What’s the proper way of cre­at­ing a leather-clad lady?

Chris Egan, Cay­man Is­lands

ImagineFX - - Imaginenation Artis q&a -

An­swer

Tony replies

Some leathers are heav­ily sanded down dur­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing process to re­move im­per­fec­tions, and oth­ers keep the orig­i­nal grain. This is one of the most im­por­tant things to con­sider be­fore paint­ing, be­cause how re­flec­tive an ob­ject is has a pro­found ef­fect on the light and shad­ows that move across it.

Some leathers are so dull (in terms of sur­face tex­ture) that light falls on them the same way it would across cot­ton. Oth­ers, like patent leather, are more stiff and shiny. The more glossy the fin­ish, the less light will fol­low the form prin­ci­ple (where light ap­pears on any sur­face that has no ob­struc­tion be­tween it and the source). In­stead, light will ap­pear as dis­torted re­flec­tions of its source and be gen­er­ally less preva­lent.

Not sur­pris­ingly, paint­ing leather is quite sim­i­lar to paint­ing skin. Feel free to start how­ever you like, but I gen­er­ally put the mid-tone down first, then paint on the deep­est shad­ows, and lastly add in the light. Not only does this keep the paint­ing process straight­for­ward, but I think the re­sult also tends to look nicer.

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