Monday, August 11, 2014

Ronda - round 2

Inspired by this:

Based on this:

I do this:

In some ways I always like figures better before they get faces. At that point they're abstract forms, once there's a face it's got a personality - it's somebody, you know? Not pure form anymore, it's mixed up with human life and emotions etc. Though in this case it has a nice personality and expression that makes it sparkle. I don't like the body work, done with a big soft round brush. It lacks the definite edges of the rectangular brush, and so looks too smooth and formless. I feel like I'm beginning to understand how constructive painting works.

Oh, and I understand now that the shadow behind her isn't hers - it's at odds with the light angle. Also, I think I understand the weird shadow on her torso but not her arms - it's some kind of big object right there in front of the scale that's pretty narrow (this shot was from a weigh-in). Even though it's real, I can't leave it like that because it's confusing and people will scratch their heads and think I suck. I think I;ll extend it to cover the arms and bring in some side light to pull out that arm on the right.

What I really like about the tutorial above is that it's done as a hybrid drawing/painting. I like that - it seems loose and free - I've been mostly very strict about pure painting, with no line except where it's needed for clarity. But I like seeing line in paintings - especially if it's somewhat loose and sketchy. It's the way Frazetta did the Kane painting I copied recently. It adds nice accents and defines edges strongly, it sort of becomes shadow along those edges that recede sharply away from the viewer. And at the same time it adds a slight element of the abstract that I like. Oh, plus drawing is a lot easier for me to do than painting! I've been doing that all my life..

Starting to look much better, and now I can clearly see a couple of things. First, hey look!! Colorful Grays! It's Jeff Jones' colorful grays, that he says should comprise much of the picture so where you use strong color it stands out.  It happened inadvertently from layering warms and cools semi-transparently. The other thing I noticed is that I missed a step - I should have developed the major forms - torso, rib cage etc, before doing abs. I suppose I can still do that working semi transparently. Each plane needs to respond properly to the light it receives, according to its angle relative to the light source. I'm not seeing a proper sense of roundness to the torso itself.

Damn - it looked like there was enough contrast on the torso until I put in the black clothes, now it looks pale and washed out. I recall somebody said you should put a big blob of black and white on the canvas right at the beginning to avoid this problem. Or maybe have a card you hold up against it from time to time. I still in that timid stage where I'm afraid of bold accents, both value and color.

Well I think it's clear I've found an excellent painting method. It seems to facilitate every step of the process, and the result looks like a painting, not a laboriously colored-in drawing or airbrush picture like I've done so often. Interestingly, this was done primarily with the oil brushes that have given me problems on a few images recently. I think they work better for a more painterly approach like this, plus I've learned not to use the Oil heavy flow dry edges for putting light colors down thinly over darker ones - for that you switch to its neighbor Oil medium wet flow. Which I almost never actually use come to think of it - should play around a bit.

I feels like it still needs more finishing touches, and I'm tempted to do another big session - maybe tomorrow.

I've hit that coveted stage now where my hand has improved beyond my eye, so I'm filled with confidence and optimism. Give it a few days though, and the eye will leapfrog right over the hand.

On the other hand, my older stuff looks pretty terrible to me now. Wow, is this the way it's always looked to everybody else and I just couldn't see it? They look malformed and somehow hard, like shiny little action figures. The sad part is, I'm quite sure when I make my next advance this one will look nearly as bad. I'm afraid this means I'm still on the wrong side of Dunning Kruger..

Added 8-14:


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