Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Schoolism Assignment 6 Step by Step: Alla Prima Painting

Right now I'm just uploading all the step by step images. Come back for commentary! Thanks!
Here's the Assignment 3 image I shall be coloring:

Here are the paintings I have chosen for color reference:

Keeping my initial b&w drawing on my workspace, as well as my color reference, I make a new document in Painter, 512 x 512 pixels large:

I use the rectangular select tool to make first a large rectangle within the new document, and then delete out long thin rectangles out of the center (horizontal and vertical) to leave four separate smaller rectangles about the dimensions of my b&w image.

Leaving the rectangular selections active, I start to color in color samples, roughly approximating my shapes in my final drawing. Here I am looking at the colors in the yellowish painting, just to the right of my work document: Pyle's "Marooned" painting.

I continue to try out another color set, here using the blue sky, the golden skintones and red heater color of James Wyeth's "Cat Bates of Monhegan" painting, just to the lower right of my work space.

My third color trial swatch is the muted greyish greens of Howard Pyle's "The Fight on Lexington Common". I block in the background first.

Working on the yellowish sky and greyer midtones:

Here I am working on the fourth color trial swatch, using the blues, greys, yellowish whites of NC Wyeth's "Island of Earraid":

Here I've blocked in the cow as well. Unfortunately I don't really have the dark silhouetted object that makes the Island of Earraid so appealing, so I decided to go forth and do a fifth trial swatch by adding on to the canvas size at the bottom of my swatches:

Here you can see the fifth trial swatch, using the colors from Andrew Wyeth's "Jack be Nimble" painting:

I was happiest with this color scheme with it's dark background, brooding feeling (to go with the scared cow), and the uniform but interesting colors of the stacked pumpkin shapes.

Now I start working on my actual painting. I opened the .rif file of my Assignment 3 "shiny object" painting in b&w and added a midtone grey layer on top of it, which I lowered the opacity on, to see my underlying canvas:

Over this I put a new layer on which I traced the basic shapes of my cow with the bamboo pen in a dark mid grey:

Tracing done:

I flattened the layers:

Then I selected my favorite color trial swatch, copied and pasted it onto my canvas:

I used the transform-scale function to make my color trial swatch the size of my canvas:

And brought down its opacity so I could see my work underneath:

Flattened the canvas layers:

And reduced my work size so I had my original b&w drawing, the original Wyeth painting, and my color swatches, all laid out for reference alongside my active work canvas:

Here I've started using my prof Ryan Wood's custom "washabrusha" painting brush to paint in the background colors and starting the cow. Just choosing the colors on the color circle at the upper right, and painting directly onto the canvas.

More colors painted in. Trying to get that dark background, the glowing yellows of the light areas of the pumpkins, and the saturated reds in the transition to shadow areas.

Working in more darks and lights to define the shapes better:

I realized I was losing my shapes quite a lot, so repeated the "grey layer, then draw the outlines on an overlying transparent layer" on my b&w painting, so I could copy and paste the line layer over my color painting. You can see I messed up and ended up drawing my outlines on my grey layer instead of my overlying transparent layer. Oops! So I had to use the magic wand tool to select my dark outline, instead of simply copying and pasting the transparent/outline layer. Oops!

Here I've copied the selected outline onto my color painting:

Using the lines to help me "fix" the color painted shapes. You can esp see the shape of the lower jaw, which had gotten too large: I repainted the sky to cover over the excessively large lower jaw.

Here I am using the "Just Add Water" blender brush to smoosh together some of the paintbrush strokes:

My prof, Ryan Wood, uses the "Dirty Marker" Felt Pen brush a lot to get a variation of color. Here I have used it mostly in the sky (where it is more "dirty" and dark, behind the cow's back thigh, over her back, in the upper left hand corner) and a bit on the cow's ribcage (where it is more orange now). I find it gets really dark really fast and don't like it much. Don't know how to manipulate it to my liking:

Trying out blue instead of yellow-orange dirty marker (in front of the cow's chest):

Using the Digital Airbrush brush, not so very successfully, in dark blue grey, on the udder:

Using the Washabrusha brush to darken the background:

Using the F-X "Glow" brush on the poor cow's eye:

Adding the "Glow" brush to the armour:

One thing I liked about the Wyeth painting is the scumbled textures in the sky and on the pumpkins, so I tried using the "Soft Pastel" brush to add that sort of dark scumbling to the armour:

Tried adding F-X "Glow" to the drops of milk coming out of the broken milking machine on the udder:

Tried using the "Smeary Bristles" distortion on the sky and the pastel on the armour to get more texture variation with more or less success:

Took a jab at the "Grainy Mover" distortion brush too, same areas:

Tried using the "Washabrusha" brush to add darker blue and more saturated blue on different spots on the milk droplets, as my prof had done in the tutorial on his robot's eyes (my cow's eyes didn't seem to lend themselves as well to such glowing):

Using the "Bamboo Pen" to add definition to the cow's eye and mouth expressions:

Using "Bamboo Pen" brush to add definition to rivets and joints of the armour:

I decided I really didn't like all the attention on the glowing milk droplets, so used a very large dark reddish "Digital Airbrush" brush to go over them, and the areas of the cow I wanted to recede more into the background, to bring focus on the more defined head:

More airbrushing over hind legs:

Using smaller digital airbrush to put in pocking etc onto metal near back leg and elsewhere. I've also used it to draw in the flies around the cow:

More dark "Washabrusha" to clean up around the cow:

Last bits of refining on the head, color and texture:

And here's the "finished" colored cow:

thanks for following along! Lessons 7-9 still to come!