Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Value and gesture studies for a painting - Proko and Xia

Just ran across a video with Xia Taptara interviewing Stan Prokopenko - two people who have excellent instructional videos, so naturally I checked it out. A little ways in Stan said something that made me take notice and decide to post it here.

He was talking about how he prepares for doing a painting, and said he first does maybe 10 hours of thumbnails, followed by opening photoshop and making a value study. Here's the part that grabbed my interest - he said he spends a lot of time pushing the shapes around and changing the values subtly on them, trying to create a composition that leads the eye.

Now THERE'S a great idea!! He also said if you don't do this then you'll begin painting with no idea of the visual story you want to tell, and you'll be trying to figure that out in the painting stage. Which is too late and will require you to keep changing it.

He also said he does a bunch of gesture studies - trying to figure out movement through the painting. I'm not entirely sure exactly what he means, if he's talking about the movement of just the figures, or of the entire composition, but it sounded like the latter, and that starts the wheels turning.

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