Imagine FX – Ashley Wood Article

It was recently brought to my attention that the current (February 2011) issue of concept art/digital art magazine Imagine FX ran an article on to how to emulate Ashley Wood’s painterly style using the custom brushes and techniques provided by the magazine.

I set out to acquire this article for myself.

Imagine FX - Ashley Wood Article Page 1

Imagine FX - Ashley Wood Article Page 2

What I discovered from this article was very much the same as I had found from research and this was that the images are all about the under drawings, followed by the blocking out of colour underneath. After this it is all about using complementary tones to pull the whole image together.

As you are going along its important to use texture brushes to develop that oil painting look and at the end use a textured brush stamp to go around the painting to add more to the illusion of the paints texture. It’s important to make sure that you don’t over do the same stamp so it becomes obvious it’s not a natural brush stroke.

As I don’t have time for a proper Oil Painting this will be the technique I will use when creating my Ashley Wood image.


Spicy Horse and Grimm’s Fairytales.

While not originally mentioned as one of my inspirations when I undertook this project, other influences are never a bad thing.

Image: A picture depicting Grimm's artstyle

Spicy Horse, is a small games company who recently did a bunch of episodic games based on Grimm’s Fairy-tales, I found their art style to be appealing and tried to emulate it in one of my other modules this went rather successfully and I hope to do a piece in this style for this project to.

Image: A more painterly piece, showing the games style

What I like about this games style is its blend of Gothic and cute, using bold geometric shapes to flesh out characters, I also enjoy the simple vector-Esq colouring style.

Sketches – Ben Templesmith

Below are my own images in which I spent time looking through ‘Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse’ just doodling things that grabbed my attention. I then threw them into Photoshop and tried to digitally add a watercolour painted look. Some of the images I added a photo background as is common in alot of Ben Templesmith’s comic books. Some of the these were more successful than other but overall I am pleased with the results.

The majority of these images are inspired by ‘Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse 5’ ‘It only hurts when i pee’ Part 1

Ben Templesmith style 'Bouncer'

(link to photo ref)

Ben Templesmith Style 'Crusader'

(link to photo ref)

Ben Templesmith Style 'Revolutionary Soldier'

Ben Templesmith Style 'Leprachaun'

Assorted Doodles

Necromancer – Mike Krahulik style attempt

I recently completed a piece of work in the style of Mike Krahulik. While I used his techniques for creating the line work I deviated with the colour work, when I create my final image in the style of Mike Krahulik I will stick ridgedly to the solid colours applied tightly.

Necromancer Final Version

Necromancer Digital Lines

Original Necromancer Lines

The above images shows the different stages of the images in reverse order. The top image is the finalised image, the middle image is the digital lines draw over the original ink lines which are shown on the bottom image. This shows my experimentation with Mike Krahulik’s methods.

More Penny Arcade Sketches

Here are some more developed sketches trying to emulate Mike Krahulik’s style. Again pencil/crayon with an Ink brush pen, I hope to get some drawings into PS soon and try his digital Inking style.

Image: Sketch of a cartoon Luchadore

Image: A sketch of an old biker

While this images are looking closer to the Penny arcade style, especially the eyes on the Biker. They still aren’t quite there I am hoping this will all be rectified when they are digitally inked and coloured.

Dissertation Ideas – New Page Added

While my goal of the Pre-production module was not to develop an idea to form the basis of  my dissertation it was to  develop an art-style for which to complete my dissertation in. I have however been inspired bu the research I have completed and started to formulate an idea of what I want to do for it.

Heres a link to a new page I created on the Blog that gives an outline of the idea.

It’s also these characters I will be using when I create the finalised images to help me get a feel for which style I want to use for this future project.

Ashley Wood – Technique

While there are many ‘tutorials’ on the internet claiming to teach you how to paint like Ashley Wood, none of them are by the artist himself and are very inaccurate. Alot of the people posting these tutorials are under the impression that all of his work are digital matt paintings. They couldn’t be further from the truth, he is a fine artist who embraces all methods for creating images, as shown in the below interview with ‘ComicBookResources’.

Image: An example of Ashley Wood's oil on canvas paintings

An Interview in 2001 with ‘ComicBookResources’ where Ashley Wood discusses his technique.

KG: What kinds of materials, methods, etc. do you use for a painting?

AW: This is the million dollar question and there isn’t an easy answer, and I’m not being evasive. I use everything from watercolors, oil paint, pen and ink, computers, and digital photography. I literally use it all and always in different combinations. Of course all will be revealed in my Bob Ross style videos in which I will teach you to create any of my images with a fucking giant house brush and three primary colors.


One of the best ways to gather information on how Ashley Wood creates his art is to follow him on his blog.

Here he posts daily updates on the projects he is working and what he is using to create them.

From following him on his blog and reading his interviews I have deciphered the following techniques:

Oil on Canvas
Ashley uses to Oil paints on canvas to create, images with a ‘speed painting look’ on his blog he comments that ‘Pushing the paint around, searching for the right feel, trying not to draw with it !’ (source)

Image: Ink sketch in preperation for an oil piece

Image: The resulting oil painting from the Ink sketch

Ink and Watercolour
Ashley seems to use Ink for sketching things out in preperation for an oil painting (see above). The exception seems to be when he is creating artwork for comic books, where he combines his Ink with digital colouring and overlaying other effects digitally, such as benday dots.


Image: An Ink and Watercolour sketch

Image: Ink with digital after effects