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Old 03-08-2008, 06:13 PM
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Ltaniea Ltaniea is offline
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Maori Moko WIP

<deep breath> I have no idea what possessed me to tackle something so intricate, but I have been throwing around the idea of trying to do something like this for over a year, and I've finally taken the plunge. I have NO idea what the outcome is going to be and whether I'm going to be satisified with it or not. I think once I finish this one, I'm going to immediately start another similar one so I can perfect all the mistakes I make in this one while it's still fresh. Not only is this a detailed picture (taken from two reference photos), it's also my first proper attempt at human skin. Ridiculous, yes I know. You're supposed to start with something easy! But...here we go. I will try to keep you all updated as this goes along, and please, for those of you that know a thing or two about human skin (like Garbonzo - the bald guy in your signature is amazing), please send the pointers my way because I feel like I haven't a clue what I'm doing here. Give me something with fur anyday! Hah..




I am a Canadian living in New Zealand for the last year or more, and having a look into Maori history and tradition. For those of you who are unaware, a Moko is the full face tattoo that the Maori's used to, and sometimes still wear. The old method of putting them on was to actually engrave into the skin and in some of those pictures you can see the ridges and depth between the skin and the tattoo'd part. The reference material is obviously new because it's smooth like any modern tattoo.

Cheers,
Nat
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:41 PM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Wow..I went and posted this and THEN started looking through all the recent posts that I haven't seen. There's a lot of new projects that are of human subjects ... Diana your girl with the mask is incredible! It's exciting to know what is possible and scary to think of the work I need to do to get there! Tips please!!
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:06 PM
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Diana Lee Diana Lee is offline
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Nat, this is really looking good. What a great subject. Is there any chance of seeing a closer detail?
There are a lot of techniques for creating skin texture, my preferred technique is cross hatching. I feel I get better control using crosshatching. It is very important to use a light touch and many layers. I used an X-Acto knife with a #11 blade for the girl with a mask, but with the African Woman and the Light Striped Woman I used the scratchboard tool with the pointed nib (because they are a larger format). I also keep my strokes pretty short.
I have included two images here. The smaller one is the size of the piece in real life. The second one is a closeup so you can see there are many layers. Again I must say a very light touch is really important. After doing the eyes, (I always do them first) I will pick a section with a strong highlight. Then I start with the lightest area, (but I don't bring it up all the way, I do that last) then I work on the med tones and the darks. Then I will bring up my highlight and move on to another area. I am not suggesting you do it like I do, everyone has their own way, I am just telling you how I work.

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Old 03-08-2008, 07:08 PM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

From what I can see you are doing a bang up job. I can't really see the fine scratches to pin point what tecnique you are useing but what I can see looks awsome. Going to be a powerful piece.
Pam
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:23 PM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Well, you've taught me lots already. I'm attempting the cross hatched thing, but I thought you had to stay at proper angles with whatever contour the skin is at....but from oyur examples your layers appear free to go at any given direction. Is this right?...and speaking of layers, that sounds so much smarter than what I'm attempting ...to go at it all at once. I had plans to go over this again and define hightlights and fix stuff up and smooth places out..like the nose as such, but not like the many layers you described. Very good thank you. Hopefully these give you a little better detail as to what's going on here..

His eyes are very rough...I was too impatient to get on with seeing more of the face before finishing them up, so at this point, they're quite undone still..


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Old 03-09-2008, 09:00 AM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

What a great thread! I love the way you've waded straight in with a complex piece, and you are doing great - more than great!! Fabulous subject too!
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:50 AM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

I think you are doing very good on a wonderful subject.
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:31 PM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Natalie, this is a really cool project. I admire your willingness to try something you are a bit unsure of. You however are doing excellent so far. Doing skin texture is not as difficult as it appears if you, as Diana says, scratch lightly and build the contours by scratching in layers. I sometimes add the highlights and then blend away from them to get my contours. My skin textures are much heavier than Diana's. I'm still learning myself and I'm much heavier handed than her. I look forward to seeing your progress on this.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:19 PM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Wow, Nat! Way to dive right in... I admire you courage. What you've got down is already very striking and I love hearing the history behind the reference. I can't wait to see where this takes you.

- Tania
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:52 PM
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Diana Lee Diana Lee is offline
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Thank you for the closeups. This looks really good, you definately have control of your tool. BTW, what size is this and what tools are you using?

Quote:
I'm attempting the cross hatched thing, but I thought you had to stay at proper angles with whatever contour the skin is at....but from oyur examples your layers appear free to go at any given direction.
One of the best things about art is there are no rules! I think I start at proper angles to give me a base for reference, but after that I let the contours and shading call the shots.

Like I said before I don't mean to tell you a "right" way or order to do things. I always do the eyes first mostly because I am unsure of my ability to get them just right. If the eyes are off then the whole piece is off. Some artists here don't start with the eyes. Cathy is a good example of not always starting with the eyes, but she is very good with eyes so she has nothing to worry about.

I hesitate to load you up with a bunch of suggestions, but the lines in the iris part of the eye might work better if they were scratched in a direction that started next to the pupil and went to the outside line of the iris. I have included an image to show you.

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Old 03-09-2008, 10:55 PM
Obedec Obedec is offline
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

fascinating, and what a subject, please continue.
and Thank You.
Karen
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:13 PM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Nat, I thought I would send you a link with more flesh texture and a tatoo. Tatoos are hard! You are very brave, but it looks like you have it under control.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...ighlight=hindu

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Old 03-13-2008, 02:56 AM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

Again, thank you all so much for the comments. I'm so excited about having a place where you actually get some feedback..rather than..."Scratch-wa-huh? What's that?" Haha.

Diana, good point about the iris of the eye, and please don't worry about "loading me up" with tips... I'd love to have more please! Most of everything I've learnt has been by trial and error, and getting to learn from another's experience is a luxury!

I generally scratch with an Exacto #11, but I haven't been able to find any of them (like so many other things that can be tough to get in NZ) so as my stock runs out, I've started using disposable surgical blades. They're about the same size and fit into my pen just fine. It took a little getting used to because the tip is shaped differently, but it's better than nothing. The board is an 11x14, portrait. The first picture is zoomed up slightly, so the face is a little smaller in context.



My next job is to perfect the art of getting proper pictures up here, but for now this will have to do. I put this second picture on so you could see my attempts at the creased forehead and aged skin. It's coming out a little more easily than I thought it would. I'm not happy with the top lip, but I'm not sure what the problem is so I don't know how to fix it. I've stared at my reference photos endlessly but they've given me no answers. Any suggestions?



I put this third picture in so you could see the eyes closer up. Again, I'm shooting for the older skin underneath the eye. Not complete but hopefully it will get there. The vertical line in the left eye is just a reflection the camera caught from those packaging lines (those of you that use Ampersand boards will know exactly which line I'm talking about - it shows up on all of their black clayboards,...will disappear when it's sprayed). I tried to enhance the lighting effects on the eyeballs so they look a little glassier.



Hopefully you can see in some places where I've gone over my original crosshatching in different directions like you did (Diana), and I think it's helped to smooth things over. Here's a better one of the lower part of the face so you can see his lip problem.



I need to start thinking about how far I want to go with hair / headdress / maybe nothing? Any suggestions on the best way to frame off and finish this?
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:08 AM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

L'taniea, this is so excellent. I think you've captured the aged look very well. I really like the eyes they have that wet look. I'm no expert but the lip looks to me like it comes up to a point on his right side. I think it should make a slight downturn on that corner of his mouth as it curves away from the viewer, similar to how the left side does only it should be a shorter tighter downturn. It would help to lengthen and bring out the upper lip a bit. Just an opinion and I hope it helps.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:38 PM
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Re: Maori Moko WIP

This is coming along wonderfully well, you should be proud!!

Diana
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