Process Work: Dark Phoenix

She took me some time, but I’m very happy with how well Jean Grey aka Phoenix in her Dark form turned out! I had a few people ask, so I thought I’d walk through the process for a mixed media piece like this.

Step 1: Pencil and ink

Pencil then line work using black ink.

I make a point to start out with a soft blue lead for easier erasing and cleaner lines when scanning. Then, I go over the piece with ink. I kept the focus on Jean, so that meant thicker lines for her and placeholder lines for the Phoenix rising behind her.

I let it dry for a few days so the wet mediums won’t smear the line work.

Step 2: Shading

Slowly adding ink wash to the background makes the foreground stand out.

I’m old school, so I prefer a slow, steady buildup of ink wash for a gradual shading. I didn’t want solid black, but I did want variation. A little ink with water and it’s a series of wash, dry, repeat until the background is dark enough. I let this dry for a day once it was to my liking.

Step 3: Copic Markers

Copic markers are what the professionals use for a reason. I didn’t understand why until I bought some.

I wanted Jean to have a classic comic book look in the foreground with a rage of emotion behind her in the form of phoenix fire. This meant coloring and blending with copic markers. I also went over the flames in the background to deepen the textured layers.

Step 4: Watercolor

I used Dr. Ph Martin’s Hydrus watercolors in Gamboge and Chrome Yellow to add more depth and dimension to the flames.

Step 5: Shimmer and Shine!

Shiny watercolors go on like a gel and give an impressionistic, spontaneous feel to the piece.

Fnally, Coliro Pearlescent Watercolors have the final touch. I used the Earth Tones pallet.

And that’s it! I hope you found this helpful and/or informative!

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