Project JKF-1: Cold Black Heart Cover

I’ve just submitted the second piece for my collaboration with John Fulton.  The front cover for his story “Cold Black Heart”.

I’m trying to establish a slick workflow which at the moment looks like this:

  1. Receive the project brief.
    1. This step just involved reading the story and revisiting John’s requirements.
  2. Do research relating to the brief.
    1. For this I looked up medical diagrams of the human heart.
  3. Do thumbnails to brainstorm compositions.
    1. Just for fun, I decided to do the thumbnails in traditional acrylic paint: ThumbNails
  4. Select the best composition.
    1. I selected the first composition.
  5. Gather visual references related to the selected composition.
    1. I gathered visual references of women’s faces with what I felt were cold, distant expressions.
  6. Do construction studies.
    1. I skipped this step.
  7. Do perspective studies.
    1. I skipped this step.
  8. Do value studies.
    1. I performed this step in traditional acrylics again: ValueStudy
  9. Do colour studies.
    1. I skipped this step since there would be minimal colour.
  10. Do the main illustration.
    1. Here’s where I switched to working digitally in Clip Studio Paint: Cold Black Heart 1 Cold Black Heart 2A Small Cold Black Heart 3 Small Cold Black Heart 7 Small
  11. Take a break.
    1. I had a couple of nights off.
  12. Final finishing details.
    1. Here’s the final that I submitted to John: Cold Black Heart Cover Final Small

Project JKF-1: Time For Tea Cover Submitted For Approval

I’ve completed the Time For Tea cover for John Fulton and emailed it to him for approval.  Hopefully the formatting etc … is correct.

TimeForTeaCover7AFinalSmall

This piece took me a lot longer than anticipated but has allowed me to cobble together the beginnings of a workflow.

Next will be a greyscale painting for the interior of the story.

Project JKF-1: Time For Tea Cover WIP 2

Not being convinced about the composition, I’ve reworked this piece a bit by flipping it horizontally and also removing the teaspoon.

Also, the lighting is now darker and more yellow instead of orange.

TimeForTeaCover5A

 

Project JKF-1: Time For Tea Cover WIP 1

I’m finally starting to get moving on the short story project with John Fulton.

Here is an in progress update on the first book cover, I’m probably 50% of the way through it.  The colour block-ins are done, next come the details.

Here are some thumbnails:

Time For Tea Cover Thumbs

A 3D layout I did in Blender to help with perspective and lighting:

Layout4D2small

The underpainting and line drawing:

TimeForTeaCover1

The colour block-in and some early detailing and this is as far as I’ve gotten at the moment:

TimeForTeaCover2

Muscular Male Figure Study In Clip Studio Paint

Felt compelled to do a figure study the other night as I’d been focused on other art for a while:

FigureStudy2

Here’s the reference photo of John Cena:

There’s a few accuracy issues with this.  Once I started rendering I stopped putting in the effort to be accurate, something to improve on for next time.

On the upside, as I was painting, I found that my recent bumblings with traditional media has had an effect on the way I painted – I think this looks more painterly than my previous digital paintings.

Also I’m getting more familiar with Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio).

Acrylic Painting 5: Learning How To Colour Over An Underpainting

Here is my fifth acrylic painting and this time I was Learning How To Colour Over An Underpainting.

I tried using a grisaille (grey monochrome) underpainting.  I then painted my colours over the top.

This seemed to work quite well as the paints I am using were transparent enough to let the underpainting show through.

I also had a go at painting “lost edges”.  These are edges that are so blurred as to be “lost”.  I love seeing them as they lend a real painterly feel to a piece of work.

I learned a few things on the way:

  1. Underpainting really does work to provide a tonal variation underneath any subsequent application of colour.
  2. Using a grisaille underpainting didn’t affect the hue of the colour being glazed over the top.  This makes colour matching a bit easier.
  3. I probably should have planned in my lost edges earlier on i.e. at the underpainting stage instead of applying then right at the end.

Anyway, here is the final result (sorry – I forgot to take some process shots):

Acrylic5Bluetit

Acrylic Painting 4: Learning How To Mix Paint With A Robin Red Breast

I was determined to learn how to get better at mixing paint so I found the following articles on the internet and read through them:

 

What I learned from these articles is that you need to think about the following when you’re trying to mix paint to match a specific a specific colour:

  1. Value
  2. Hue
  3. Saturation

Some people first try to match the value, then the hue and saturation.  Others try to match the hue first and then the value and then the saturation.

Having said all this I reckon the secret weapon to mixing paint is …

… patience.

There is no secret weapon – you just gotta keep working at it until you’ve got the colour you want.

So here’s my attempt at mixing paint …

This is the reference image:

And here’s my attempt:

HimleyRobin2 HimleyRobin3 HimleyRobin4 HimleyRobin5

I’m a bit disappointed with the lack of light and shadow on this, I feel I could have done more to describe the 3D form here.

I think for the next painting I will do an underpainting to establish the light and shadow and then glaze colour over the top.  I think the acrylic paint I’m using has enough transparency for this to work well.

Box Modelling An Anthropomorphic Rabbit In Blender

I’ve been 3D modelling an anthropomorphic rabbit for my project with John Fulton.

Here are a few process screenshots:

RabbitModel1

RabbitModel2

RabbitModel3

RabbitModel4

I learned a couple of nifty tricks in Blender doing this:

  1. Edge Slide:  This allows you to select an edge loop and slide it along the geometry without affecting the overall shape.  Here’s the Blender documentation on it:  https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/modeling/meshes/editing/edges.html
  2. Rip:  This allows you to rip a mesh along  seam, sounds easy to do but without this feature you would have to duplicate vertices and edges.  Here’s the Blender documentation for it:  https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/modeling/meshes/editing/vertices.html

Loading digital art into stuff.