19 March 2012

Process shots: Wolves

As requested, here be a little run through how I made the wolf painting. As some of you might have noticed, I used some custom shapes to build this. Custom shapes is a tool that Sparth pioneered after he saw the potentials of his experimentation. It works similar to custom brushes but it allows you to manipulate the shapes differently (quickly stretching and squashing them). Without going into too much of an explanation of what custom shapes is (I learned it all from just Googling the words anyway), I shall continue with the process.
Firstly, I use the custom shapes to make masks for different elements like the trees, rocks and bits of ground texture. Each are on their own layer for ease of use later. It is helpful to plan ahead, I already had an idea of the composition and layers I would work in which lets me lay down the masks a bit more deliberately.

With all the masks established I paint on one layer underneath it all for the areas that aren't masked off. The painting is pretty loose but the details are preserved by the masks.

Now I can paint freely within each masked areas without worrying about ruining the edges which gives me enough confidence to make broader mark makings. There were some colour dodge layers involved to add lighter tones that also gives some saturated hues.

At this point I flatten the image down and from here onwards all I am doing is paint with a simple round brush. Custom shapes is a tool and not necessarily an end in itself. Some paintings fail in my opinion because they let it be all about the dominant painting method employed. These are paintings when we can clearly see they are fancy custom brushes or custom shapes or even filters but left as it is without editing done to it.
In this painting I went back to retouch some of the edges that were made too sharp from the masks and generally try to disguise the tricks I used. The plan is for the viewers to be concerned with the scene first and maybe after closer inspection they may notice the technique.
The wolves were painted with references as I always do when Im not sure about something ... which is nearly all the time. One last quick tip to throw in about referencing: reference it, dont copy it.

1 comment:

Danny said...

Cheers Ben nice procccessssingggees!