Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Painting Era

Earth Era

The dominant figure is supposed to be Era, the main protagonist from terrycloth's latest story, Familiar. She looks more-or-less like an otter with the coloration of a grey squirrel.

Whinging about one's artistic endeavors is a terrible habit, but sometimes I just can't resist. Doing this picture may have cured my recent fascination with painting. >.< The original is on 4"x4" cradled clayboard, which while huge compared to the art cards, is still tiny in the grand scheme of things. I spent an insane amount of time on it, probably 16 hours or so. And pretty much failed on the composition end of things, as well as making the background way too complicated. I should totally have not put that floating window with the spaceship in it behind her head. Argh.

I looked at a few tutorials on painting fur while working on this. That went something like this:

Tutorial: Step 1: Block in the animal with whatever the underlying skin tone is.
Me: Ok, got it.
Tutorial: Step 2: Block in shadows for the darker areas.
Me: [stares at otter pictures for a while]. Ummm ... okay, I think I got that.
Tutorial: Steps 3-9: Make it look awesome.
Me: Wait, what?

There was a lot of stuff in the tutorials about washes and highlights and color mixing and using ultramarine and raw umber instead of black and white and ... yeah. It didn't help that I have a really hard time picking out shadows and highlights on both otters and squirrels -- their skin is looser than on many other animals, and they don't get folds in the places I expect them to. Especially so with grey squirrels, whose fur pattern is an insanely complex combination of brown, grey, black, and white hairs. With orange around the muzzle and face. I'm sure there must be shadows on them somewhere but my eye gets lost in all the difference strand colors and I can't pick out the larger areas of light and shadow. Eventually I gave up and just threw some shadows in where they wouldn't look too out of place just to give the figure some definition.

I should go back and touch up her muzzle but ... no. That way lies madness. I am declaring victory and going home; the South Vietnamese can take it from here.
Tags: art, art talk
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