For my next assignment, I wanted to attempt something more whimsical and Halloween-ish. I love bat silhouettes and put a few riders on them, coming from a belfry in the distance.
Then I played around in PS and put a town in the sketch and played with colors. I liked the colors but the town didn't really tell a story.
Then the idea of a creepy forest and tree hands reaching out to grab the little guys, preventing them from spreading Halloween cheer and suddenly I felt a story was here that wanted telling. Here's a rough sketch.
Next I worked up a value/color sketch. and then waited for the critique...always with a bit of trepidation.
First and foremost, there needed to be more definition of foreground, mid-ground and background. The trees are too similar in size and occupying the same space. AND they needed to look more human...among many other things.
Made some of those changes but still needed to re-position the trees and create more movement with the bats. Basically, right now, I have a sketch with three columns.
Finally got the trees working for me. They are fairly grumpy and each wanted to be the "Foreground Tree". The left one won and then I went to work on the bats and their riders. They were much more cooperative, although each one wanted a light to hold. Made some other changes and then did a value study in PS.
Still had a few tangents and changes to make. Whew...what was I thinking...taking on such a complicated illustration? Why didn't a simply paint a cute little pumpkin??
FINALLY a final sketch.
I took a nice piece of rag Stonehenge paper and put a coat of gesso on it. Then, while holding my breath, I printed my sketch on to that. AND surprise! It really worked great. Next, I coated it with a wash of gouache paint, concentrating on the areas of temperature changes.
Next, I started lifting out the negative spaces and lite areas.
These are photos, so the colors are not very good.
More lifting. Needed to define some of my sketch with a sepia colored pencil.
Next, I put a coat of oil on top (terrible picture). Lifted out and started filling in some of the opaque areas.
Will post the final later this week.