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Zombie Portrait by Andy Walsh Portfolio:

zombie portrait

I made a lot of mistakes while trying to get this zombie painting right and I wanted to share those with you so you can avoid them in the future. Here are some topics we’ll cover:

  • To reference or not to reference
  • How and what to reference
  • Being a perfectionist (to a healthy degree)

Zombie Digital Painting – Prologue:

I realised upon completing my old man portrait study that I needed to work with fiction and apply my study. One needs to get the balance right between study and ‘practise’. So I figured that I’d go without reference and create another side-profile portrait and that I’d make it interesting and create a zombie portrait.

After toiling and toiling here’s what I came up with:

zombie wip

Pretty garbage if you ask me. I wasn’t happy at all and knew I could do better. But then I had no reference whatsoever and was pretty new to portraiture.

I figured I’d get the reference I needed to construct the head but then embelish the zombie aspect – a fairer deal than embelishing the entire piece!



After half a day of scouring deviantart I came across these images. I was pretty exhausted as I’d set myself up for full side-on profile shots only AND they had to be grimmacing!

I pasted the above images together to come up with this:

reference final

I also photoshopped him a little to bring out shadows and also added some wrinkles from another photograph. At this stage, in terms of copywrite, you can use anything because it’s just reference.

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