Celtic Dream Tutorial with Corrado Vanelli

IT’S ART present all the members and fans a series of video lectures and articles about Fantasy Art during the whole year of 2013!

IT’S ART FANTASY WORKSHOP will cover from characters and landscapes to ornaments, costumes, props and weapons. Besides the main themes in the Fantasy Realm, there will be also discussed trends and the evolution of what we know as the art of the fantastic!

Watch bellow a quick introduction video with the steps of this painting.

“Hi, It’s Art Magazine gives me the possibility to create a short “making of” about one of my last pieces. I will try to explain the main technics that I have used to create this painting and I’m going to share some intermediate steps in order to show the evolution of the project starting from the first sketch to the final result. Before starting a special thanks to Isis for her patience and kindness, she is the real protagonist and mind behind this small article.

close ups


First of all I want to spend two words about the idea and the concept behind the image. This illustration is a poster for an Italian event, a small fantasy book festival in which several publishers and authors share their new stories and ideas. Every year there is a different theme for the event and this time the subject was the “Celtic culture in the fantasy stories”. My task was to create a picture with some Celtic elements and a castle in the background (the event is created inside an amazing local castle in the North of Italy).

I wanted to avoid the classic iconography and symbols so I decided to recreate a special scene. I have imagined an ancient family with an old king and his faithful dog sited in the middle of a land. Beside the king there is his son, a prince and a young warrior. A girl on the left side admires the boy and she dreams to become his wife. To complete the scene I put in the image also a little elf just to remind that this is a poster for a fantasy event.

Before starting a new piece I’m used to analyse several photos and paintings just to find the proper inspiration for my work. This time the inspiration for the old king comes from a talented Italian painter called Roberto Ferri. Take a look at his works in google and visit his website, he is an absolute and genuine genius.


The painting is totally made in Corel Painter 12 with a WACOM Intuos A4. I have used only standard tools for this piece. In general I don’t like to create personal brushes because Painter has a ton of tools and usually I find always what I need. I come from traditional painting and my approach is very simple, probably also a little bit old. In any case my preferred tools are absolutely oil brushes, stumps, charcoals and pencils.

The following is a list of the tools used for this painting and for most of my works. Under each brush there is a short description of the function.


Click here to download this exclusive and informative brush chart by Corrado Vanelli.


My work (traditional or digital) always start from a coloured paper. I love coloured paper, according to me it is the perfect support to study lighting and shadows. It represent the mid-tone and it allows me to study light and dark area in an easy way. The starting point is a simple sketch with very few lines, just to define the main characters. Note that on the first sketch I have put a kind of armature (red lines) that helps me to define points of interest in the picture. I use several schemes but what you can see in the image is one of my favourite.


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  • instanoodlz

    The brush chart can’t be downloaded anymore?