Trying to make the candelabra black enough without actually using any black. Think tomorrow I'll search charity shops for one of those Make-up doll's heads and actually light a candle to see exactly how the shadows will fall on the skull, the candles and the ground surface.
Fed up trying to guess.
I need to finish this by tomorrow. I still have a few tweaks to do on the skull (the cheekbone on the right is dodgy) but my main problem is the flames on the candle. I ... just... can't... get it right.
It's for fliers, so I can probably get my printer to import a flame in Photoshop (no, I'm too dumb to do that myself). However, it's really bugging me. I did light a candle and try from life, but, URGH!
Any tips or advice?
You need to rub some white on as a circle outside and take most of it off as the aura. Also make it darker between the flame and the aura.
I didn't see this one. The aura is much too big; candles don't give out that much light. The whole background is too light if you want a spooky feel. Just mix some burnt umber and ultramarine, thin it well down and cover the entire picture, but be quick to wipe it off where needed like the skull, part of the candle sticks and the flame.
I keep looking at the live crabs at the fish store and then say no, but it would be better then having to smell them as they go off. I think you need to go darker from the off as it's easier to make it lighter later with acrylics, also it gets the form easier.
The skull and candelabra was always intended to be a poster (which explains the odd composition). Needed a poster in a hurry tonight, so took it into Gimp and did some digital. The text is too close to the left-hand side, but I'll fix that when I have more time. It took me longer to print this out than to fake the parchment and do the text. It's a start, though...
Working on Beauty and Nightmares with Blackspot who lives over 500 miles away was a real challenge. We spent about 3 days just brainstorming by email before we started work, and, since we both like the art of Alphonse Mucha, we decided to make a nod to his style to unify what we did.
We swapped composition ideas and thumbnails before we settled on images.
I didn't want to go down the blood and gore route; just wanted to create a sense of threat or menace, so the colour choices were important. Found my inspiration in this...
... because funghi are creepy, right?
Other inspiration was these arial roots
I wanted everything just slightly off-kilter and vaguely unsettling. Also introduced symbolism like the rotten fruit (it's a well-past-its-sell-by-date lychee in the raised hand,- painted from life), the ivy, the crows, the arial roots that look snake-like.
Things were constantly being changed and re-painted until by the time I reached this stage
it would have given me enormous pleasure to throw the bleedin' thing out of the window!
That's the great thing about working as a team, though. You keep pushing on where you might otherwise give up.
Anyway, for good or ill, the final version ended up like this
before Black Spot added a digital frame.
I hope you like it, but, personally, I enjoyed the planniing, enjoyed the pressure of the last two days when things were coming together, and would rather not remember the grind of the middle section.
Last edited by alesoun; June 1st, 2011 at 07:27 PM. Reason: typo
We kick ass as a team. Here's the final version with us both. It was a real pleasure working with you.
Nice colour feel and the sky has a good hazy sunshine look to it.
Don't knock it. It has a nice, almost 50s feel to it.
That dark patch on the left of the standing boy needs to be lightened. Sorry, it looks like a shadow.
Better, but it still looks patched. Not the whole sky, but you need to get it to blend in with the rest. The trouble with acrylics being that they dry darker, so go slow.
There is definitely a voice trying to get out in your work and every now and then it just explodes into being. This is such a moment.
The other moment I came across is the first stage of those three angels of yours surrounded by blue.
I'm not just saying these two things were good... they were special.
If it's any help, I think your strength lies with a one-to-one affinity to shape rather than naturalism. (and that's a GOOD thing!) Your landscapes have an uncanny magic buried deep inside them that is hard to pin down for just this reason.
That's why those three angels lost their poetry the more they became 'rendered'.
That's not to say stop practicing the rendering side of things - you're improving all the time. (And Black Spot is is giving a lot of helpful advice BTW!)
But the two examples I've cited should give you an instinctive idea of what I mean.
Feel free to PM me if you're unsure of what I'm blathering on about..
Last edited by Chris Bennett; September 25th, 2011 at 06:41 AM.
From Gegarin's point of view
Do you see how what your painting has to say really SPEAKS now?
The painting is really about those rocks, not the people standing on them - you are saying it with pure plastic shape and don't need the literary illustration to 'tell your story'. This is what the visual arts are all about - to 'tell a story' by plastic means.
The work on those rocks isn't 'rendering' (which when all is said and done is only barnacles on the hull of the ship), it's expressive shapefullness!
And very beautiful it is too.
From Gegarin's point of view
Dog's right leg looks a bit awkward. Love the trees and wonder how the penguins will fit in.
Just noticed your comments, Chris. Thanks... and you're right. I just love shapes. It's shapes before colour for me, every time. Shapes and connections, though I'm starting to play with colour more nowadays.
Blackspot, you're right. The dog's right leg is awkward. I need to go back and check it out this week again. I'm thinking of making the trees become penguins... slightly tipsy penguins. Want to play with some fantasy work for a change.