Despite not having power in my studio for a week after some brutal rain I finished.
Here he is in all his unholy glory. I kind of went all Skeletor with his skin tone which wasn’t my original thought, but I like how it set the body apart from the background, and a good He-man reference is always welcome. I didn’t use a gamut map on this one I just mixed some greens, greys and ochres and stuck with it. As for the under drawing experiment if anyone remembers my earlier post http://lukewelchart.com/2013/07/23/chainer-of-souls/ (I used various pencils to get the shading correct), I think it was more trouble than it was worth. A tight drawing helps but a more traditional monochromatic under-painting seems to work better for me since I laid in tonal washes over certain areas anyway. I am happy with this one despite that one observation, the painting process was pretty fast too. As for the weird title forget about it, lets go back a few years and steal the name of my band that had more T-shirts made than practices played Soultaker.
I’ve been so busy the past few weeks I can barely remember my name. I’ve done a few vector based designs in illustrator and kept up with some sketching, but nothing too interesting to show. I’ve written a plot for an eight page comic akin to creepy, eerie or the twilight zone as well as started thumb-nailing it. That can wait for a later post though. Here’s what I’ve done on the chainer of souls (that’s a working title it feels kind of like I’m trying too hard or just lazy you decide). A few more washes on the background is all there’s been time for, work permitting I should get a full day for it next week, fingers crossed.
This feels related but I could just be sleepy. Who feels that they push too hard towards their goals? I can never push enough, maybe it’s age creeping up or maybe my desire is stoked from lack of time to work on a number of personal projects. Small steps are pushing me forward I can see it in the work I’m doing. There always seems to be a peak that is within sight and it rises as I do. I want to be there and yet I hope I never reach it, because this growth is a big part of what keeps me going. My best piece will always be what I am creating at that very moment. They may not all be great but I will have learned something from it to make the next even better. I guess I feel Maybe I need to justify to myself why I make art and a little pep talk can’t hurt even if it’s from myself.
Well this one is done. I decided to try scanning again since the surface is smooth and what do you know, it worked beautifully. I only needed to piece together 2 scans and the color matched perfectly.
I was having trouble with the tattoo design, as you can see I’ve changed them. After taping some tracing paper over the painting and I sketched multiple variations. I tried so many different ones and none really seemed to fit. They either were too busy or looked like Mike Tyson. I knew I wanted to keep something there to add a little more interest to the eyes. Simplicity won out over all, just a few swooping lines was all I needed. The same is true for the armor, originally I wanted to add some swirling symbols like on the cloak pin but the were distracting and I ended up with an embossed scaly texture.
I’ve adjusted the skin tone and sculpted the facial features more but, the lack of eyebrows reminds me of a certain Renaissance damsel. I wanted to blend the skin before adding hair, eyelashes and tattoos. I’m not too happy with the tattoo design and I’ll probably change them again I want something more ornate. As well I think I want the armor to have some interesting stitches or decoration of some type. Since this photo I’ve started on his clothing and further blended the background I also fixed the neck muscles to make the tilt of the head more believable. so far I like how this one is progressing. On a side note if any readers remember the trouble I was having with the texture on the acrylic paper. I may have solved the dilemma, I simply flipped it over and painted on the back which is fairly smooth. The scan or photo will be the real test though.
I made a few color studies in photoshop. I originally was aiming for a blue and purple color scheme but I didn’t like where it was going. I opted for a similar scheme to the previous portraits, ending up somewhere in between the two. The next thing I decided to do was airbrush in the shadows. I mixed up a dark brown for the skin tones and a forest green for the armor and hair. It was taking forever to get the right color and opacity using just primary colors , black and airbrush medium. I could have much more easily just layered in some washes with a large brush using my regular paints. Next time I think I’ll just use straight black and glaze it later with color
Since then I’ve been fighting skin tones for a few days but I feel that I’m getting close. Blending with acrylic is a strange push and pull battle, pre-mixing various skin colors can help but I always seem to need more colors and as a result I layer wash after wash.
I’ve been sitting on this one for a while for no apparent reason. I guess I kind of wanted to show the next step in the process as a side by side, but I haven’t got there yet because I’ve been wrestling the color scheme in my head for a few days. I’ve done a few color studies in photoshop and I’m pretty close to deciding where to go. Anyway here’s where my portrait stands, notice how I changed the sword into a more pleasing shape and added the tattoo’s under the eyes.
I also changed the website header again today using some hand drawn text and vectorized trickery.
Here’s the next character portrait. I shot some new reference a week ago, because I was having a hard time making anything work from the pictures that I had. There’s something that gets lost in translation between a man in a shirt and tie, smiling while brandishing a long sword and a brooding elf hell-bent for revenge. But that is the life of an artist. I still had to adjust the features slighty to imply a darker mood hopefully the resemblance stays intact, normally I wouldn’t care but I am painting it for the “model”. I still may add tattoos or jewelry to flesh him out some more but overall I think it’s on par with the others.
By the way I’ve added the Ice Dragon and Wizard to the gallery so check them out too.
Sorry devout followers I haven’t had much work worth putting up for some time. But the christmas break blessed me with some pigment pushing. Remember that dragon from way back when? It’s seen an upgrade, I changed the head for the sixth time and now I’m really happy with it. the under-painting and background are coming along fairly nicely.
The first one has the basic background and colors blocked in. When I added the mid-tones and darks I took the opportunity to fix some of the anatomy. Mainly the fins on his back, the face and I beefed up the shoulder.. For the shadows I mixed up a bluish black and airbrushed over the blues and darkened some of the clouds. I still need to darken up the castle a little and add some mist, then it’s all about rendering the beast. I must say the photo doesn’t appear nearly as dark as the original.
Here’s the color version of my business card design. It’s been staring me in the face so long I don’t really want to look at it anymore. Not that I’ve been working on it, it’s just one of those pieces that has been left dormant for a while (much like that Dragon…ugh). Life always seems to get in the way of stuff you’d like to do or should be doing. Anyhow, I started out using watercolor but I found the colors were too muted and the image was devoid of depth so I added some acrylic to fix what felt was lacking. I tend to paint very watered down with acrylic anyway since I learned to paint in watercolor first. After switching back i realized the acrylic is a much smoother paint to work with and I happier to just use it. I’m pleased with the finished painting, the only thing I’m going to do is spray fix it and varnish it, then get a better quality photo (this one is way too brown and dark).
As far as taking photos vs scanning, photography wins and here are my reasons why.
1. The colors are truer to the original artwork.
2. Large pieces don’t need to be scanned in sections and pieced back together in Photoshop.
3. Glare and some unwanted texture can be avoided with proper lighting.
For Skump the photo worked better but the texture remains. I don’t find it as intrusive and I can’t complain since I am happy with the original and the texture is part of it. If I buy this acrylic paper again I’ll get the smooth surface and save myself the headache. For the paper I have left I’m going to either work the canvas pattern into the piece or smooth it out with gesso and a palette knife.
Here is the side by side comparison Scan vs Pic