Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Charizard and a Corvette

Nowhere near Mark Schultz's dinosaurs and Cadillacs, sadly.

So I have new subject matter today. I wanted to do a fantasy painting, and after looking at Todd Lockwood's art, I felt inspiration like never before, like a calling that "I need to do this." His art is possibly the deciding factor for my career path-- I want to paint these kinds of things. Fantasy scenes, beautiful lighting, dragons... oh he is the king of dragons. And of course he loves what he does, and I felt the same way as I painted this. 

So the night prior I announced I would paint a fantasy image in the morning. That next morning I woke up at 5 am(much different from the usual 1 pm of summertime) with a splitting headache, one that would not go away even after double-dosing on Advil. But I had a promise to fulfill, I was going to paint something fantastic. And after thinking about it, I realized that if I was going to do something completely new to me, why stick with the same subject matter(generic fantasy paintings are usually scantily-clad women, not much different from my anime work)? So trying something new, I've taken on the challenge of a dragon.

Now I read from an art director that if you have any dragons in your portfolio, unless they're Lockwood-esque dragons you take them out. He was the art director for Dungeons and Dragons, and Todd definitely defined what fantasy dragons should look like. His passion for them really fueled me as I studied piece after piece. The "Daybreaker" piece in his gallery, from Dragon*Con, especially influenced me. He did that painting in about 4 hours! And with that I was set, and entered the realm.

I started with a quick marker sketch in Paint Tool SAI. As I scribbled here and there I thought that this was as good as I needed for an experiment like this.

And shortly after posting I thought, "Well, I have like no Pokémon art and I've loved Pokémon since it first came overseas, and it has been the biggest influence on my life," so to make the concept a little less foreign to me, I decided the rendering should be of Charizard. The last time I drew Charizard, I was about seven I think? I remember it being a marker and sharpie drawing.

Observing Todd Lockwood's work, I saw how gestural it is up-close, like any traditional painting. He does come from a heavy traditional background and treats his digital work as if traditional oils, so I was taking that into account and learning along the way.

At this point I realized I was painting on a single layer(I normally have trigger-finger for Ctrl+Shift+N) and didn't even touch the background(save for color experimenting). In traditional medium it's obvious practice to work background to foreground, so I stopped right there and mixed around the background, keeping it simple-- he's a dragon in flight and he's going to be a pretty rendered dragon to boot, so why make a complicated background at all? A sky will do, and this will be a fun chance to experiment with ways of painting clouds.

Here I brought it into Paint Tool Sai again to use the water tool on the background. There was some obvious stamp-brushing going on that I wasn't too fond of, and the depth was getting a little confusing with random areas of rendered sky right next to huge blocks of blurry color. It's still all on one layer so I had to be a little careful next to places I rendered, but I was going to go over the edges again after I defined the light sources.

And here's the finished piece! I made new layers for the wings so I could experiment with making more transparent shapes, and then painted cuts and holes in them as the colors of the sky. Charizard's wings are a blue-green(I think? Blue definitely)-ish color which clashes a lot with his red and orange-yellow body, and would look akward. So I worked with layering colors of his body in there one low-fill layers, Multiply layers, et cetera, and put a little blue here-and-there again. Because they're transparent I could let the sky show through for any more blue needed in them, and the colors themselves would match the body more as a light source. As for the fire... I just painted reds and oranges with a textured brush, followed by low-Fill bright yellows and scattered particles. I still don't know how I'm supposed to do this but it was a learning process and maybe I found my own way.

And there you have it. Because I started it in Paint Tool SAI, the drawing is mostly done with the round brush with some settings messed around (you can find all the brushes on Daarken's website, under Tutorials > My Brushes). It's called "My Broosh," and I used it with 17% Flow.

Also, here's a car I drew for my father on Father's Day. It's traditional, as opposed to Charizard. Pencil, ink, white-out. I didn't enjoy drawing it but I felt accomplished as I proved once again I'm not limited to anime girls, haha.

Pokémon is ©Nintendo/Creatures Inc./Game Freak inc. TM.

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