Friday, May 12, 2017

Timeline of a speedpaint - part 3

With a basic composition done, it's time to start thinking about colour. At this point I'm thinking a nice, warm red for the sky, and some cool blue for the cliffs, so I shift the browns of the palette into this. Using photoshop there's a number of different ways you can achieve this over a value study - levels adjustment layers, curves adjustment layers, gradient maps, etc. All of them work pretty well for an underpainting like this - this isn't intended to be my final colour scheme, just a way to put some basic colour in before I start using 'washes' to colour it by hand.

With the basic colour in, I put some time into adjusting the less organic looking parts of the cliffs. The straight lines here in the previous stage are a little too straight - I've decided that my straight vertical lines should be limited to the lines of light coming up from the main structure, and having this form repeated in a simple framing element like this isn't ideal. An angle that comes inwards at the bottom, starting above the little city, helps me 'catch' the city in this element, breaking this part of the cliff more away from the upper part of the cliff, and a gentler, more natural angle above this narrows up nicely for the lumpy feature in the top right third.

Again on the other side I cut into the very plain angle of the cliff, hacking my way in with sky colour, getting rid of that plain, straight line of highlight that felt like a repetition of the angled highlight further below it on the same cliff edge. Once again, repetition of forms visible in a focal element isn't super ideal, so cutting it up made me more confident that this would now exist more as framing detail, rather than something eye-catching.

In the distant rocky structure above the city, I noticed that my random painting made for a shape that's almost like a stone spiral wrapping around another stone feature, so I spent a little time playing around with making this idea more apparent. I'm quite fond of making random marks with the brush and seeing what shapes emerge from it - a little like looking for shapes in clouds. I also brought some of the lighter, cloudy/hazy details that I'd added to the other piece of sky over to this part of the sky too, helping me define this silhouette a bit more clearly.

With the basic colour scheme in, and a basic composition decided, the first 15 minutes had me pretty confident that I had a workable design to go from. Next time we see this scene I'll be focusing on adding some more value contrast, to make it a bit punchier and a little less muted, and from there, onto adding some further details!

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