View Full Version : Labyrinth WIP

01 January 2008, 07:01 PM
Hi again and welcome! :)

This will be really “English” painting. Very romantic, very athmospheric in a way.

I watched Pan’s Labyrinth few weeks ago and must say I found the colour palette very inspiring. I hope I’m able to catch glimpses of it for this painting.

I was going for really simple composition (the kind you’d expect to find in a book cover), but I’m afraid I might have made it just slightest bit too boring. It is hard to say at this early stage, because sometimes really tiny sharp details (finishing the leaves in this case) can sort of brush away whatever compositional flaws the image might have.

What do you think? Any suggestions how I might improve the composition, aspect ratio, etc, would be much appreciated.

First steps:

01 January 2008, 11:55 AM
but when I look to the piece it stands in conflict with the title - because it looks like she would walk "out of the labyrinth" not into - this is the only thing that came up in my mind - anything else like technically - I can't say a thing...:)

01 January 2008, 12:22 PM
Hehe, the same thing crossed my mind. People usually think labyrinths as dark and gloomy places, but in england (if you have ever been to one) the garden labyrinths can be places of extraordinary beauty.

Maybe if I'd change the tittle to "Labyrinth" people would not feel that misleaded. What do you think? :)

01 January 2008, 12:42 PM
Yes, with this explanaition it makes sense to me - and I`ve never been to such a labyrinth...have to visit one day!
I think it is a better title tho - but still this was just my opinion - maybe others get it right.

01 January 2008, 01:02 PM
It's absolutely fantastic to see how you work down from relatively rough areas of colour to the beautiful shapes and features in your end result. I seem to have to map the shape of everything in a line sketch first and then try and paint 'between the lines' to recreate it in colour. I must say, it's not really working that well for me.

No imperfections stick out at me. Perhaps you don't quite need so much dark hedge. Crop it a little and you can place the girl in accordance with the 'rule of thirds' a bit better. Maybe.

01 January 2008, 01:26 PM
Thank you for the sweet comment, Greenham. This kind of way of painting is not for chickens, thats quite true. You sort of need to let go of the lines and think everything you create as something you'll be later painting over with more detailed finer brushstrokes.

I liked your idea. Any changes you would do a quick overpaint for me? Those are always really helpful :)

01 January 2008, 02:37 PM
Hi Henna

I agree with VISEone, I think you should reconstruct the brightness of the painting
and keep the light outside, and make it darker inside.
But at the same time keeping at least one visible lightsource at the inside so you can
filter the siluette of the character with a strong backlight.
(perhaps light passing through leaves like this ( could be used to keep both inside and outside

I think also there is too much empty space on this picture right now.
It could work as a traditional painting, but on a (computer) screen big empty spaces works
a lot better on horizontal pictures than vertical imo.

Love the little detail which you started painting inside though, looks awsome!

01 January 2008, 03:07 PM
Nice to see you, Molte :)

To be honest, I don’t feel quite good about changing the lighting. After all, I had a very clear image in my head how I would like this to turn out and would rather like to stay faithful to that. This is a happy painting, she is on her way to stepping to a place that is mysterious and beautiful. (I liked your light passing through idea, I might try that after I get more detailed with this.)

I'm far more concerned that the composition might be too centered, if something. I’m still waiting for some suggestions and again, if anyone of you would like to do an overpaint for me I’d be truly grateful :)

01 January 2008, 07:49 PM
The title is now changed to “Labyrinth”.

Here’s what I have painted today. I have been working at 100% view, using very tiny spackled brushes for finishing the sharp detail work I started yesterday. Once I got that part done, I took a more softer and bigger brush and used that to gently brush over my earlier detailed strokes.

Tomorrow I should be able to start working with the great fence.

A close-up and two new steps:

01 January 2008, 07:55 PM
I say leave the lighting alone :) . Also the border, for that matter. I'm probably not in the majority, but I don't think adjusting a painting to a monitor size is the best way to go. It's too limiting. OF course, I still assume everything I do will be printed, so I look at the image itself in it's entirety. So when I look at this one, the little girl fits visually, as well as giving a clear sence that she is leaving a large, dark place, into the sun.

As an aside, I feel the same way as Greenham with respect to your painting approach. Am I correct in assuming that, though the original sketch is quite rough, you actually spend a fair amount of time on *deciding* what the colors will be? Because even when it all looks rough, your values are spot on and harmonious.

I have to try this next time !


01 January 2008, 08:04 PM
looking great, the details are fantastic.

01 January 2008, 09:17 PM
D'Arcy, happy you could notice. Before starting here I spent 3 days planning this painting, trying different kind of compositions, colour schemes and hunting the right kind of references.

Most of the classical realists start by first mixing the whole colour palette before they even start. I have found that way quite working. It can take some time, but once the base work is done the rest comes down quite mechanically.

Of course I can well imagine this kind of approach would not suit all painters, because it can leave very little room for creativity at the later stages of the painting, if that makes any sense :)

Kjetil, thank you very much. I very much enjoyed the paintover you PM'd to me :)

01 January 2008, 12:21 AM
Absolutely fantastic work. The little girl looks wonderful. I've had a look at your other works here on your cgsociety portfolio and, although they are all very beautiful, I think this piece is looking like it's going to be your best.

May I ask how long you've been painting, Hennauoti? And could you possibly post your reference pictures? I'm interested to see how you've used them to create what I see before me here.

01 January 2008, 12:49 AM
Thank you. It feels great you rate this piece so high, sometimes I doub whether I'm improving at all :)

I have been into arts since I was a kid. For a long time arts were pretty much the only thing I was ever interested. Digitally on Photoshop I have now been painting for 4 years, I'd guess.

I'll share my reference pictures when I post this to the gallery. They are all separate elements I have somehow managed to combine to one painting. I have two stock photo references for the girl here, and several for the background. Colours, lighting and composition are all mine. Basically I have just copied shapes and values.

01 January 2008, 03:23 AM
I like ur painting style, it look great! And Your painting is always give me alot art inspirations.

Are u paint on top on your photo references? The painting toning is so real and accurate.

01 January 2008, 09:08 AM
No, I'm not. I use a lot of photo references and sometimes rely heavily on those, but my paintings aren't however made of photos. They are all hand painted :)

01 January 2008, 06:51 PM
This painting is shaping up very well, although I feel as though your fears about the composition are correct. I think it's too centered, for my taste at least. I would guess that perhaps a bit of creative cropping or even expanding the borders of the painting a bit (the current border is still very much in the early stages of WIP so adding some more room around the edges shouldn't hurt your heart or head too much) would work wonders. I'd love to send you some quick paintovers but I'm currently at work (on my lunch break, don't worry). Perhaps when I get home I can send you something to look at.


01 January 2008, 06:52 PM
Hi there, i just can't look to your wips and leave without droping a note, once again, this is beautiful and very close to the traditional painting process, it's so enjoible to look at this... i love your stuff.


01 January 2008, 07:35 PM
Chris, I'd love to receive a paintover from you! :)

I have came up with a solution that might work. It's really small things but somehow I feel very confident about it. Its likely I can't try it before Sunday, though (I too need my breaks) :rolleyes:

Igor, so happy to see you :)

01 January 2008, 10:45 AM
Chris, I'd love to receive a paintover from you! :)

me too, me too? :bounce:


01 January 2008, 11:16 AM
Sure! Folks, just send me a PM if you feel shy posting public. I'll catch up with you later.

Though you are no shy, Squibbit ;)

01 January 2008, 03:40 PM
well i am but u make me brave :) .

anyways, alright, sorry took some while, had to make this after work :P

so here we got the little adventurer in proper camo gear, with gps ,
marking flags, handsfree cell phone, water bottle, yarn to mark the
way and of course the mini minotaur pet to help you find your way
around a labyrinth

closeup :P

01 January 2008, 03:57 PM
LOL LOL LOL squibbs, gotta love it. Gonna have that bull boar search for truffles too while there?

This is going to be a beautiful painting Henna, can't wait to see it continue :D

01 January 2008, 05:26 PM
Sorry Henna, but your piece took an unexpected turn - Squibbit 5*

01 January 2008, 02:16 PM
I love it. For me, the funniest little detail is the teddy bear now attached to her belt with other important equipments :D

Your level of creativity is amazing, you have now made me feel like conventional granny.

01 January 2008, 07:38 PM
well hey, couldn't let the teddy go :)

Bah, is alright granny, u dun need to go sci-fi
or anything, plenty of that stuff around anyways,
you just keep your way :)


01 January 2008, 07:39 PM
Here I have 2 days of work, sort of linked together to one update.

Once I got some more work done, I took some time to reconsider the composition (3rd picture). The girl is little less centered now and I cropped off a couple of inches from the right. I think the painting is much more interesting to the eye when the composition is not fully symmetrical.

01 January 2008, 03:16 AM
oh yes, the new comp is better. I would have perhaps taken it a little further, made it a little further off center, or pehaps cut down the border some, but it looks good with what you have now.

01 January 2008, 04:35 AM
Definitely looks better off-center. I'd keep playing around with it, though. I think it can be improved still. I'm not sure how - I'm admittedly naive when it comes to composition.

01 January 2008, 09:52 AM
pfft , the only thing about the off center thing is that it's off center :P

what u wanna focus on is now a bit to the right instead of center
and besides, i think the doorway don't feel as massive in the off center
version. I do like the warmer light in the off-center pic, but i think there's
something wrong with the lighting of the inside arch of the doorway.
also the off center pic got a better painterly feel to it.

well either way, just throwing my thoughts in too :)


02 February 2008, 03:15 PM
Great work, very traditional style with a newer medium. I like that.

05 May 2008, 01:55 PM
you simply make me burn with jealousy.

i'm probably two years older than you and you are probably ten years ahead of me in skill.

i'm going to find somewhere to cry (it's so embarassing when you have a room mate) (;_; )

05 May 2008, 08:29 PM
Awesome work, love it, such a nice simple subject done with such truth, how else can I say it.
My crit would be the girls feet however. Through out the process they've been bothering me and while they're a little more defined at the moment they still feel a little pin like to me.
The left side one looks a little wonky around the ankle, but both feel too... don't know how to put it - irrelevant? Maybe if one was turned outwards slightly in the direction she is looking. I know the perspective sort of makes it hard but at the moment it's almost like she's standing on stumps.
Beautiful though. Congrats.

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