November 8, 2013
November 1, 2013
I can't remember what sparked the idea for this image. I recently got through reading Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind graphic novel, so maybe that had something to do with it.
It's a fantastic story. To think that Hayao Miyazaki wrote and drew this (over 1,000 page!) story just so the people he was pitching the animated film to would take him seriously, is pretty stunning.
October 26, 2013
Much like the previous painting process video, I go through all the Photoshop layers to kind of show how I approached this painting. (PS. if you go the the Youtube page for this, you can watch it much larger -highly recommended).
I don't have as much time to write up a commentary on this as I did on the last one, however, if you have any questions about my process on this piece, be sure to leave a comment. I'll be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.
October 11, 2013
In this video, I go through all the Photoshop layers to kind of show how I approached this painting. (PS. if you go the the Youtube page for this, you can watch it much larger -highly recommended)
Right at the start, you see my initial sketch. This is something I just blurted out a while ago without any real planning. I didn't really intend to paint it and it really become apparent in the early part of this video how I struggled with it. Shapes and forms, particularly of the girl, really weren't working out. She wasn't sitting on the Octopus very solidly and her proportions were a little off.
I also didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of the image. Questions I could have figured out the answer to earlier would be: what time of day is it, what kind of weather is there, where is the sun coming from, what can be seen in the background, etc.
It's fun to sometimes just work very organically towards a finish, but often times it brings a lot of frustration with it because I get so far, then backup and fix/change things, then go forward again, then backup some more . . . I never really know what the end product will turn out to be.
I have a general feeling that I'll be able to make it all work at the end, but getting there is the hard part.
It's right about the 12 second mark that I thought it would be interesting to have this image half in and half out of the water -kind of a two part story going on. I really like how I can light each half differently.
At about the 32 second mark, you can see I changed her skin color. Why? Because it's different and maybe a little unexpected. It's not something I was thinking about when I did the sketch, but I wanted to do something with her just a little differently than what might be expected.
The little things in her hair were kind of 'happy accidents.' They weren't much more than blobs at the beginning, but I began to see them as maybe shells or some kind of seaweed.
I changed the underside of the octopuses arms to a different color -once again to do something a little unexpected, and also to introduce a complimentary color to the underwater half of the painting.
At about the 59 second mark, I added spots all over the octopus. These originally started on the head above the water, but as I carried them under the water (again) I wanted to do something different. What if they change color when not seen in direct sunlight? I thought it was a fun detail and helped to define the form of the octopus.
At the 1:11 mark, I added in some clouds. I love painting clouds. I think once I got them in, the atmosphere for what was above the water really set in.
At the 1:33 minute mark, I added a fishing net to the bottom. I realize this image would be more interesting if I told some kind of story of why the girl is sitting on the head of the octopus, why they're together in this image, why she has those things on her staff, and maybe why they are out in the ocean. Also, the octopuses arms seemed to work well to have them manipulating something on the ocean floor.
At about the 2:08 mark, I added in an island to the background. I knew I wanted something back there so it wouldn't be just a flat boring sea. I also needed something to help the composition out. Before I added in the island, the viewers eye would kind of travel down one octopus arm to its body, and then back out on the arms on the other side. There was also a horizontal 'cut' in the piece made by the girls staff.
Adding in the island now makes a complete circle the viewers eye can travel. It frames the girl and the octopus and helps tie the above water and below water elements together. You might notice your eye following the edge of the island down and around the arms of the octopus on one side, then crossing its body and resurfacing on the other side to one again trace the contour of the island again.
I hope you've enjoyed this commentary. :)