Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Swamp Temple" Painting Process - Part 1

One of the things I've been doing lately is going back over my old stuff and figuring out what I've learned since I made it. I'm also putting together a new portfolio of visual development art, so I want it to be as good as possible. As I've been going through all this stuff on my laptop, I came across a digital painting I did two years ago for a scholarship application. This is what the original version looked like:

Eh, it's not terrible, but it still feels like it's lacking depth. There's not much story here, for one thing, but also the whole thing feels flat. The environment is not clearly defined, and the colors are a bit cliché. I felt like I could do better.

I opened up my original Photoshop file to look at what was beneath the final painting layers, and I found a wonderful series of color experiments I'd done with adjustment layers. Some of them are a little too wild for my taste, but they are still fun to look at. Here are a few of them:

When I came to the last one, I immediately became inspired and I knew I would have to retry this piece. I still have a lot to learn about art and composition, but I thought I could improve on this design.

Last night I sat down and messed around with the colors and composition in Photoshop. This is what I eventually came up with for the improved composition:

It's rough and unfinished, and I'll still probably tweak the composition as I start painting, but I think I fixed a few of the problems with it. I put the character in the foreground as a silhouette hoping that he would help the image convey a stronger sense of the story, and my hope is that this alternate color scheme is more mysterious or intriguing. What do you think? Is it more interesting? Which of the color experiments is your favorite?


Galadriel said...

Oh, I really do like that. Is that a seen from the Greenwillow stories?

Rachel Kimberly said...

Originally it was something else, but when I added in the character, I was definitely thinking of a character in the third book, Redtail, which still hasn't been written... :D

Victoria Grace Howell said...

I think it looks cool. :) I like your newer version. :)

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