View Full Version : Siren - WIP
08-21-2005, 03:27 PM
Just wanted to share this project, which is my first wip here at WC. Some (very) long time ago I saw a picture from a famous model in Brazil, whose pose had given me some nice ideas of a fantasy art piece depicting a siren. At that time I was really amazed by Mike Mayhew´s art process and wanted to try something inspired by his fantastic painting method. Based on my "vision" I started to put a lot of scketches together, as shown bellow. My initial idea was not to go into a extremelly photorealistic approach, but rather some interesting life realistic elements, such the mermaid but with artistic brushstrokes as a landscape.
08-21-2005, 03:37 PM
This is my reference material: I needed to get some cool feeling about undersea life.
National Geographic mag has tons of great material, and therefore was my choice for background.
Ah! This is the model picture who started it all. Soccer fans may recognize the model: Daniela Cicarelli, Ronaldinho´s short-time wife (and headache?...) :evil:
Anyway, it was not clear if I should reflect her facial expressions at the final painting, and decided not to. Mainly due to her posture with the media and to avoid any extra legal problem.
08-21-2005, 03:45 PM
After playing with some more sketches I reached this point.
I did a detailed line drawing, took some xerox copies and saved for the final painting.
This one shown here was done over watercolor paper with water-proof ink pen. I found a nice Faber-Castell product named Pitt shades of grey artist pen, great for sketching.
08-21-2005, 03:50 PM
Next step: play with the color composition, and that´s the main reason to go over watercolor paper...let´s use watercolor to see how the color balance should stay.
I slowly built the color hues and tones as reference for the final outcome.
Do you agree that this colored version is nicier than the B&W version, huh?
08-21-2005, 03:58 PM
Do you remember the line drawing copies I did?
Here you can see it over my support: 19x27 sheet of Fabriano 6. A good airbrush support and replacement for the discontinued Schoeller.
After filling the whole opposite side of the copy with HB graphitti
, I taped the support & the copy over a woodboard and transfered the main lines to the board.
Second picture shows the lines transfered with red pencil. Why red? I could´t remeber all lines. Believe me there were lot of lines, and when you have a 3 years old kid, you may not be able to perform a single task in one single shot - hehehe :wink2:
08-21-2005, 04:06 PM
After lines were transfered it is time to plan things over the final piece. I had decided that the mermaid should have a more realistic feel, so best way to achieve that is using opaque colors.
I worked into 2 main colors (3rd & 5th from L to R), and worked with variations of it, adding more white or more gray.
This will be my pallete for the mermaid human side.
You are probably asking when the hell I am going to spray, right? hehehe...be patient. Next post I will show the airbrush part.
08-22-2005, 12:41 PM
thanks for sharing this with us
08-22-2005, 07:28 PM
Excellent job, and thanks for sharing your process with us. I think you did such a wonderful job bring this piece to life. Looking forward to seeing more.
08-22-2005, 08:02 PM
definately watching for the finish. bill
08-22-2005, 08:34 PM
Penny, Lucidwhale & billiam thanks for your supportive words! :clap:
Well let´s jump to the funny part: The mermaid hotbotti.....
Once the mermaid got frisket covered we cut the "negative" mask out, save it on a safe place (out of children & cats sight). First picture shows my palette with the colors mostly applied.
I had started with the lightest color, fully sprayed to reach 100% coverage, then lightly started to fill in the next darker hue, building contrast between shadows and light according to the model´s photoreference and my detailled sketch. I also used some loose masks for the fingers, shadows bellow the arms and some parts in the face (better shown on the second picture).
08-22-2005, 08:51 PM
I then go back for lighter hues and try to apply some nice color shift tips gave by Profesor Tim ( I wish I could master that, damn it!! :mad: ). But that is ok. Let´s leave the human part rest for now.
Let´s get some focus on the tail: For the tail I decided to go with transparent approach. First I diluted ultramarine blue like 10 parts water to one of paint. I did like 5 hues from lighter to dark, and with a number 3 sable brush (those used for watercolors) I started to add small strokes to simulate a fish appearance. Waited for paint to get dry and...
Then, applied a darker hue waited to dry, & so on
After the last hue dried I then loaded the airbrush wit a middl hule and slightly created volume for the tail.
Darker hue helped to get a sense of true volume. Very important thing: When working w/ transparents you should always save the white of the board.
Wonderful thanks for sharing this looking forward to the completion. Could you post the formula for the mermaid colors you used, I can't quite make it out under the color chart.
08-23-2005, 11:27 AM
Base color was built using createx opaques: 1 part red, 4 parts yellow, 2 parts white, 1 part water and 1/2 part extender (both to thin it and turn slow dry).
For the darker hue (5th on the right) I added same mixture above + 1 part o opaque black.
For the variations, createx opaque white was added.
Since you´re dealing with createx you need to make sure to thin it, otherwise it will really clog your AB. A good proportion is 2 parts of water to every 1 part of opaque paint.
For the tail partI had used transparent golden airbrush acrilycs.
08-23-2005, 08:03 PM
Let´s work on the face now:
Fine line brush and colored pencils for the small details such as nostrils, lips and eyelashes.
Same done for hands and small body details.
Apologies for the out-of-focus picture.
08-23-2005, 08:07 PM
This is how the mermaid girl looks like after frisket removal: doesn´t look quite naked??
Ok, still a lot to go...
Hope you´re enjoying this.
08-23-2005, 09:31 PM
This has a "Vargas" style and flair! It's looking great and the detailed explanation is fantastic. can't wait to see more!
Thanks for taking the time to share all of this!!!!!!!
08-24-2005, 09:07 AM
08-24-2005, 09:46 PM
aaces & Penny - thanks for your patience... :wink2:
Now it is background time: Based in 5 different colors-
2 blue hues (darker & lighter) starting from top-down of the attached picture;
Light green & darker green - right on the same sequence;
Last but not least touches of yellow to depict some landscape details.
Notice that all was brush painted, at this point
08-24-2005, 09:49 PM
This pic shows the left side of my board: Notice that aftr one complete day with brush and liquid acrilycs I started to airbrush an (even) darker shade of gray.
This can be better noticed underneath mermaid body.
08-24-2005, 09:51 PM
This is the complete picture from last post.
It shows the transition of the airbrushed shadows over the traditional brush painted ground.
Still a long road to go...
08-25-2005, 05:56 AM
Is there a reason why you paint the foreground image before the background?
08-25-2005, 10:23 AM
Nope. It was basically my decision to go that way.
Some prefer to get started with the background part first, some prefer to add it afterwards, which was this case.
08-26-2005, 08:32 AM
Claudio, for me that would be like eating desert before dinner. Something I don't object too but knowing me I'd have an extra slice of cake to find I am no longer interested in actual food!
08-26-2005, 01:19 PM
Penny - I agree with you...That's a cool comparisson!
Sorry for the long delay on posting this, but I got involved into a bunch of professional commitments & meetings.
This picture shows the right side of the landscape after dark colors were airbrushed. Few considerations about it:
After darkening I notice that I needed to add the yellow details over the vegetation. I used high viscosity acrylics (like liquitex) with a #4 sable brush. Also added the small yellow drops, applied a fine mist of darker green and painted more yellow dots over the vegetation.
I had then painted the pale-green vegetation (bottom) using the same high-viscosity paint. I did same thing all over the bottom.
Notice that you can see some white fish silhouette. I initially planned to build them using liquid mask - this picture shows them after liquid mask was removed. However they turn out not to meet the effect I was planning. I will take care of them later on.
Now it is time to plan the deep blue sea...
08-26-2005, 01:21 PM
Ok, I haven't took pictures of all stages until I reach this one, so let's try to explain it:
Background was all done using opaque colors. Mermaid got masked and I had prepared 3 main shades of blue:
A mix of a darker ultramarine blue (for the deepest sea), mix of white + ultramarine blue to reach the top color, and a whiter version of than for the sun rays.
Everything was sprayed freehand, with the exception of the light rays, done with loose mask.
This pic, gives a nice feel of the final outcome, doesn't it?
08-26-2005, 01:22 PM
This is a head shot, providing details of the face and hairs. I had created the hairs mainly with airbrush at this point. Later on colored pencils will be used.
Also enhanced some facial highlights here & there.
08-26-2005, 06:05 PM
This looks really good! Glad to see you trying the opaque for the skin tones. The shading of the vegetation really made it look good. Thanks for posting all the details and info.
08-27-2005, 05:07 PM
Hey, thanks professor!!!
Now it is fish time!! and this is my frisket applied over them. Cut the masks out. And get prepared to spray....
08-27-2005, 05:09 PM
Opaque white in various thin layers.
08-28-2005, 11:13 AM
very nice work here and I will be watching as more of this comes to life thank you so very much for sharing so many detials to this piece starting off. I am enjoying this work as a compstion piece.
08-29-2005, 10:53 AM
Here you can see acrylics applied with brush.
08-29-2005, 10:54 AM
Frisket back again.
Sprayed a small mixture of Blue & white and some orange and green, depending on the fish.
08-29-2005, 10:56 AM
Worked on more details using a brush
08-29-2005, 10:57 AM
And back on the same process again...
apply mask, light mist of paint, add details with brush...
08-29-2005, 10:58 AM
....until you reach a desired effect.
Isn't a cute little fish?
08-29-2005, 11:00 AM
I missed something to balance the whole composition, so I choose one small coral reef at the bottom right of the painting.
This was done similarly: Coats of opaque white, brush with acrylics, airbrushed with a darker color and so on.
08-29-2005, 11:02 AM
This is how the final composition looks. Still some refinements to be done, mainly for the closer subjects and the mermaid itself. Watch for next posts.
08-29-2005, 01:04 PM
Looking good! Not sure, but you might look at the amount of shadow for the mermaid's (oop, siren's) skin. Maybe look at the belly area and see if it needs a tad more shadow but don't change it cuz I said so! You have a great start/middle/almost end but stand back and look at it from a larger perspective and see what you think might help and maybe play with a pic on the PC first. Or, use a thin sheet of plastic (drafting film) and spray over it to test an idea before applying to the piece.
I think the final touches are the hardest to do. Maybe it's just me though.
08-29-2005, 01:46 PM
You're right Tim!!
I am staring at this for the past few days...I do like it and it seems to have everything in place from my initial sketches. I also got attempted to add more shadows to the belly and so on....I believe you're right. Will try to play at photoshop, and see what it can be done during next days.
Thoughts and ideas are welcome!!!
08-30-2005, 11:22 AM
This is how her bikini was rendered: heavily diluted Smokey to create some wrinkles and same color airbrushed to create a sense of volume. This was sprayed with loose mask.
Notice the back part of the bikini: it was done with opaque white and a fine brush. Shadows on the skin where done with pencils, and small airbrushed area on the region closer to her arms.
08-30-2005, 11:23 AM
I also decided to darken the bottom of the tail. It adds contrast against the deep blue see. This was done with a mixture of darker blue, using frisket (used the same frisket-that's why you should always save your masks!)
08-30-2005, 11:25 AM
Added small fishes on the background, using dark blue pencils. Same was done here and there to give a sense of randomization.
08-30-2005, 11:26 AM
and back to her face again...
Adding more texture and details using pencils.
Bubbles were created with a 00 line brush and opaque white, then thin layers of white sprayed over to create this flare effect.
08-30-2005, 04:35 PM
It's looking really good. But... hehehe I will give you my opinion and don't hate me for it!
I am not sure I like the idea of bubbles because it makes her have to always be surfacing every few minutes!) but if you must add them, they probably would not float out to the side of her mouth and then up unless there was a sudden current they hit. Plus, her mouth is closed and it looks odd that air is coming out. Perhaps from her nose would be better? Or... some coming from the vegetation like an aquarium? hehhe I'm full of ideas! Maybe not great ideas but ideas still!
But they look really nice! I was going to comment on the bubbles earlier at the sketch part but didn't. They do increase the underwater look so I don't hate them. Don't let my opinion spoil the thread! I know you appreciate constructive criticism.
But now for the praise part: Great job on the wip! I have really enjoyed following it. I think you've done a great job explaining the steps you've taken. I wish more people did wips. I like sitting back and watching the art come together.
Can you video your next one and send it to me on DVD? hehehehe I'm serious!
08-31-2005, 11:02 AM
Well I'm finally able to view and post. This looks nice, be sure to show us the final version when you are done with her.
08-31-2005, 01:28 PM
Penny & Karen,
Thanks a lot for your supportive words!
I do appreciate your criticism, because it is simply honest and I like that. Said that I reflected a while....and....nope. I am not going to change even though your assumptions are right!!
See, I spent some time trying to figure out some ways of giving some underwater credibility and saw this cliché a while ago...which I wanted top replicate here.
But you're correct. In a real world the bubbles wouldn't act that way. Anyway, I do not think sirens exist in real world...hehehe...do they?
BTW I loved your ideas! You're a powerhouse full of ideas, man!!
I played with the shadows on Photoshop and will post it later on today, so I can have some feedback from you guys & girls (I am in a hurry now...)
All the best. See ya
09-01-2005, 08:17 AM
nice work.well done
09-01-2005, 10:51 AM
Professor, check my belly shadow, manipulated with photoshop. I do not plan to darken it too much.
Cs & Cs welcome
09-01-2005, 02:16 PM
It looks really good! Never think you must change because of me. One thing you did that really improved it is the shadow on the underside of the big tail fin. Contrast, my man. hehehhee
So, I'll go back into view mode and watch for the final pic.
09-04-2005, 04:58 PM
I will post final pictures in 3-4 days. Going to spend some holiday time w. family.
09-14-2005, 08:29 AM
Hello Folks! After a long & cold winter, this is my finished piece:
Darkened the belly part, corrected some small parts on the hands, add a couple of small nuances at the face, corrected the ears...
And I will leave it this way.
Hope you enjoyed this wip as much as I enjoyed doing it!! :wave:
All the best!
09-14-2005, 09:46 AM
Good job! Very colorful and the skin tones are very believable. Love the webbing on the tale.
09-14-2005, 10:58 AM
Hey, thanks a lot professor!!!!
All the best!
vBulletin® v3.5.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.