Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Artifact - Stage 4

It's been a while since I posted an update, but I've been busy with paying freelance projects lately. Here's the latest update on the Artifact painting.

So... first thing is that I took a lot of time figuring out how I wanted to render the cave entrance. I tried several different forms and iterations, none of them satisfying. Painting rocks and boulders is harder than it seems. I need a LOT more practice on those forms. The cave is still not even close to being finished, though.

Next, someone told me that the artifact that the thief was holding reminded them of the Shake Weight. That pretty much ruined that for me; I couldn't not think of that every time I looked at the painting. So I decided to change it to an orb-shaped artifact. Then I got the idea of the artifact "activating" somehow, and merging with the thief's arm, changing him in some fashion. Voila! The story changes, and suddenly all hope is not lost for our characters. What his transformation involves, I'll leave up to you.

Now, the monster's arms. I decided I wanted the fleshy part to be smooth and shiny, much like the skin of an amphibian. Rendering glossy surfaces against a cloudy, backlit sky is super tough. You have to pay attention to where the light is coming from, where it's bouncing, and what is reflected on the surface of the material, which more than likely generates a Fresnel effect, making it more reflective at glancing angles. That shit is difficult.

I've also decided that I don't like the intermediate spiky-looking shell joints of the monsters arms, so I'm working on a way to eliminate them and connect the fleshy forearms directly to the patterned shell, which I like very much.

I'm still happy with where this is going, and I'm learning more with every brushstroke. This painting is taking forever, though, and I'm looking forward to its conclusion.

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