Monday, May 6, 2013

Thoughts on my work so far and what I need to accomplish next

In approximately a month now since I've unlocked the secrets of photoshop and really learned how to use it, I've nearly completed 2 paintings (Longbow and  Bemused {working title}). I feel like I've done some pretty amazing work on both, and it feels like I'm still expanding into this exciting new territory that's opened up for me since discovering I can actually paint now. I'm getting loads of invaluable experience by doing Bemused as such a detailed landscape painting, but I need to get away from that stuff in order to make my work look more like fantasy painting. 

In fact that's my goal now - to figure out what elements are important in the fantasy painting genre and learn how to accomplish that look myself.

Here are the factors I already know I need to work on -

  • going beyond local color. 
  • Developing a powerful but simple composition without extraneous details, and with elements simplified through devices like silhouette. 
  • Poses and proportioning of human figures. 
  • Limiting of facial expressions and gesture - I don't want my fantasy paintings to look like snapshots of people smiling and enjoying life like a commercial or bored consumers waiting patiently like in a Gurney painting. They must be active and dynamic - these are narrative paintings and the same rules apply as in narrative storytelling - the main character must be dynamic and not a passive observer or pushover. 
At least these rules apply in a Frazetta/ Classical fantasy painting world - in Jones' work not so much. After all, Krenkel did call him the Master of the Meaningless Gesture! His male heroines frequently just stand or pose mysteriously in some sort of thick soupy atmosphere. The work is more about form and color and mystery and atmosphere than about action.

I want to emulate both Frazetta and Jones - or rather try out their techniques and approaches - hopefully without copying their styles. 

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