Painting Ms. Dorothy


I was working on a “LIZARD OF OZ” job and whenever there is high concept involved I have to do a LOT of fast, throwaway sketches to figure things out. Most of these quick ideas never see the light of day… but there was something about that little gecko in the ruby red slippers. Sadly, she did not make the final cut for the illustration, but she kept looking at me with those great big lizard eyes and I just could not toss her into the trash can with everyone else… so I gave her a coat of paint and deposited her right outside of Emerald City.


I recorded my digital painting process and you can see it in the video below.

Thanks again to my youngest son for letting me use his original music for this video… even though he was not aware that he was letting me use his original music for this video. And if you would be ever so kind Pete, could you please send me some more of your original music so I can use it without your permission in future videos?

4 Comments on “Painting Ms. Dorothy

  1. Wow! Your process fascinates me, and it is beyond cool to get this chance to kind of ‘look over your shoulder’ as you’re creating!
    I’m slightly baffled, though, by all the hand-coloring of that chartreuse matte you carefully painted around Dorothy — where did it go? since in the finished piece she has a nice white outline around her, and no chartreuse in sight!
    Thanks so much for posting this video . . . and Pete’s music worked perfectly with it!

  2. I’ve been a fan since your NIV kids Bible. Very cool to see your prices on this video! Did you seriously flatten all of it down there at the end?. Sometimes my illustrations have quite a few layers, but I usually group them together so they are fairly clean looking in the layer stack. I always have the option of pulling the linework back out or bringing back my flat color selections. Then again, my art takes a long time and I bet it might go faster if I went ahead and flattened everything regularly… Less to worry about. I’d love to hear how you economize your layers. Thanks! Your email newsletters are great.

    • Hi Matt. I use a lot of layers, too… but when I finish a picture I typically flatten the file so I don’t have a humongous Photoshop file taking up computer storage space… plus I hardly ever go back and rework old art for any reason, so no need for me to keep it separated into layers. I’ll see if I can do a post on this subject sometime in the future.

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