Hindenburg Disaster Updated Oct 3rd, 1:44am (I think I am done)

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    Hindenburg Disaster Updated Oct 3rd, 1:44am (I think I am done)

    Well for my second illustration project at Cal State Fullerton we were given a "Great Disasters" project in which we had to illustrate some great disaster from history. Except for the fact that we were not allowed to do 9/11 or the Titanic, something our professor got sick of seeing to much, it was a pretty open assignment. Knowing me I like to take advantage of such freedoms. I had created a pretty long list from my research and settled on doing the Hindenburg disaster and since the real cause of the fire on the Hindenburg is still a mystery I blamed: WW II Gremlins!!!

    My professor managed to talk the Dean of the Art Department in letting me do the piece with a digital under painting just as long as I did more traditional methods in the creation of the final piece. So my plans are too do the under painting digitally, apply a layer of color pencil over this for the base color, then apply a clear gesso over that, add another layer of color pencil for more texture and detail and perhaps some acrylic over that.

    Anyways, I would like some feedback on the composition that I have so far before I start on the under painting and then after once I have the under painting starting to progress. As always feedback in any form is welcome.

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    Last edited by Ito Saith Webb; October 3rd, 2009 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Updates

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    I think this has a lot of potential! This may be more of a personal thing but diagonal compositions are usually a bit more dynamic in nature than the horizontal you have here. It allows for more eye movement and can definitely add some drama to the piece. The downside to this is that if you decide to switch up your composition, you'll probably have to restart. D=

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  5. #3
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    You know it did feel a little too leveled off when you mentioned that so tried swiveling in a little on the canvas. I even tried an even more extreme angle but it created to much negative space plus made me sick to my stomach. Is it an improvement or should I stay with what I had?

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    Well I decided to go with the slightly tilted version, just felt better to me. I have started the value under painting now and I am trying to maintain a balance of light that makes sense while at the same time maintaining good silhouettes of the zeppelin and the gremlin. Any feedback, paint overs and suggestions would be grand.

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    Update: well I worked on the under painting a little more but I tried to keep it unpolished as possible; part of the deal that was made with my illustration teacher and the Dean of the art department.

    This is as far as I go pretty much digitally although I am going to do a couple of small color comps as guides. The rest of the project will be applied by more traditional mediums. I will be using color pencil, clear gesso, more color pencil, ink, and perhaps even some acrylic paint if I have time.

    Before I start going that direction I am just trying to make sure that the gremlin and the Hindenburg are reading correctly. Any feedback would be grand.

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    HAHA THIS is RAD!!! I WONDER WHY ITS NOT IN THE HISTORY BOOKS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandmassa Mr. Spect View Post
    HAHA THIS is RAD!!! I WONDER WHY ITS NOT IN THE HISTORY BOOKS?
    Haha, Thanks. Well I think that both Torchwood and U.N.I.T. has covered it up, something about a secret mission.


    Imagination is not a total internal power but rather it is a reflection and multi-faceted projection of our experiences and knowledge. We take in information from the world around us and intuitively re-order it into something new. Something is not created from nothing but simply transformed from what was before.
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    Well I know it has been a bit before I could post any kind of progress but I have been having all sorts of trouble with transportation of my materials between home and school plus other stuff.

    Anyways, the digital under painting is as far as I am going digitally with this and from this point on it is all traditional. I am currently overlaying thin coats of color pencils so that the under painting values show through a bit as well as provide me a map. This will be only the first step after which I will apply a coat of clear Gesso over it, add another layer of color pencil for touch ups and then apply Dr. Martin's Radiant watercolor some of which maybe mixed with some clear gesso for light fastness but also to be used as a medium.

    Anyways I putting this down for tonight but would really love to get some feedback on this.

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    Keep us posted on how this works out. If I'm not mistaken that Jeremy Sutton guy works over top of digital prints (the guy you get a tutorial from if you bought painter 10), but I'm not sure exactly how (I bought the Jason Chan sketch instead- far more informative ). I'm more curious than anything about this at the moment.

    Why won't they allow you to do the entire thing digitally? I know we all have our different thoughts on the subject, but I was under the impression it was generally accepted as a legitimate medium amongst all but fine artists these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quigleyer View Post
    Keep us posted on how this works out. If I'm not mistaken that Jeremy Sutton guy works over top of digital prints (the guy you get a tutorial from if you bought painter 10), but I'm not sure exactly how (I bought the Jason Chan sketch instead- far more informative ). I'm more curious than anything about this at the moment.

    Why won't they allow you to do the entire thing digitally? I know we all have our different thoughts on the subject, but I was under the impression it was generally accepted as a legitimate medium amongst all but fine artists these days.
    Well there are two reasons I think why they won't let me do the whole thing digitally.

    The first was explained to me by my professor that there is already a digital illustrations class, which by the way is the next class I am finished with this one, because of this there is some weird political thing going on about treading on toes for the class teaching digital when it is not a digital illustration class. Now from my perspective my professor is not as experienced with digital painting as she is more of a pastel artist, so the only thing she would be teaching or guiding me about would be composition, tones and values which applies to every medium. She however is the one that showed me about the clear gesso and helped me understand about color theory a little more. My personal position is that the class is an illustration class not a experiment with mediums class. Si la vie

    The second reason is that I also think there is a still a war on and that it digital painting is still not widely accepted. While it is true that it is being more widely accepted there is still a stigma about digital painting that I often find myself still defending.

    Often, it is like this.

    Other Artist or person: Oh, very cool work. What is the medium?

    Me: Oh they are digital paintings.

    Other: Ohhh, I see. hmmm (usually they have this weird look on their face.)

    Eventually, I do think that digital painting will be more widely accepted but for now the war is still on, at least in my mind. However, I just roll with the punches and this technique that I am doing was in the back of my mind now for a while now, so when I am given lemons I will make lemon-aid. I like lemon-aid.


    Not familiar with Jeremy Sutton but I do like Jason Chan as well.

    Last edited by Ito Saith Webb; September 26th, 2009 at 01:45 AM.

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    LIke where you're going with the lighting. I think the rope by the Hindenberg is too thick for perspective. In perspective, it would mean the rope is actually getting thicker farther back. . . I really should taper to almost a thin line and disappear if it's that far away- and thin enough for a gremlin to hold in the first place. . .

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    Progress Update: Well for the most part I think I have this first layer done and I will then apply a layer of clear gesso for the second coat of color pencil. Because the light situation of my room is weird I had to adjust the snap shot to the best of my ability of what it really looks like.

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    Progress update: Well, after being knocked out for a couple of hours I did a little more rendering on the zeppelin and then applied coat of clear gesso to the surface. My room is still hot so the stuff dried like mad. After I have let this stuff dry out I can then work on the second layer of color pencil which should knock up the intensity a lot, create some interesting texture, and improve contrast. Then lastly will be the Dr. Martin's Radiant water color which will do similar to the second layer of color pencil but more so and with a different secondary texture.

    That water color brand is a super concentrate watercolor that almost boarders on ink and in fact I would not be surprised if you could use it in a rapidograph pen or fountain pen. There are to versions, transparent and radiant; the radiant version is even more concentrate and at the store tested it, boy is it powerful.

    I have included a earlier test piece I did at school with an older underpainting of mine, this piece not only has the color pencil, gesso and watercolor on it but it also has test areas where it was pastel, acrylic, white ink and some black ink. However, I think this should give you some idea how it will look in the end, except more colorful I think.

    Edit: I did bump up the contrast on these just a bit because it is a little hard to see the texture ATM.

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    Update: Normally you are suppose to let the gesso dry for 24 hours but my room was is so hot even at night it dried rather fast, however I did have the fan on it as well. So I was to eager to start work on it and now I am having to much blasted fun. Instead of taking a photo I just scanned a section of the paper that would fit in my scanner so you can all see the result of the color pencil, gesso, color pencil combo technique. I am having a lot of fun with it and the feeling is rather like playing with a shiny new toy at Christmas. I must say even with the practice tests I was a little nervous because the gesso dulled what I had already done however as soon as I started working on the face, well lets say I have the Snoopy dance in my heart right now.

    The areas that I have touched right now is really just the left side (our right) of his face. The sad part I can't go to far because we are suppose to be working on it in class as well this coming Tues plus I have an oil painting homework assignment to do. Anyways I am really starting to think that this will be my thing when doing illustrations. Concept art will still be digital mostly but still I think this may be "My Thing"!!!

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    Last update: For tonight anyways

    I just couldn't seem to put this down and start on my oil painting homework not because I don't want to do my homework for that class but I was having to much fun with this one. However, my batteries are running low, vision blurring, and I swear I saw my Gremlin wink his eye at me. Anyways would love feed back on my progress so far.

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    Hmm, I feel like the flames are losing some of the fiery feel they had in the black and white version. . . Don't actually know why, but I'm guessing it's because they should actually be reflecting onto the clouds, and it looks like they are in the black and white, but not the color version

    (and maybe you just haven't got to that part yet. . . )

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonroseart View Post
    Hmm, I feel like the flames are losing some of the fiery feel they had in the black and white version. . . Don't actually know why, but I'm guessing it's because they should actually be reflecting onto the clouds, and it looks like they are in the black and white, but not the color version

    (and maybe you just haven't got to that part yet. . . )
    Well there was some reflection before the gesso but that part of the process washes it out a bit and yes I haven't gotten to that part yet but thanks for bringing it up.


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    Well I guess I pushed myself a little to much last night or it was the heat of the day because I was knocked out this afternoon, however I did work on this some more before that and after. There was still plenty of light outside so that is my best source of white light so this is as close as it looks to the naked eye. As always I welcome any and all feedback, comments, or WIP crits.

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    That's weird. .I actually see more orange color in the clouds now that I'm looking at this on my mac. On my husband's IBM, the clouds looked completely blue, and the fire more of an orange blob. Looks much better on the mac.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonroseart View Post
    That's weird. .I actually see more orange color in the clouds now that I'm looking at this on my mac. On my husband's IBM, the clouds looked completely blue, and the fire more of an orange blob. Looks much better on the mac.
    You know I don't think it makes a difference what OS system you are using mac or Win but it really depends on the graphic card, your monitor and if they are both adjusted properly. I notice the difference on the monitor of an old friend of mine and my artwork looks different on it. His wife even said that he probably adjusted it to watch pRon, soooooo maybe that monitor you looked on the first time was adjusted for something else.

    My monitor is a good, HDMI Wide screen flat panel by HP, and it is adjust well for the internet and my painting programs, plus it matches 95% to what my printer prints, however watching movies often come off a bit dark and sometimes a little washed out.


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    Well my brother pointed out last night that the fire was inside out. I was aware of this and did turn it inside out to take advantage of the violet in the smoke clouds, you know for simultaneous contrast of yellow against violet. However, I start thinking it over a bit and though perhaps to do the fire in the way it is suppose to be so I did a paint over in PS, but now I can't decide.

    Please let me know which direction you all like more. So should I go with the rop one or the bottom one?

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    OK, I don't have to much time because I have to take off for my beginning painting class and I wanted to upload my progress so far. I have found that if you smudge with that Dr. Martin's Radiant water color that it stains your finger like mad and won't wash off, will just have to wait till it wears off. Anyways I think I am nearing the home stretch now as far as the traditional methods go. I will work on it a little long that way refining as I go but eventually I will take it back into photoshop and work it so more. I AM MAD YOU KNOW, MAD, MAD I am already close to 40 hours worth of work on this and yet I compelled to do more, More, MOre, MORe, and MORE!!!

    Anyways and kind of feedback would be grand and I will be making some rounds myself a little later on tonight hopefully.

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    Last edited by Ito Saith Webb; September 30th, 2009 at 02:16 PM.

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    Update: Well I think I am getting close to finished, at least traditionally. I have been slowly touching up and tightening up shadows with Dr.Martian's radiant concentrated water color in the deepest shadows as well as adding some more details. I will have to tell ya that water color really stains your skin. I have also been strengthening the highlights with white gouache mixed with the water color.

    I do plan on taking this into Photoshop to tighten up and clean up a little more as well but just here and there.

    I am still open to suggestion, comments, insights or any kind of feedback.

    Edit: Did a little digital work on top of what I have in clean it up.

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    Last edited by Ito Saith Webb; October 2nd, 2009 at 06:50 AM.

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    Well I think I am done. I have done my final touch ups in Photoshop but I didn't want to go overboard because I wanted to preserve a good deal of the texture of the materials I used. I have also spent over 63 hours on this project so I think it may be time to move on. I would love some final comments and feedback on the result.

    Hope you all like it.

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