Painting Process: The Making of “Omens”

Painting Process: The Making of “Omens”

Hi, I’m Cynthia Sheppard. In this video I’m going to show you the process of how I made this painting, called “Omens.” Like most of my work, it began as a series of small thumbnails in my sketchbook. Once I had a clear idea of what I wanted the composition to look like, I shot reference photos for the female character and the drapery. Then, looking closely at the reference, I created this drawing using graphite, white charcoal, and india ink, to use as a foundation for the painting. After scanning in the drawing, I also made a colorized version in Photoshop to get an idea of how I wanted to use color throughout the whole composition. I’ll keep a printout next to my easel as I work. The final painting’s going to be 22 x 30 inches on illustration board which is bigger than the drawing, so I scaled it up in Photoshop and printed out a template in sections which you can do if you don’t have access to a large format printer. I put a sheet of tracing paper coated in charcoal behind the template and traced over the printed drawing with a hard lead pencil which transfers the most important lines of the drawing to my illustration board. After that, I used pencil to darken some of the lines. Then the drawing was ready to be sealed, starting with a coat of spray fixative and three or four coats of acrylic matte medium. After the medium dried, I was ready to start the acrylic underpainting. I’ll be using three colors in the underpainting: black, raw umber, and alizarin crimson. This will allow some warm tones to show through later when I’m working in oil. I’ll control the opacity of the acrylics by thinning them with water and matte medium and letting the white of the illustration board show through. From here I’ve sped up the video so you can watch the painting evolve. (music plays) I’ve chosen to use a limited palette of ivory black, white, yellow ochre, and alizarin crimson and Prussian blue later as a glazing color. Those pigments should give me the range of colors I need for this painting. As a medium I’m using one part Turpenoid and one part linseed oil mixed together. (music plays) I hope you enjoyed seeing this painting take shape. Thanks for watching.

Dereck Turner

100 thoughts on “Painting Process: The Making of “Omens”

  1. Lykke Damgaard says:

    Wooow that was an amazing tour of your working process, I hope you make more! 😀

  2. ghostmetal10 says:


  3. Liz Widner says:

    Quite a fascinating process, and amazingly beautiful artwork! Thank you for this!

  4. PaisleyPoptart says:


  5. evan riddle says:

    mars violet used by Norman Rockwell, analogous to the crimson/blk for underpainting. I can't say I will ever approach a painting with the finesse of a German engineer but it would behoove me to spend more time in prep. Paintings are often apt to fail regardless and succeed when least expected. Beautifully done. Thank you.

  6. Evelyn says:

    that was amazing to watch

  7. Tuner Paints says:


  8. Kaitlin Triglianos says:


  9. The Ganz says:

    After sealing the drawing you then use matte medium. What is this for? By the way, great music track!

  10. collaconiglio says:

    Hello…… YOU'RE GREAT!!!! Do you kindly tell me if you start painting in oil directly over the acrylic underpainting or before starting use oil you put a varnish over the last acrylic layer??? In this last case can you tell me the varnish name?? Looking your video it seems to me that you don't say anything about varnish…so I presume you don't use it……. Thanks

  11. FROG dela POND says:

    So the illustration board doesn't warp?

  12. MadiMattea says:

    You have a lot of patience

  13. KLCO says:


  14. Patrick Jones says:

    Storm isn't an O.

  15. only disco no panic says:


  16. Anderson william says:

    Whats are the song?

  17. DistortedAlchemy says:

    I really like your music. Do you do that also professionally or just a hobby?

  18. Lysa Roberts Art says:

    please upload more videos!!😍😍😍

  19. Envy Velez says:

    I have been watching this for years. I always end up coming across this video and I never get tired of seeing it.

  20. Helga Cobian says:

    I loved it!!! thanks!

  21. kashifmoore says:

    question so did you use glazing medium for the subtle blue shadows at the end on the arm?

  22. Jesse Jzette Art says:

    Wow! very good painting process! i didnt expect u do in digital for painting reference lol! its great!

  23. What’s wrong with you Breonna says:

    I can't wait till I can be at your pro level 😖😊👌🏻✨💖

  24. Avid Abstractions says:

    Absouelty beautiful work!

  25. Aubrey McMichael says:

    Awesome painting and video! It answered all my questions about process and materials.

  26. Lucas Lopes says:

    cynthia, I love your work, too bad you haven't posted any more process videos. You have inspired me to become a better artist ever since 2012… I was homeless back then and here I am sitting in my studio typing this comment. I really love your work. Thank you.


    wonderful artwork

  28. DeavomSee says:

    Wonderful ♛ Thank you ♛

  29. Christopher Kelly says:

    Only one word I can use to describe this….. WOW!  But to comment, it's interesting how you've combined the Acrylic paint in combination with oils!  As an amateur artist myself, I've never experimented with that combination.  I would've thought that would've created paint separating and not get the desired results.  Learn something new everyday! Great Work!

  30. Hal Emmerich 141.12 says:

    sooo b.a!

  31. SmoshOfy says:

    I have been over here trying to think of what this reminds me of it. And then it hit me. Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" of course! Excellent job.

  32. Brand Nicolas says:

    Only one tip…use a projector instead. you save a lot of paper! =D Great video

  33. Їрр Лулу says:

    awesome music 3:25

  34. Apollo Riddle-Grimm says:

    This is amazing. I love it, so creative and beautiful. The idea and the concept it so damn good.

  35. Lux Eterna says:

    Didnt need to see the entire video to subscribe. You are an amazing and crafted artist.

  36. snaco says:

    By the way, just came back to this video…. Will always be one of my favorite paintings

  37. Peter Delgado says:

    I really love your process and finished product!

  38. Saruman says:

    How much is the original painting?

  39. Piter Sanchez says:

    I probably wached this video 4354 times and every time i get inspired

  40. goldfish1871 says:

    I am def buying a print of this ASAP!!!!

  41. Ashlin Owen says:

    amazing work❣

  42. Bernard Paul Brown says:

    Hello Cynthia. I learned a lot from this video. Thank you! You painted it on illustration board. Is that your norm? Would you be so kind to elaborate on that? What kind exactly and why? I prefer to paint on hard, smooth supports. Masonite is one of favorites. I like foam board as well; but some critics consider it far less than archival.

  43. ViciousKisses says:


  44. RGS 65 says:

    Love your work. What music do you use by the way?

  45. Kitten Puff, Jr. says:

    creation process

  46. JoshuaYo Oops says:

    Nice painting ,just subscribed

  47. fr2632 says:

    Hi Cynthia, why do you seal the drawing and not just paint over it? What is the different? Thanks 🙂

  48. Creeptonic by GauJo says:

    Fabulous Art Is Your 🙂 U r LIke Teacher 🙂

  49. Peculiar Peccary says:

    This is such a powerful piece! I love your work, thanks so much for these videos!

  50. Dope KArtist (Addiction of Art) says:

    Do we need to put medium first on canvas then work with acrylic paint?

  51. amanda bergkvist says:

    Why do you coat the surface with matte medium first?

  52. Garo Alanis says:

    Amazing job, love it

  53. Melinda Wolf says:

    The music is distracting to me. I would rather hear you talk about your painting more. You could explain your specific techniques and such and have silence in the pauses.

  54. Jen's Basement says:

    Great work. You inspired me.

  55. Eliza Daynheart says:

    Adore music. So sounds something I know so good already

  56. Daniel Green says:

    You're so amazing!

  57. David Meléndez says:

    Thank you so much for this vide❤

  58. labyrinnthine says:

    Woah Its a masterpiece😍

  59. HEALTH 1st says:

    How did you print out each imagine to end up with the full imagine? 🤔 btw..ut came out amazing 👏

  60. KungPowYeah says:

    Hi, Cynthia. Awesome artwork! The links for the soundtrack don't seem to work anymore. I only get a 2.70 KB file. Is it possible for you to re-upload? Thanks.

  61. jalopy2222 says:

    This is fantastic.

  62. Charlie Tipton says:

    The composition for this is absolutely phenomenal

  63. Samson Appathurai says:

    Awesome! ^_^

  64. Jack Daniels says:

    Mmmm very nice. I like all paintings that you made. You are AMAZING !!!

  65. Julian HG says:

    Gorgeous concept and sublime painting. Really amazing work. Bravo.

  66. smita k says:

    That's spooky !

  67. GR3GGO 55 says:


  68. Skipjack647 says:

    I know this is an old video, but could you update the soundtrack link? It is disabled. The music is great and id love to have it personally.

  69. Domingo Freire says:

    You are an incredible artist… Congratulations

  70. Doug G says:

    Uh, killer painting

  71. Mike Perez says:

    What is the medium used for?

  72. Deaner Hockings - Reptilian Hunter says:

    Beautiful composition and a great video. Very inspired.

  73. Chad Marcum says:

    nice have a new sub…ding

  74. Gurlal Singh says:

    It is mind blowing painting

  75. ryan ng says:

    i think of liquitex basic and paint marker so good to use it in a 4 marker.

  76. ryan ng says:

    i like opus fm very good.

  77. ryan ng says:

    i have faber and derwent now prismacolor.

  78. ryan ng says:

    with a touch of payne grey.

  79. ryan ng says:

    beautiful art another month share standard never low before why have to share even cythia never so why me. don't like rubbish donn't listen in england and anywhere.

  80. Mewling Loo says:

    Small dèvice adjusting or autodesk or photoshop.

  81. Mewling Loo says:

    Adjusting or phone camera.

  82. Mewling Loo says:

    Autodesk makes real not camera done real.

  83. Mewling Loo says:

    Grey scale outline and darker to block light who doesn't know that.

  84. Mewling Loo says:

    Dark with brightness that is mtg little light every art.

  85. Mewling Loo says:

    I never learn self taught.

  86. Mewling Loo says:

    Before the world started there are people know art what it should why not use your head.

  87. Mewling Loo says:

    From nothing now 2500 art in mtg online what's more you can't imagine.

  88. Mewling Loo says:

    All time occupy in art school so you must self taught like teacher way.

  89. Detalle says:

    I’m an artist myself. I use all kind of media; from Watercolor, Acrylic, Oil, Gouache and I’m still learning every day how to improve myself. I’m happy to say that I learn from other artists and you are no exception my wonderful art friend!!!! You are amazing and I have seen your art work before and I just have to say that I’m a fan of yours ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ LOVE YOU!!

  90. Vallita Art says:

    I love this! You’ve really broken down and simplified the whole process! I paint in acrylic and find myself doing sooooo many gosh darn layers and it still doesn’t even look half as good as this! I guess the proof is in the planning. I rarely actually plan my paintings, because I’m perpetually impatient, but right now in my polytech classes we’re being taught what an important process the planning is. I find it tedious but it must be worth it hahaha

  91. Berenstein Wolf says:

    One minute in and you got me subscribed

  92. HEALTH 1st says:

    Hi cynthia, hmwhats the software to scan it out like you did ? Love your work btw 🏆

  93. Artist Y says:

    Can you please start making videos on how you create such amazing music?!

  94. Artist Y says:

    Why you have stopped making youtube videos? Please start it again..

  95. ryan ng says:

    Digital or acrylic, digital because you have to be accurate skin tone? Digital.

  96. ryan ng says:

    All your art digitalize by camera so you know is already acrylic appear not the same.

  97. ryan ng says:

    Did you remember Claire? Is time for shopping and visit often .

  98. ryan ng says:

    Remember two art block every visit.

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