Friday, March 4, 2011
The Wizard of Oz - Final
At long last.
It turns out I can't take very good photos of my large scale artwork, so I'm looking into having a pro get a decent portfolio shot for me. This is the best I could do, but it really doesn't capture what this thing looks like in real life. The top fades with the shine of light against the varnish, and it was taken in a low light, so it's got some grain artifacts obscuring the true colors. At night, in the garage, with just the garage florescents. I know it can be done better.
But looking at it hanging on the wall, I almost can't believe I'm the one who painted it. I'll be making a lot of qualifications about the quality of the photo, and I know from experience photos just can't capture what the eye can see when you view paintings in real life, but I'm just pretty excited about this one!
Eagle eye readers will be able to see that I removed the red from the bottom left, I felt it was messing up the flow of the brick road, but that's just about the only significant change from the last update. Everything else was just render and re-render.
The Representatives of the Lollipop Guild. The patterns on these little buggers shirts were a pain in the ass.
Our Fair Friends...you can see the lights glinting off the varnish - it's not scrapes across the face of Scarecrow, it's just the crests of the strokes of the underpainting. This is probably my favorite section, they're big enough and have a lot of character, probably the most successful elements of the painting for me, as far as the technical aspects of rendering, and capturing the likenesses.
And of course, the impetus for everything, those Ruby Slippers of my wife. This was quite a learning experience to paint red, shiny, metallic objects. They went through three stages of re-rendering, before I finally found the formula for success. First they were too purple, and looked like snake scales, but that ended up working out, because then I remixed a brighter red, and airbrushed over them again - and that led to a much better color and detail integration, overall. Then I discovered I really needed to hand paint the sequins to get the right highlight look, and then go back over with the same color with the airbrush for blending. And then repeat that again with a white wash, for the hot highlights. Then the white pencil for the little flares, and again with the white airbrushed on for the highlight glows.
This back and forthing led to a lot more rework over the whole thing, in little spurts of pencil work, then hand paint, then airbrush, back to pencils, back to airbrush, until the whole thing came into shape, and every element matched and blended with each other.
There's so many other technical aspects that I can talk about, but it really was a culmination of a year's journey, getting the skills developed to tackle this project, learning the does and do nots of the process, that I could take into this large scale piece, and of course learning even more as it went along; I think that would be better served in a later post, looking back at the work that got me to the final painting of Oz.
And here's where it started, about two years ago - this thing has been bouncing around in my head for a long time, nice to finally be finished!