Can you help me cre­ate re­al­is­tic, shim­mer­ing jew­els?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation -

Au­gust 2015

Brandy Sten­ner, US

Tony replies

Paint­ing jew­els can seem tricky, but once you un­der­stand how they in­ter­act with light it gets eas­ier. First, though, you need to de­sign their shape and place­ment. Gems and jew­els are gen­er­ally func­tion­less and used for dec­o­ra­tion, so take time to de­sign an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing lay­out.

For the shapes, I sug­gest do­ing some re­search. There are a hand­ful of stone cuts used most of­ten (round, oval, tri­an­gle, pear, heart, princess and so on), but with a lit­tle re­search you can find hun­dreds of shapes that may suit your im­age bet­ter (I rec­om­mend look­ing up a ‘whirl cut’). Con­sider us­ing the Lasso tool when paint­ing your ini­tial shapes, be­cause if you bun­gle the hard edges the stones will feel soft and mushy.

The steps I’m us­ing re­main the same no mat­ter what colour gem you’re paint­ing, but I sug­gest keep­ing the sat­u­ra­tion high. Any­thing that’s clear and colour­ful will ab­sorb light, which means its lo­cal colour will be as sat­u­rated as pos­si­ble. It’s easy to cut down on sat­u­ra­tion to­wards the end if things are too bright, but adding colour to a dull paint­ing can be a lot of work.

The warm-up sketch, while ful­fill­ing the need to show fore­short­en­ing and over­lap­ping forms, is a lit­tle bit too static for what I have in mind.

Gems are colour­ful and, if dark, in­volve lots of con­trast. So be mind­ful of how you use them, be­cause they’ll at­tract at­ten­tion.

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