I made the most ugly thing last week. It's an entry for ImagineFX's Art Challenges. The creative brief was "Tarra's Scary Friend Beast". I started it with some photo collage of an oppossum (WIP#1) then started painting on top, developing the design and ideas as I went. The magic happened at the end (between WIP#5 and the final) when I added an olive-green layer set to "color" over everything. Then I just erased out a few parts of the monster to reveal some of the underlying pink skin. It really toned everything down well and harmonized all the colors. The reason that it worked well is because red (aka: the pink skin) is opposite green on the color wheel and they help to cancel each other out (that's how that horrible pimple-concealing makeup works).
I couldn't resist making Tarra a little girl in this challenge; there is such amazing opportunity for juxtaposing complete opposites (short/tall, beautiful/ugly, harmless/dangerous, etc). The "beast" was heavily inspired by opposums and naked mole rats (see references in wip post2) with a little bit of my Aunt Miranda thrown in. Just kidding! To be honest, I just wanted to paint gross slimey waxy skin on something hugely fat! I've given the story behind this image a little thought, though I think too much would ruin it. Let's just say I put the glowing kite there as a story point and a focus for the beast (and also because it's so awesomely out-of-place underground). I know you viewers can make up lots of good reasons why they would be using it. Maybe it's a magical glowing kite that is leading Tarra and her scary friend beast along their quest!
A few words about the Imagine FX Art Challenges for those who don't know: The challenges are geared towards semi-professionals (in my opinion) but absolutely anyone can enter. They happen weekly and monthly, and some lucky winners get printed on the glossy pages of ImagineFX magazine! It's great exposure and great practice.
***When you enter the first time the procedures for posting WIPS (work in progress) and links can be a bit confusing. If anyone has read the instructions already and still can't figure it out, please email me (email@example.com) and I will try to help you.
Visit the Art Challenges here: http://community.imaginefx.com/forums/41/ShowForum.aspx
Here is the Finals thread, where my entry is posted: