Paint­ing a mar­ket

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

I start by splash­ing down colour on to the can­vas to plot the com­po­si­tion. I also change brushes to build up tex­tures that can be picked out later. I de­cide that I want coloured flags and awnings to form the cen­tre of the paint­ing and help to lead the eye from fore­ground to back­ground, and sketch this out us­ing the Lasso tool, adding a dark frame to sug­gest a shad­owed in­te­rior. When defin­ing a stall I tackle tex­ture first be­fore de­tail, to try and em­u­late the sen­sory over­load of be­ing in a mar­ket­place. Con­trast is another way to add this kind of vis­ual in­ter­est: I use a Soft brush at 100 per cent white for the main light­ing, in­ter­sected and framed by hard dark edges and lin­ear pat­terns. I em­pha­sise my light­ing choices by de­pict­ing re­flec­tive ma­te­ri­als. Us­ing a high Opac­ity brush, I block out the scene fur­ther. Strong, hard lines are es­sen­tial at this stage if you started a paint­ing with­out a tight sketch: they help to so­lid­ify the per­spec­tive of the scene. I de­cide that I want to use a bright noon sun that will en­able me to cre­ate heavy sat­u­rated shad­ows along the floor, con­trasted by the soft glow of a lamp store. I add de­tail to the scene, in­tro­duc­ing a fig­ure and build­ing on ex­ist­ing tex­tures and defin­ing the shape of the back­ground stalls. I add di­rec­tional repet­i­tive pat­terns to keep the eye mov­ing around the can­vas, con­trast­ing soft, cir­cu­lar shapes with hard lines. Fi­nally I use a Soft wide brush (set to Lin­ear Dodge) in a sat­u­rated warm colour to en­hance the ex­ist­ing light­ing.

Use re­peat­ing di­rec­tional pat­terns to lead the eye of the viewer through your scene. Loosen up your brush­strokes to keep your scene lively and dy­namic. Man­u­ally con­trol the sat­u­ra­tion of your paint us­ing the HSB slid­ers (press F6 in Pho­to­shop) to keep the colour of your light­ing fresh and vivid.

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