Mountains and dragon

Been working on my landscape pic a bit. I tinkered with the background mountains, finally had to eyedropper colors from the original photo. I felt like such a failure, but I just couldn’t eyeball the color. I kept making it too green. Turns out it’s grey-blue and dark gray-blue.

Here’s a closeup of the dragon.

I’m really enjoying painting from a model. It makes the shading so much easier! I put a guy on his back so the dragon’s look wouldn’t be so threatening. It goes from “Rawr I’m going to eat the kid” to “Oh noes we’ve been discovered!”

Commission pic: The Dragon and the Doctor

Here’s how it looks so far! I spent the evening working on the dragon, and only got to the Doctor in the last twenty minutes or so. I’m trying to keep his face very simple, because it’s only like 50 pixels tall. Why do I always do faces so small? They’re so DIFFICULT. Anyway, he looks sort of like Matt Smith. Likeness is so hard for me still. Especially Matt Smith with his weird pointed goblin face.

Shading metal

I remembered how much I love shading metal tonight. After fiddling with the girl’s face, looking up skin tones, erasing stuff and redoing it over and over … switching to that robot arm was like pulling out a giant Snickers and eating the whole thing in three bites.

Airbrush. 8% opacity. Black. And stroke-stroke-stroke-stroke and it’s done and it looks FAB. (Don’t worry, the details aren’t done, just the general metal shading.)

Now I want to go draw some robots when I’m done with this. 😀

In the rain detail work

I was in the mood for little fiddly work tonight, so I messed with the details here.

It’s hard to convey things like the side of a face and heavy wrinkled fabric in a few abstract shapes. Also lost and found edges. There’s lots of lines that begin in one place, fade away, then reappear at the other end. Also varied line thickness. Also hard against soft (especially in the face). Actually I worked with a lot of those Harvey Dunn art tips up there in mind.

Also hands are horribly difficult. Thank goodness I can understate these and fudge them by making them really dark. And fingernails. My bane, fingernails …

Detail work

I worked on my Chinese dragon pic a little more. Sonic’s looking decent now, but small people awoke from naps before I could tackle his hand and teacup.

Here’s what the whole pic looks like with the sketch layer turned off. It’s why the dragon has no eyes at the moment.

I’m pleased with the warm light/cool background interplay, but I think I need to punch up the foreground warmth even more. Also that highlight on Sonic’s top spike is giving me grief. I think it needs more transition from yellow to blue.

Fox in snow, nearly done

Worked on this for a while tonight and got it mostly done, I think.

Here’s the black and white layer.

Here’s the color layer on the fox. It’s subtle.

Now her eyes look alive!

And then the liberal amount of blue airbrushing for the background.

I think the fox’s coat needs another layer of lighter hairs and some snow sprinkles. And I want some red holly berries. Think I could get away with some kind of red berries, because pine trees totally have those?

Fur and pine needles

Fur and pine needles get painted in similar ways. Lots of short, definite strokes. Fur you need to curve, though, and pine needles need to look bristly.

I put the snow on top of the branches with the same strokes that I used for the pine needles, but with a fatter brush. Looks like the snow is kind of settling down into the needles, doesn’t it?

Black foxes only seem to be a variant of red foxes, so they have a black undercoat and a funky light overcoat, so they look like this.

Aren’t they pretty? They remind me of a cape hunting dog, for some reason.

Anyway, I’m working from dark to light on my fox’s coat, trying to duplicate that wonderful salt-and-pepper look.


Been tinkering with rocks and the palette knife tool.

My reasoning was that since the palette knife works great for rocks in real life, why not in digital paint? And it does look pretty good.

I tried to follow the technique of “laying tile”, where you paint a stroke, then paint a stroke next to that, and so on, rather than going over the same spot over and over. It seems to work really well for rocks.

Works pretty well for water, too.

It made the foamy splashes on the wave kind of square, but the foam on the edge in the foreground looks really good. Not all is with the palette knife, though. Some is with the oil pastels, my standby.

And here’s the whole thing:

I realized that I had committed the cardinal sin of putting the horizon smack in the center. So I cropped it to bring it higher than center, since most of the interest is below it.

Details, details!