Sunday, February 28, 2010

Monster Time! Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, it's time to do the environment and detail work.

The first thing to do is finish laying down rough colors as before. It's important right now to make sure the entire figure is covered with the general colors it should have; it's not important that the brush strokes look nice.

Next, it's time to sketch in a background and add some rough colors to it, as well. This is where the previous step becomes important. Harmony is very important in figurative works. The composition should be balanced, and so should the colors. You want to ensure that the less important areas of the painting don't "compete" with the more important areas, visually. In this painting, the creature is the focus, so it needs to stand out from the background without seeming to "jump out" from the image.

Now is the time when you should really critique the formal elements of your painting. It'll be much easier to fix mistakes now, than later. I'm pretty satisfied with the composition and colors of this piece, so I'm going to begin painting details.

My first concern in this step is to get rid of all my sketch lines. I'm using my regular default brush for this, with the opacity jitter and flow jitter set to my pen pressure. By varying those controls, I can smooth out the rough colors quickly. In areas that need soft transitions between color and shape, I keep my brush at a fairly large size; tighter areas call for a smaller brush.

I also spent some time on the bones. Because they're so close to the figure, they need to be just as detailed as him. For reference, I perused "Skulls Unlimited."

Now comes the really long part of this painting. From here on, it's mostly more of the same work as before. I took more time to refine and polish the figure, and began more detail work on the environment. The environment has a sort of Greco-Roman architecture to it, with lots of columns. In the background, there are a couple of small temple structures. The sky is a little more refined, and way off in the distance is the silhouette of a town. I also added some vases and bits of grass in the foreground for interest.

That's about 99% of the painting. Whenever I get this much of a painting finished I like to take a break and then give it a second look to see what else I can do. One of the last things I did was to "break" the vases. Hellcat pointed out that it didn't look right to have them intact when everything else around is broken and decaying. Sometimes, just doing little things like that really make a painting.

And voila! It's finished!


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