Deepest Forest–WIP 3

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Haha, and I have even managed to install my scanner drivers properly on my new laptop, so you can see the colors better than on my crappy phone camera!

Let’s see, what have I learned since the last time I posted.  I’m getting a little better with my water-brush.  I’m finding that it works much better to only squeeze it when the brush tip is very nearly dry, at least if you are doing detail work.  Otherwise water comes out in a big blobby and sits there on the paper.  I also experimented (not on this piece) with using it in conjunction with watercolor pencils and found a very interesting technique.  You can rub the tip of the water brush against the head of the pencil, and pick up quite a strong amount of pigment without saturating the brush head.  Of course, this only works if you are okay using the pure color from whatever pencils you have on hand.

Also, permanent rose does not set up.  It was over a week after I painted the amaranths hanging off the bridge and just touching them with water made the color spread immediately.  It was unintended but I think it will be okay, and now I know to do anything with permanent rose last.

Deepest Forest–WIP2

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The second day’s work on this piece.  As you can see, the warm colors are coming in.

I suppose it would be useful to describe the palette I chose for this.  The RYB colors are Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow, and Cerulean Blue (Winsor & Newton).  I’m also using Payne’s Grey and a bit of Permanent Rose in places.  Now that I have the basic hues down, I’m going to start developing more depth of color and detail across the painting.

I’m very happy to be working on my new laptop; Photoshop loads in less than 5 seconds on it and it’s spectacular.  Having my art computer be able to talk to the internet is going to be extremely nice.

Deepest Forest–WIP 1

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Here’s the first round of work on this piece.  I’m quite happy with the way the paper is staying flat after stretching it, though I need to refine the process.  This is also not indicative of the overall palette of the piece; the upper right half is going to have a lot of warm colors and yellows in it.  Then I’ll pull some earth tones into the upper part of the tree/bridge that will hopefully help unify it.  The tree trunk is also going to get more solid and dark as I add more layering to it.

I started in on that upper portion today and I’m worried it’s not quite meshing yet, but we’ll see.  I’ll take a picture of it when I get the sun back tomorrow.  : P

Deepest forest–pencil preview

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This is the pencils I have laid down for my next watercolor piece.  You can see here that I’ve actually stretched the paper this time (we’ll see how well it works once I start painting on it, though).

I’ve found that the best medium for this stage is the .5mm mechanical pencil I’ve loaded with 4H lead.  That is about three steps harder of a graphite than your standard pencil.  It works better because 1) much, much less smearing, which is something I’ve always struggled with (right-handed person who always manages to start on the right-hand side of a composition).  And 2), the graphite isn’t nearly as dark or heavy, which is the effect I want when I’m going to paint on top of it.  It’s very good for lightly sketching; you just have to be careful not to press too hard because the pencil is much more prone to indenting the paper, which will definitely be noticeable.

The next step here is to do some color tests on another sheet of paper.  I may try out the water brush I picked up and see if it’s better at the detail work.

The Visionary–WIP 4

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Okay, so this is a little jumbly right now but I promise it’ll make more sense once I put in color flats to hide things wot are under other things.  Right now I am focusing on getting it all actually up there, and later I am sure I will have to tweak composition.

I’m pretty sure my 2 cards/month goal was not overly ambitious, but this card is probably one of the worst ones to start with in terms of amount of work it is taking.  Hopefully it will go a little quicker now that I have most of the gear-shapes done; those have been absolutely hell even with Photoshop doing a lot of the hard work.  Even the planet-globes, round as they are, are not nearly such a headache and go up much faster.

In other news, I am about 80% of the way done with a composition for my next watercolor piece.  Then I just need to do color tests…and pencil it out…and then paint it.  : /

I’m going to try something stylistic with that one in a stained-glass/Art Nouveau sort of vein…because I don’t already tend towards that with these cards, natch.

The Visionary–WIP 3

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Work continues apace…a very, very slow pace.  Further hampered by the fact that I decided after almost an hour of fiddling with one element to just take it out entirely.  (Ugh.)

This is not where my strengths lie, in hard edges and human constructions.  They have rules and geometries that my brain is not made for.  I would much rather be playing with organic shapes and swoops and curves.  My uncle once asked me if I had ever considered becoming an architect and I replied with certainty and not a little bit of horror that I had not–it is annoying enough to have to pick up a straight edge without also having to worry about precise measurements that could make a building fall on someone.

So I am going to try hard to keep this card dynamic and full of movement, even if it has all the damned straight lines there ever could be.

The Visionary–WIP 2

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In pursuit of my 2 cards/month goal, I applied butt to chair and worked some more on the Visionary.  I can tell this card is going to be wailing and gnashing of teeth all the way–that little platform under his foot?  Took me 45 minutes.  Then I started trying to get perspective on the upright gear to not look wonky, had some marginal success, and decided that the headache meant I was done for the night.

There is going to be a challenge here of getting everything to fit together, which all things considered is very apropos for the theme.  I have at least managed to get the Visionary himself to fit right in, finally, by way of some anatomy tricks that I think came out pretty well in the end.  It’ll be a bit clearer when I add color flats to him so he isn’t overlapping the gear levers.  That is going to wait until I finish his inks, though–I designed an outfit for him that I’m still mulling over.  I really want to fit a set of crafters’ tools on a belt, but the scale may prevent that fine a detail.