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Saturday, 9 January 2010

Work in Progress - Naiad (mini-tutorial, WiP 1-3)

Thus it became a new decade. New decade means new year. New year means new month and new month...means a new MyFX Monthly Challenge over at the ImagineFX forum! The theme for January is "Hiding in plain sight".

Posting the first three WiPs, this post is a very brief tutorial on the workflow I've used in the beginning phase of painting this image.

Since I really enjoy figurative painting and need to continually practice this challenging but oh so fascinating subject, I decided to paint a Naiad (water nymph). The idea is for her to be almost one with her related element (water). For this I used ArtRage3 and the oil paint tool.

Working from a photo reference of a female in a dress, I began by very roughly applying midtone to a colored background, as well as a dark and a light tone. Doing this I tried to capture the flow of the figure and her dress.

I also started to think about the underlying structure of the composition, as taught in the ArtTrek series  on design and composition by Charles Bernard The dominating shape of this image will be the circle or oval.

Naiad - 1st WiP

I then began working on improving the basic outline and form of the shade. Mostly in the face and on the upper right arm. For this I used the palette knife tool. I just love to first block in the colour roughly and then moving it around to its proper places using the palette knife.

Naiad - 2nd WiP

I kept defining the outline and basic tones of the figure working in much the same way. Also decided that some parts of the figure should "float" and mix with the surrounding water. I also decided to change one of the underlying shapes somewhat.

In order to apply more detail I zoom in on the painting. Since I plan for the final version to be 600x800, I'm working with a 1200x1600 sized canvas. I then know that if a detail seems alright when working at 75% of the canvas size, it will also work when I finally make the finished image half as big.

Naiad - WiP3

So far I think this piece is off to a rather good start. The next important decision is whether to stick to purely monochromatic or if I should introduce other colors, perhaps moving in a more expressive direction. We'll see where I'll take it from here.

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