Saturday, September 5, 2009

Zodiac - Gemini in progress (part 3)

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...continuing from previous posts...

The Sketch
Part 1 (background)
Part 2 (painting skin)

Shadows in the hair
With a small brush, I paint the shadows in the hair and wings with a mixture again of Elder Purple and Red Cabbage Blue. Not painting the actual strands, but the negative space around the strands.

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Color to the hair

Adding some color to the hair now with a glaze of oranges and yellows. I try to vary the concentration of the glaze around the contours to add depth.

I leave highlighted bits of unpainted white.

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The wings

Along the outer right edge of the wings, I use Stinging Nettle Yellow in thin glazes, being sure to leave thin veins of white showing through. Roughly this is sort of based on a dragonfly wing as a model, though with a different shape. Very thin, translucent, and iridescent wings. I vary the colors as I move towards their bodies, adding more blues and purples to the mixture, and periodically swiping the whole thing with a large brush of clear water. This serves to lightly blend and soften the edges (as long as it's done when all the colors are dry. If done too soon then it just blurs everything together and you lose all delineation).

Also, I finish up the gems in their hair, round spheres, basically using the same colors I've been using throughout. The darkest areas I dot with Payne's Grey.

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The swarms

And finally the butterflies. I had a hard time figuring out what colors I wanted these to be. I waffled between golden oranges, bright crimsons, or deep blues.

In the end the oranges won out. A little variation from to distinguish from the rest of the scene, but not enough to distract from the semi-monochrome look I wanted the piece to have.

To paint these little guys, I started with a base of Stinging Nettle Yellow glaze.

Over that, I layer Gardenia Orange while leaving thin veins of the previous layer of yellow showing through.

Then with a mixture of Elder Purple and Red Cabbage Blue I blend in darker colored patterns, still maintaining the pale yellow veins. The neat thing about doing this is that at the blended edges, the blues start to layer with the yellows/oranges, creating some interesting interplay of layered tones.

And then finally the centers of the splotches are emphasized and made darker with a touch of Burnt Umber and Payne's Grey mixture.

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