I'm just starting out using color. For some reason its verry difficult for me. by that i mean i can spend literaly hours on a painting and not be done with it. Can i get some advice and tips from those who have exprience. And any advice on how to go about this pic would be very helpful. Thanks for your time.
Paint with blocks of color. Use big brushes and lay in the paint opaquely. Refine and blend later.
Note that it helps immensely if you already have a finished value thumb to reference. Color thumbs are also useful for insuring that the colors will work, but isn't quite as important as nailing the values.
Queen of All She Surveys
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If you're just starting out with color, it would be a good idea to do a whole lot of studies from life in color (still life is probably easiest to start with. Landscape is excellent practice but a bit trickier due to the light constantly changing on you...) Once you start observing and painting colors from life, it becomes a lot easier to figure out color when working from imagination. (And I do mean from life - photos won't really cut it for in-depth color study, their color range is too limited and usually the colors in photos are not true to life.)
And you can use real objects to help figure out how the colors will behave on an imaginary subject, too. For instance, in this picture, you could find some object that's about the same shade of yellow that you want the creature to be, and look at that object in bright sunlight like what you want in your picture, and see what the resulting colors are in the highlights, shadows, midtones, etc. Obviously it won't give you 100% of the possible color information for the scene, but it can get you in the ballpark.
(Or you can go totally hardcore and make a whole model creature, and light that and use it for reference... I admit I usually don't have the patience/sculpting chops for making whole maquettes so I usually just grab something of an equivalent color and texture and wing it from there.)
Also I'll second what hex said about laying in the big basic color areas first before fiddling with details or smooth transitions. What I usually do when painting digitally is I paint a tiny version of the picture first, basically a rough color thumbnail, no detail or refinement; then when it looks good as a thumbnail, I blow it up to full size and use it as a base layer and build up the finished picture on top of it. And when I paint traditionally, I usually have a rough underpainting where I lay in my main colors, and again, I build up the finished painting on top of that. For me, having all the main colors in place right from the beginning helps me see all the colors in context as I start refining. Otherwise I have a tendency to shift things darker or lighter or bluer or yellower than they should be...
I can attest to the above, had a similar issue when I just got done doodling myself. Started out with an in general ref of light and color, but it wasn't very good. So I tried to use my imagination to mentally edit things. Realized my limitations and that I need to do a lot more studying from life.
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Originally Posted by choopcheek
But my goal isn't book covers. I want to become a concept artist. Although I wouldn't mind spending weeks on a painting I don't think a concept artist works in that kind of time range.
Worry about getting it done, than how much time you think a concept artist needs.
Why? Because you're putting the cart before the horse. If you aren't finishing your work now, then that's your problem that you need to focus on than worrying about it in a certain time frame. As you do more you get better, you figure things out and how to do it more efficiently.