How can I paint some­thing that’s mov­ing fast?

ImagineFX - - Imaginenation Artist Q&A -

Jes­sica Stevens, Eng­land

Tony replies

Some­thing spe­cial hap­pens when a still, twodi­men­sional image can cre­ate a sense of mo­tion in the viewer’s mind. It can be a tricky feel­ing to re­pro­duce, but I’ll use this Leg­end of the Five Rings piece to il­lus­trate some ways to go about it.

If this is a fig­u­ra­tive piece, you’ll want the pose to be dy­namic. If there’s a lot of move­ment through­out your com­po­si­tion, I sug­gest cre­at­ing a still sec­tion that will act as your fo­cal point. When only one area is in mo­tion, such as a rocket punch or round­house kick to­wards the cam­era, that sec­tion will be­come a strong fo­cal point. On the other hand, an il­lus­tra­tion full of mov­ing ob­jects will draw the au­di­ence into what­ever parts of the piece are in­ert.

Fast move­ment looks blurry to the naked eye, so keep the edges softer in ar­eas of high speed. Take short-ex­po­sure cam­era im­ages: the faster the shut­ter, the sharper the edges are on mov­ing ob­jects. With a fast-enough cam­era, even pour­ing wa­ter can look frozen with crisp shapes. Soft­ness im­plies mo­tion.

The blurred back­ground and move­ment of the char­ac­ter’s dress, hair and arms is bal­anced by the still­ness of her face, which be­comes the fo­cal point.

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