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Yeah so, first time doing a big painting and need some pointers.


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Hay guys,

So I don't do much painting or anything, but for my Illustration final I told him I'd do a painting. The last thing I got from my girlfriend before we broke up was a sweet 20 x 24 canvas that she said I could keep. I've been saving it for when I had an idea I really wanted to do for a larger scale painting. The project is for "A sense of place" and God knows I've been in a lot of different places lately. However, the idea I came up with was the idea of a "morning star". People say that it's always darkest before the dawn. Indicating that at the end of a period of strife there is a light which is a symbol of hope, so I wanted to turn it on its head and make that light into the fire in a mushroom cloud; So what's on the horizon is not the signal of a new day, but something that signifies the end of days. Which is basically where I'm at right now. I'll get over it, but I'm just feeling really pessimistic. So the idea is to show an eye [what would be assumed by the viewer as mine], in the iris of which can be seen a mushroom cloud and explosion against a horizon line. I know that's not terribly realistic as the nearby area would be distorted by the explosion as well as the color seen, but it's my piece lol. I did a two minute mockup in photoshop of what it should basically look like:

Morgensten.jpg

So basically I just wanted to get any tips I can before I start. Anything? Thanks guys.

Wish me luck. It's a final and I'm not painter.

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Interesting concept. Personally, I love the entire nuclear science basis. The science, the destructive power, not so much the lives taken.

But, from an artistic standpoint, it is very good. There are some textual details you may need to iron out. First, check the right side (viewer standpoint) of the retina. There is some excess white there from the overlay of the mushroom cloud. Suggestion? Size out the retina with a circle tool or the like, Photoshop speak, and use that to size up the mushroom cloud.

One better? Take the outline of the mushroom cloud only and put that over the retina and pupil. This will also save the coloration of the retina while giving the effect you've been striving for.

Finally, there is seen on the eye the flash from the camera you must have taken the picture with. Using a tool, try and blend that in and erase that extra flash. Also, along those lines, the flash kind of blanched out the surrounding flesh. Play around with contrast to smooth that out and make it less than pale unless that was the effect you were striving for.

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Interesting concept. Personally, I love the entire nuclear science basis. The science, the destructive power, not so much the lives taken.

But, from an artistic standpoint, it is very good. There are some textual details you may need to iron out. First, check the right side (viewer standpoint) of the retina. There is some excess white there from the overlay of the mushroom cloud. Suggestion? Size out the retina with a circle tool or the like, Photoshop speak, and use that to size up the mushroom cloud.

One better? Take the outline of the mushroom cloud only and put that over the retina and pupil. This will also save the coloration of the retina while giving the effect you've been striving for.

Finally, there is seen on the eye the flash from the camera you must have taken the picture with. Using a tool, try and blend that in and erase that extra flash. Also, along those lines, the flash kind of blanched out the surrounding flesh. Play around with contrast to smooth that out and make it less than pale unless that was the effect you were striving for.

Paint dude, paint.

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I would offer some advice, but I'm not a painter at all. But since Tim isn't around, the best advice I can give is that painting's foundation is pretty much drawing. So try out some sketches first and see how it works, figuring out your lighting and all that. Value translates to color with painting, which means that color creates form and volume. Just practice and figure out your techniques and materials (whether your going to use acrylic, oil, etc) before you go straight to the big canvas.

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I started this bitch yesterday and surprisingly I'm fairly happy with it so far. I've only done the upper lid and the small area of the forehead that shows. I'm finding out very quickly that layering is important because I'll throw shit down and it feels like alot but then when it dries sometimes I see some of the canvas coming up under it. Thanks for the advice. If I can find my camera I'll show you guys what I did so far.

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Ouch!

I suck with acrylics.

I'm not good at all lol. All of my experiences with oil have not been good ones and it wouldn't be dry by the time it was due; Beyond that I'm still kind of low on cash and I didn't have money for liquin, turpentine, etc. I'd love to get a picture of my progress for some mid-painting critique, but my d-bag sister always takes it and then doesn't know where it is when I ask her.

What sucks most of all is that my professor knocked this shit up to be due on Tuesday and I'm just barely half way done. This wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't also getting my stuff together for a presentation I have on Monday to the board members of the Workforce Investment Board of Mercer County. It's a sort of competition to redo their logo, stationery, etc. and I still have a newspaper ad to make. FUCK THE END OF THE SEMESTER!!!!

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FINALLY got my God damned camera back.

Progress report:

Flash:

IMG001.jpg

No Flash:

IMG002.jpg\

I'm getting closer to being done, but there's still some areas to be changed. Most noticeably the upper right hand corner and I want to smooth the gradient between orange and red at the bottom. I need to layer the iris more, what you see is the initial run. After that, I will paint the mushroom cloud and eyelashes. Thoughts?

P.S. I know that shit in the upper right hand corner is horrendous and I will dress it first chance I get tomorrow lol.

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I'm not good at all lol. All of my experiences with oil have not been good ones and it wouldn't be dry by the time it was due; Beyond that I'm still kind of low on cash and I didn't have money for liquin, turpentine, etc. I'd love to get a picture of my progress for some mid-painting critique, but my d-bag sister always takes it and then doesn't know where it is when I ask her.

Man that sucks, my old art Prof let us put our paintings in these cupboards where they could dry, and if they werem't dry when we submitted them, she would grade them wet. She was pretty awesome :awesome:

FINALLY got my God damned camera back.

P.S. I know that shit in the upper right hand corner is horrendous and I will dress it first chance I get tomorrow lol.

yeah, i hear the top right shit. Although, the more shit you work on in that corner (detail wise) will make it look all that better.

All in all it looks pretty good, maybe a little more high contrast detail. Think high def contrast lines.

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Well folks it\'s D Day and I\'m not quite done. I finished the actual eye and am working on the mushroom cloud. Was hoping I would have it done before today, but it looks like It\'ll be finished JUST in time. I have class at 7 and it\'s 2:30 now. I\'ve only done the first layer of the mushroom cloud, but I\'m remaining hopeful, which frankly, is ironic because it\'s the antithesis of the piece.

Eye pre mushroom cloud:

IMG005-1.jpg

Eye with first layer of mushroom cloud:

IMG006-1.jpg

Wish me luck, the clock is ticking!

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Grand finale:

With flash:

IMG001-1.jpg

Without flash:

IMG002-1.jpg

----------------------------------

It went over pretty well in the critique - even the kids I know who are painting students really liked it. I got a bag full of advice from the painting students and my professor about how to do certain things, but the general consensus was that they liked the concept, they thought it was a pretty strong piece and felt that it was pretty exceptional for a first painting.

Personally I am happy with both the piece and myself. The piece, because even if I didn't capture it exactly the way I planned, I still captured it well enough to make the concept shine. I was also happy with my ability to do what I intended to do with the actual paint considering having absolutely no formal training. I am happy with myself because I had meant to start painting and quit making excuses about how I didn't know how and just fucking do it. I have a lot to learn, but I think I could be decent if I keep at it.

More than anything I'm happy that it went over the way it did. As I may have mentioned, the canvas was the last thing given to me by my ex and I told myself that I would do something that was important to me on it as a sort of salute to when times were good. The whole piece really means a lot to me even if it's not "good" because of what I made it to mean. The direct subject matter and symbol of my recent pessimism [though it is coming to something of a close] as well as some sort of nod to the past when things were going well for me and [ironically] a hope that I'll get back to it some day.

Thanks for all the comments and advice everyone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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