Douglas Sirois

How a toy designer and children's book & graphic novel artist relies on Painter to get the job done

Douglas Sirois

What inspired you to become an artist?

I started reading comics at an early age and fell in love with the artwork. It was amazing to me that someone could draw something right out of their head. I was hooked on drawing and kept at it through high school and went on to study illustration in college.

Can you tell us about some of the projects you’re working on right now?

At the moment I am finalizing a children’s book that I wrote and illustrated that will most likely be self-published soon. I also have a graphic novel underway about the mythical GreenMan with writer A.P. Weber. Just about to get started working on illustrations for an Ology book by the publishers of Wizardology and Dragonology. The new book will feature more than 30 illustrations by me. Oh yeah, I also design toys for Schylling Toys

What has been your favorite project to be a part of? Why?

The projects that are my favorites so far are the Children’s book and the graphic novel that I am currently working on. I suppose what I love about them is that they are mine and I feel so deeply connected to them. Having creative control of the artwork and the story is so rewarding. I hope it’s just the start of producing more of my own projects.

Douglas Sirois artwork

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am a toy designer by day for Schylling Toys and I freelance and produce my own art in the evenings. I Have 2 children so my day kicks off with them. My day is spent at Schylling Toys, then I come home and have dinner and hang with the family. I work out and then I do a few hours of work before going to bed. Pretty typical.

How does Painter help you in the development and creation of your artwork?

Painter is a great asset in my work from sketch to final painting. I sometimes start a sketch in Painter and block it in with Digital Watercolor. I love creating traditional looking textures with the medium. Painter comes in handy in the rendering of the painting as I move to finish.

What’s your favorite Painter tool/feature? Why?

I have always loved the Sargent brush and now Painter 2019 has the ultimate toolset. The looseness and the texture is also a great way to start sketching without being too dialed in with detail.

Douglas Sirois artwork

What are the challenges involved with being a full time artist?

There are so many to talk about. Income is always a challenge. I have been a freelance illustrator for close to 20 years and I have found that you have to always be looking for the next project. You can’t get too comfortable with just one gig because that gig will most likely end at some point. Keep sending work out! Show that you are creating new works. Having a family is a challenge in itself as an artist. You have to carve time away for projects.

What advice would you give to up-and-coming artists?

Keep at it. Always create. Create daily, create nightly. Find something to say and say it. Stick with your passions. If you love comics- stick with it. If you love fantasy art, stick with that too. I also feel like artists should have other forms of art that they should be interested in. Experiment and find new ways to invent yourself.

What hardware helps you get the job done?

I Work on a 16 Gig MacBook Pro with a Wacom Cintiq 22 HD.

Douglas Sirois artwork

Do you use Painter and any other software together and if so what do you like about that process?

I use Painter with Adobe Photoshop. I work freely with both, sometimes starting in Photoshop with a more detailed sketch or finished drawings, or in Painter, I’ll start with a loose sketch and build up from there. If I take a painting further in Painter I most often will take it back to Photoshop for additional lighting effects or minor adjustments with the transform functions or apply final overlaying textures.

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