Artist in­sight Com­po­si­tion ad­vice

ImagineFX - - Artist Insight Composition Advice -

Fold your clothes

If you want to de­pict folds in cloth re­al­is­ti­cally, make ev­ery shape dif­fer­ent. An ob­ject is made up of a range of shapes, such as a tri­an­gle or rec­tan­gle, and di­verse shapes oc­cupy vary­ing amounts of space in the real world. If you make two shapes too sim­i­lar, then in the eyes of the viewer they would oc­cupy the same space, and the out­come would be vis­ually jar­ring.

Real­is­tic fur

Fur is like grass, and should be painted with ran­dom brush strokes. How­ever, this is no ex­cuse for messy or chaotic strokes. As shown here, ev­ery stroke ap­pears loose, but if you study them more closely you can see that they all con­cen­trate on one point. Note that this point only ex­ists in my mind’s eye.

Com­ple­men­tary colours

Zoom in to the de­tails of the com­po­si­tion and you’ll no­tice my use of com­ple­men­tary colours. This is very im­por­tant if you’re aim­ing to cre­ate a real­is­tic-look­ing paint­ing. Re­mem­ber that such colours should be placed on dif­fer­ent greyscale ar­eas.

Clever con­trast

Dif­fer­ent shapes in a space ne­ces­si­tates de­pict­ing dif­fer­ent lev­els of con­trast – not only us­ing colour and black and white, but also with blur­ring or sharp­ness. Sharp brushes such as Pho­to­shop’s scat­ter­ing dots or a spe­cific shape will grab the viewer’s at­ten­tion, while a blur brush will in­stil a sense of dis­tance in their mind. I call this vis­ual psy­chol­ogy. So when I use clean and blur brushes to­gether, it nat­u­rally cre­ates a strong sense of space.

Light­ing de­ci­sions

A back-lit char­ac­ter will help to give them an air of mys­tery, and also en­sure that the scene doesn’t end up look­ing flat. To do this, cre­ate a Mul­ti­ply layer and then paint on it with a pale colour. If you find that the face be­comes too dark, draw a light line that fol­lows the side of the face near­est the back­ground, as shown here.

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