This is CrackedInkWell‘s new avatar that I did for him as a gift. I took me only twelve hours to do and he certainly seemed happy with it when I received his reply. I did this because I like the design of his ponysona that was made from the pony creator. As upon his request, I tried to give this piece an “Impressionist” art style and I tried to make this as close as an actual painting feel as I could in this one.
Unlike most of my usual digital art pieces I actually tried my best to paint as closely as possible to the traditional method in creating a painting without the drag of waiting it to dry. I first did a detailed “pencil” study of what I was going for, with some lines of the silhouette and even the shading directly from Photoshop. That is more then what I normally do in my digital painting, sense I usually just sketch the very basic outline of what I am going for and start sculpting the silhouette with colors directly and ad the details as I go along. This is how most digital artist goes about in creating their pieces, as I understand it. Still, it was refreshing for me to try another method once in a while, and reminded me the importance to go as far as possible in going in details, even in the sketching if possible. Unlike most time I started creating a piece, I actually thought about creating the background at the same stage as did the main the pencil sketch of the subject, which sadly I have more often than not I only think about that detail in the later stages of painting.
This also gives me another incentive to going back in practicing traditional mediums again, as I have the increasing feeling that I am stagnating in my art skills once again, and that is a feeling that I always hate when my skills seems to reach a plateau every once in a while. Still, I take it as a good sign for my mental health, sense this has given me as new desire to go out more for some fresh air and to do life drawing again; it’s a good feeling to have.
What is most unusual that I did in this piece was that I used almost no layers in this piece (less than five) and the subject was painted on the same layers as the background, which is something that I usually don’t do for fear the background that I always have trouble fixing in the past. But surprisingly, I hardly had to do back and fix anything in the background at all. I contribute the reason for all that work saving on the fact that I had already planned out that I wanted from the background elements in detail, in the pencil sketching stages, as mentioned earlier. This is an incentive for me to try this method again in the near future. Going into detail earlier in the background seemed that have also helped avoiding go back if it helps me to do the work much quicker, by eliminating the number of adjustment to the planned scene. I am actually very proud of the work that I did on the background, and I think it is one of my best so far, with the blending of colors which added a real classic painting effect to it. I am particularly proud of the desk and typewriter. The bookshelves were also a lot of fun to do and helped me to create a few short cuts from my usual methods. For the OC itself, it when rather well and I did like adding the Victorian bowtie and collar, the glasses where interesting to do too. I think I could have done a better job with the mane doe, but I think I was in too much of a hurry to do it.
The part that was most interesting of this quick project for me was the actual painting, because I have been tinkering with the brush adjustment with the Color Dynamic and other settings, which had brought about very interesting results. Adding textures to the brush and slightly randomizing the hue, saturation, brightness and purity has added a sense of texture that I didn’t had before, and really gave a feel of all the brush strokes in it.
This has also helped to better blend all the colors together of the painting as a whole. I didn’t had to go through all the trouble mix every color that I was planning to use, so that they wouldn’t clash with each other, like it traditional mediums. This is also in digital which the colors that are normally pick are often too vibrantly and doesn’t always harmonized themselves well with the rest of the piece, until the end with filters layers. Exploring the color dynamic has yielded interesting results to me, and the randomness that it comes up with helped me a lot with the blending of the colors, instead of the smudge tool, which I never really been happy with the results that I normally get. I think doing that probably shaved offed about five hours of work from the cleaning up.
The finishing highlight coming from the window might have been too understated but I didn’t want all the work of the detail of the background be lost by all the intense lighting. On the other spectrum I think I could have done a better job at the highlight around the OC.
Still, this was a good work all in all, and I am happy with the results.
You can all see the creation process in the link bellow.