Friday, September 30, 2016

Head Shot

You know how it's done - first you just slap something down that's approximately right - or maybe way off.

Then you look at it and start refining.

... and refining...

... and refining...

And so on...

And so on...

Ugh. I'm done fussing with this one - it keeps turning into more and more of an unfixable mess. I don't know why every time I paint on it it gets increasingly bland and lower contrast, then I have to keep punching up contrast artificially and adjusting saturation. It's pushed past the limits now, looking completely unnatural. Well, it's been a great learning experience.

Actually, I think I do know why this is happening. It's doubtless because t's a 'pretty girl' picture, with soft lighting. So when I work in either the highlight areas or the low light areas I keep dabbing and blending away, trying to smooth everything out. That always results in anaemic, airbrushy looking art. Time to do something less pretty, in a stronger, more definite technique.

Also, to remind myself of old advice I used to know but keep forgetting; right in the beginning, put down a light color and a really dark one - maybe solid black, so you can estimate contrasts. Cause otherwise, you paint in super low contrast and can't tell, then you need to keep punching it up artificially..

*  *  *

And in a case of "the artist says one thing and does another" ---

Looks like I couldn't stop messing with it after all.

And now we're rollin'!

*  *  *

... And the saga continues...

My control has increased quite a bit on this piece. I used to not drop below 33% opacity, but toward the later stages of this one I'm working frequently at 12%. Getting subtleties I couldn't do before. Probably the most important thing I've used is an organization principle for the lighting - the Asaro approach (deciding which planes face the light most directly and lighting them the strongest, and working outward from there dropping light levels accordingly as you go).

Ok, I've signed it, but it wants a bit more work done on't. They usually evolve a bit after the signature is appended.

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