We asked Spanish illustrator Paco Rico Torres how to paint a hairy, tattooed arm. Here's what he had to say...
01. Start with the skin
I paint the skin, trying to emphasise the veins, the shape of the bones and skin imperfections (the skin spots are on a separate Multiply layer, which is convenient for painting the hair later on). There isn't too much detail on the arm because it's going to be covered with hair.
02. Getting hairy
Then I start to depict the hair, which involves me painting a greyish tone over the arm, and some brushstrokes to create the visual effect of hair pointing in one direction. Then I paint the hair outline on the arm and hand, and introduce some extra hair with thin brush strokes.
03. Ink time
I add the tattoos on a Multiply layer over the hair, and paint over them using further layers to integrate them better with the skin (some extra hair, some extra lights, for instance). Finally, I mix some textures and paste them over the image on a low Opacity Overlay layer.
Words: Paco Rico Torres
Paco is a freelance illustrator living in Spain who’s produced art for several card games, magazines, books and role-playing games. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 103.