Please explain how to depict decorative stone
Rory Earle, England
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.