First, the painting, then I’ll talk about the process and generally
stroke gently caress my ego by talking about my craft. Oh, and from now on I’ll post the paintings little larger on my blog than anywhere else. Not by much, but enough. Everywhere else the largest size of any painting I post is 1280 x something. I think this is 1412 x 950 here.
I hope you find it disturbing. I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.
Now, for some detail shots and blather.
I painted the whole painting in ArtRage. The only application of photoshop was to add the signature and the “watermark”. Art Rage is generally considered pretty much “hobbyist” tool compared to the Corel Painter. But I’ve tried every version of painter since the version 5, or so, and let me tell you – it blows. Okay, I’m kidding. Mostly. The issue I have with Painter is the interface, and the tools. The pencil tool for starters, is … wot? That’s not how my pencil sketches look like, and I can get more convincing version out of photoshop brushes.
But mainly, it’s the interface. Art Rage has a lovely interface (Customizable color pickers that can be any PNG file(!), automatic sorting of color collections, hotkey for flipping the image in horizontal or vertical, etc, etc.). It’s not that all the features are unique or revolutionary, just that they are easily accessible and never get in the way. There’s two issues with Art Rage, both pretty huge issues for some people.
- It crashes. I don’t have issues with that, but some people do. Also, I can crash it by opening photoshop and waiting for five minutes. It doesn’t like Photoshop.
- It’s slow. This is my main issue. Compared to Photoshop Artrage crrrrawwwls when I paint large poster-size artworks.
Anyway, enough about that.
Just a short (hah!) little rant about tools before we get in to the meat of the matter. It’s not like it matters. My paintings look pretty same whether I am in Photoshop or Artrage. The few paintings I did in Painter never were better or worse, just that the interface never did it for me.
First, the size of the painting. It’s 3000 x 4460. In 350dpi print resolution, that would make a 21.77 x 32,37cm (or 8.5 x 12.7 inch) painting. In big poster print resolution (150dpi) it would make for about a 51 x 75cm (20 x 30 inch) poster. So it’s pretty good size. A little larger than my paintings usually, but I actually wanted to make even bigger painting, but I cropped the picture pretty early in the process. I actually had more space all the way to the chest originally. Same width, though.
So, here, the first detail shot:
That’s a closeup of the tail of the worm/tentacle coming out of the mouth. This is 100% zoom. So it’s the real size I painted the picture in. I did the painting mostly in “oil paints” or whatever you call that paint tool in Art Rage. I used a lot of palette knife, nothing fancy either – just the “frozen” preset or something like that. I don’t do crazy custom things all too often. I’m pretty boring as far as technique goes, I usually just straight up paint the whole thing. Something doesn’t work? Paint on top of it. I never use eraser, I just paint on top of things.
This time while painting I didn’t even use any layers.
Except for this:
That’s a closeup of the smaller tentacle coming from the eye. That was the last thing I added to the painting. I had originally somehow ended up with this huge eyesocket, and it didn’t look right. I did make it smaller few times by painting, but there was only so much work I was willing to re-do, so I figured out that I could add some depth and interest by utilizing that empty space there. I was a little unsure how it would look out, so I made a new layer and painted a quick sketch of the tentacle in to it.
It looked pretty good, so I merged it back down to the only layer that I had used so far. Then I proceeded to add details et al. Those melting parts were done with the paint brush as well, it’s really good for making “teardrops” by just starting a small gentle stroke and then increasing as you move. In Art Rage I tend to use something like 20% pressure and 30% thinner usually. Load amount doesn’t matter to me, usually. I tend to make short strokes anyway.
The trick, I find, to painting with the paint brush in Art Rage is to make strokes and then come with the palette knife to gently smudge them. Or smudge them like motherfucker, depending of what you’re trying to achieve. I usually don’t leave hard edges in my paintings, except when I really want to make what I am painting stand out from the background.
Of the whole painting there’s two things I rather like, first is the color choices and the rendering of the lower lip, as you can see here:
It’s really meaty and has nice set of colors that complement the whole worm thing, but also look very “flush” and suit the skintone. I’m quite happy with that little detail, whether it fits the whole picture or not, your mileage may vary. Mine says it’s damn good.
Second is wings of the nose:
What I like about this part of the painting is harder to put in to words. There’s nothing especially technical that I think is good here. It’s not my best rendering of nose, to be frank, abut there’s just something I love about those brushstrokes here. The liquid flow of them and the melding of the colors. Additionally something which I don’t like that much, but don’t really care enough to change, is the evidence of my habit of crosshatching.
I don’t care if I am using brush, pencil, or airbrush, I tend to sooner or later do some crosshatching. My Tali painting that I did a few days ago, for example, is pretty good example of crosshatching going nuts. It’s 90% crosshatched and on top of that just some custom photoshop brushes to render some different textures.
Anyway, as a last treat, here’s a 50% zoom of the most interesting parts of the painting. Sorry about the watermarks, but kids these days…