Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Breakin out the brushes again
Well, actually I didn't use a brush for this, but I will be soon. Posting all the old stuff made me really want to get back to drawing, and in particular to push my painting skills to the next level (I had only just started to figure out how to paint decently when I put it aside in favor of stopmotion a few years ago). This was done over a pencil drawing using Cra-Pas, the first application turned into a wash with some Turpenoid on a paper towel. Over that I just used straight Cra-Pas and rubbed with either a dry paper towel or my fingers. I kind of like the look of it, but it's pretty hard to get any detailing at all, and the colors are really transparent. The only way I could manipulate value at all was with either a black cra-pas (crude) or with a soft pencil, which I ended up using all over, rubbing it into the oil pastels with my fingers to blend it a little.
This is the kind of drawing I could see doing as a color rough before tackling a painting, although in this case the background is just an afterthought. Before attempting a real painting I'd work it out a lot more, and push the colors till they started to look better.
The character is Fafhrd, from Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series, which was some of my favorite reading when I was younger. He's a northern barbarian, but he's not a total hard-ass like Conan, I always pictured him as more of a great good-natured surfer type or something (but you definitely don't want to get him pissed off!). I've decided to concentrate on him to develop my painting skills, and at the same time develop my version of the character. I also want to try to paint his partner the Mouser, a little grey-clad catlike fellow. The Mouser is Fafhrd's polar opposite, a city boy and a smooth-tongued con artist as opposed to the brawny Northerner's direct open naivety and straightforwardness. But I must say I'm having a much harder time with him.... Fafhrd is so much easier being pretty close to a stereotype we've all seen a thousand times.
The other day I got Mike Hoffman's DVD The Secrets of Fantasy Painting, which is exactly what I needed to see! If you don't know who Hoffman is, he's a fantasy painter known as almost a shameless Frazetta clone. He takes the viewer through his techniques starting with an already finished drawing on bristol board, doing the underpainting in acrylics, and finishing over that with oils. Watching the way he works was a HUGE help! I'm amazed at how direct and simple his methods are, and it looks like a very natural way to work for me. In the near future I intend to do a bunch of drawing to sharpen up my rusty skills and then start a painting that I'll document here for you my loyal readers to follow.
Oh, and maybe I'll do some work on my movie now and then too! ;)