Monday, December 23, 2013

Looking back @ 2013, and going forward

This is a screenshot of my Flickr gallery page, showing the pieces I've completed in 2013 (so far - might get 1 or 2 more in yet). Looking at them all together like this several things become apparent :

1) The most recent 2 (lower right corner) stand out because the light planes are much lighter than those of the earlier paintings. I've also created a good strong separation between halftones and shadow tones in both of these (I mentioned this in the last post as well).

But I didn't mention the rest of these factors.

2) The last 2 also look better in color terms. Where I've lightened the light planes they have less color saturation, there's more white blended in. This looks a bit more realistic and less cartoonish. 

3) In the last one (Charmaine, lower right) I also used color with more facility. Keeping to the carefully controlled values, I freely dropped in different colors - reds, yellows, greens, each corresponding to a different value (so actually not 'freely' as I said). I did this using a Color layer, to change the hue of already existing values, and I changed the color in the color picker by only moving the cursor in the color bar on the side, not by moving the picker inside the square window, which would allow me to change the value (unless I was careful to only move it horizontally of course).

4) I want to move forward using this kind of approach for a while, but I want to get a bit more ambitious and start doing more complete scenes now - figure(s) in an environment rather than standing isolated against a black background. Lol - I didn't do that one on purpose - it's just that these pictures of MMA fighters were all taken in or near the octagon, with bright overhead lighting and a darkened audience area behind.

5) Besides these things I already mentioned I need to work on landscape and composition.

6) - oh yeah, and I also think it's time to do a few male fighters, to start to learn the differences between boys and girls (besides the obvious, obviously).

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Notes :

Starting with my previous piece Ronda, I paid attention to maintaining a clear separation of shadow planes from halftones/highlights (light planes), which gives both of these much stronger solidity and clarity of form. I notice they also both have lighter light planes than my previous paintings, which now look muddied up to me because of it. 

I also noticed before starting on this one that I tend to shy away from greens in flesh tones, and it seems to be an important element in most paintings. So I made shadows green here, and it definitely helped. In fact the flesh tones here consist of purples (or somewhat cool reds you might say), yellows for highlights, and green for shadows. A pretty full set of colors. I normally tend toward mostly warms, with some purples for shadows.

Here's the value sketch before converting to color :