Saturday, September 21, 2013
One step forward, two steps back
It's hard to get used to the nature of improvements - the fact that as you make some things better other things slide downhill or are destroyed completely. I clearly remember when the bluff looked like it did in the below post, and thinking it needed the detailing hardened up a bit - some solid edges and some rugged detailing. I went overboard on it at first (pics coming soon below) and then sort of evened things out by applying a layer of mid-opaque browns over all the shadows and some of the light areas to draw the values together more and push the detailing into the background more. It still kind of fights for attention with what you're supposed to be looking at - I've considered flattening the best-looking part of the bluff, just behind Fafhrd's shoulder, which is the busiest and highest-constrast part of the bluff. Tough call. But unfortunately that bluff steals all my attention now.
I've really addressed the problems with Faf's pose though. Compare to below image - so much more natural and relaxed, as well as taller and more lanky, as he should be. I removed all the pink from his skin tone, but now he looks too contrasty and a bit sickly/greenish.
Been lightening up the dark shadows all over, and adding in patches of faintly visible greys and blues and occasionally reds.
There are two essentially different techniques being used here - one that I consider a 'painterly' approach, with visible brushstrokes and form developed by layering midtones and lights over the darks - proper shading technique And then there's the kind of techniques I developed in my pencil drawing days, like I used on the bluff. The tones are in the right places but you don't see any brushstrokes, instead it's either smooth s can be or there's fine lines visible - because I used pencil techniques essentially. I want to move more toward the painterly stuff.
I also want to work on design - I mean really work on it. I keep thinking about those amazing Jeff Jones covers for the Fafhrd/Mouser series and how incredibly simple and strong they are. No details at all - they're just the way Leiber described Robert E Howard's writing. But I don't only want to work like that - minimalism to the extreme. I couldn't handle that. I also want to do fully detailed pictorial paintings like this one with natuarlistic landscapes or somewhat fantasized landscapes and details galore.