WIP: Update on Stick Woman

She’s coming along. Since my last post I’ve painted some large branches in the middle background, and some lighting and shading. There’s lots more to do, including adding texture to the branches to make them more convincing. Near the end I paint over whatever I want, and however I want, but right now I’m working…

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WIP: Adding Local Color

It’s a bit muted right now because I haven’t added any lighting or shading. There’s only a line drawing, with flat color under it. I made it more complex by varying the colors of the sticks that make up our stick figure. That helps to delineate which sticks or branches are which. Incidentally, the ability…

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WIP: Line Drawing Phase

This is another exercise in lighting, shading, modeling, anatomy, perspective, work-flow, and when working from the imagination. I also intended it as a work of art, but working within certain parameters, and with a given objective in mind. My followers know I like to compare digital painting to MMA, in which case in order to…

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Practicing with Profile Sketches in Photoshop

Quietly, and virtually unrecognized by the art world at large, there’s a renaissance of figurative artwork being created on the computer. Rather unexpectedly, digital painting has revitalized the practice of traditional drawing and painting skills. It’s a bit like how people started writing letters again after the arrival of email, and subsequent to letter writing…

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WIP: B&W Sneak Preview

Almost finished. It finally occurred to me to look at the image in B&W to see how my lighting and modeling is without the distraction of color. Not bad. It looks more like a digital sculpture than a drawing, which is what it is. I’ve still got some detailing to do, and other modifications. Should…

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WIP: Adding Rim Lighting

The rim lighting is difficult for me, and almost seems perfunctory. It’s a sort of cheap trick often used in comics. But it is also a really effective way to articulate form in shadow, which works for this sort of subject. Note that I’m not an expert at this, I’m learning it as an exercise,…

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WIP: Adding Texture

This stage is all Photoshop. I’d almost consider it cheating if it weren’t such a pain in the ass to pull off; if I weren’t going to paint over it; if I hadn’t done everything by hand under it; and if this weren’t an exercise using professional digital painting for illustration techniques. Here, one has…

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WIP: Adding Rough Shading

The much more clever way to do shading is to make a 3D model, and then move the light around to find the perfect angle. But doing it the clumsy, old fashioned way is good practice, and this piece is just about honing my skills. The shading made the bat lady more 3D, but it…

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WIP: Adding local color

Think I’m gonna’ go for blue skin with pink details, yellow-orange irises, and a dark red/purple ball of the eye. It’s a bit saturated right now, but after I add modeling, lighting, shading, and texture, it should be pretty cool. The gif animation has nothing to do with it. It’s just a snappy way of…

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WIP: Bat Lady’s Back

After taking nearly two months off this piece in order to finally finish my SFAU series of 36 images, I finished the line drawing stage. I used my orignal, front on, concept sketch to create a 3D version. The hardest part was the weird, ornate nose. Very difficult to place it so it comes out…

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Bat Woman in Progress

In my last post I shared a method for brainstorming ideas for creatures, and my theme was bat people. I’d made 9 thumbnail sketches, which you can see again below. I combined these to make 7 new variants, and then narrowed it down to the following four: I’d decided that the bat people I saw…

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WIP: Adding the Power of Rim Lighting

What a difference rim lighting can make in a hyper-realist image. This is the first time I’ve really attempted this technique, and it took a lot of tinkering to get a result I was satisfied with. Rim lighting is a technique illustrators and other artists borrow from cinema. You have your main light source —…

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Finished the Course!

Above is the final demo in the class, and all credits go to Andrew Hou for the digital painting, which I recreated as part of learning his process. As my regular readers know, I’m a trained “fine artist” working in digital media, and currently learning the industry standard digital painting techniques from illustrators in order…

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Runaway Rant: Skill Matters in Art

I haven’t been writing or sharing anything lately because I’m in one of my training periods. This involves a lot of knuckling down and plowing through tutorials and exercises to fine tune my skills, and that requires a bit of a humble and honest mindset. It’s not fun compared to creating, but it’s essential to…

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Reflections on: The Personal in Art

[Usually I call these impromptu writings “runaway rants”, but that implies a certain combativeness or railing against something, which is sometimes true. “Reflections” is probably more fair, at least when I’m not objecting to something offensively stupid.] Sometimes something is so goddamned obvious we don’t see it, and I would not think this about myself…

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New Art [Page Revised]

It’s been more than a year since I’ve updated my New Art  page, and it didn’t even include my Selfies From Alternate Universes series. It’s now revised to include all the recent work, with added thumbnail galleries and slideshows. I’ve reproduced it below. And just a quick note. I find it odd and a little…

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