Remember last week when I said I'd been painting all weekend and promised a post about the results? Well, it's a week late but I finally have that post for you!
Since I haven't done one of these type of posts before, I'll explain my intention. I don't want to simply post a picture of my artwork and wait for replies of "ooh aahhh". Instead, I want to share what I did and what worked, and what didn't. Sort of a documentation of the process behind it.
The project was one assigned for my art class. The idea was to become familiar with paints and to experiment with different color palettes. I found this project especially interesting because the shading is reminiscent of sprite shading - you'll see what I mean in a minute.
The first step of the project was to go to one of those old style black and white photo booths and get a photo taken. There's a website which lists all the photo booths in the area, photobooth.net. Unfortunately some of the booths listed on the site are either no longer at the location or are broken. Even calling ahead for each site, I had to visit three places before I found one that worked.
The photo booths have some sort of black magic ju ju inside them that makes you look WAY better than you normally do in photos. Something about the flash-bang lights that literally blind you (I came out of the booth in tears from the things flashing in my eyes), the washed-out old style printing, and the nature of black and white in general smears away your flaws and imperfections. It's somewhat of an archaic art to get your head actually centered correctly in the things, since all you have to work with is some vaguely reflective glass and a set of instructions that are confusing at best, downright incorrect at worst. Finally, after over an hour of driving around and 8 dollars fed into various (sometimes broken) machines, I returned triumphantly with the following:
We were instructed to do four paintings, all using acrylic paint. I'll talk about mine in the order that I like them, from worst to best. The first one was a master palette - this means we looked around at master level paintings and chose one whose colors appealed to us, then chose three colors from that painting to use in our own. I've always been drawn to the 36 views of Mount Fuji (best known for the Great Wave off Kanagawa), and chose #8, Inumi Pass, Koshu as the painting I would choose a palette from. The 36 views of Mount Fuji are interesting because they are actually woodblock prints, a style of painting traditional to the Japanese in which the image is cut out of a piece of wood, then the wood is painted and the image is transferred to paper from the paint-laden wood block. The resulting images were extremely complex, but the method is actually analogous to stencil artwork.
Print in hand, I finally settled down to paint. The colors I chose were mostly in order to not duplicate any of my previous palettes. I actually painted this one last, and by then I was quite tired and in no mood to wait to get things exactly right. So the colors aren't exactly spot on (they are far too dark), and the mid tone's value is indistinguishable from the dark value. Regardless, here it is:
I was excited about this paintings because I'm very fond of bright, warm colors like orange, and because the blue I had was so pretty. Unfortunately, these two paints were TERRIBLE to work with. The gorgeous blue was extremely thin and transluscent, and even with four layers you can still see the page below (or the orange where I had to paint over it, since I'm worse than a five year old at coloring inside the lines). The orange, on the other hand, was chunky beyond bearing - the face looks like I was terribly burned or something, with a nasty pockmarked texture from me struggling with the detail work. I'm sure if I was more experienced in my paint handling, it wouldn't be so bad... but as it is, I feel pretty unhappy with it. Again, regardless, here it is:
Note: I totally didn't realize when I was doing this one that it's U of O colors. Bleh. Anyway, here it is: