Bananas (done for real this time)

4_25_2015_banana_doneThe background was bugging me, so I added a plate and redid it. So much better now, and the plate was a lot of fun to try to capture with limited time and brush strokes.

~30 mins for new plate and background. I left the naners themselves largely untouched.

Work in progress steps: Bananas (wips and done)

 

The Stranger (wips and done)

the_stranger_doneHis chat handle is The Stranger. For the last three months, he’s been messaging Loca Mocha, Lethal Lemon, and Nimble Melon, helping them find secure data connections and private places to meet. They’ve never met him, but Loca Mocha is about to come close. But is he just a sophisticated Org agent? (Is he even human?)

This piece (which I started Sunday and worked on for most of the day, before finishing it off Monday night after work) began as I looked through some of my older art, namely these two pieces from 10 years ago.

Gigapolis_Cityscape_by_Majoh

Loca_Mocha_Mood_Piece_by_Majoh

I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to paint Loca Mocha with her motorcycle in Gigapolis? I had a bunch of ideas in my head, but this is the one that started to get traction:

the_stranger_wip01

Redrew her upper body, I like this one a lot better:the_stranger_wip02

Rough sense of lighting:the_stranger_wip03

Clearly, I still do not know what to do with the right side of the painting.
the_stranger_wip04

Oh I know, a big line of cars!the_stranger_wip05 the_stranger_wip06

Okay, bigger cars maybe?the_stranger_wip07 the_stranger_wip08

This is where I left it off before going to bed (and to work on Monday), only to come home with a great idea – Twisted Gizmo totally needs to be in this one. I added a new layer on top and just started painting out the cars and painting him in, and that was it!

the_stranger_done

This was a fun piece. What really gets me about it though is that I spent about 7 hours on it total, which is probably half (or a third) of what I spent making this (hot mess of a) painting of Gigapolis in 2005. Back when I made it, I thought tiny details were what mattered, and had virtually no understanding of lighting… or anything, really.

Gigapolis_Cityscape_by_Majoh

Now, of course, I know you can “do more with less” (chunky brush strokes, loose forms) as long as you get the fundamentals (perspective, lighting, etc) correct – but it’s much easier said than done!

Onwards!

Where we fought the old witch (wips and done)

mirrors_done

As promised, indulgent fantasy stuff is back! (Slowly – I caught a bad cold this week which is slowing me down these last few days!)

I was eager to start a new scene painting after finishing all those still lifes last weekend. Rolling around my head was this idea that Vince and Airika might go adventuring in some kind of hall of mirrors, so I sketched it out…
mirrors_wip01

Then I decided this scene needed Tren – after all, it’s always wise to bring a healer. 🙂

mirrors_wip02

Render, render, render… here I am trying to get a good sense of where the light parts are and where the dark parts are.

Tren tends to wear brighter blues/greys but Vince and Airika both wear black and browns/neutrals at this point in the story when they’re still n00bs. mirrors_wip03

I’ve been trying to give my scenes a stronger sense of depth, so I pulled Tren into the background and made her lighter. So far so good. mirrors_wip04

More rendering – mostly trying to get faces established, because if the faces aren’t right, nothing’s right. 🙂mirrors_wip05

More rendering. At this point I decide I don’t like the boxy hallway scene over Airika’s head on the right, so…mirrors_wip06

…I open it up a bit! (See below)

Much better. I also turn the wall to the left of Tren into a series of windows. At this point, I’m thinking this is probably a palace room belonging to a certain necromancer we met earlier on this blog, which gives me an ideal I’ll reveal further down. 😉
mirrors_wip07

Below, I changed Tren’s staff position after Jim suggested she was opening a can of whoop ass. Not that she isn’t, it’s just that she’s putting the staff together, not taking it apart, and I think the previous version looked more like the latter than the former.

mirrors_wip08

From here, we get into smaller details that are harder to pick out. I kept trying out different faces and sword poses for Vince. That blue sword has to go in his right hand, and I didn’t like the way the scene looked when flipped horizontally, so I just changed the way he’s holding his weapons. Plus, Airika is right-handed as well, so this keeps things accurate for her, too. (Now if only I kept their clothes this consistent across paintings :P)mirrors_wip09

More faces and minor details. It’s always hard to get their faces right. mirrors_wip10

Final lighting touchups, more spiderwebs, repainted Airika’s face again, and the mirror reflection.

mirrors_done

I didn’t want to spoil it earlier, but that’s totally not Vince. It’s a trick by Lady Jozlynn, the necromancer and illusionist Airika woke up earlier. 😛

How long has it been her in disguise? Tren is already suspicious and putting her staff together, but Airika’s just now realizing that they are about to have their first battle with a very powerful foe…

Metal cup and rattle still life, daylight (done)

april_still_life_baby_toys_daylight_donePositions unchanged since last time, but this one was painted in early morning daylight coming in from the window behind the scene.

I used the previous nighttime version as a base, but corrected a lot of little perspective things (and could probably keep going – ARGH, CIRCLES lol). Painting in daylight means working fast and taking few, if any, breaks, lest the light change too much. The light changed quite a bit in just the 90 or so minutes I spent on this one, but I’m satisfied with how it turned out!

Nearly every artist I admire paints a crap load of stuff from life for practice, so I’m just gonna keep going…

Previously:

 

 

Metal cup and rattle still life, red and blue lamps (done)

april_still_life_baby_toys_2_lights_doneThis tiny metal cup and barbell were apparently Jim’s toys when he was a baby (which was in the 1980s, not the 1930s, so these outdated toys have always been rather fascinating to me – I was also a baby in the 80s and my toys were plastic and made by Fischer Price, lol) . At least now we know how he grew up to be so METAAAAL.

Sorry I didn’t save any WIPs, this one just went kinda quick. There is a blue LED bulb to the left and a red filament bulb to the right. With both bulbs nearby, the white blanket (seriously, that blanket is stark white under normal lights) looks like it was dipped in fluorescent paint.

Also: ARGH, CIRCLES.

 

Throwback Thursday: Wiggly lines acrylic painting

tbt_squiggly_line_painting

Circa early 2003. I always thought this painting was hideous, I am so not an abstract artist and WTF is with the clashing colors?

This was probably from my gen ed art courses that I did at community college before art school, possibly something color-theory related since it’s made out of colors I’d have never picked myself. I’m guessing that based on the heavy use of acrylic painting. My gen ed art teachers were so hot for acrylics. I am so not.

Where I met the old witch (wips and done)

where_i_met_the_old_witch_done

After Vince is sent away by his guild leaders and Tren goes into a period of intense study with her old master, Airika is left on her own to get into trouble. Legend tells of an old high born necromancer, sealed away in an elven coffin and buried in the deepest marsh. But Airika doesn’t know that yet, she just wants to know what’s in the box. (Hint: it’s a pissed off necromancer.)

Painting work in progress steps:

where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip01 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip02 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip03 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip04 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip05 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip06 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip07 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip08 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip09 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip10 where_i_met_the_old_witch_wip11

where_i_met_the_old_witch_doneAs you can see, I spent a lot of time thrashing about on getting her face right. There were even more face attempts but I won’t bore you with all of them. Needless to say, I am glad I pressed on and continued to redesign and re-render until I was happy with the scene.

 

 

Now there’s nothing (wips and done)

so_bummed_done

One of those rare paintings that went well from start to finish. 🙂

so_bummed_wip01 so_bummed_wip02 so_bummed_wip03 so_bummed_wip04 so_bummed_wip05 so_bummed_doneAirika: I just thought there was something more, you know?
Tren: I’m sorry. I can beat him up if you like.
Airika: No… that’s okay. There was something, and now there’s nothing. I’ll live.

 

Someday you’ll see (wips + done)

someday_youll_see_done… that I am such a fragile thing.

(Which is a reference to the SD6 song “Everywhere”, which is awesome yet completely un-Googlable/un-YouTubeable for some reason.)

This one started as a sketch that probably wouldn’t have made it to completion it if weren’t for a soft spot in my heart for these two and their romantic scenes. After all, so much of their story is about the forces that keep them apart and the foolishness of their romance. She’s the girl-from-another-world, literate but useless in a sword fight; he’s betrothed to the world’s best assassin in support of a fragile political alliance between the world’s two most important guilds.

someday_youll_see_wip01 someday_youll_see_wip02 someday_youll_see_wip03 someday_youll_see_wip04Her face was just wrong – not wrong in general (I think it’s one of my better ones) but wrong for the character. So I repainted it, trying to make her look younger and less sassy (since this would be early in their story) and now it feels right.

someday_youll_see_doneBacklit faces, yay! I mean, no. Ugh, so hard. I’m trying to push my understanding of lighting a lot more this year and it’s not easy.

someday_youll_see_done

I came back a few days later and repainted the characters. I don’t know what it is with me sometimes, but it’s like I have to do a version I don’t like before I can do a version I do like.

someday_youll_see_done

 

someday_youll_see_close

It’s also sort of a spiritual remake of this painting I did back in 2009:

All_Good_Things_by_Majoh