By Justin Gerard
A Stone Cold 4’x6′ Underpainting!  
Since this is a night scene I am starting out with colder colors, but I’m still working monochrome.  Usually I work in monochromatic browns because they are so friendly to work over top of. 
Blues, and colder tones in general, can get tricky for me.  But for certain circumstances I really need to start out with cold or at least grey tones.  Otherwise I am just going to spend too long working backwards to get where I want to go. 
And yes, that is a fireplace behind the painting.  The old studio was too small for this one so we had to take the show to the living room. 
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. And if those two lazy, freeloading cats of mine want to lay in front of a nice, warm fire, then they will just have to go get jobs like the rest of us and maybe then they can buy their own fireplace. 
Then they could contribute to society for once in their miserable lives.  

This is me in front of a nice, warm fire.  CONTRIBUTING.  

The colors I am using here are mostly warms, which by contrast helps to pull the figures out from the background. It is one of my favorite parts of using a colder palette.

The Gryphon. 

Ever see that BBC Natural World documentary on Harpy Eagles? They are crazy looking animals and I love them.

However, much as I love them, I need to push the gryphon’s value intensity back some here.  He is a major part of the story, but I kind of want him to be more in the shadows. So that it makes more sense that the dwarves didn’t see him when they walked in.

These are the times when I miss all my digital tricks…

It is about 90% finished. I will have a really nice photo of the final version next time!