Friday, January 20, 2012

Bugbear Process

On Wednesday I brought you my second traditionally created painting, the Bugbear. Today I am bring you some images that track my progression through the painting. Thanks to my much smarter phone I can now track things like this much more easily. Here is the progression in two blocks of eight images, generally speaking, each image is taken roughly an hour apart...

Bugbear painting progression part 1

Bugbear painting progression part 2

Compared to my first painting I tried to make sure I addressed the background from the beginning, but it went pretty much untouched again till close to the end. It did make it much easier to control the environment to make sure that it felt like it surrounded the Bugbear. It did feel like I had much more control over the entire painting this second time out. It only felt like it was spiraling out of control a couple times early on but I manage to pull it back. I still can't get the paint to do everything I want it to yet and I think some of my forms are a little more simplified they I had planed them to be in the drawing. That said, the paint does make it much easier to make some things much more complex. I can live with that right now.

In this painting I made a conscious effort to go in a fix things I felt that weren't working, unlike in my first painting which was over all much more of an evolving creation. I was not happy with how the hood turned out pretty much one color early on and went in and added more variation. This is something that would have been fair straight forward digitally, but for me was a little more involved with the paint. Also, the skull on his trophy rack somehow ended up a little long in the face. I was worried that going in and trying to match a rather thinly applied and rather layered background would be a little beyond my current abilities. I think it turned out pretty okay. As always, I am trying to make sure I am looking at plenty of reference through out the entire painting. There are some slight difference in how I use the reference while working traditionally. On the computer I can have the reference onscreen or even on a separate layer in the piece I am working on so that I can look directly at it while working. With the painting there is a more back and forth flow of looking and then painting and then looking again. Of course... there is no handy eye dropper tool to grab those pesky hard to figure out colors!

Here is the finished painting again to see how it turned out. I am still not 100% with how they are reproducing, but I have come to learn int he last few years that no matter how good the reproduction is the actual painting looks a million times better in person. And once the varnish goes on, they look even better!

© 2012 Christopher Burdett

I have a ton of stuff going on right now and a ton of stuff to share on the blog! The next several weeks are going to be full of new work and (miss)adventures! Until then...

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  1. This visual hierarchy rocks! My mind has no problem enjoying those framing branches and wonderful values.

  2. Looks great! What stock did you work on? I am amazed you didn't have it taped down, any issues with not having a bleed area to work with?

  3. I am working on some nice smooth Utrecht brand watercolor paper, don't recall the weight. I might try some different papers at some point, I just grabbed some that caught my eye and that had a nice feel. Since this is all new to me I just went with what felt right.

    I mount the paper which I print my drawing on to a sheet of clayboard. I had used hardboard for the first one, but the Utrecht here does not have it in the size I want to work at. I thin add a coat of clear gesso. This way of prepping the surface was suggested to me by several friends, some who have already made the move from digital to traditional. Never thought to have a bleed area. The surface is raised just a little from the towels I am working on and it all just feels real natural so I have not thought too much about it.

  4. This is a really nice peice and it's fantastic to see how you built up the colour and depth :)