View Full Version : Gouache WIP - Sports Squids 2

07-28-2007, 10:07 PM
After I finished the Football Squid, I threatened to do more athletic cephalopods. It was not an idle threat, just a drawn-out one. Here we have the WIP of the Socctopus. This should motivate me to finish quickly! All C&C welcome.

Start: many many sketches and doodles, trying to decide 1) content 2) positioning 3) composition and 4) value.

Next: value study. I was on lunch break at work and had only a sharpie and a blue highlighter, which work well for a 3-value study. Note crappy photo. Chastize photographer (me).

Then: in pencil, sketch out the composition full-sized. This is on cheap typing paper and is 8x10".

More in next post!

07-28-2007, 10:19 PM
OK, next steps. I posted this one in one of the sketch threads. I transferred the paper sketch onto Cradled Gessobord, and the pencil lines were very light. I washed in the dark areas (black sharpie in value sketch) with blue to help me keep my bearings along the way.

Next: background. I have been told that it is a good idea to do the background first. I am not sure why, but I suspect it has to do with 1) integrating subject and background and 2) getting bored and deciding the subject looks fine without a background.
Note blurry photo. Chastize photographer again.

The colors I've used so far: Prussian Blue, Cadmium Green, and Lemon Yellow, all Holbein. In the next step, I add Alizarin Crimson. I think this will be it for my palette, with the exception of white for highlights later.

Finally, and where I quit tonight, I painted the darks. I used a reddish-purple for the core shadows and a bluish-purple for the rest of the darks. I am probably not done with the darks; I'll come back to them later to make sure everything balances out. I'll also need to paint grass blades over the arms during the "finishing touches" stage.

Any critiques welcome! More soon!

Old Tex
07-30-2007, 05:58 PM
Very cool! (Watch your values where the black portion of the ball is against the tree and the white is against the sky. Those are disappearing and make the ball look lumpy.) You do a fun WIP!

08-01-2007, 05:47 PM

Thanks for the input! I would probably have missed that if you hadn't said anything. Anyone else have suggestions?

Here's everything thru last night. First step, paint the orange practice cone (http://prietosports.com/accessories/2cone.gif) and flag.

Next, lay in middle tones on the ball. I think I'll leave the white for the lightest areas. Maybe.

Finally, the middle tones on the arms and eye, and some grass on the arms to integrate octopus and foreground. What a big difference the lighthing makes in the color!

I think I've remedied the white of the ball against the sky (which I darkened), but not the dark of the ball against the trees. I'll do that in the final steps of adding highlights.

Not sure where this will go next. Lots of detail work to be done, like putting little spots and texture on the arms and highlights. I think I'll make the soccer ball spots more black, since the whole octopus looks sort of boring and monotone. I'm floundering a bit here; all suggestions welcome.

Does the eye make sense to you?

Thanks in advance for your help,

08-01-2007, 08:15 PM
Hi Meg,

The grass looks really good. How did you do that? The ball seems to merge into the body too much for me to tell them apart easily. Can you differentiate them a bit? Highlights would help the eye pop out, I would think.

thanks for the WIP!

08-04-2007, 01:21 PM

Thanks for the compliment on the grass! I covered the background with a thin wash of cad green, then went in with strokes for the grass, mixing dark and lighter greens. In the foreground, I used a 3/0 brush to make the blades, and in the areas further back, I used a fan brush and diluted the paint more. I left some of the original wash showing through.

And the body merging into the ball - I think that's good, because the ball *is* his body, so they should merge! I hope that comes across OK. I added some highlights - let me know if that helped the eye pop out.

A friend told me the eye wasn't focal enough, and he couldn't tell the little guy was supposed to be sleeping. So I used The Gimp to try a few different eye changes.



Finally, I ended up with this: sad. Maybe they lost the game... or maybe he's just sad that everyone keeps kicking him around. I added highlights and little details. I think it's done.

C&C encouraged!


08-05-2007, 01:51 PM
I like the third one the best. What a strange creature, though- a soccer ball-pus! The textures and highlights on the tentacles really shape them. Thanks for the developments.


08-06-2007, 06:23 PM
Thank you, Selene!
Weirdness seems to be my speciality. :D
Thanks for letting me know what works well in terms of form.

Alachua Artist
08-13-2007, 08:35 AM
HA! a soctopus! Love the imagination, and you pulled this off so well. Blending the ball and body is perfect. I don't get a sense of sadness at all, more like a "Whew!-glad-it's-over" feel. Very nicely done.

08-14-2007, 06:48 PM
Thank you! Glad to know his expression works in a few ways and the blending turned out OK!

Old Tex
08-15-2007, 09:41 PM
I love it! Great form, Meg... the ball, the eye, the tentacles... really well done.

08-21-2007, 12:43 PM
Thanks, Ralph. :D