Saturday, October 27, 2012


The surprise is...wait for it... I am almost done!

Things are starting to flesh out a bit. I intend on doing another layer on top of all this, but there's nothing like an under-under painting to make the second layer faster! I raised the woman's left arm so that it would appear shorter and more anatomically correct.

I took yet another round of reference photos to get the lighting for the woman's face more accurate. Also, I managed to cut off the first round of reference photos just above the knee, so I needed additional reference for the chair, table cloth, legs, etc. It looks like I will be taking yet another round of reference photos to solve the mysterious missing vampire arm issue. No, you would technically not see his right arm if it is still in the sleeve of the jacket that is being removed. Unfortunately, the real world does not always translate well within a visual composition.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Ball is Rolling!

In-progress shots of my latest painting:

Instead of laying down a sketch in graphite, I "sketched" with paint. It's a more haphazard approach, but when there are aspects of the painting that I am still not happy with, I can easily rub out large sections with solvent and a towel. 

In some areas I stopped working transparently (the woman's arm). I did this in places where I was making big corrections and could no longer "erase" a layer, which was dry at that point. I decided that I do not like the woman's body language. She went from sassy to inebriated when I really need ditzy. I take the time to shoot some new reference photos. 

Much better! The woman looks more flirtatious with the sharper body angles and tilt of the head. I am still not happy with the gentleman. I don't know whether I should show his right arm resting on the woman's shoulder or waist or whether that is physically improbable when his coat is being removed and I should leave it as is. See how I solve this problem next week!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Lovely Date for Dinner

While I am waiting for a new Wacom tablet to help finish my first official portfolio piece, I begin my next work, which will be in oil paint and digital.

This one takes reference from Psalm 73, especially the "clothed in violence" bit. It is not immediately apparent in this study, but the gentleman having his coat removed is a vampire in disguise. Right now, he kind of looks like he is about to take a bite out of the woman's hair. Also, the floating arms are somewhat odd...

I fixed those issues by having the woman look slightly towards the vampire gent and having more of the coat attendant visible. The waiter with the steaming entree in the background also gives a context clue that the coat attendant isn't just some random dude, but that we are indeed in some sort of restaurant. There are still a few issues: the vampire man looks constipated (and not quite recognizable as a vampire, even a vampire in disguise), the wine glass must be penetrating the woman's palm to be in that position, and the woman looks too sassy for the gullible, flirtatious character that I want her to be. It's time to take some pics!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gouache Troubles

Here is a close-up of the finished rendering of the hole. This is about the only part of the painting I am satisfied with at the moment, but it is giving me some incentive to really work through the hardships of the medium that is gouache.

I started blocking in the dark cast shadows at this point.

I had this idea of making my creature glow vibrantly. I was excited about it for a moment, but realized how unusual it would be to have such dark cast shadows on an entity that was generating its own light source. It just would not make sense. At any rate, I thought it would be much easier to add a slight glow digitally. 

I kept my brushstrokes much looser for the background, which was a good choice because I was at my wits end trying to blend semi-transparent layers of gouache. Now I am faced with the task of going back and refining the multitude of feathers. I think the best choice for me at this point is to start my next painting and work on this one at the same time, which will push forward both of their completion dates. In the end, I think I will be just as productive, if not more.