So, it’s been a while since I’ve made a post. I’ve been struggling through a vicious cycle of sick, think I’m better, nope still sick, trying to push through, Oh heck this is the thing they call Burnout isn’t it? Oh man I’m burnt out and I don’t even have anything to show for it! I should rest. Do I even know how to rest? Oh look I’m sick again…
Ha. Not fun. I think I’m out of it now, but it has only been 2 weeks since the last bout of flu and upset.
But I do have something new to share! I have, over the last while, begun thinking about an Illustration for the first of my 12 in 12 Short Story Characters. My plan is to do a mock book cover for each, focusing on a portrait shot of the main character/s.
First up is Thell, a badass, twin dagger weilding, dumpster diving, Magpie fighting fairy.
Here is a collage of a bunch of very very very rough exploratory sketches, plus the final idea that I will be taking through the painting process. There are still some weird anatomy things that I need to try and fix up, but I am overall happy with the progress thus far.
Let me know what you think! And any tips on how to fix that left arm/shoulder thing would be awesome! It has been bothering me. Is it bothering you? It is now that I pointed it out, isn’t it? 😛
Ha, not really. No art work is ever “finished”, but I did get to that point where I felt like I was noodling and noodling over the same thing and not making it any better. Sometimes making it worse and and falling into a mad panic of FIX IT FIX IT!
I am mostly happy with how this turned out. It has some nice moments and some “oh man I can do better” moments. But all in all, I look like a regal, badass Ravenclaw and really, what more could a nerdy girl ask for?
Here are some more progress shots, along with some details of the final. Also, THE FINAL.
Do you know what makes me happy? Painting! Painting makes me happy! All that smooshy wooshy messy turpentine smelly gloriousness that is Painting Makes. Me. Happy.
This week I knuckled down and got some colour comps done for my Hogwarts Portrait. I initially started in photoshop and then freaked out that it was too constricting and taking to long. So I WHIPPED OUT the traditional paints and got messy on some canvas sheets.
The Ravenclaw colours, traditionally, are Blue and Bronze, whereas in the Harry Potter movies, they changed it to Blue and Silver. I have been playing with both colour choices to see which I like best.
I would like to stay true to the books and keep with the bronze, but my highschool colours were aghem, blue, gold and grey. The comps are making me feel like I’m just sticking myself into my old highschool uniform, which is SO not the point! Note to self: unyellow that bronze!
Without further rambling, here they are. The first three were done in acrylics and the last in oils.
With my Witch hat done, and my new robe having safely arrived in the mail, I got down to taking the reference shots for my Hogwarts Alumni Painting. I would share a montage of my photoshoot, but I kept getting photobombed by a four year old.
And she wasn’t wearing any pants.
But, excite! I got right into the charcoal sketch and LE GASP! It came together super quickly! So here it is, me in all my witchy glory. With a giant dog. Because if Hogwarts is going to allow students to bring in cats and toads, they really should allow giant dogs.
Next up, Colour comps!
Woohoo! Here we go!
The painting I’m currently working on is… dun dun dun…. A Hogwarts Alumni Self Portrait. This is primarily a “practice the things you’ve been learning” piece, but also, who doesn’t want to pretend they went to Hogwarts, and have the evidence to PROVE IT? 😛
Right now I am in the gather all the references phase. Part of that includes making the references I need. Could I have bought a witch’s hat off of the ebay like I did for the robe? Yes, Yes I could have, but I had newspaper in abundance and also, sculpting things is FUN!
Why didn’t I make a witches robe? Because I do not have fabric in abundance and sewing is not so much fun.
The image collage shows the basic steps that went into this project.
1) Basic Shapes from random cardboard plus duct tape
2) Base Layer of Paper Mache, left to dry with wood blocks for shaping
3) Second Layer of Paper Mache
4) Final Paper Mache in which I built up some ridges and textures
Was I working on a tarp, on the floor of my office space? Yes, yes I was. It might not be the ideal way to sculpt, but I don’t really have the desk space for it so the floor it is! Also… SUPER MESSY.
Next step, REFERENCE PHOTOS! SKETCHES! MUCH EXCITE!
This week has been spent trying to figure out masking in Photoshop! The assignment? Make a weird creature with masking?
How am I doing?
eh… not there yet.
Here’s my first exploratory guy:
And here’s me trying to get him into a nice composition and all painted up. Yeah, he needs work. Lots of it. Urk.
But that’s how it goes with new techniques. Eventually my brain will catch on and figure out what to do. For now, I shall embrace the pain.
In other news, I’m planning a Hogwarts Alumni self portrait to practice my new found photoshop techniques. I ordered a robe off of ebay. A ROBE! and I’m crafting a witch hat from paper mache. Reference, reference reference!
More updates on that when it actually starts to look like something. 😛
When it comes to activities like painting or writing, being interrupted every few minutes is kind of infuriating. There is something beautiful about the creative process and getting into “the zone”, but if you’re like me, the big blocks of time are limited. What I do have, though, is loads of little bits of time. I have started using those little bits for simple exercises. First one?
Blobby Body Manequins!
Yes, there is probably a more eloquent way to express what I’m doing, but it sure as heck won’t be as fun as yelling BLOBBY BODY MANEQUINS!
In an effort to train myself to draw from memory, I’m… dun dun dun… drawing from memory. These little sketchy guys below are all about trying to understand the body posture, weight distribution etc. You can see that the earlier ones the weight is way too much to the back of the figure. I’ve been gradually bringing the weight forward, but I’m not quite there yet. How the body moves is a subtle thing with lots of little moving parts.
Heck, I HAVE a body. I move it ALL THE TIME. Surely I know how it all works?
Ha. ha. ha.
Ocasionally I will do the movement myself, and then get back and try to draw it. What I won’t do is look at actual reference for this. This is all about translating what I know into a visual form. In theory, I understand how it should look.
Now its up to the practice.
This week I found myself diving head first back into Magpie studies. See, I was busy with the Magpie/ Master copy mashup homework for Magic Box and I realised that I really don’t have a solid understanding of Magpie anatomy.
And I know… I know, Chris was all, this is a painting course, don’t get too hung up on the drawing… but I’m going to get hung up on the drawing. I thought I wasn’t going to, and then I had a solid heart to heart with myself about the issue and decided, yes, yes I shall get hung up on the drawing. I have two super duper points on the matter too.
Point Number One: There is no rush. I have no deadlines. As much as I have this horrible voice in my head that likes to yell about how I have no time and RAH RAH RAH… I do. I can take my time with this. It’s okay.
Point Number Two: Habits. I want to build solid painting habits. Habits where I start the painting right, where I put all the effort in that I need to. And solid painting habits involve proper prep. They involve proper understanding of the things you’re painting. Winding back and getting a strong foundation for this painting is a GOOD THING.
So what is a girl to do when she’s struggling with her painting subject? MORE STUDIES! Which I did, but also SCULPTURE!
This is something that I’ve picked up from reading James Gurneys’ Imaginative Realism. Struggling with the pose of the character and can’t find a solid reference? MAKE ONE!
So I did. With colourful Sculpey because I have a box of random squares of colourful sculpey.
Come on Magpie Painting! Lets Do this!
This week I have been busy with the first bit of homework for the Magic Box course over at The Oatley Academy. Its a self guided course in all things digital painting. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while now and have finally had the chance to dive in. My brain is fried and I’m only on module 1!
But it has been awesome. It’s helping me with figuring out how to use reference effectively, how to plan a painting and specifically, how to create colour comps with a soft gradient. Random side note, in all three years of Fine Arts studies, not one lecturer actually broke down how to PLAN a painting. Isn’t that crazy? How did I go through three years of Art Study and never do colour comps? HOW?!
I’m begining to feel way more comfortable with the Gradient and Lasso tools than I did at the start of this week and I’m really starting to enjoy the effects I can create with them. Here are the results of my learning:
Next up, Brush techniques!
This is just a quick post to say that this website is currently in construction so please bare with me! I’ll be postin updates on my art and writing process as I go, so even though things may be a little messy around here, please stick around.
Thanks for understanding!