Step by step – Flirty (and tutorial)

Only one pic this week, but I worked on it all week. As you can see here, each step took a day. In the case of the shapes stage, two days.

These are me and my husband’s Destiny characters.

I was practicing figure sketches, and I liked this one because it kind of tells a story. So I turned it into a full pic. I also tried doing all the shadows with the pen tool, mostly because of this tutorial:

Practice pic by WinXu Xu on Artstation

See how the black shapes and the gray shapes in the first stage are on separate layers? And he colors on them separately? I wanted to try doing that. I’m afraid my first try was pretty tame, but I want to continue experimenting with this technique.

I’ve also been scribbling out a new fanfic. I noticed that it was getting kind of long, so I checked and realized I’ve written 30k. Pretty much just for fun. I love it when a story has that much pull. So I’m tossing it online, slowly, until I get it finished. Fortunately, the last third is in sight, so it’ll be done in a few more weeks.

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Landscape painting practice

Lately I’ve been trying to improve my neglected art skills. If I drew as much as I wrote, I’d be fantastic by now.

Anyway, the internet is awash in tutorials. People are so generous with their knowledge! So here’s three landscapes I’ve painted lately, with the tutorials I used. You know, in case you’d like to try them, too.

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Landscape with ruins, painted from this tutorial

landscape-sunset-skull
Draconic horizons, painted from this tutorial

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Misty forest, painted from this tutorial

I’m trying to do very different color palettes and styles, here. Keeps them different and interesting. Eventually I’ll work up to painting landscapes from real photos. 😀

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!”

Fun landscape

One of my relatives posted a bunch of pretty fall landscape pictures. This one caught my eye, for some reason. Maybe it’s the fence.

A while back, James Gurney did a workshop where people were to go out, take a picture of some spot in their town, then work from that photo and a model of a dinosaur, and paint the dinosaur into their town. The idea has intrigued me, and I decided to try that.

So I busted out one of the few interesting dragon models I happen to have around here. Changed it a bit, of course, since it’s a copyrighted design. All I need is the lighting on it, anyway.

Landscapes are a lot more interesting when stuff is happening in them. 🙂

Thoughtful Friday

Been thinking about lots of stuff lately. Like Nanowrimo and what I’m going to write for it. I’m thinking of a zombie story.

When we visited Arizona, I studied the colors very closely. The Sonoran desert is highly colored. You always see deserts on TV as being all one color–brown, maybe, or yellow. The Sonoran desert is all primary colors, assuming your palette is the rebel colors of red, blue and green. 🙂

Trying to get back into the swing of things. I should be writing or drawing or something else productive. Instead, I’ve been building a series of networked cities in Sim City 4. That’s constructive, right?

Lighthouse tinkering

Got a few minutes to spare today, so I worked on this pic a bit more.

Ignore the lighting on the house. It’s wrong. Instead, look at the spiffy foam on the ocean. I was trying to do that fishnet pattern that foam always gets, but I couldn’t make it look right. So I started erasing big chunks of it, and it wound up being that messy, foamy look that restless water has when it’s been talking to the rocks.

Also realized my lighthouse was leaning to the right, so I tried to fix that. My lighthouse still looks like it’s some kind of Cake Wreck, but it’s getting there. My architecture skills are sadly lacking. The dragon and guy are going to get some love soon, too.

Lighthouse progress

I’ve been working on this in short snippits of time. Here’s how it looks so far:

The lighthouse’s stripes aren’t working for me. I think it’ll have to go pure white. Some of my rocks are too uniform (you can count them, stack of five, stack of five, stack of five). So I need to break those up a bit more. But you can see the values coming up from the deep darks I started with. The darks reinforce the drawing, while the lights carry the color. It’s one of those quotes up there in the widget.

I think the guy and the dragon might be a little too understated. My thought was that the dragon is more of a sea-dragon type, with big fins, and he’s waiting for a fish for his dinner. But maybe I should make him bigger and more European. I don’t know. I like smaller, more approachable dragons.

Lighthouse color blocking

I tinkered with colors and mood for my Kinkade-copycat pic.

Here’s a sort of sky painted in. I changed my mind halfway through, which is why it’s so many colors. Still working on that. The foreground is just all the dark colors that will give structure to the light colors later.

Here’s my main references:

A real lighthouse on the sort of cliff I’m trying to draw. Notice how the rocks are all worn into triangles. That’s why I’ve got so many triangles/pyramids in mine up there.

And here’s the Kinkade:

Lots of trees, a picturesque cottage (nowhere do I find real lighthouses with picturesque cottages attached to them), and a light in every window. One thing I notice with Kinkade’s paintings is his expert use of neutrals. You can’t have light without dark to set it off, right? His darks are very gray to set off the lights.

Of course, that’s also just good color management. So this is a fun exercise for me. I’m having a nice refresher course on painting and color theory. Time to break out Gurney’s Color and Light again …