Thursday, January 29, 2009

Digital Fantasy Painting part 3: Reworking the Anatomy

I started in on the sword and probably went into too much detail, but oh well. I decided the abdominal muscles needed some refinement, so I referred to some photos for reference. I’m starting to build up a library of photoreference images, both anatomical and architectural and every subject in between, something I should have been doing years ago.

I added the right foot, something I temporarily overlooked. I also tweaked and repainted the serratus (rib) muscles, lats and obliques. The torso is really starting to come together. The arms and legs are still going to need some refinement, and I’m still not sure about the deltoids. I’ll refer to my anatomy books...

I started getting a bit frustrated with this painting tonight because I’ve spent 13 hours on it so far and I feel like it should be farther along by now. At times like this I think about artists like Marta Dahlig and how much better she is than me, and ten years younger. I look at a painting she made for Corel Painter Magazine that supposedly took her 6 hours and looks like it took weeks.

Okay, with that out of my system, my frustration came from having to repaint the head because I felt it just looked awkward. I’m glad I did, because this new angle works much better, and my proportions are much more solid.

I also reworked the legs quite extensively, looking at more photoreference images to identify corrections to the muscle groups. Runner’s World is a great resource for leg muscles. Weightlifting magazines are rather useful too. I also reshaped the left foot and hand. A couple good digital painting habits I’m developing:

1) Ditch undo. If you make a mistake, paint over it unless it’s something really destructive. It makes the work more interesting and gives it more texture. Thanks to Marko Djurdjevic for giving me this idea.
2) Constantly evaluate your work and don’t get too attached to it. If something’s wrong, it’s wrong. Repaint or redraw it.

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