In our last post I shared some drawings I’ve been doing recently for a personal project on monsters. Today I’d like to share with you some of the color work from the series!

The series is called Monster-of-the-Month, and each month I have a little sketch and a title that I work on.  As I mentioned in the last post, I have about 2000 of these little sketch ideas (most of which were envisioned while watching my toddlers dismantle the living room). Eventually I’d like to paint them all to the level of finish here… sooooo if medical science could just overcome a few odd life expectancy hurdles for me that’d be great…

Since there are about 2,000 that I want to paint, I decided to tackle these figures by drawing them traditionally and coloring them digitally, as that is the fastest way I can work while still enjoying the look and feel of the final product. While the method I am using to color these monsters is digital, the general approach is rooted in something very much like my traditional watercolor method.

Basically: tone the lines and figure, lay in some transparent washes, and then add highlights over everything.

I started the series purely as a personal exercise as something to sharpen my skills against. And something that also serves as a nice break between client jobs. My initial goal was to keep the work time for each down to about 5 hours. This was a fun goal (like doing 2,000 of these), a little unrealistic perhaps….  The best I’ve gotten is around 7 hours on one of them. Most I am still spending more like 10 to 12 hours on.  (In my defense I really love painting creatures! So I tend to get lost in the final few hours just noodling around and adding little bits here and there, totally forgetting about the clock. I still think I can hit this goal one day!)

I am not totally certain where I will go with all of these guys, but at the moment I’m not too worried about it. I am just really enjoying working on them and can feel improvement from when I began the series early on. I’ve always been a fan of artists undertaking personal projects for this reason. I personal projects sharpen you, and keep you sharp, and most importantly, still in love with your craft.  One of the best bits of advice that was given to me early on was to approach painting like a full time job. If you don’t have work, make work up and paint for a certain number of hours every day. Eventually, you will improve, you will enjoy what you are doing, and paying work will find you.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour! I hope to share more monsters with you all soon.