Step-by-step: Build­ing an im­age from soft to hard

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Your Questions Answered... -

1 I want to break up the com­po­si­tion into a smaller lit area and a big­ger one in shadow, mak­ing my char­ac­ter al­most dis­ap­pear. Af­ter a quick line draw­ing I quickly block in the lights and shad­ows, and also lay down the small re­flected light patches in the dark, which will give shape to my char­ac­ter in the shad­ows.

2 Af­ter a quick colour over­lay, where I block in the darker cold and the brighter warm hues, I start to paint ev­ery­thing on top. I wanted to keep this step loose, so I use large brush strokes and al­most smudge my forms into each other. I avoid defin­ing shapes and adding hard edges, so that the fig­ure is ghost-like.

3 For de­tail­ing my char­ac­ter I use the de­sat­u­rated cold bounce light of the sky above, which con­trasts with the warm tones in the piece. I place the most con­trast around the face to cre­ate a nat­u­ral fo­cal area and leave more lost edges on the sil­hou­ette, to keep the fig­ure mys­te­ri­ous and to in­spire the viewer’s imag­i­na­tion.

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