Monday, 29 August 2011
Sunday, 28 August 2011
I have this deep urge to grow my skills almost on a continual basis. I'm always reading up on things and I recently decided to follow through on something that I have wanted to do for a long time but just didn't have the time. Still don't have the time but I'm making the time. Warning! Tangent ahead: Often the debate about self taught or going to school rages on about which one is better. My view is that whether you go to school or not, you have to take responsibility for your own education. DON'T EVER relegate your education, growth and development to someone else or an institution. If you have the opportunity to go to school be sure to go but if you don't have that you need to immerse yourself in self study and practice. Unfortunately it is all too easy for those who get an education to not push as hard as those who are doing it by themselves. In my opinion: Dedication and passion, a desire to grow skills and learn and the realization that it all starts with you mixed in with an openness to be taught and corrected moves one in the right direction whether you study at an art school or by yourself. Tangent ended. Sorry about that.
I set some rules from the outset for doing these studies. The first one was 'NO EYEDROPPER TOOL'. I want to train my eyes to recognize value and hue more effectively. I have kept to this rule and the others I set throughout.
So, I am doing some master copy studies. My aims have been different for the two studies I'm doing. The first one here I decided to do to learn more about how William Bouguereau painted figures. My main aim was not to perfectly reproduce the painting but to learn about his use of color and how he constructed his figures. So I'm looking at color usage, form and so on. I must say I was surprised by what I learnt. Bearing in mind that the conclusions I came up with could be erroneous from what he actually did on canvas and in the historically factual sense, my learning experience even if it is subjective has taught me some great things that I am sure to apply to my work. The first thing I found surprising was his use of grays, most of the surface is a gray of some short with some areas of purer color related or contrastive to the gray around it to make it pop. Further the palette I think he used for his skin tones were unexpected, purples and crimsons playing a strong part. Bearing in mind that I'm painting digitally from a poor copy of 'The Wave'. I can still say that the things I learnt are sound if I think about my understanding of the principles of art that I have amassed in my head.
I'm not going to finish it, it is incomplete and vaguely resembles the model in the original but I have learnt tremendously from the experience. Funnily I actually used some of my new found knowledge from this experiment to paint 'The Three Little Zombie Pigs' which is nothing like the fineness of William Bouguereau's beautiful painting. Never used to like him much (prejudice from art school days), but I must admit that I am in awe after examining his brush work and delicate finishing.
The second master copy I'm busy with I want to be more precise and reproduce the picture to be as close to the original as possible. At this stage I want to finish it as well but am not sure that I will. My aim is to study not to reproduce so I might leave it to study something else if I feel that I have learnt what I set out to learn (limited time). I'm not done with it and I will post updates in this post as I go. I love John William Waterhouse's work and chose to paint 'Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses'. From the start I was stunned by the differences between what I had learnt in the William Bouguereau painting and this one. The palette is very limited as well, I would venture to say from my observation that I have isolated about 6 to 8 major colors, probably less that more though. So here is my first WIP.
Blocking out color and shapes.
Friday, 19 August 2011
The slightly insane and strategically brilliant Captain of 'The Frolicking Jade Empress' from 'Tales from the Sunless Sea'. This is the rough sketch that I neatened up a bit, it actually goes with other sketches of the character. This one is the most stylized of the bunch. I'm working on putting a variation of styles into this blog and ultimately my portfolio. My preferred style of painting is representational and realism but as a professional I want my work to reflect the fact that I can do anything from ultra stylized work to ultra realism. Watch this space.
(Sorry, if you're using an older browser this .png image might not display correctly, time to upgrade :))
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Concept Art for game level. I created a few different versions of this during editing to try optimize the light.
Monday, 8 August 2011
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Character views with props, etc... just another version.
I love bells, I get kind of obsessed with them at times... Thought I'd give a closer view of the bell at the end of Gisthorn's 'Staff of powerful enlightenment'.
Friday, 5 August 2011
Friday night. These are nice and quick, maximum allowance for each sketch 20 min, but ideally I want them to be around 10 min each. I usually work to my trusty egg timer, when it says ding its final.
Thursday, 4 August 2011
I wasn't going to do a piece for the Bobby Chiu's ImagineFX and CGHUB Fairy-tale Re-imagined challenge. I hadn't even had time to look at the forum with everyone's wips. I read the details three months back but things have just been a little too intense. About three weeks or so ago I found some time. Did a few sketches and jumped right into the fray with 'The Three Little Zombie Pigs'. I altered my style to suit the black comedic/horror aspect. I'd love to post some close ups for the detailing and paint marks to be seem more clearly. Thinking about it. You'll find the WIP thread here: WIP!!
I speed painted my self portrait in 1 and a half hours. I'm working on increasing my work speed, this took me an hour and a half which gives me a good measuring stick to how much progress I've made over the last year. Another goal I set here was to work tighter and to use color effectively. I used cool and warm colors to heighten the image. I'm happy with the outcome. The screen capture is 35 mins long, please skip through if you want but I think it's interesting to watch the the process and the decisions I made. I find these screen captures really great to learn from what you're doing.
This was done as an art test for Gameloft.
This is a character illustration of an amazon warrior. I gave her the name Hippolyta, though 'Amazon Warrior' works just as good as a title. Hippolyta, according to legend, was their queen. I took way to long on this, mostly because I was nursing a head cold and partly because I was obsessing about it's importance. No excuses, it is what it is. Below this post is my screen capture for this, you'll probably notice I painted the figure nude and then overlaid clothes. I want to do some variations on her clothing and 'make up/war paint'. Perhaps a resketch, if a have some time too. Below is a portion from wikipedia about Hippolyta.
"Heracles' ninth labor:Hippolyta appears in the myth of Heracles. It was her girdle that Heracles was sent to retrieve for Admeta, the daughter of king Eurystheus, as his ninth labor.When Heracles landed the Amazons received him warmly and Hippolyta came to his ship to greet him. Upon hearing his request, she agreed to let him take the girdle. Hera, however, was not pleased, as was often the case with Heracles. To stop him, Hera came down to the Amazons disguised as one of their own and ran through the land, crying that Heracles meant to kidnap their queen. Probably remembering all too well what Theseus had done, the Amazons charged toward the ship to save Hippolyta. Fearing that Hippolyta had betrayed him, Heracles kissed her briefly then hastily killed her, ripped the girdle from her lifeless body, and set sail, narrowly escaping the raging warriors." - according to wikipedia