Step-by-step: Com­po­si­tion tips for sug­gest­ing ac­tion

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - ImagineNation -

1 I start with a com­po­si­tional sketch. I block in my main el­e­ments, putting the gate in the cen­tre. I not only want to cre­ate more con­trast around my fo­cal area, but frame the gate and the crea­ture be­hind with the tow­ers and the arch. I also es­tab­lish my over­all colour pal­ette by us­ing a yel­low­brown clas­si­cal un­der­paint­ing to make my de­sat­u­rated pur­plish- blue sky more vivid. 2 The slightly tilted com­po­si­tion en­ables me to place more sol­diers in the fore­ground, sell the scale of the im­age and add per­spec­tive. I also push my colours fur­ther and in­tro­duce more val­ues and tones. Start­ing your im­age close to the mid- range in val­ues is al­ways help­ful to bal­ance out your im­age, be­fore start­ing to de­velop more re­al­is­tic light­ing sit­u­a­tions. 3 Now I fix the edges. I like to keep as many soft edges as pos­si­ble on an im­age and fo­cus the harder edges around my fo­cal ar­eas, to help sell the story. In ad­di­tion to the harder edges, I also add more con­trast to my mid- and fore­ground, and start to paint dam­age on the gate. The soft edges left in can also sug­gest move­ment and leave more to the imag­i­na­tion of the viewer. 4 In the fin­ish­ing stages, al­though I want to make the com­po­si­tion re­ally tight, I feel it needs a bit more air. So I push back the mid- ground. From this point I fo­cus all de­tail­ing to the cen­tre of the im­age, to show the strength of how the mon­ster hits the gate. Be­cause we can’t see the ac­tual hit, I paint in fly­ing de­bris, fly­ing shards of the gate, dust and so forth.

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