Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To the Sky - Finished painting and progress images

As can be seen in my previous entry, I posted four progress steps for a painting titled "To the Sky." This is the completed painting:

This was primarily an exercise to push contrast. I noticed much of my previous work was lacking in contrast, falling either too light or too dark with not much variation between. While I definitely still see room for improvement, I was able to iron out some difficulties and definitely have ideas on how to improve for next time.

Although I included them in a previous post, I think it's worth posting the progress images here to show the steps leading up to this painting.

Thumbnail sketch:

This is where I figured out my composition and the basic figures. This was not my first thumbnail, as I did quite a few before settling on the composition and poses.

High contrast study:

Before even putting paint to paper, I wanted to determine the areas of light and dark. Anything below 50% is black, and anything above 50% is white. I still need practice on this, but I was able to figure out the basic areas of shadow.

Final pencil drawing:

This is where I fleshed out figures, forms, and details. The full tones will come with watercolor and not with graphite, so this is why this version is so low-contrast. There are many areas where I do not want graphite showing through the watercolor, and some areas where it's desirable.

Color comp:

A bit of digital color over the pencil drawing helps me decide my colors and detail the contrast a bit. For this, I wanted the vibrant blue of the sky to compliment the yellow and orange tones of the gryphon and cloak. These colors aren't meant to be a set in stone, however. Often I deviate slightly from the color comp if I find certain colors work better with the watercolor; digital color never quite works the same as watercolor.

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