For Macworld 2011 in San Francisco, I was invited to deliver a talk about the creation of digital artwork. As part of my talk I produced 2 paintings which were printed as large posters and displayed at the entrance of the main conference hall. The following year I was asked if I could again produce a painting especially for Macworld 2012.
My initial idea for the painting was to depict a futuristic female super hero with a dramatically light San Francisco background. I had a clear vision of the colors that I wanted to use in the painting, so I used the Adobe Ideas iPad app and my NomadBrush stylus to begin sketching compositions for the painting.
After arriving at the final composition for the piece, I asked my friend Jayne Beesley if she would help me out by being my lighting reference model. Using 2 iPads as colored lights, I staged a series of photographs to help guide me when painting the female hero.
I imported my final sketch from Adobe Ideas into Adobe Photoshop and scaled it appropriately. Then, on a separate layer I blocked in the basic colors of the painting. Once the basic features emerged, I removed the sketch layer and continued working.
In a separate document I began painting the San Francisco background which was based on a series of photographs that I had taken on a previous visit to the city. I started by making a series of building silhouettes and arranged the shapes to fill the available space in the painting. I isolated each building in a layer group and one at a time painted in details such as windows and roof tops.
After the city was complete I imported the image as a layer into the main painting and inserted it between the sky and the female super hero layers. I experimented with the color of the buildings to match the red and yellow lighting and used a mask to fade out the furthest buildings. To finish the piece I added details such as the glow from the sunset and the light from the top of the Transamerica building.
Macworld / iWorld 2012
The final painting was printed on to a 6 foot squared board and displayed at the entrance of Macworld / iWorld 2012 in San Francisco.