high enough quality, but I settled for what worked. The darker parts of the sketch are where I had to fix looking at the file on my monitor as reference.Maleficent beginning paint stages

From there you can see my descent into choas. The painting got lost for a long time in the ugly duckling stage. I also lost on getting the skin tone to match my digital color study, which was so much darker than planned. C’est la vie.

Final stages

Maleficent middle paint stages

I finally hit a turning point! Ugly duckling no more! My biggest salvation was referring to artists more talented than I for how they resolved modeling the face. It really helped save my butt and made a difference in the portrait.

Maleficent final image and society6 products

Here is the final result! Sadly the painting did not sell, but it made a beautiful gift for my neice. I did list it on Society6 if you are interested. It looks great on the phones and stickers!


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