Thursday, April 18, 2013

Advice to myself - try starting with greyscale painting then add colors

All the endless tweaking and noodling I"m doing on this painting is due to the fact that I didn't start with a good drawing or underpainting - instead I started trying to modify an existing oil painting by chopping and rearranging and stretching parts of it, and then I started little by little very timidly, adding in tentative bits of color that were never strong enough (nor were the values).

Unless I start with a full value drawing I'm afraid I'll always be too timid with the lights and darks, and also with strong colors.

But by starting with a full-range tonal underpainting in greyscale I eliminate the problem of having to work up to darks and lights. At least in pencil I seem to be able to handle that well enough - hopefully it works in digipaint too.

Then I can use something like maybe the color replacement tool to start to change the greyscale to colors, and then just go in with direct painting. Which brings up my next bit af advice to myself:

Direct painting is the way to go most of the time. 
I'm glad I did so much messing around with adjustment layers and the various Transform techniques and the Liquify filter, but it tends to take way too long to do things that way and too many little recovery steps afterwards to fis up the unexpected mistakes that occur. I usually find when I;m messing with that stuff it goes on endlessly, and then when I finally decide screw this I'm going to paint directly on the background layer itself then I get rolling for real. I really am glad I did it all though - I've learned so much about using photoshop, so it's been an excellent learning stage.

I want to do simpler paintings and work out a speedpaint system.
This one has become so detailed and painstaking I can hardly believe it! I seem to be packing every square inch with full details to a minute scale - this is not the way Uncle Frank painted!! Working in pencil I know how to simplify, where to make a focal area and where to fade detail and just use basic composition. But by doing such a sheer volume of painting and repainting and repairing and re-doing and un-doing etc I'm really making this one into a huge learning experience - by the time it's done it'll be the equivalent of a year's worth of lesser paintings.

... That is all. Thank you.

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