Please ex­plain how to de­pict dec­o­ra­tive stone

Rory Earle, Eng­land

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -

An­swer

Sara replies

To paint stonework that fea­tures in­ter­est­ing carv­ings, I need to take into ac­count the type of stone that I want to rep­re­sent, and the con­di­tion it’s in. Let’s take, for ex­am­ple, the rough stone carv­ing that might fea­ture promi­nently on a fairy’s door.

First I lay down a uni­form grey colour, and in­tro­duce a warm yel­low­ish light to the scene. With a very large and tex­tured brush I ap­ply some brush strokes with a darker colour over the en­tire sur­face. This will be­gin to give it a rough stone look. I can also use a green or rust colour with the same brush to sug­gest the pres­ence of moss and mud on the stone sur­face.

On a new layer, I paint the carv­ing that will dec­o­rate the door, to­gether with the face of the clas­sic ‘green man’ from leg­end. Then I go into the Layer menu and I set the style to Bevel and Em­boss, which en­hances the ap­pear­ance of the carv­ing. Now I cre­ate a new layer and set it to Mul­ti­ply. Be­cause I’ve cho­sen a light yel­low as the colour of my light source, I choose a dark bluishvi­o­let colour to paint the shad­ows.

If the ap­pear­ance of my sur­face isn’t rough enough, I can use an ad­di­tional photo tex­ture to cor­rect this. I would al­ways rec­om­mend build­ing up a li­brary of per­sonal pho­tos for ref­er­ence work and tex­ture us­age. Fi­nally, I paint the many cracks and im­per­fec­tions that will give a more re­al­is­tic look to the stonework.

A lat­eral light source helps to bring out the three-di­men­sion­al­ity of the stonework.

I paint the in­tri­cate de­sign of the stonework on a sep­a­rate layer, in or­der to save time later.

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