Category Archives: Digital Painting

[Video] 5 Tips for a Better Skin Color Palette

5 tips for better skin color palette header by Chris Legaspi
Skin color is one of my favorite things to paint.  It’s also one of the most requested topics I’ve encountered. The burning question I hear over and over again from students, friends and artists is: “How can I make a good skin color palette?”

Many artists and students struggle with skin color and rightfully so. Color is an incredibly complex animal that is difficult to control and must be handled with care. This is especially true when trying to paint skin color that feels “real”.  Even though color is tough, painting skin can be a lot of fun if you have the right information and the right strategies.

These 5 tips are my thoughts and ideas on the topic of skin color. These tips and strategies I’ve learned through hard earned experience and years of intensive study on color, along with hundreds of hours of painting practice.

Instead of giving you formulas or pre-made skin color palettes, my goal is to teach you how to see color and then show you a process for making your own skin color palette for any situation.

There are 3 main parts to this article. In Part 1, I’ll examine the properties of skin color, or at least how I see skin color at this stage in my painting career. This section will examine what I see when I observe skin and how I simplify the complexity of skin color.

In Part 2, I’ll explore the 5 Tips for mixing and painting better skin color. These are the techniques and strategies that I personally use when I paint.

In Part 3, there are 2 detailed step-by-step painting demonstrations. The first is a study of light skinned male. The second demo is of a dark skinned african female.

A condensed video form of this article , including the first painting demonstration is below.

The second, 1 hour painting demonstration of an African female portrait is available for free on my Private School newsletter page. See image below for the finished painting demonstration.

skin color palette african demo-final

To watch the full 1 hour painting demonstration and get access to even more exclusive content. Simply enter your email below to join.

If you want a more detailed breakdown of the 5 Tips and both painting demos, scroll down to read the full article…

PART1 – Properties of Skin Color

Property #1 – Red, Yellow, Blue

There is no such thing as a “skin” color. Skin color is essentially a combination of all 3 primaries: red, yellow and blue. That’s right. Red plus yellow plus blue. Sounds obvious and oversimplified, but allow me to elaborate.

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[VIDEO] Color Course Launch Update

The NEW official launch date for the full version of The Laws of Color Vol. 1 will be Monday, Nov. 9th, 2015. My apologies for the delay, but I wanted to pack in even more content in the Photoshop edition. This is going to be a very special course and will be absolutely worth the wait.

Until the launch, take this sneak peak at the oil painting demo in the video below:

Below are some screen caps from the course in both editions, traditional oil painting and Photoshop.

Traditional Painting 

color course preview screenshots

 

Photoshop Edition

preview_ps01

If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for the free newsletter and get your invite to the private pre-launch. Subscribers will be eligible to get the course on Friday, Nov. 6th, 3 days before the official launch.

To get your advance copy, simply enter your email below and click the blue button to subscribe.

NEW Color Course Pre-Launch Info

Coming in November, my brand new color course will be available on Gumroad.  The Laws of Color Vol. 1 is an exciting new course dedicated to color. This course is designed to take the fear and mystery out of color so students can paint directly in color with confidence. If you’ve been struggling  with color or are intimidated by color, this is the course for you.

The Laws of Color Vol. 1 is a self-study video course that will feature information packed lectures, step-by-step demonstrations and homework exercises. There are also many powerful bonus features including a detailed pdf guidebook, handouts and additional exercise videos.

color course sample image 1

 

Photoshop Section

For the first time, The Laws of Color Vol. 1 will be the first self-study video course to have lessons in both traditional painting mediums and digital. That’s right! This course will have section for Photoshop users. As a former Concept Artist and the current Digital Painting teacher at Gnomon, I see the need for good color information in today’s entertainment art world. The Laws of Color Vol. 1 will finally deliver exactly what students, designers and concept artists need to make beautifully colored digital paintings and designs.

color course sample image 2

 

Private Pre-Launch

The official release date is Monday, November 2nd. If you want to get an advanced copy, I’m going to offer the course  on Friday (October 30th)  before the official launch to my newsletter subscribers. That’s right, if you can’t wait until Monday you can get The Laws of Color Vol. 1 early and start learning and painting all weekend long.

All you have do is sign up for the free newsletter and you’ll be entered into the private pre-launch email list. Simply enter your e-mail below and click to blue button to join.

For the last 3 years, I’ve been personally obsessed with color and painting. I’ve gathered some powerful information and knowledge both from hard earned experience and by mentoring with some of the top artists and painters like Steve Huston and Nathan Fowkes. Now, I’m proud and excited to share the knowledge I’ve learned with artists and students like you.

You can see some examples of my recent color and painting work below:

For the latest updates and course information make sure to sign up for the newsletter and get the latest updates until launch. If you have any questions or comments about the course, please leave a comment below.

NEW Course! Shading Techniques in Photoshop


I’m proud to present this new and exciting course. Shading Techniques in Photoshop is simply the BEST course available on shading and rendering in Photoshop.

Students will learn how to shade and render their drawings using professional level techniques and strategies. Students will be guided through the shading process step by step by an expert instructor (that’s me :)). Along with the lectures and instructor demonstration, there are powerful handouts to help the students review as they go through the course.

For more, check the video trailer above or click here to go to the course page.

The course has over 2 hours(!) of video at 1080p HD! There’s also pdf handouts and other bonus items. This course is a tremendous value for the low price. Take your drawing and painting to the next level, get Shading Techniques and learn how to shade and render today!

Digital Painting Class Demos @ Gnomon School

gnomon school logo

Fall Term 2014 is in full effect at Gnomon School of Visual FX. I’m currently running 2 Digital Painting classes, Section 1 and Section 2 (Advanced). I wanted to share some demos I did during previous classes.

 

kaiju demo sketch by Chris Legaspi
This is a demo sketch of a Kaiju redesign from the Pacific Rim film. The topic of the lecture was rendering and lighting. The small thumbnail image in the upper left is a composition thumbnail. I always encourage students to take the time to plan and compose their drawings and paintings before they begin any finished painting.

facehugger design by Chris Legaspi
This was a demo from Summer term that I decided to take home and polish. The concept is my redesign of a Facehugger from the Aliens universe. I am a HUGE HR Giger fan. I feel that the original designs are so hard to top. I wanted to put my own unique spin by adding wings. What do you think?

If you want to take a Digital Painting class with me, registration for Winter Term will begin sometime in January 2015. Stay tuned to their website for details or subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest updates personally from me.

If you want to get a taste of what’s in the 10 week class in L.A., I have a new course on shading and rendering called Shading Techniques in Photoshop. It’s over 2 hours of video plus handouts and bonus materials. It’s a great self-study course and a good option for folks who can’t make it to the live class in Los Angeles.

Click here to go the Shading Course page

Prometheus Concept Art & Process

prometheus 2 environment design by Chris Legaspi

This is an imagined scene from the Prometheus universe. Since there are rumors of a sequel, I thought I’d concept a scene of explorers on planet “LV 223”. I was a huge Aliens and Giger fan growing up so I was very excited to see Prometheus. To me, the film looked incredible and had killer design. I hope they can keep that up and of course, I’m available to work on it if the studio needs from fresh blood for the concept team.

To see my process for making this concept piece, read below.

Concept Design Process

prometheus concept art process by Chris Legaspi

A. Thumbnail Sketch

The thumbnail is where I design the composition and composition is the foundation of picture making. I spend A LOT of time here designing and revising the composition.

B. 3D Elements

To get accurate perspective I created low poly 3D model of the ‘architectural’ structures. I matched the perspective of the concept sketch, then exported the model to be used in Photoshop.

C. Clean Line Art

Once I had the model and accurate perspective, I created a clean line drawing on a full sized canvas (about 5000 pix wide).

D. Texturing

I wanted a more ‘realistic’ look so I used a lot of photo ref for the texture. The textures also gave me a rough color palette which is quite ugly at this stage and needs some refining and balancing.

E. Balancing and Rendering

This stage is for rendering and refining, which is a slow and laborious process. It isn’t very pretty or dramatic but a lot of fun. Once the shapes and lighting felt good, I balanced the color and the values.

F. Polish & Eye Flow

Polish or finishing touches make the image look professional. I added details like figures and also subtle light and color accents. I also added various accents to move the eye and hold the eye in the picture.

 

Do you want to learn how to paint like this?

Well, you’re in luck! If you live in Los Angeles area, I’m teaching Digital Painting this fall term. It’s 10 weeks of hardcore training in painting fundamentals from a Professional Concept Artist who is also one of the most popular teachers in Los Angeles.

Read the post below or click the links for more info or to register:

 

Digital Paintings From Life

Recent digital paintings from live model sessions. Drawn and rendered in Photoshop using a Macbook Pro and Intuos 4 tablet.

This series was a unique learning experience. I learned a lot about getting edges and transitions using PS digital brushes. To be honest though, I prefer traditional oil. Something about the tactile quality, the immediacy and getting your hands dirty that makes it much more fulfilling.

digital painting of a female portrait

 

If you’re interested in learning Digital Painting or just improving your painting and photoshop skills, I am teaching Digital Painting this Summer term @ Gnomon School of Visual Effects. An ‘intro’ class is available online and the advanced section is on campus in Los Angeles.

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J.C. Leyendecker Hand Studies

One of the best ways I’ve found to develop my skills is to copy a master Artist. J.C. Leyendecker is the king of hands in my humble opinion. He also has really sexy edgework. Not a bad illustrator to emulate.

 

If you like his work or would like to know more about him. I recommend this great book available on Amazon at a good price. Full of gorgeous pictures and personal bio.