Seeing spots

I got to the point where I was ready to put the spots on the cheetah griffin. And I realized that I was going to need some guides for them. They go in distinct patterns, they don’t just sprinkle the animal randomly.

So, after staring at my reference photo for a while, I came up with the following spot flow pattern.

The resulting spots:

I couldn’t exactly tell for sure, but I think the spots in the middle of his side actually go in a spiral, like a thumbprint. Unfortunately the wing covered that up in mine.

I went with a real dark background in the end, with lots of texture brushes in it. I’ve been looking at a lot of paintings by old masters, and they were totally into really dark backgrounds. It makes your subject pop.

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3 thoughts on “Seeing spots

  1. Wow… Amazing. Would sure be hard to escape from though. The poor zebras. Or…whatever this eats…

    Out of sheer curiosity, which old masters have you been looking to for inspiration? Dark backgrounds, I agree. The contrast can guide the eyes. But it’s also pretty useful for hiding mistakes.

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    1. I actually talk about it in this post. The artists I’m interested in at the moment are Velasquez and Sorolla, but there’s plenty others who use similar techniques.

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