"Metal Dreams" color composition fantasy art
Color composition rough of "Metal Dreams" by Rene Arreola

Pencil Sketch (Concept Phase)

“Metal Dreams” is an excuse for me to paint something metallic and integrate it into the human form. This initial sketch was done with the purpose of including it in my 2023 Fantasy Art Realm calendar.

This sketch you see here will be updated as I progress on this painting. One of the crazy things I’m going to be doing is working on several paintings for my 2023 calendar simultaneously.

All of this while I’m working on my Realm Ethereal online comic and soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter campaign for my Realm Ethereal art book “The Book of Dreams”. It should be fun and hectic all at the same time. 

Metal Dreams pencil rough drawing
“Metal Dreams” pencil rough sketch by Rene Arreola.


Below is the first video time-lapse of my initial drawing for this painting. Check back often for more updates on this blog post until the final image is completed.


Blocking in Half Tones in Grayscale (Value Study Phase)

UPDATE (August 15. 2022): I resumed work on the preliminary drawing. Blocking in some values gives me an idea of how I will approach the painting.

With the composition in place, and this value map starting to take shape, I can now start thinking about refining the drawing.

Metal Dreams fantasy art female figure value study
“Metal Dreams” grayscale block-in phase by Rene Arreola


Below is a time-lapse video showing me mapping out a grayscale plan before going to the final drawing and, ultimately, the final color illustration.


Color Composition Phase

UPDATE (8-30-22): The next phase of this painting is to work up a color composition. My goal is to work freely and loosely with the color as I explore even more depth within this painting.

While it’s important to work up a color composition that goes by the value map I established, I’m also aware that this is a stage where I will develop more expression. 

In fact, as I worked on this piece during the color composition phase, I felt little bits of expressive color wanting to be added throughout. It’s these moments during an exploration of color that new depths within the art begin to reveal themselves.

Below is a timelapse of me working in Photoshop as I work on the color composition.

"Metal Dreams" color composition fantasy art
"Metal Dreams" color composition study by Rene Arreola.
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