Heres a work in progress shot of my current painting for the AIBJumble blog. The theme is 80s cartoon and if you cant guess which one this is..... for shame! There was quite a wide selection of great cartoons to select from, it got me in the mood to go through some of those 80s cartoon intros. C'mon, just check these out: Theme 1, theme 2, theme 3 and theme 4.
Anyway for this image I went for the iconic He-man pose with some Frazetta influences. Its that old fantasy composition of a heroic character posing atop a pinnacle. Originally I was going to keep a plain sky as the background but thought I could create more drama with the castle Grayskull looming over the character. The two towers on either side makes for a good framing device too. I took care to try keep a flowing composition, keeping most of the diagonals following one path so its not too hectic. You can probably see it in how the spine of the cat flows into the left edge of the rock and the tail leading you back upwards along the tower with the right tower continues back down the cat's spine. Adding a mist of atmospheric perspective between most of my elements is a way of separating them to enhance readability (always think of that 'initial read'). If the values of the castle were as strong as the character they will fight for attention (contrast in details (economy) and values). Even the cat's body behind the hero will have some atmospheric perspective to cut him out from the hero's silhouette. A problem I faced was the cat's head, it is close to the edge of the painting and his body is facing outwards and if his head followed that direction then the viewer could be lead out of the painting by his gaze. My solution was to turn his head inwards some more and keep his eyes looking in. There you go! Some of the inner workings of this painting thus far. I think we should end with THIS!