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I did dozens of thumbs for this, upshots, downshots, longshots, closeups, etc. etc. etc. About the only thing that stayed consistent was the gesture of the central character. The challenge for me was getting all the elements in, while having the birds and frogs big enough in the scene that you could easily tell the plastic birds and frogs from the live birds and frogs.
I'd been leaning towards setting this in an ornately-windowed atrium, but I ran across these entryway arches in Amherst and really thought that if I took the building off of them, they'd give just the right sense of weight but also airy structure.
To open up the view a bit (so we can see down on the toys on the steps as well as up into the air to the flying birds) I'm using a bit of fisheye perspective. Toyed for a bit to get the angle right. Then I thought I needed some more height to the arches, but as I started laying out the composition in those tall arches, I found I liked the shorter arches better. I still can't really tell you why. Tall and airy seems like it should be the winner, right? But nope, the relatives short and squat harmonized w/ the little girl better, made her feel more part of the scene than in front of the scene.
Last edited by Jason C-M; August 5th, 2009 at 12:48 PM.
Great composition you have worked out and the line drawing is looking very well developed. Look forward to see how you tackle lighting on this one.
Mind made worlds.
A lovely sense of wonderment you have captured in her face. Looking forward to seeing more.
Great idea, really spot on with the theme. I hope those dinasours won't cause any mischief when it's finally their turn.
thats some pretty kick-ass pencil work
i found the last sketch interesting, like the way you used the eye shape method to get your curvature of perspective....hmmm interesting
nice work so far
"resistance is Futile!!!"
I'm having a work stoppage due to circumstance beyond my control. I'm having a printer blow up my drawing to mount it onto a board, and they've not done it this morning like I expected (I'll be painting in oils). How frustrating!
Thanks for the kind words, guys. I'm a bit anxious about getting the piece finished in time.
As for the inscribed in a circle perspective drawing -- I'm a bit of a perspective enthusiast:
I love this drawing...the concept is so sweet and innocent. Its almost as if its her imagination that is bringing the toys to life! look forward to seeing the oils!
This is very cool ^_^. Also, thanks for the interesting perspective demonstrations, it's something I often have issues with, so all new stuff helps ^_^
Finally got the drawing enlarged, and mounted it (in three pieces) last night. I've done the acrylic underpainting (such as it is) and now I'm going to hit the sky clouds.
I feel like painting sky and clouds is a weak area for me, so I really want to work on it this time. After that, rather than working back-to-front like I have in recent pieces, I think I'll hit the main character, THEN work back to front, then do the second coat on the main character. At least that's my plan right now.
Why is the "easy" stuff always so hard? These clouds and trees are killing me.
What success I am having in these areas is due largely to stuff James Gurney posted on his blog, especially the notes about James Perry Wilson's diorama backdrops.
Not much to say other than plugging along here. Values and temperatures are being a bit of a struggle for me. Cool bounced light on brick evaded me on the first attempt, I hope to get it in properly with some glazes a step or two down the road.
Last edited by Jason C-M; July 20th, 2009 at 09:15 PM.
This is looking great! I'd love to see a traditional artist win this.
Thanks amigo. I am happy with how the clouds are coming. They're going to need some cleanup (on stuff you can't see at this rez) and some color temp adjustment, but they're much stronger than any I've done before.
This piece is being real slow-going, I'm not quite sure why. I'm gonna make the deadline if it kills me.
Thanks for the kind words.
I had someone say recently that traditional artist/digital artist isn't the way to look at things anymore. The really hot stuff is being done by people who flip back and forth, their digital work improves their traditional work, their traditional work improves the digital work.
What he said felt really right, and it's been making me want to really dive into digital work. I've done comic book coloring digitally, and dabbled in honest to goodness digital painting, but I've not even scratched the surfaces of its strengths.
I've often felt on this piece that I've been "covering up the canvas" more than I've actually been painting. Last night I finally felt like I was honest-to-goodness painting. You know, it's not that you think it's genius or anything, but just you lay down a stroke and it feels good. The paint flows how you want, the pigments mix quickly and easily, all that good stuff. I'm hoping that feeling will keep up (well, that's unrealistic, how about "be there more often than not") for the rest of the piece.
p.s. I've always wanted to paint frogs. I should have done them before -- they're fun! Still a bit intimidated about the birds, though.
The next painting has an octopus in it. I'm looking forward to that one.
Deadline decisions said I needed to get the first layer on the face (there'll be three when I'm done) done yesterday if I was going to get the final on by Friday.
I've got a couple reference photos I took I'm using for this, but the changes I've made to the pose and expression are fairly significant. It's also shot to simulate north light -- cool highlights, when the piece has her in direct sun -- warm highlights. Adjusting the temperatures on the fly is more of a challenge than I thought it'd be. Add on to that some drawing struggles (this expression is trickier to capture than I thought) and painting was pretty much a day of struggle.
But it's down, and the next layer will fix and refine, that's what it's for.
Now (after a quick browse through some other entries in this forum) I'm off to paint some birdies (another first!).
great progress, i wish you'd post some larger images though so we can see all the details. nice work on the frogs, i'm sure you're gonna add it in later but what the heck, the frog jumping off the stair would be xasting a shadow on to the wall it just leaped off of. at this rate i'm sure you wont have any trouble finishing.
Well now that I've got the first layer of paint down on everything (except the bush in the lower left, I AM going to post some bigger photos. The piece is done concept-wise. Everything that's going to be there is there, but it's only 33-50% done paint-wise. Everything needs another layer or two of paint.
And just for fun, here's a super-detail of the tiniest bird in the painting, and the brush I used to paint him. I wasn't doing it as a stunt, that was just the brush I had in hand and it worked so I didn't switch to a smaller brush. I'm often guilty of using a too-small brush -- but not this time:
stunning... the concept, the perspective... the brilliant coloration of the environment... do you painted this with oil paint...? anyway, keep up the good work... I have the feeling that your work has a fairly high chance of winning this contest...
Yes, this is in oils. I did the drawing in graphite, had it mechanically reproduced larger and mounted it to birch plywood, did a quick acrylic underpainting, and now it's all oils all the time.
As for my chances of winning -- thanks for saying they're good, that makes me feel nice. I'd be flat out amazed and thrilled just to get into the top ten. There are hundreds of pieces going into this contest, and most of them are rockin'.
I am in a good mood. It's my birthday today and I just went out for breakfast w/ my daughters (8 yrs and 2 yrs) and we shared our bagels with a bird that kept coming to our table. Great way to start a weekend.