Friday, 25 March 2011

Tsunami Charity Digital Painting.

Hi everyone. I decided to get involved with the Tsunami CFSL Project:
This image is based on two seperate news stories. The first was one about a dog that stayed with its injured mate. The second was about the town of Kesnnuma, which was devastated and had its tuna fleet dumped on top if it. It was some deeply affecting, iconic imagery. Get involved with the project if you have time. There are some amazing pieces submitted already.

A lttle about process. I gathered my ref and then thumbnailed different compositional ideas:

This shot below was my 5th thumb but i did not save it off before i fleshed it out to a more resolved state. Here I am still working in monochrome, concentrating on balancing out my tonal composition and the values of the various areas against each other.
You need to click on this one to make it larger! I added colours and details and got critique from friends once i reached a stage that i thought was going in the right direction. I cannot over emphasise the importance of getting feedback on your work. There will always be something that can be tweaked or fix that you are just not seeing. This piece has consolidated that reference is very important for me when working on something effectively realistic: I did not have my usual chopping and changing, nor did i end up painting vaguely (without direction) as I so often do.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Scarlet and Jonny

Hi everyone,
I have finally finished my first larger studio painting. It is on MDF and is 1m x 0.5m , considerably larger than the stuff i have been doing since I started painting again. I have had a set of panels made up at an extreme wide screen aspect ratio and will be bringing in some filmic composition into my upcoming pieces.
Th models in this piece are a very interesting real life couple. Ellie is a burlesque performer who works under the monica of Scarlet Daggers. Jonny is in a band called the Speedkings. They live a fine old life together! Here is the finished painting:

This time i tried out a very deliberate methodology, based on the Golden Age Illustrators methodology. I first did sheets of thumbnails designing tonal arrangements and compositions and exploring ideas.

Then we did a photo shoot using these thumbnails as a base. It was the first time I have done anything like that and it was a really interesting experience. Emma was very generous and let me play with her brilliant equipment as well as aiding me with lighting and some technical know how. She was very very helpful and I learned a lot through the process. If you have not been along to her blog then go check it out. She constantly does inspiring and brilliant things: MISS RAIN PHOTOGRAPHY.

Once I had my photographic reference I then sifted through it all and played around digitally with composing different figures together and tweaking shots. I am doing several paintings from the material we got from this shoot but i have so little time to paint that i think it will take a while before more images are finished.Next in the process was to paint a study of the final piece. The study is only about 12" wide but allowed me to run though the process in anticipation of the larger painting. I think I got too noodly on this tbh. Next time i will aim for a broader treatment more in keeping with the style and pace of my alla prima portrait work. I did not match the format of the intended larger painting as i really just needed to concentrate on the figures.

Here is a detail from the final painting...

It has surprised me how many hours I ended up sinking into this one. I am going to be concentrating on my drawing accuracy in the early stages of my next paintings as my more relaxed approach to blocking in is ending up costing me way to much painting time. In the Alla Prima book on drawing the wonderful Mr Schmid really emphasises the importance of putting down carefully measured, accurate work in the early stages and i think he is quite right (as usual!) If you have limited time to paint with you do not want to spend that time repainting things that were not done carefully enough in the first instance.

I have read many books on painting now and nothing comes close to the sheer quantity and quality of this text. Treat yourself!

I do not normally gabble on as much as that, sorry!