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Gary Oldman Half Zombified Step by Step from "haasje dutchairbrush"

Discussion in 'Step by Step' started by WhiteKnight, May 28, 2014.


  1. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight Code Dragon Slayer Admin

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    With the permission from haasje dutchairbrush I am posting this step by step, taken from his W.I.P thread here: http://www.airbrushforum.org/works-progress-finished-artworks/9892-gary-oldman-well-sort.html

    I will start out by showing you the finished piece :


    15-05-14 Edit, finished piece:


    [​IMG]

    From here on I will let Haasje's post do the talking (part 1):

    - I had a discussion with a friend a while back how cool it would be to have Gary Oldman on The walking dead (he's one of my favorite actors). Going through some old pics today I found an old photo of him where he looked pretty scary. Thinking back to that conversation I thought it would be pretty cool to make him a zombie :smug:.

    Now this is not something that a lot of people will like as a picture (I already know what my mommy will say :witless:) but I know my fellow airbrushers will appreciate how much fun it will be to paint this one. As it is really some self-indulgence for me I'm not going to worry too much about the portrait part so if it's still going to look like Gary Oldman when I'm finished I'm not sure :joyous: but I'm very much looking forward to the zombie part.

    In photoshop I merged the portrait with a zombie screenshot. Unfortunately I couldn't find a good zombie face with the same light as the portrait so that is something I'll have to watch-out for while doing this one (will have to make sure not to get distracted by the reference)

    I'm now working on the 1st layer which is done in E'tac skin tone. This layer is where I map out the initial grey tones and textures. With the textures, certainly at this stage (as it will dictate all the other layers) it is important to keep a close eye on the direction of them as that and the shadows for a large part are responsible for the illusion of depth and form. This is mostly freehand though I made a little stencil with a lot of small holes for the pores. I think I'll go over the top with the textures and highlights on this one, just because it's fun and I can :joyous:

    As a lot of the texture will also be added in the next layer (erasing) I'm making sure every thing is hit by at least a little paint.

    [​IMG]

    - The skin-tone layer is done.

    On the zombie part of the face I started with the next step, erasing. For this I mainly used an eraser pencil and blended the highlights into the darker area's with the soft side of the pencil. With the hard side I picked out the highlights and did some scribing in the darker areas. After that I picked out the lightest highlights and went in with an electrical eraser. When doing the scribing thingy you'll notice that textures automatically start to form. With the soft side of the eraser pencil I worked those a bit into the dark and where I thought it would look good I made an highlight with the electrical eraser.

    I'm still working pretty rough but will get more tight and detailed as I get further along in the layers.

    Going to finish this step and than 1st do the background. There are hairs in the face which I'll need to start taking into account in the next steps and the overlap the background so that needs to be in first. It will also give me the chance to correct the proportions of the face a bit.

    Btw the zombie part is really fun to do :joyous:

    [​IMG]

    - While working on the painting I came to realize that the shape of the zombie face didn't match that of mr Oldman (just completely oversaw that while doing the reference). Even though this is just a "fun project" and the ultimate goal isn't to get a nice crispy 100% Gary Oldman portrait I do want to make at least an attempt to have the final picture to vaguely resemble him. I made a mask of the left side of the face and used this to mark how the shape roughly should be. In the chin/neck area I just used the mask to make the jaw line dark and blended the part that used to be jaw into the neck with some erasing (pretty easy as this is a zombie :)). What I painted too much on the right side I removed with an electrical eraser. Any traces of the skin-tone that are left will be easily removed as that is going to be a pretty dark area.

    After that I first completed the erasing (texture) in the portrait part. Next I roughly filled the background and clothing to get a better idea of the "feel" of it all. I'll also need the darker area's around the face when I get to the next erasing layer.

    [​IMG]

    With the 1st layer of texture done It's time to define the light and dark a tad for which I use sepia (love this part as all of a sudden you get the depth in the painting). I use a very reduced sepia as I want to carefully create my dark area's and don't want too much of this color in the highlight areas. In the dark area's I also do some detail texture work. For a normal painting I probably would have used burnt Umber for this and the sepia only for the real dark and colder areas but I think using sepia will give him a less healthy look in the end (as is a zombie :)). I'll use the umber to do some detail and shadow when I'm done with the sepia though.

    [​IMG]

    - I continued to do the rest of the piece with sepia. In the zombie part this took a bit longer as I had to do a lot more detail work with it there. As with the face part I did use the sepia to shade larger area's but stayed clear of the highlights.

    [​IMG]

    Now its time to add some color to mr oldman (the reference of the face is black and white so this part I'm just making up from what I know will work from earlier portraits I did). With a very reduced brick red ocher (2 water 2 base 1 paint) I softly layered some color. I hit the whole face with it but was careful to hit the lighter areas only softly to give them just a hint of color and warm it up a bit. In the darker/shadow areas with a lot of sepia I went in several times to get a more natural transition from the sepia to the skin tone.

    In the zombie part I applied it generously as that has to be "reddish" but steered clear from the parts I want to remain skintoned (only hit them a tad).

    Next I went in with yellow ocher I used this a bit random in some places just to have a bit of color difference going on.

    For the zombie part I next went in with illustration blood red (2 red, 2 water, 2 base). I have to admit I have never been a big fan of Createx paints (one could almost say I was the opposite of it :)) but the illustration line is (for me) working very good. I was rather generous in applying this as ... well it's a zombie :).

    I'm now contemplating the next step. Normaly I'd now white wash it all after getting out the highlights again but I'm tempted to experiment a tad and go to the darks straight away and apply the white wash only to the lighter parts after that.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  2. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight Code Dragon Slayer Admin

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    (Part 2):

    - I patched up the highlights and added a lot more texture. I found out that by verry carefully using a knife in the darker area's I could lighten stuff a tad without going to the white which enabled me to do some more detailed texture in the dark area's (one's never too old to learn :)). The electrical erazor was used for the real hard highlights and in the verry light area's I also used the knife again. The midtones were done with the erazor pencil and knife. On the zombie part I mainly used the erazor pencil. With the hard side I made the initial highlight and faded it a tad with the soft side. For the real bright spots I used the electrical erazor.

    [​IMG]

    Before white washing I added some blue to the eye to give it its color and frigled in some detail with transparant white (before I reduced it for the white wash). Next I took transparant white (1 white, 3 water, 2 base) and went over the face to pull it all a bit together. As the zombie part is alowed to be a bit shiny/wet I added some white to hit it a tad harder.

    [​IMG]

    As I wanted to add some more color I next too shading blue (reduced a lot again) and added a bit of blue to the transition area between the face and the zombie part. I also used it in the shadow area around and underneath the eye (just hit it a tad with it) In the zombie part I used in the dark areas and gave the parts that were still fleshtone a very light layer.

    Now its time to do the detail and dark work. For the next pic I used burnt umber on the face part to do the shadows and details. I make verry sure not to get anywhere near the lighter area's with this. I havent gotten around to the zombie part here yet.
    This pic was taken with an actual camera colors represent the real piece a lot better, also to give a better idea of the textures I made it a close up.

    [​IMG]

    - Brute force repair time :witless:

    In the zombie part (as with the neck/jawline) I didn't take into account mr Oldmans face and I was a tad annoyed with the fact the shape of the eye didn't match that of the portrait, also the nostril was way bigger. As this is just meant as a little fun for me I at first decided to live with it, but on second thought I thought this might be a nice opportunity to show how easy it is to repair stuff when one is not afraid of it.

    Thankfully I did place the eye of the zombie in the right spot (used the normal portrait and placed the zombie part over it aligning it on the right eye) so I could just work from that.

    1. With an electrical eraser I removed all paint in the spot I wanted to repair. I cut out the shape I wanted out of Mylar and used that as a mask to erase against so I wouldn't damage the eye itself (and it gives more control over the shape as that can be a bit of a challenge with an electrical eraser). As I need to do some texture and highlights later on I made very sure I went completely back to the white of the board and had no traces of paint left.

    2. With the eraser pencil I softened up the edges of the electrical erased part. After that I went in with skin tone (from here on I'm just following the steps I used up until now).

    3. With sepia I brought back the shadows and shapes.

    4 I added the colors as I did before and used erasers to bring back the highlights.

    [​IMG]

    - After repairing the eye and nostril I first wanted to finish the facial hair as when I get to the darkest color I'll also use that to blend in the hair a tad so it has to be done for that. Some how I ended up finishing the details in the eyes first though. I added the eyelashes with the airbrush and used a knife to add some highlights to them and patch up the highlights in the eye area where I felt it would look good.

    For the hair I first added some yellow ocher to the hair just to give it some more color. After the next texture layer it won't show much but it would show if I didn't do it (would be a tad bland color-wise)

    [​IMG]

    Next I did the individual hairs again. I first went roughly over it with an eraser pencil to blend everything a tad and than used the electrical eraser for the individual hairs

    [​IMG]

    With burnt umber I shaded the hairs again and gave it some more depth where needed. I also made sure to lightly hit the surrounding skin to give the illusion of shadow and blend it a bit. As especially in the zombie part there were some individual hairs really standing out I came up with a nice method to blind them a bit. I airbrushed a thin line underneath the hair. This created a nice shadow for the hair while the over-spray gave it some color. This is pretty time consuming though (I'd kill myself if I needed to do a furry critter like that :)), but a very nice method for individual hairs that stand out a bit. After that I used a knife to do some individual highlight hairs. It's been said before but when doing hairs make sure that there are some random hairs going on and they don't all go in the same direction for a more natural look.

    [​IMG]

    For the final detail I added some black to the umber left in the cup of my airbrush. I used this to hit the really dark area's and do some detail shadows. Rule of thumb here is don't hit anything that hasn't been hit 100% by the sepia or umber from the layers before. You only want to use this to create a transition from dark to really dark or some small details. Using this in lighter areas will look like very ugly over-spray.

    Face and zombie part are now more or less done. there will be some minor tweaking when the hair is done.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  3. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight Code Dragon Slayer Admin

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    (Part 3):

    - The hair was a bit of a challenge. On the reference (which was black and white) there were almost no mid-tones, it was either black or very light. This meant I had to "wing it" a bit as just painting a black blur around him just wouldn't do it.

    As I did want to stick as much as possible to the reference I made a mask for the left side of the face as that was going to be near black and I didn't want any over-spray on the skin area. I marked out the eye area on the mask so it would be easier to place it correctly.

    [​IMG]

    With a mic of burned umber and a bit of black I mapped out the initial shape of the hair. After that I did some detail with an eraser pencil and the electrical eraser. As it all is going to be pretty dark I didn't spend too much time on detail. To give it some more color I ten went over it with brown ocher.

    [​IMG]

    Next I went in with a near black and did individual hairs (a lot of long dagger strokes) and shaded / blended a bit where needed. this time I even remembered to take out a black watercolor pencil to do the little hairs you see against the background in the neck area. After putting those in with the pencil I slightly went over them with the airbrush as they are out of focus. I also used the color to make a tad harder shade on the skin where needed.

    [​IMG]

    Next I went in with an eraser pencil to do some of the out of focus or less sharp detail hairs. With a knife I did some of the detail hair. As this is pretty dark hair I tried not to over do that (which is hard for me as I find this such a cool effect :)). I used the trick I found out earlier on while doing the textures. While doing the hairs I softly scraped the hair out so I went back to layers before it, not creating a hard white line. Only in the highlight parts of the hair did I go back to the white.

    Next I used the knife to do some detail work (facial hair) on the edges of the face (couldn't do this before as I needed the dark of the hair for that).

    [​IMG]

    Next I redid the neck area a bit, while doing this I added a bit of red to the zombie part of the face. I was planning on making it a lot redder (bloodier) but waited till the hair was finished so I'd get a better idea of the balance. I noticed I couldn't get away with too much red as that would draw too much attention to the right side (grey-scales would shift as the red would make it seem darker).

    Unfortunately I forgot to take pics of the progress of the clothing. If there are any questions about that feel free to ask and I'll try to answer them.

    This project was an awful lot of fun to do almost (almost!) wish it wasn't finished yet :tickled_pink:

    Finished piece (sun shone actually managed to get a decent pic of it colors are pretty close to the real pic):

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
    mauro and jord001 like this.
  4. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Astonishing, but that's Haasje's middle name, lol, Damn nice of you to take the trouble WK, I don't know what Mitch is paying you but your definitely earning it, lol
    haasje dutchairbrush likes this.
  5. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Thanks for the step by step and how to fix mistakes as you go .great job on the zombie/man transisions
    haasje dutchairbrush likes this.
  6. fatbobrider

    fatbobrider Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    DUDE!!!!!!!! that is truly amazing work. my hat goes off to your sir for that post and to your mate for this artistic skills.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
    haasje dutchairbrush likes this.
  7. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    For all those who do not know WhiteKnight took it upon his self to over see the Step by Step /Wip section to aid us in having a better Step by Step section on the forum.
    Many thanks WhiteKnight for do this .

    haasje dutchairbrush many thanks for taking the time to make this and show others how you go about making such Killer art.
  8. MeeshellMP

    MeeshellMP Goddess Queen of carts Mod

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    Yes, thanks white knight, for taking time to post this. Always awesome to see the step by steps!!
    haasje dutchairbrush likes this.
  9. airbrushtutor

    airbrushtutor Love Spreading Overseer Admin

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    Massive thanks to both @haasje dutchairbrush for the record of the work in progress and such valuable information and also a big thanks to @WhiteKnight for bringing it all together in a step by step :)
  10. beanpoleuk

    beanpoleuk Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Tottaly agree Mitch.

    This forum just gets better and better
    airbrushtutor likes this.

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