Thread: Crushed it WIP
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:09 AM
Merethe T's Avatar
Merethe T Merethe T is offline
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Harstad, Norway
Join Date: May 2003
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Crushed it WIP

Hi all, I'm working on a new painting, and someone mentioned in a previous thread that it's been a while since I did a wip. That's true, so I thought I might as well do this as a wip.

I've been working on it for a while and have progressed quite a bit, but I have taken some progress shots of previous steps. I'll post them all here.

Step 1

I do the initial drawing on a separate sheet, and transfer it to the La Carte using transfer paper and an old Mungyo set. I got this set many years ago and don't use it in a painting. It works for the transfer though... I use a very thin layer for the transfered lines, and fix it with a light layer of fixative. I don't want to fill the tooth of the paper, or risk that the color of the sketch lines will be visible under the actual painting. The drawing is worked out in different ways. For more complex objects I'll use a grid, also for perspective in some paintings. I'll put down the main lines this way. For details, shadows and higlights I'll draw some in, others not. This is freehanded either on the sketch, or as I paint. I'll figure out which details to paint as I work through the painting, I find it easier to see what's needed when I paint.

Before I get to this point I have already worked out the composition. I work from a photo ref, and do a lot of the composing when I take the pics. I'll study the set up and adjust during the photo session, and can work out potensial problems there. I also use PS for composition work, where I check out if there's any problems with the set up, and adjust in the first drawing. This way I have solved most composition issues before I get to the actual painting.

So, here's the first part of the painting prosess. In the beginning I make my choises regarding colors, and pick out the main colors I'll use throughout the painting. I'll build up a pallette to use as a base, and this makes the painting come together in the end. I pretty much finish one area before I move on - or more correctly, I'll put down 2 - 3 layers and do a rough detail-finish. I always go back to previous areas later on, I'll usually spot some errors I need to adjust, or some value issues that need to be solved. In the end I've usually managed to spot issues like these, and this saves me from bigger problems during the process.

Working from photos works for me, but there's always room for trouble. Here's where I'll use my artistic lisence to make the painting work. I know some would say that I am a photorealist. I don't think so myself, even though I admire many photorealists' work, I'd be honored to be one. But when you look at my paintings and compare it to the ref there's always a huge difference between them. Especially when it comes to colors. I don't try to match colors to the ref, I interpret what I see and pick colors that isn't really there. The best way to describe it is that I somehow "feel" some colors, and use them in the painting. Maybe the colors is there, underneath the base colors, or maybe it's in my head - I don't really know, but the painting will always look different. I'll play with it and use colors you usually wouldn't find in real life. A photorealist would probably try to stick as close to the real thing as possible? I think this shows in this pic, I've exaggerated some colors in the eggshell, and some of the colors isn't really there in the photo. The blue color on the shell, and the green color in the egg white is made up by me, but still look realistic. Value is very important, that's the one thing I keep a close eye on all the time. Details can differ a lot from the
ref pic, some I'll leave out completely, some may not be correct - it doesn't really matter as long as perspective and the lines are correct.

It's actually interesting to write comments to my own work in a wip, it makes me think about what it is that I do when I paint, what is important to me and what are my guidelines. It's not easy, I don't normally think about it when I paint, I just do, lol! But writing about it makes me realize there's a lot going on even if I'm not always conscious about it when I paint. My usual model is - I look for shapes, values and color. I paint larger shapes first, than add smaller details. I focus on values and color while I paint the larger shapes. It's more important to try to stay true to the shapes in the photo for the larger areas, for smaller areas and details it's not that important. I've found that even if the shapes in the painting doesn't match the shapes in the photo it'll still look realistc.

Enough for now, I'll post this and come back with the next step. I hope this makes some sense, I tend to keep ramlin on when I get into this, I'm sorry if I get a bit tedious and boring!

C&C is always appreciated, I always appreciate your sharp eyes and comments!

Oh, and before I forget, this is painted on La Carte, 9x12". I'll come back to the pastels I'm using later on.

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