WIP Montreal from Mont Royal during Sunset – 9 & Final Image


Here is the last stage of this image before the tape comes off. I wonder why I never take a photo of that step? It’s very enjoyable to watch.

City’s all painted in, the trees are at their last stage and drying…The sky I haven’t touched in a long time, but it’s done.

So, what’s left to do is refer you to the final image. Here it is.

Also, prints & products:


Astronomy Walkers Sketchbook Prop Final Image


So, the final image. Last step is usually to clean up, add last minute details, and spray the image down so it’s not going to deteriorate. This is when I make sure blacks and whites are true, and make sure no important lines are smudged or faded away.

I don’t have prints for sale of this because it’s a movie prop, work-for-hire, related to someone else’s creative property, so if a print interests you, let me know in the comments and I’ll clear it with the necessary person. If you like this style and want something similar, also let me know! I enjoy this kind of artwork.

Here is the final, cleaned-up scanned image on my website.


WIP Montreal from Mont Royal during Sunset – 8



UGH, this photo is AWFUL. I snapped it really quick, because I just wanted to get on with it. Now, this is what I have…

So in this amazing fast-action blurry photo, you can see I got far more of the buildings in and have been laying in shadows very slowly and carefully. Every time I am finished with a section, I add more to my trees. Some areas of this image are very difficult to decipher, as they are just shapes and vague in my photograph. Surely if I was there in person, I would have an easier time, but knowing myself I would get lost in the detail too.

WIP Astronomy Walkers Sketchbook Prop – 7


Now this one looks very different. In reality, I was running out of time. What I mean is: I had a set budget, and I had to work within it or at least not too far past it. The top was also much simpler, since it’s just drawing in branches, not drawing around branches. I also didn’t want it be become heavy and too busy. There has to be some light in the image, otherwise it’s night or the carriage really wouldn’t be so clearly visible.

Have fun at school, students :p


WIP Montreal from Mont Royal during Sunset – 7


Painted more of the city in. This is going by fairly quickly at this point, though it is a lot of tiny, thin lines and trying to control watercolour into rectangular shapes. I’m very glad I pencilled out the buildings, as this would be a nightmare trying to figure out simultaneously. It’s already hard enough making sure they are all straight.

This next photo is very similar, so I will just put it in this post:

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WIP Astronomy Walkers Sketchbook Prop – 6


So at this point, it would be almost a month after a surgery. I wonder how I am doing. Hopefully, this isn’t a creepy post where I am actually dead because dying is definitely a risk. Don’t worry, I won’t be dead – I am healthy as a horse.

Anyway, unsettling message aside, the changes in these images are smaller. What I mostly did was add an immediately foreground to push the image back further. I always try have at least 3 clear planes in my images, and I really enjoy distorted, slightly elevated perspectives. This is really what a lot of images look like in my head : slightly tilted from top down with unnatural angles visible.

Now, what’s really left is the top.


WIP Astronomy Walkers Sketchbook Prop – 5


Charcoal and charcoal pencils are not quite the same medium. It’s a lot harder to get a gradient happening with the pencil form, especially on sketch pad scale. Here, I am drawing in the shape of striped trees while creating a gradient towards the bottom of the image. Some of this is created by erasing and redrawing, which leaves a residue of charcoal for value. I tried using my white charcoal pencil to bring out some more branches, but unfortunately it picked up charcoal and made darker lines instead. Can’t always win!


WIP Montreal from Mont Royal during Sunset – 5



Ah, I hope this image makes up for the last photo – so much nicer!

Sky: I have darkened certain colours by adding more pigment. I really want the pink of the sunset to stand out. The deep shadow of the distant landscape didn’t quite feel dark enough for this kind of lighting either.

Buildings: Starting to separate them out by their distance from the viewer. Some glow brightly in the left-over sunlight. I’m having some difficulty integrating the purple with the foreground colours.

Trees: Building more layers of red, orange, green. Trying to give them texture by using salt and tonnes of water — too much water for this weight of paper.  I should’ve thought that through better.


WIP Astronomy Walkers Sketchbook Prop – 4


It’s generally easier to work from top to bottom, so that I don’t need to be cautious of smudging the artwork below. Also, the shape of the branches on the top dictates what the shape of the trees and shrubs will be at the bottom.

It takes a while, even with charcoal, to build up an intense black while keeping certain details white. It was fun isolating the white of the paper to make branches come out.