Monday, December 15, 2014

A new approach to painting

I took an old painting from earlier this year and went to work on it, darkening the hell out of the background and simplifying it as much as possible. Going for maximum visual impact and making it really pop as 3 dimensional form. Much like the recent Frazetta fire demon piece I copied, this is a simple monochrome image with a strong light and dark pattern.

My objective was to lead the eye using values and edges. Man, I could not get over how weak my original was!! As soon as I darkened the background considerably and increased the contrast it was already starting to pop a bit. Then I started using some nice compositional tricks I've been learning from Mastering Composition by Ian Roberts - mostly about darkening any strong light values around the edges that would otherwise lead the eye right out of the picture.

This is strong!! I mostly obliterated all detail in the background and used it strictly as a foil for the figure, putting darks and lights where needed to bring out the head and the hand. And I also did it in a somewhat abstract way, letting the background sort of slip away from realism so the head would emerge even more.

Been watching some Xia Taptara tutorials lately too - theres something I really like about the way he works, even though often his finished results don't completely blow me away. More inspirations contributing to this change in my approach include Camila Vielmond and Dave Seguin. Oh, I should also mention, and this might be the single biggest change - I finally began to open up more to modern digital art and decided I should take it to heart and learn from it. It was really the last 2 names I mentioned that opened my eyes to its potential - so much of modern digital  fantasy painting is cold and lifeless because it's made to resemble CGI and video games, but these 2 (and I'm sure many more) have a much more painterly style with some life to it.

Well, I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say on that subject as time goes by. In fact my mind is already churning away on a new blog post about it..

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