Vic Monty's 2D WIP

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  11 November 2012
a little further with the 2nd idea


I want the primary lighting(source of light on their bodies) to come from his right hand. There will be light coming from outside the window as well. how can the two light sources work? perhaps if it's dark outside and there is lunar illumination?
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Monty

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  11 November 2012
here's a quick add of a night sky. Which is best?
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  11 November 2012
I love seeing the different concepts. i am glad you choose to change the composition. the doorway is a good approach. i think if you were to expand it a little and very very subtly add a person in the shadows to re-introduce your third character. perhaps leaning against the wall of the entry way on the right or left and side... just not standing in the middle of the doorway.

on a small anatomical critique *his* left leg is too small. try doing a small sketch of just the male figure on a different layer over the original without the woman. You'll be able to see the proportional differences. Flipping the canvas will also really help you see the painting in a different light and lets you see errors and possibly spark ideas.
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  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by vicmonty: Wait, are you suggesting I take an imaginative approach? That's where the fear kicks in...damn that art fear.


I'm going to tackle this part. The fear is in your head, and you need to get rid of it, or you won't progress as an artist.

Bit of my background - I've painted and drawn my whole life, thanks to an artist mom. I majored in illustration in college, and have worked as a professional illustrator for 20 years. The fear of failure has to be removed from your mindset. A failed painting is just that - and there will be plenty more in your future. The key is to learn when to STOP working on something that's failing, and either regroup and rethink it, or let it go for later. I've returned to paintings I tried when i was in high school, because later on I had developed the skills required to get the image in my head onto canvas or the computer screen.

The whole point to being an artist is to be fearless. Trying something new should be a pleasure to be enjoyed, not feared. You need to embrace the idea that art is a lifestyle, and will be in your life until the end, and that one failed work is just a very, very small step in the larger journey. They are going to happen - learn to accept it, and learn from the experience - and act upon it. If you don't quite have the figurative skills, then go study the figure more. If the colors don't work, go study color. The same for perspective, anatomy, composition, textures, etc.

This is what you really learn when going to school for art - it's an environment where you can fail, and your rent isn't dependent on it, and there's someone there to guide you through the successes and the failures, and teach you how to learn from both, and to look at where you are as an artist critically and honestly.

If you're afraid of something artistically, then that's absolutely what you NEED to be working on.

Hope this helps - and don't think you're alone - the most common reason why most people don't try art is the fear of the blank canvas. As an artist, you should see possibilities, not obstacles.
 
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by vicmonty: a little further with the 2nd idea


I want the primary lighting(source of light on their bodies) to come from his right hand. There will be light coming from outside the window as well. how can the two light sources work? perhaps if it's dark outside and there is lunar illumination?


You could set a blue-ish key light coming in the window, but be careful of the balance between two light sources. I would make the main light source a torch or fire - not only would it fit the setting, but you can use red/yellow as the main lighting source, and blue as the highlights in the shadows, and that will make the figure "pop" more off the surface. (It's a common technique in theater lighting, they'll light a stage with a cool color on one side, and a warm color on the other side, and that makes the people stand out more onstage than just using white light.)

I would also expand your canvas, and render the entire doorway, cutting it off makes it feel claustrophobic.

The biggest issue I see you struggling with is that you posed the figures before you determined the composition of the scene - that should have happened before you posed your figures, and now you're stuck trying to fit the pose to environments, and that's pretty limiting. It's not a big deal, but generally when I've posed people, I have the general idea worked out with lighting and composition ready to go. Personally, I would have tried a different angle, to enhance teh drama of the pose, like a little bit more towards her head, looking a little bit up at them - it would put her face in profile, and make a more dramatic pose for her, and it would put him in more of a dominant position over her - then I would build the environment off that pose, and work out the perspective and such. Free 3D programs are great for that, like Sketchup.

But, as this is technically a student piece, you shouldn't worry too much. I know you're going for a finished piece, but i would decide on an agenda for this, like learning more how to light and pose figures and paint them, instead of an overall "finished" piece - if you get both, it's a great bonus. I think you're trying to do too much at once, honestly. You can also do studies of this piece before you commit to a final - you have reference, so start playing with it, try some quick color studies for the lighting, maybe do a study of just their heads and shoulders to work out the expressions, etc. Practice makes perfect, after all, and it's a quite legit method used by the masters to get ready for a final piece.

Also - and I know this might not be possible for you, but if you're going to paint nude, pose nude. Clothing can make the body shapes different than how they would be nude, and the body squashes and stretches, and you can't see all of the form if there's clothing involved. At the very least, I would pose them again with her in a bikini, to reveal as much of the body as possible, or ask her to at least go topless. Again, if your models aren't willing, it's understandable. You can hire nude models from your local model's union (call your local college's art department), or use online references like Virtual Pose to study the body nude in that pose. Girlfriends are good for this, too.

Hope this helps!
 
  11 November 2012
You have some really nice concepts here, and some great comments by William to boot. I have to agree on the cool/warm lighting. I think you have a nice dramatic scene here that would be perfect for you to experiment on with different color temperatures.
 
  11 November 2012
abbey - yes that leg is small. it almost looks as if he has muscle atrophy. I'll see how it works out with a wider space.

Sabra - what did you think of the original color post?

bill- Unfortunately, or fortunately (depends who you talk to) I am not in school. This is all personal study. The ref photo is from characterdesigns.com. they have tons of photos. I pull from that site to do my studies.
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I totally agree where the poor planning is concerned. Trying to plan a composition around established figures is tough. Originally I just had the study in mind with a purple environment. I have this in my first few post of the study.

I'm starting to realize that "fear" or anxiety is just like any other anxiety. particularly for me i can relate it to test taking. The only way to get over test anxiety is to review the material. The more you review it the less anxiety you should experience. Well the more I paint the easier it gets. That should go without saying. It's a universal concept but realizing where that fear is coming from was a profound experience for me. Thanks.
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Monty

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  11 November 2012
I'm working on clothing these two. In the meantime, I opened up the window and completely repainted the two figures. At some point during revisions, my resolution went back down to 70 so the previous versions was not acceptable quality. dpi is at 300 now.

What do you think?

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Monty

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  11 November 2012
I'm taking a break from this one. I'm currently doing stone studies. I have no idea how to render that wall so I'll do a few studies on walls and such to hopefully get it down. Thanks and please leave any critiques on what I have so far.

Note, his leg is currently being redone also. Thanks everyone for the input.
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Monty

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  12 December 2012
working on stone studies, or working up to a decent study.

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  01 January 2013
i'm not sure what's going on with my image hosting site. sorry for the troubles.
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  10 October 2013
revisiting

I gave it another try



ref:
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Monty

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  10 October 2013
How's my contrast?

I've done all I wanted to with this image. Now I'm stuck with the energy from the mans hand flowing into the female. Is it getting lost in the highlights in his torso? Am i correct in thinking that there will be major reflection from the path of energy onto his torso?

Also, I'm not sure if my image is too dark. Is my contrast ok? For example, the darkest of the background (bg) is the same as the darkest on the main figures. I know normally the bg will not be as dark but I was considering that there is a general darkness in the area and I only wanted the specific lighting. I thought that the two figures are so close to the bg that the darks can be close in this case. I didn't want to add distance I guess. Is that correct?
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Monty

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  10 October 2013
Talking Lighting

I understand there are dangers with using photos that I haven't taken for reference. Especially if my understanding of light is barely at a beginners level. So I did a photo study of two models. Then I got inspired! Did a color sketch but realized I'm not ready for that. So I figures I would go grayscale. I wanted to challenge what I thought I knew about lighting. I figured I would only learn something new so I can't go wrong after all.

During the process I was thinking:

Rim lighting - the white strip of light will provide that.

Light source from top right. Secondary from energy flow from hand.

Bounced light from surfaces especially within shadows. Diffused light in absorbing surfaces.

What am I missing?
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Monty

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  10 October 2013
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