I have recently been trying a lot of subjects that I usually don't- landscapes, animals, etc. Here is a portrait of my friend's horse Amir, simply done for practice. I like the way that it turned out but will try to add more contrast next time, and loosen up my brushstrokes.
I used to HATE still lifes in high school but now that i'm a grown-up artist trying to improve more I've found myself going back to the basics. This time around, I don't hate it as much. It's a challenge for me because I am used to doing characters and creatures. I think that the different textures and wierd shapes that vegetables have could be very useful later on, actually, especially on the ugly monsters!
This post was originally inspired by a vegetable study done by fantasy artist Cynthia Sheppard. I never thought of digital artists doing traditional-type studies before. It's so easy, though, no clean-up! Therefore-no excuses not to do quick studies in Photoshop!
Cynthia Sheppard's painting is the first one and is shown here with permission.
Cynthia's Blog: http://sheppard-arts.com/blog.html
Cynthia's Website: http://sheppard-arts.com/index.html
Here are some face sketches I did without reference. Let me preface this by saying that if you don't have a lot of practice doing portraits- don't try this at home. Well, you could, but it's much more confidence building if you do it after building a foundation of knowledge about the face- a.k.a. life studies and lots of doodles. Anyway, this is just me messing around for fun, trying to get faster and better at faces and skin. I'm testing out different brushes to see which one gives me the best results in the fastest time. I haven't found the one I want to marry yet, but he's out there somewhere! I'm also trying out different color combos for the skin. Also, I am remembering not to shadow and highlight so heavily on the face or add a lot of detail- sometimes I get carried away.
Here's a few hints for making skin look transparent and full of depth...
#1. First of all NEVER use pure white or black. Use tints (colors mixed with white) and shades (colors mixed with black). If you use pure black it will look amateur and if you use pure white it will look like a bad movie poster from the 80's.
#2. Glaze (or the digital version- low opacity layers) alternating cool-tinged colors with warm-tinged colors. It also looks great if you work on the face with a slightly darker color than the end result, then add a thin cool layer on top that's lighter (see example on the blondie above- step 2-3)
#3. Stay on the gray side of the color box. I pushed it this time- really graying all of them more than I usually do out and I got a nice naturalistic result. I'm trying this in my traditional paintings too. It's good to experiment with your palettes. If you see a painting you like by another artist, bring it into photoshop and color pick from the shadows, mid-tones, and especially the lightest highlights.
Last night I went to a local art exhibition's opening night. The topic was video clips. It is not something that I claim to know anything about but it was very interesting to be immersed in a different world. The venue was the Pavilion- it's a nonprofit art space in Downtown Dubai near the Burj Khalifa (also known as the tallest building in the world). I spent a night trying to puzzle out a different side of art- Fine Art (yes, even though I have a degree in it!). I am more accustomed to Concept Art and Illustration, which are very easy on the eyes and always spoil the viewer with lots of assistance. They are by default, much less personal and raw. Besides, I tend not to live in the 21st century most of the time and contemporary art can seem so alien to me. Nonetheless, it was great to travel ahead a few centuries and check out what artists are doing now! I think that exposing yourself to new kinds of art all the time can only improve you, not to mention open your eyes to new opportunities/venues for your own art.
Galleries are free, so take advantage. They also really love to bring new people in, since Fine Art tends to only attract a narrow demographic. Fine Art wants to open it's horizon's as well so visit a gallery once in a while (especially opening nights), read the little text things, and try to find the owner/curator to ask them silly questions! They might want to ask you silly questions about your type of art! Sharing is caring people.
For any artists in the Dubai area you should check out the Pavilion. It makes me relive college! hahahah well, with less of the toxic paint fumes! There is a library of art books, a quiet study room, galleries, a cinema, and a shisha lounge. It's a great place to go with your friends, drink a coffee, and dust off your snobby art jargon!
The Pavilion's website:
The exhibitions I saw:
Welcome to my blog, Scorpion Lace. I am passionate about Illustration, Concept Art, Fantasy, Feminist Theory, Mythology, and dark chocolate.