Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dragon Tamer: Still a WIP

I imagine sometimes that this stage of painting is not unlike being pregnant.  The vision of the final is so close to being real, but there's still so much time to put in before you see it.

Meanwhile you just feel fat and irritable.  Those of you out there who have been pregnant, let me know.

I did a study over a photo of the Dragon Tamer piece and it was . . . not a pretty sight.  So after aimlessly perusing the internet for "photo night scene" and "moonlit person", trying to remember the name of night paintings I'd seen or come across, and countless other queries, I hit the books.

Which is honestly what I should have done in the first place; I own a copy of "Color and Light" as well as "Imaginative Realism" by James Gurney, after all.  My obsession with books can get me into trouble sometimes; I have so many that I forget or get overwhelmed by too much information.

If I hadn't been so busy looking and reading I would have kicked myself - all the paintings, all the information was there.  At the very least I had a new direction to try and take the color studies.

And as you can see below, take them places I did.

Glowy dragon needs to not make a reappearance. 

Meanwhile I was also working on the final sketches for the Save the Dates.  Simple, I kept telling myself, beautiful color, strong shapes, concentrate on the feeling.

I can't help but think that simple really just means LOTS of work, but maybe I'm doing something wrong . . .

Last year when I went to Tennessee, I went to Cades Cove (possibly one of my favorite places on earth).  We got there before the gates opened and were able to drive through just as the sun was coming up over the mountains.  There was fog and fall trees and deer and it was amazingly beautiful. So when I started working on this piece, that morning is what I was thinking about.

The first one . . . wasn't awesome.  At the very least it didn't get me excited to start the piece.  It didn't recall any of the beauty, any of the feeling I was trying to capture.  There were things I liked, but overall it was just boring.  So I did another one.  It was better, but my struggles with Dragon Tamer have shaken my confidence, so I kept at it, trying to find something that really worked.

I looked up some morning fog, looked up paintings of fog (oh, hello Turner, hello Whistler), trying to just steep myself in the essence of what I was trying to create.

So I made, like, a million color comps.  And then just quit and broke out the watercolor paper and started doing it old school.  I didn't have much more success.

So here's where I am with Dragon Tamer:

Wait, aren't those color comps, you say? Why yes, yes they are . . .

Because this is where it is in real life.  Still.  I still can't seem to find the key.  I've been taking it into my room at night, hoping that by looking at it before I fall asleep, I'll be able to work out the problem in my sleep.

It hasn't worked.

And here's where I am with the Save the Dates:

Color comps everywhere!

Fog doesn't usually drift like this, I am discovering . . . 

I haven't done so many color comps since I was a sophomore in college.  Little Red Cap tricked me with how very easily the steam effect was created and I dived into the color comps here thinking "Fog is like steam, I got this!"


Fog is not like steam.  Especially fog that has light coming through it.  And I can't seem to make up my mind as to what this is going to look like - realistic?  Stylized?  And I'm worried about this nagging voice that's telling me to go make maquettes for the owls so I can light them (shut UP!) correctly.

Both of these were supposed to be DONE by now.  I have a schedule!  Save the Dates were supposed to be a mash up of watercolor-y effects goodness.  In-and-out, easy-peasy.

Freaking owls.  Freaking fog.  Freaking DRAGONS.  Do your worst, you won't win . . .

Working on something for Ten Paces and Draw: check back February 18th to see the final reveal.

Holy crows, I really am a masochist . . .


Unknown said...

Pogo Drogo makes a good drinking buddy.

Unknown said...

Also, I think that the grass in the foreground of the last colour comp really helps to sell the idea of night time! Maybe not the characters, but something about the grass being highlighted with that blue moonlight really makes me think "night time"

Unknown said...

I love you, dude. You're awesome!