We caught up with Patrick Brown, where he discussed his work, why drawing fan art changed everything, and how he transferred from being a graphic designer to a full-time digital artist working for Marvel!

Watch full tutorial and find out more on Patrick Browns design process!

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

I’m an Australian artist living in Tasmania. I’ve been drawing all my life and am a big fan of video games, TV and movies so I had a lot of material that I wanted to draw. I built up a gallery on DeviantArt and started to build a following over time

I put up a piece of fan art for Guardians of the Galaxy, and not long after that I got an email from Marvel offering me a job! I jumped at the chance and eventually left my graphic design job to become a full-time digital artist. I’ve now been working for Marvel for 6 years. It really is a dream working on lots of exciting projects

Can you give any tips on how to improve your drawing skills?

Make it fun and exciting so that you stay focused and motivated. I get really excited about fan art. If I’ve finished playing a video game and it’s got me hyped and I’m in the zone, I’ll put that energy into my art. I make sure what’s happening in the picture is exciting and dramatic. I don’t find still poses very exciting so I prefer to use intense action poses. Fan art keeps me really interested and it’s also great knowing you’re creating something someone else is going to love.

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Can you explain how you go about sketching?

A good sketch is integral to creating good art. Digital sketching works for me as I find it more efficient and easier. To get the setup and composition, I start in Photoshop where I complete all the rough sketching. When everything needs to be polished and made sharper, I move to Clip Studio Paint.

There are 3 stages to sketching:

1. Rough stage – I’ll start with a really rough sketch getting the proportions right and creating the dynamic pose.
2. Refinement stage – I’ll create new layers and just keep adding details and cleaning it up with every layer. I keep building on the rough sketch until I have something more solid and clean. I’m a perfectionist so I don’t like it messy and just keep tightening it up. 
3. Ink stage – This is where I refine and create perfect outlines. I transfer it into Clip Studio Paint because it’s crisper and cleaner. I look at every single stroke and make sure it’s smooth and clean and has the right motion. I use undo a lot until I’m totally happy that one stroke is perfect before moving on to the next.

How long would a piece take to create?

The fan art clash piece of the Witcher going up against Hellboy would take one day from complete sketch to fully inked. Rendering, colouring and shading would then take about the rest of the week. The Last of Us Part II picture below took about two weeks in total.

You can check out Patrick’s work on Patreon:  where he shares the stages of his work including sketches and timelapses.

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About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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