Friday, April 27, 2007

Christmas in April?!

Never too early to start working on my Christmas card, right?

I've had a thumbnail of this in my sketchbook for ages and always wanted to finish it, but never had the time - until now...

I'll most likely add type to the center of the wreath when it's all finished. I think it looks incomplete without something there. If I manage to finish this one before I get too busy, I think I'll submit it to the Courage Cards Art Search. We shall see what happens...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tea Merchant (again)

So I finished up this painting a couple days ago. In keeping with my current efforts to 'not over-work' a painting, I varied my technique just a little and tried to paint thinner than I have been in recent years. I used to paint much thinner several years ago, but somewhere along the way I slipped into painting somewhat thickly which is more time-consuming, but not really more effective. I was only partially successful with this little experiment. . .

I started with a light monochromatic watercolor under-painting to place shadows and such. Then I slapped down the sky in messy watercolor. The background in this painting was really an after-thought and I'm aware it's a bit lacking in many regards, but since it's just a personal experiment, I didn't want to put a whole lot of time into it. I then switched back to my usual acrylics to paint most everything.

I was doing pretty well keeping the paint thin until I started working on the bird character. I quickly fell back into my habit of starting really dark and having to work up to the lights - not that this is an inherently bad method, but I think it does take longer and sometimes makes the painting too dark/heavy. On the original, I think the bird-guy looks a bit too dark for the rest of the scene, but it's okay since this one is just for me.

The background bushes and grass were actually really fun to paint. The paint's not all that thick and it went really fast. It's a bit more earthy, but I think it's on par with my usual time-consuming, thickly painted backgrounds. I'm going to try to carry these efforts forward in future paintings....

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tea Merchant character design - in color!

Since I liked the sketch of this character (see previous post for rough sketch), I wanted to commit him to paper in a more permanent fashion. I inked him first with a crow quill (yes, I prefer inking the old-fashioned way) and then colored him with acrylic mixed with a whole lot of matte medium.

I was looking at some older DiTerlizzi work - a D&D Monstrous Compendium, full of character designs just before I painted this one. I like how finished his work looks, but when you study it closely, you can see that it's probably done fairly quickly. I always admire the energy apparent in works that are completed rapidly - especially since I'm one who tends to spend way too much time scrubbing away at a painting. I know a very complete painting can often be accomplished without laboring for hours on end and over-working it - I'm just not so good at accomplishing this myself, but I'm working on it!

Anyway, it was really fun to use a technique different from my usual and this painting really did go pretty fast. I've started working on the second Tea Merchant painting (again, see previous post) and am trying to keep with this 'don't over-work it' theme. We'll see how it goes...