Saturday, January 2, 2010

Traluka: Work in Progress

Here's a piece that has been painted completely from scratch with some occasional rummaging about my many pose and reference files to get a sense of how things probably should be. Naturally, things never turn out accurately when working this way, so I see it as more of a study, or a way to challenge myself.

I still hold my Moon Hammer painting up as my best attempt at painting drapery without reference, but the billowing folds of her skirt still have many pockets of questionable physics. There seems to be a rhythm to it all, and as long as I think carefully about what's going on, good things tend to happen.
At this stage, I'm tempted to incoroprate a few tekky, hex-like forms like the ones that appear in fantasy game art. She's turning out to be something like a cybernetic vampire (did you notice the glowing bite marks on he neck?). The weapon thing is turning into an opportunity to practice painting hardware out of my head. I still have fond memories of the utility belts featured on various characters in the first Star Wars films. Strange facsimiles of some of those props would even end up molded into the bodies of the action figures based on characters from the film. All I had at the time was my imagination, or fuzzy memories of what happened in the films, to determine what was what. So much of it was vague, but nice to look at. Perhaps that's an important key to designing good science fiction illustration.
I also plan to launch into another Afroid crossover piece currently shown in the header of my blog. It's based on a photograph of Shari Joy (RoseOnyxis) posted at DA in 2009. Artists like Donato Giancola and Roberto Ferri have inspired me to go for a more glowing, oil-like look in at least one piece. This will mean breaking away from my deep resistance to relying too much on reference, which might be considered a hinderence of sorts, considering how it often disrupts the process of painting. My version of Bourguereau's Nymphs and Satyrs is a good example of how having to repaint a foot or an arm or a face repeatedly often leads to a lack of cohesion. The final version has lots satisfying parts, but had I worked more on the original composition it might have turned out better. Looking back, I know I was torn between doing a direct translation and making it my own by including several deliberate adjustments to the figures. Nonetheless, it was a great learning process.