How can I con­vey a chrome ef­fect in a line draw­ing?

Ques­tion

ImagineFX - - Imag­ine Na­tion | Artist Q & A -

Jan­ina Roth­stein, Ger­many An­swer Tom replies

Chrome ef­fects can be a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to cre­ate on the can­vas, be­cause stick­ing too close to ref­er­ence ma­te­rial can of­ten make for an overly busy draw­ing.

As an il­lus­tra­tor of­ten work­ing on comic books, I don’t re­ally want there to be any vis­ual in­for­ma­tion in the im­age that I haven’t put there for a rea­son. It would dis­tract from the el­e­ments that best tell the story and, worse still, look fussy.

As such, I tend to keep any re­flected de­tail to a min­i­mum. A few lines that fol­low the con­tours of the ob­ject usu­ally do the job; just enough to sug­gest that some­thing is be­ing re­flected on the sur­face, but very lit­tle in the way of complex in­for­ma­tion as to what that might be.

With some­thing a bit flat­ter, such as the sort of lens that’s at the busi­ness end of this retro-look­ing ray gun, I can jus­tify putting in a lit­tle more de­tail be­cause it’s a fo­cal point for the im­age and will be less dis­torted by sur­face cur­va­ture. Keep­ing your paint­ing ap­proach rel­a­tively sim­ple like this can make for a far more ap­peal­ing vis­ual and en­hance the im­pact of the im­age.

For this im­age of a fu­tur­is­tic weapon, I wanted a sense of im­pact and drama, so it was im­por­tant to keep the vis­ual in­for­ma­tion sim­ple. I try to bal­ance black and white at the line draw­ing stage so that the im­age ap­pears en­gag­ing, but not clut­tered.

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