Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Proof of Oatley

Okay I'm going to start sounding like a rabid fan or something with this Oatley stuff, but hell it works, and I'm prone to gush about stuff that works. (For balance's sake -  I had the same kind of colour epiphany when I watched Jason Manley's Light and colour stream and can also highly recommend that for people who can handle their classical painting breakdowns and want some enlightening on colour!)

Back in December i attended the first of my live sessions - where Chris shares his desktop with us online and  goes through a bunch of student pieces offering advice and occasionally paintovers. My major problem with the piece below was I'd started it as a pure characer practice then built up the environment as a secondary thought, meaning a lot of it felt a little contrived. Chris also made the suggestion of dappled light, which is possibly my favourite thing about the image now, and refocusing the character so he was facing the same way as the beast. That made the narrative much stronger... some kind of threat off to the right or above of the image as opposed to two forms in the picture simply doing their own thing. Tweaked little things like the line of the mask so it fed back into the face of the elf, and tried to do the same with a lot of the subtler environment elements, the result of which means the eye is subconsciously fed back into the face of the elf where ever it wanders off to.

I've shown both the finished piece and a comparison between the finished piece on the right and the piece I submitted to Chris for critique. The left hand one isn't bad in it's own right, but the right hand one just subconsciously feels more solid and composed. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Audaciously Accomplishing...

So my time at the Oatley Academy continues. Just over half way through, and I'm still learning immense amounts from it. A lot of it is information I've picked up over the years, but it's condensed into what I would consider a really understandable form, though I know there are others in the course who are struggling a little with some of the latter homework.  I think my masterwork studies over the years have definitely helped me get to grips with what's being  explained. I should also mention here which I might have done earlier that the course I'm currently doing is a composition-heavy one. But damn if it isn't making me look at artwork in a totally new light a lot of the time. So many subtle things I would have missed before.

While I've been doing the more serious tasked homework, I've also been thinking about my ideas for the ultimate goal of taking the class, which is ending up with two finished pieces. The theme of the work is taking an existing film set in the ordinary world, and transposing it's characters and narrative into an extra ordinary one. So my film was Silence of the Lambs, and i'm turning into a dark fantasy setting, where the FBI is a holy order of demon hunters recently open to women, and Lecter one of their worst captured demons.

These are just my first initial musings. I'd like something of a Brom-esque aesthetic to it, but as i gather more inspirational ref, it's likely to fluctuate. Also dabbling with the idea of having it be pushed stylistically in terms of character design, since that could be where I'd like to take my portfolio. Enjoy!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

More bust fun - Epona

I should probably start by saying that these busts were mostly inspired by the gorgeous works of Dapper Owl over on deviantART... go check her gallery if you like these, she has such a beautiful style!

Just another bust, this time a little more labored over (female faces with their soft blends are harder for me at the moment, being in hard surface mode all the time for Transformers Universe) depicting another friend's character, Epona. A somewhat phoenix out of the flames of tragedy character, I chose to use her as practice for more over the top expressions, as mine are usually quite still. She's a faerie who was robbed of family, voice and wings, then sold to the circus as a freak act before she escaped. 

Here's the final piece and an animated gif of progress shots as I remembered to take them.