Monday, April 2, 2012

'Rout' Process

I finally finished the oil painting I've been working on in my free time. Though I'd post some process shots.

I went through several sketches for this one, some of which I've put up in earlier blog posts, and finally landed on this one. Another awesome artist, Josh Godin, gave me some feedback on it that I tried implementing in the final- moving the horse on the right over a little to give the main rider some breathing room, putting some more contrast on that main rider, playing with the shapes of the flying dirt in the foreground to better suit the arcs of movement, and closing the window of light shapes formed by the guy's arm on the upper right.

I used a 20x30" stretched canvas for this. The major shapes and drawing were done in vine charcoal, since it's easy to erase and I wasn't working from a preparatory sketch.

Major values for the foreground, middleground and background are massed-in using thinned out raw umber.

The entire painting was going to be keyed to the main rider, so I painted him first.

This was the last progress shot I took. Once I got the ground done things started to fall into place, but some things still needed major corrections. The fortress in the background bothered me from the get go, and the sky was too plain, so I painted over the whole thing and added a cloud, which made it look like the dragon was coming down for the sky, so I played that up. I'd also gotten rid of the horse and rider flying through the air, so I needed to add more evidence of the carnage in the background, behind the main rider.

With the major corrections done, it was just on to refining, which is probably the most time-consuming part, and for me, the least interesting. Gotta slog through the boring parts though :). This is also typically the part where I hit the reference the hardest- I try to take my pictures as far as possible from imagination. At a certain point, I can't fill in the information from my head any more though, so I need the reference photos to tackle details.