Firstly I do a quick pass with a broad house painters brush that has been lightly dipped in water. This removes any excess graphite, and sufficiently fixes what is left in place. I then started painting from back to front, concentrating on the background first. I had already decided on a palette choice; oranges complimenting blue.
The figures were going to provide enough 'fussiness', and already had their costuming dictated to me, so I kept the buildings relatively simple, letting the sky add more drama and draw attention to the Elemental.
Keeping control of my value range I build up the darker shades in the foreground buildings, whilst adding detail. Note the escutcheons on the building which echo my original Elemental concept.
Again working back to front I start on the figures.
As I progress through the figures they receive a base wash of local colour. This acts as a simple underpaint, and helps me check the palette as I go.
The left foreground figure is a strong contrast to the rest of the picture due to his intense green and red clothing. This in part why he was chosen to be the focus for the action. The viewers first attentions should be drawn to the Elemental and then the main protagonist.
I start rendering the elemental by building up washes. I wanted some of that background sky to show through the water of his 'body'.
This was my working space. I accumulated a range of different reference to help me get the right water effect I was looking for. Note as well that I have rotated the entire painting. I often do this when I have a strong tilt in the perspective. I find it helps compensate against a natural inclination to bring elements back to a vertical.
The final as scanned in and presented to the Art Director.
At this point I email off a low resolution file for approval, and wait for a reply. Usually that is the painting over, but not always...
... find out what was to come in Part III.