Sculpting and Painting Workflow

With Great Power Comes Great Results!

Make the most of your 3D sculpting and 2D painting workflow using amazing tools including ZBrush, Painter 2018 and a Wacom tablet.

Image by Mike Thompson

Meet Mike Thompson

Best known for his portraits of entertainers and celebrities, Mike Thompson has built a name for himself in the world of art. His paintings have been featured on television, in print and web campaigns. Mike began his career working as both Designer and Art Director in the fashion industry. After creating top selling designs for companies such as Timberland, Ecko and Nike, the artist left the corporate world to become a full-time illustrator.

Over the past decade, his artwork has been featured on magazines, video game covers, movie posters and toy packaging. Some of the clients Mike has worked with include: Marvel, Hasbro, Warner Bros, Dimension Films, and Cartoon Network plus he is a Corel Painter Master Elite.

Visit Mike’s website or connect with Mike on social media:        

Featured Tutorials

Welcome to Mike’s Creative World

Meet Painter Master Elite Mike Thompson and learn what makes this artist and illustrator’s creative mind tick and how he got where he is today.

Create the Perfect Sculpt and Painting Base

Mike used to rely heavily on reference materials but now uses ZBrush to pose, structure and light his character. Then he brings it in to Painter and does a quick Auto-Paint to get started.

Overpainting the Sculpt to Create an Illustration

Mike uses Painter to lay out his reference imagery and dives into making the sculpt look painterly by eliminating too much detail. Lots of happy accidents in this phase!

The Fun Part – Adding the Detail

The final step in Mike’s sculpting and painting workflow is to add extra details, such as wrinkles and seams in the clothing. This makes the painting much more believable.

FREE Webinar

Painting Marvel hottie Spider Gwen featuring Painter Master Elite Mike Thompson

Join Mike for an unforgettable webinar that will teach you his favorite tools for painting over a ZBrush model in Painter.


Featured Partners

Pixologic Zbrush

Zbrush is the 3D industry’s standard digital sculpting application. Use customizable brushes to shape, texture, and paint virtual clay, while getting instant feedback. Work with the same tools used by film studios, game developers and artists the world over.

Wacom Pen Displays & Tablets

We inspire and equip people to make the world a more creative place. Creativity has always been at the heart of human development. It has shaped our thinking and inspired our imaginations. We are proud of the role we have played in applying digital technologies to creativity.


Tools You Need

Painter 2018 Free Trial

Download a FREE 30-day trial and test drive exciting new features like Thick Paint media, texture synthesis, 2.5D texture brushes, selection brushes and more.

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium

With plenty of room to sketch, paint and design, this medium-sized tablet is a popular choice for artists and designers.

Painter 2018

Make an effortless transition from traditional to digital art, and accomplish natural, professional results in less time with Painter 2018. Changing what’s possible in art.

Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 Pen & Touch Display

With ample screen size in a compact, slim design, this tablet is a top choice for creative professionals.