Saturday, January 7, 2017

Refurbishing Fafhrd --- Squaring Up

I got disgusted with the previous version of this painting due to the items I listed in the critique (last post), so I decided to try to fix it. When I did that version I was doing what I had always done in pencil, only in full color now and using a stylus and tablet. That's why to me it looks more like a fully rendered drawing rather than a painting, or like an airbrushed picture. But that's not what I want my work to look like. So this post details my attempt to correct it according to my critique.

First I just wanted to punch in some real darks - all the way to black in the darkest shadows. And I needed a lot more middle value colors - I noticed the previous version went rapidly from darks to lights with very thin zones of middle value - another factor that makes it look weak. Also, rather than work with soft round rushes and lots of transparency from the beginning, I wanted to start with some hard edged opaque brushes, make some good hard edges and definite shapes, and then blend them as much as needed later, only where necessary.

Pectorals still looking booblike due to roundness...

Much better! 

The big form shadow still had curves in it though. It was fighting the more squared-up form I was going for. 

So I squared that up too. Blocky, baby! Oh yeah!

I'm being careful to light the planes properly - darker or lighter according to where the light source is. Those planes facing directly toward the light will be the brightest, and as they turn away they get progressively darker until they fall into shadow. You can see this clearly in the three tiers of the abdominals. The middle row is more downward-facing, so darker. 

Then it was largely a struggle to bring back in some roundness, but built around the planes and corners I had established - so more like subtlely curved planes with gently rounded corners rather than curves all over. 

Dropping in a few surface details goes a long way toward making it look more finished.

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