Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Another process

Step 1
Line drawing of the major shapes. I've always heard to see "shapes" not "things" but never fully grasped why. I guess it helps in recording what you "see" instead of what you "know",  which is what I've been told. For me it also allows you to mentally start with bigger elements, and how they relate to each other.  What works for me, in the drawing stage, is to forget about being accurate to the "shape" and the contours of those shapes, and be more concerned with the "area" those shapes take up.

Step 2
Lightest light, darkest dark and easiest color. The sky was my lightest value, and the shadows of the trees in the mid ground were the darkest value. I find that if I'm going to make a mistake in either of these value points, that it's more to the extreme. I usually tend to make my darkest dark a little too light, so I purposefully go a little darker to be safe. If I feel it's too dark, adding lighter values on top and having darker values poke through feels natural. If I start too light and have to darken, the lighter values underneath make it feel spotty. Also, I was looking for the easiest color to get right. I find, and this is a personal thing, that it's usually a fairly saturated or pure color, and there are no real subtleties to it. For me, neutrals have a lot more room to get them wrong without a good base for comparison.

Step 3
Filling in the rest. Again, always asking myself if the color I'm putting down is lighter/darker, warmer/cooler, more intense/less intense than the colors around it. Also, and I feel this isn't said enough, adjust colors when needed. Just because I put down a color doesn't mean I can't go over it if I feel that my initial observation was off. A lot of other artists are so awesome that they do get it right initially. I do A LOT of adjusting.

Step 4 
Refining. I could have stopped at step 3. I probably should have. This was just adding smaller shapes and slight color variations. I geek out when my initial block in looks like a simple cut out of the refined version. It means my initial color observations were correct and my shapes were good. It really does make me super happy.

Step 5
Towers. I didn't need to add them, and I probably shouldn't have, but I did. Live and learn.

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