Sunday, May 14, 2017
Timeline of a speedpaint - part 5
My values are better, my composition is roughly laid out, and I have a rough colour scheme. It's time to focus on the actual painting! This is usually the most fun part for me, after the concentration of trying to get a decent composition and some decent colours, it's just enjoyable to paint "stuff" - not in any sort of detail, by any means, but with slightly more care than the rough scribbles I've been using up until now.
The first order of business is to fix that nasty tangent that connected the left stone spike here to the details in the background. Pushing it much further up fixes this - with a tangent, we're just touching something, and we can either fix this by pulling it back, so it doesn't touch at all, or push it way further past, so it overlaps a big chunk of the object behind it. I also painting over the rather bland placeholder rectangles that made up my city until now, taking the science fiction idea further by adding a slight angle to one of the two larger structures, and adding some nice, bright lights to add a bit more contrast. As we saw earlier, this city exists right on the intersection of two thirds lines, and because of this I want to emphasize its presence as a focal point.
That done, I focus on the area above the city - it's a little dull and formless in the area directly above, so I add another layer of distant rocky features to break up this area, working quickly and letting a mostly random shape form. I also increased the contrast between the farther rock forms and the sky by adding some "cloud" details with a lighter value. This makes the cool spiral stone feature stand out more, once again, without the new feature taking too much of the glory. I liked this spiral, and I wanted it to be noticeable still.
While adding layers, I go to the light below the main focal point and add some rough stone forms to cover its source. I add finer distinctions between individual spires of stone - this layer is closer to the viewer than the areas I was working on just before, and it makes sense to have them more detailed, and I also want to encourage more varied silhouettes for the shapes in this focal region - the more unique the silhouette, the more interesting it will be to look at, and the more attention grabbing it will be as a result.
Up in the top left third I start fiddling around with this stone form, trying to figure out what I'm going to do with it. I lighten the sky behind it, and try some ideas to make it more visually interesting. I like the idea of a hollow part here, but later decided against it, as it was forming a straight, vertical line right next to a series of straight vertical lines of light - a weird bit of repetition that feels off.
Finally, I'm worried about those vertical columns of light, too, because they're such a focal point, but they don't really say anything, or add anything. I decide it might be cool to sketch in a little idea - a jet craft of some sort, flying into the light, leaving a trail of smoke/glow/something. This helps to break up the silhouette a little, and I like the way this looks. I don't actually take it any further than this when finishing the scene up, but I'm glad I added the detail and broke up the repetition of the columns of light slightly.
With a fairly uniform detail pass, I'm getting a better sense of the feel of the scene, and what I want to do with the main elements. In the next step I'm going to take another look at the colour scheme, and turn my initial colour pass into more of a final palette.