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Thread: Gypsy - process

  1. #1
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    Gypsy - process

    It may be a mixture of emotions, ranging from a level of joyful pride and creeping guilt for painting with a photo reference, but the result is making me somehow too happy to not share with you the process of its making. Not that anyone was asking for it... I'm just in the mood since it's a cozy, lazy sunday afternoon.

    But first, here's what the final painting looks like:



    And now to the process...


    Step 1: taking a decent picture of this dumb cat. Not unlike in a cheesily stupid comedy, she decides to act brilliantly right before I get to push the button on my camera only to snap into a dozy, pissed-off look, like nothing matters and she could care least about who ever takes that picture. But there's genius hidden in this seeming behavior, because for some absurd reason, these photos look gorgeous in their own way. As if she knew how she would come across on a picture. Tisk...

    Well, this is her:
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  2. #2
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    Step 2: Get a feel for her proportions, what would be a nice cropping, what's her mid-tone value... keep in mind, this is not traced, but with the photo on an image viewer in the background. I always feel about a little less guilty, when not importing a reference image into AR, besides I havn't yet found a shortcut to make it disappear and reappear when ever I want. It may well exist, but my research never went into that direction...
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  3. #3
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    Step 3: Pondering over the method or even agenda to put her fur in there in a fine fashion, I was thinking about painting just the undercoat and blend it together, while making small little tests of hair straints just to see if it could work at all... proceeding and experimenting at the same time.
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  4. #4
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    Step 4: After having decided to really just blend in all the values and colors I could identify, I just filled the screen with her as much as it was necessary to establish that it's a cat... and what kind of cat. I honestly don't know the name of her breed, considering that she's quite possibly a crossbreed of sorts, because we picked both of our cats from a shelter almost 10 years ago, but that's a different story.

    At this point it's all just oil with about 40% thinner and a bunch of knife blending. Having instadry OFF, it was sometimes tough to maintain hues, but only when dark grays were hitting bright values. The tiny red nuance would boost out a rich red reminding me of the intimate and gracious beauty of undo again!
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  5. #5
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    Step 5: In order to make softer blends I switched the oil brush to 99% thinner and turned ON instaDry. The a picking an blending frenzy began, also inspiring a solultion to make this picture feel a bit more complete, by turning the dark grays on the right side into a sort of environmental color.
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  6. #6
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    Step 6: after an interruption of 5 or 6 hours, having had to visit friends (which as absolutely great, no regrets), I returned to dear Gypsy and felt like trying on her fur, hehehe. A closer look at the photo, whilst starting to stipple and streak, revealed to me the HORROR. It's as if every third hair on her body has a different color and value, taunting me in a smug way, just how I know the little bi...cat. (yes, yes, I still love her! But it's testing at times!) So I went along with it for a little while and then decided 4am is one hour too many for hair implants on my precious... I even decided not to continue and posted her like that...
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  7. #7
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    Step 7: sleeping 4.5 hours in front of the TV, waking up... remembering that I didn't like something about the painting... checking it out and deciding to add some finer details to here eyebrows and overall fur...

    The result is above!

    That's all...

  8. #8
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    Criminy! I'm exhausted after just reading about the process! But it turned out beautifully and I'm sure she won't appreciate it in the least.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSWade View Post
    Criminy! I'm exhausted after just reading about the process! But it turned out beautifully and I'm sure she won't appreciate it in the least.
    HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!! Very humorous, Mr. Wade.


    @ Taron
    Great process and I'm sure quite useful to people wanting to learn how you did that. Time needs to be put into these to get them to that level. That's part of the mystery, isn't it. Whether it's put in doing just the actual painting, or it's time spent in developing the skills, it's still time.

    Fortunately time means nothing when you're doing it because time just sorta dissolves when you're really into it.

    My big challenge is knowing how long something is going to take, and making myself sit down with it. Once I'm painting I'm flying. But it's bringing myself to start.

    Hard also for busy people to find the time to really dig in. But as a semi casual thing, it's a great diversion.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  10. #10
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    Well, it's a plus to be a hopeless workaholic in that case, hahaha!
    Yep, it's not too rare that people don't realize the many years it takes to reach a certain level and confidence. But even confidence in itself has different levels or aspects that need to build up. Ironically one of those aspects had been known to me very early on already, but just now it feels like it's coming up to a decent state. That aspect is patience! For the longest time and lack of knowledge or certainty would trigger my impatience, making me almost anxious to move forward with a painting in the shortest time possible. I've done a stunning amount of speed paints, when I look back a few years after having started with this kind of painting. Despite having been extremely busy with work I was painting literally hundrets of pictures. A lot of them are on my website under daily sketches and it was truely what it was. Almost every day I would make at least one. But that was "pre-artrage" times.

    Artrage has been and is responsible for my newly found revelation in regards to patience. The way it works, the blending and bleeding, the molding of colors into the canvas, it wants you to move slow but steady, depending on what kind of style you're pursuing. Certainly working with oils and instaDry OFF is demanding care. Naturally you could unleash a frenzy of fast pace stroking and wildly assaulting your picture, yielding in equally fascinating results, but it's a very different idea of art and often teaches you more about your attitude than training your actual understanding of particular subjects. As far as I'm concerned, I'm just breaking into a new phase and I'm still tapping my way forward.

    Aside from all of this: THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I'm really glad, if someone can get something from this. I think it's often this little bit of info that comes with a WIP, which may have a stronger impact on the development of an artist than books and many lessons. Tiny sparks can have a mighty effect.

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