James Bond, Dr No – Part 2

Following on from the previous post this is Part 2 of my look back at the work involved in creating a poster for the first James Bond film ‘Dr No’. This post collects together a series of posts from my Patreon back in 2018. Most of these posts show video clips as I worked through the painting in gouache and you can see the whole painting in a full video at the end.


10th September 2018

“I was curious to see what kind of man you were.”

I had planned to make a start to this painting over the weekend and several times I had a couple of hours in front of me with nothing else planned but for one reason or another I just couldn’t begin. This happens every now and then, I wouldn’t call it a creative block as such as I don’t really get those, but just the wrong frame of mind. I ended up rearranging my shelves and tidying up the studio instead. All useful things to do of course and it also took a while to set up the camera for recording again.

Not a bad start today, always begin with a likeness and always start with the face furthest away opposite to the hand you are using, so in this case top left for my right hand. Wish I’d got more done but then I’m happy with what I painted so that is the main thing. Again I’m doing this in gouache a medium I’m starting to enjoy more and more and with that I’m going to have to put buying gouache paint and brushes onto my to do list.

This video is sped up (I record using the iPhone’s own time lapse settings) but in this case you get to see me paint Julius No’s face over the space of one minute whereas in the final edit it’ll probably be about 20 seconds as I’ll speed it up again.


11th September 2018

“Careful. The whole place is probably wired for sound.”

Two sessions for you to see and again although these are speeded up they’ll be even quicker in the final cut. Quite happy with how it is all progressing, the paint seems to be happy to do what I’m asking it to do which is great.

Dr No’s outfit might need some more lighter colours added to it but I’m holding off until I’ve seen how it looks with the green circle background added. With that in it may lighten the outfit anyway so best to wait.


12th September 2018

“East, West – just points of the compass, each as stupid as the other.”

On it goes, I’m hopeful that a good session tomorrow and the painting will be finished. Most of the main elements are done other than the metal hands and the circle background. Once those are in I have some small detailing to add but that should be it. After that the usual story of scanning it in and sorting it out in Photoshop.


14th September 2018

“Unfortunately, I misjudged you. You are just a stupid policeman…”

The final painting session didn’t take long, maybe just short of three hours, but the scanning and tidying up of the art in Photoshop took the rest of yesterday and this morning. Scanned in artwork always shows up all the little imperfections as you can zoom right into the art. You have to take a balanced view as it would be easy to correct every little thing until you have nothing left of the character of your brush work. I always remove dirt and scratches and correct the colour to match as closely as possible the original work. This might need adjusting or changing for the poster later on but I like to have a file that is as close to the original painting as I can make it.

I decided not to lighten Dr No’s outfit colour. In the movie it does come across as being lighter than the colour I’ve left it but I think it suits the colour scheme of the painting better. It gives the green circle warmth and fits in with the well tanned features of Mr Bond. Again if I decide to I can always create an altered lighter version for the poster but at the moment I’m liking the balance.

Next week I’ll figure out if I’m going to have time to paint the Bond ‘Girls’ for the poster, it might be that I can fit it in in time. And I’ll need to sort out the video recording too.


17th September 2018

“What should I say to an invitation from a strange gentleman?”

Over the course of Sunday and this morning I’ve managed to paint the three Bond ‘Girls’ for the poster and get  them scanned in. I thought they should be done in the same medium and style as the main image but kept them monochrome as they get coloured in the design. I need to set aside some time this week to sort out the poster, create all the text and logos etc.


18th September 2018

“World domination. The same old dream.”

The final full video of the actual creation of the painting. I spent way too long animating a little circle going across the screen last night 🙂 Probably a very easy way to do it but I ended up creating every frame in Photoshop and placing them in order on a timeline. When it comes to video technology I’m stuck ten years back. Anyway it looks okay and I wanted it to be like the start of Dr No in some small way which I think it is.


19th September 2018

“That’s a naughty little habit. Listening at keyholes?”

Just finished off the final design for the poster which you’ll all be able to get your mitts on at the start of October. (Editorial note: My Patreon supporters get to download a high resolution file each month which they can print for themselves, in this case the Dr No poster print was available in October 2018). I’m glad I made time to paint the three ‘girls’ as I think it suits the design better. I’m pretty pleased with the look of this one, it’s nice when it all works out well together.

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