Use your imag­i­na­tion

Anand Rad­hakr­ish­nan on colour.

ImagineFX - - Contents - Anand Rad­hakr­ish­nan is a free­lance il­lus­tra­tor who lives and works in Mum­bai, In­dia and has re­cently started ex­plor­ing the world of sci-fi and fan­tasy il­lus­tra­tion. You can see more of his work at­­drk.

The tran­si­tion of an im­age from a rough line draw­ing to a fin­ished painted piece can be a chal­lenge, es­pe­cially if it’s not di­rectly from ref­er­ence or a live model. It can be­come con­fus­ing to de­cide which colours to use and how to get started on paint­ing some­thing with­out any­thing to look at.

My rec­om­mended ap­proach is to do a bunch of thumb­nails for both value and colour, and then grad­u­ate on to your fi­nal piece with a good grasp of your colour scheme. How­ever, it can also be a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to work on an im­age spon­ta­neously and pick colours on the fly. I of­ten do this ei­ther while work­ing on smaller com­mis­sions or when pro­duc­ing per­sonal work for prac­tice.

One way to over­come the fear of a blank sheet of pa­per is to use toned pa­per or any printed sur­face. This lim­its the colour range and helps you set­tle on a scheme. An­other is­sue is that it’s hard to recre­ate ob­jects, fig­ures and land­scapes from your imag­i­na­tion. That’s when ref­er­ences are use­ful. But it’s im­por­tant that ref­er­ences don’t dic­tate your paint­ing. I look for ref­er­ence im­ages af­ter I’ve de­cided what to paint and how to paint it. That way, my artis­tic de­ci­sions don’t overly rely on the ref­er­ence pho­to­graphs.

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