September 17, 2015

Riddick – Day 16 Challenge Painting

Day 16 already. This month has been flying by so fast! Having a focus and challenge to meet has been incredible. There are nights when I don’t feel like painting, but knowing I have a purpose keeps me focused and in the studio. And it’s good for the soul.

Riddick is a particular favourite of my husband’s. The character is almost an anti-hero, thrust into adventures without consent. Rising from the bottom of the heap to survive and even thrive. This painting comes from the third movie in the series, when Riddick has to cope against incredible odds to survive.

This has to be one of my fastest portraits done. No underpainting and the whole thing took about an hour. The lighting was gorgeous, diffused and soft yellows, reflections from the cave he was in.

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The drawing was quick and I immediately went into painting mid-tones. Now usually I work from dark to light or light to dark but the source material didn’t have that and was almost all mid-tones so I started there. Then I moved on to darker mid-tones, lighter mid-tones and so on.

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I hit a point where the painting needed visual balance. I could have left the background plain black. This was one of the canvases I primed myself, so the black was painterly and full of brush strokes, but it wasn’t enough.

When I paint, using layers, colour shows through and that’s the case here, even if it isn’t obvious in the photos. I painted browns, reds and yellows on the background and then covered it with loose and large strokes of black. It makes the black warmer and ensures that the character actually sits in his painting as a part of it rather than sitting on top.


There’s always the point where the colours have to be refined. Shadows need to be made multi-shaded. Eyes need highlights. The little things make all the difference.


You can see the detail above. I love looking at close ups of paintings. There’s so much more to see than just the subject painted; there are layers and details and textures. I didn’t smooth much out. Riddick is rough around the edges and so is his portrait.




Acrylic on canvas 

Want prints or the original? Hop on over to my store or contact me directly. I love it when my art finds a good home.

I’m currently in the midst of a 30 Paintings, 30 Days challenge! Follow along on Facebook,Twitter, and Tumblr to see the action as it happens. Want more info? You can check out the challenge here.