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Ryan's thread of shame.

rtsrts Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Artist's Corner
Alright, so here is the idea behind this thread. Each day I have to post an update to the painting I have been working on, and it has to look like I put some real time in or you guys give me a hard time. So that people do not have to search through the pages to find the images I am going to constantly keep the previous and current day's images in the first post. I do sometimes go to Los Angeles for one reason or another, so on those days I will warn you guys and instead do some digital prep-work for another painting or something. You are welcome to critique on the painting and how I am painting, but please do not suggest changes which should have been made during the sketch phase while I am already painting. Mostly that just serves to discourage me and make me not want to work on the painting anymore. The date of each update will be very subtle in the bottom right corner of each update image itself. I will bump the thread each day when I update, and include the image that gets knocked off the first post with my bump so that people can browse through the thread to see progress.

My goal with this painting is to try my hand at the sort of emotional abstraction that John Harris creates in his paintings. Something that teases you but doesn't hand you all of the information on a silver platter so that your imagination still has room to explore whatever story the image represents. Some examples of John's work:
post-1-12753575629414.jpgpost-1-12753575791638.jpg
AEldredJohnHarris271.jpg
post-1-12753575702881.jpg
post-1-1275356998072.jpg



And so we begin!
The painting is 24"x36"


The thumbnail:

0-thumb.jpg



The sketch:

0-sketch.jpg



The updates!

2-9-12.jpg2-17-12.jpg



skype: rtschutter
rts on
«13

Posts

  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    I had the audacity to try and copy John Harris' style once, I failed miserably. Apart from being well beyond my capabilities, it is incredibly difficult to suggest at form and function without tinkering incessantly until you've lost completely what you were trying to achieve.

    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

    Mustang on
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Destined to be the greatest thread.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    I have my fingers crossed it's for the right reasons.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    Arthritis?

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Alright I posted my first update. Still just trying to get the thing covered with paint and also trying to knock things back a bit. Unfortunately I don't really know how to take better photos, but I will try to improve my photo setup as I go through this process.
    1-28-12.jpg1-29-12.jpg

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    Hooray! I am most interested in this thread.

    I am liking the reflected light on the space ships already

    CONTEXT: What you have just read is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying that i'm a complete dumbass.
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    That's looking fantastic?

    Dumb question, but is this digital or traditional? You mention taking photos, but the thumbnail image looks like it was done digitally? If it's traditional, mind making a post on the materials you're using?


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    The thumbnail and sketch were done digitally, but I'm pretty sure he's traditionally painting now.

    CONTEXT: What you have just read is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying that i'm a complete dumbass.
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    The thumbnail and sketch are digital, the final is being done in oil paint on a gessoed 24x36" masonite board.

    Also I really feel like I want to start this over. I also need to start painting on canvas I think.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • GrifterGrifter BermudaModerator mod
    Why haven't you updated this yet? Get on with it! I'm tired of looking at the last update, already.

  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Yup. Get with it, Cake.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    Alright here we go. Sorry my schedule is a little odd, I usually stay up late to watch live korean starcraft.


    1-30-12.jpg

    skype: rtschutter
  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    The perspective on the big exhaust/engines is starting to feel a little wonky. Particularly the bottom left one feels like it's pointing downwards in comparison to the other two.

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Today's update:

    1-31-12.jpg


    I want to say at this point that the whole thing is coming out much darker/more high contrast in the photos than in person. In future updates I will try to adjust the photos better to more accurately represent the painting itself.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    Are those deep black vertical lines on the exhaust in the background part of the contrast issue? I can't tell if they're brushstroke lines or supposed to be some kind of grating cover.

    CONTEXT: What you have just read is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying that i'm a complete dumbass.
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    The dark vertical lines are part of some grating. It's wet paint on top of dry paint, which is why it appears so dark. The dry paint is almost pure burnt umber, which I have tried to work entirely off my palette now by using burnt sienna, ultramarine and cad yellow to get about the same color. I want to see how it looks dry next to the burnt umber, as the main problem with the burnt umber is how bad it looks when it dries.

    skype: rtschutter
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    Tonight's update:

    2-1-12.jpg

    skype: rtschutter
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Are the small ships going to have any visual clues to their scale?

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    You mean the white ships? Yeah they will have visible bridge areas and some other stuff. But the main scale selling point will be the really small ships I think. Which are those orange dots you see in the sketch.

    skype: rtschutter
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Okay, that's the first time I noticed those. Are those two objects in the lower right half ships also? Or just debris? I might worry that the additional ships you are going to add would read as debris as well.

  • thornbirdthornbird Registered User
    Very nice. I wonder if you should darken the top of the bottom nozzle so it is more distinct from the one above it?

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    @NibCrom - The other objects are debris. Basically the image is of a giant space hulk which has been in some sort of battle and is now being salvaged or repaired.

    @thornbird - I certainly understand the instinct to want to separate things like that, but I am deliberately running them into each other to push them more out of focus. Right now I am trying to do everything I can to push them into the background. I am trying to teach myself a lesson about image making, and focusing on the big picture instead of the small. In fact all of the engines probably need to get lighter and more yellow to push them back further.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • Arden CaneloArden Canelo Registered User regular
    I've tried painting and I'm terrible at it. I applaud your efforts in this way cake.

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    I hate painting. But damn I really want to be a painter.

    When I met John Harris in November he told me he had never really enjoyed painting all that much until the last couple of years. I was already pretty sold on wanting to work in a similar composition and large effect method of painting based on his work, but upon hearing that I was pretty much completely sold. I have started to work much larger as well. This painting is 24"x36" and it is much more satisfying to work on than the smaller paintings I have done in the past.

    Thank you for your support!

    And sorry everyone that this thread may not seem very exciting, painting is a really slow process, especially for me. I hope people don't think I expect them to find something interesting to comment on in every update. I know that sometimes it can probably be difficult to even tell what has changed.

    skype: rtschutter
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    This thread is a great inspiration for those of us wanting to get into oil paints, like me!


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    I basically have the opposite feelings as thornbird. The recession of the background hulk in the last update (or is it partially a trick of the photo and the drying paint?) is already starting to give it a little more dimension.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    If I may...
    I still prefer the lower contrast background of the sketch. The foreground ships stand out and the moloch behind them is visibly distant, which emphasises its size.
    On the painting... well, the exhaust pipes are pretty much the focus of the whole thing.
    You said it's less saturated in real life... is it closer to the sketch?

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Thanks guys

    @Mayday - Pushing the spacehulk further into the distance will be my primary goal for awhile. It's actually quite difficult to get an effect of atmosphere. I need to get a little bit more yellow into all of my mixtures, but I am finding that because I am working on a hard surface (gessoed masonite) instead of a soft surface with some give (stretched canvas) that the paint just gets pushed around a lot rather than blending on the surface. I think this is a good way to work for more representational illustration or fine art, but I can really see why Harris works on canvas now.

    The photo is not really accurate to the painting, but I wouldn't say the painting is closer to the sketch either. I am really debating between continuing to try to add the yellow in through direct painting, or instead using glazes once the dark areas have dried. My experience with glazing is minimal and the last time I tried it didn't come out quite the way I was hoping.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    I didn't even know you can do glazes with oil paints... Does the old trick of adding dishwashing liquid to improve the flow work as well?

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Haha I have no idea what that trick is, but it sounds pretty awful! I would probably just use liquin or a glazing medium.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    Yeah, it's pretty much a cheap glaze medium substitute. Works with acrylics at least.

  • MustangMustang Registered User regular
    Needs more specular highlights and lens flares.

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    I didn't get to do as much tonight as I would have liked. I have had an awful awful headache and I just couldn't take the fumes.

    2-2-12.jpg

    skype: rtschutter
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    Starting to cool things down a bit.

    2-3-12.jpg

    skype: rtschutter
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    2-4-12.jpg

    skype: rtschutter
  • zapattackzapattack Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Hey Cake, looking good! Coming along well. In your thumbnail I think I see some exhaust of thrust coming out behind the thrusters- at least the "brown" you blocked in the the right of the thrusters indicates it. However you haven't indicated it in the digital sketch. I would reconsider adding it, as it wouldn't really knock out anything but the butts of the ships and some background. If you do add it, you should blast it in as soon as you can. I know you're already into the painting, and you may consider that an early stage change, so if you decide not to go for it maybe keep it in mind for the next one.

    Hmm that didn't explain why I thought it was important. I'm ignoring your technical ability and rendering and ability to finish something, I'm sure it will be very capable, I'm think about how you want this to look like John Harris' work and what you spoke about- "he sort of emotional abstraction that John Harris creates in his paintings. Something that teases you but doesn't hand you all of the information" But you haven't really achieved that feeling yet. For me, one of the big things that contributes to that is Harris' Big Lost Edge. Those things carry alot of his mystery (and soft edges on the ships and such.)

    In many of Harris' paintings, that lost edge and its transition will occupy over 1/6th the composition! Holy crap! It's daring and its beautiful. Here's a post by a Reily student about big lost edges- I know he trained alot of these illustrators directly or indirectly, and his lineage probably traces down to Jeff Watts too.

    http://ennisart.blogspot.com/2010_11_21_archive.html

    Also, not just for the mystery, but Schmid reminds us in Alla Prima that your hardest and Softest edges are important to establish early on, because they create the hierarchy for the rest of your painting. If I look at your digital sketch of the simplified final and what you have so far, you are pushing for a piece that will by mostly middle-scale edges. You will have given us all the information like you were trying to avoid. Working on it, your softs seem so soft, but I know you're academically trained so you're aware of the tricks our eyes play on us as they adjust to what we're working on. If you finished this painting the way your sketch shows- which is all I have to go off of- I think you know that if you then went in and added a big harris lost edge, suddenly it would snap the whole heirchy in your mind, and everything in your painting that was finished before will seem too hard, without the level of contrasts and variety you had seen before.

    I think the first thumbnail had a bit more harris in it, the thrusters fading into their exhaust (like that first harris you posted (actually most of the ones you posted have some kind of particle effect somewhere he could exploit for the soft edge)) and the butt of the secondary ship being lost into the exhaust would have provided some good mystery. Oh whaddya know, Stapleton just did a post about mystery today. Funny how things line up. I can't even write feedback without getting distracted.

    http://stapletonkearns.blogspot.com/2012/02/mystery.html

    A quick and dirty, obviously not as sophisticated a handling as would be necessary:
    kytz7.jpg

    Good luck Cake, whatever you do it's gonna come out great.



    zapattack on
    www.stevenzapata.com
    instagram.com/stevenzapata_art
  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    caaaaaaaaaaaaaake

    I am giving you a hard tiiiiiiiiiiiime

    CONTEXT: What you have just read is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying that i'm a complete dumbass.
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    Hey Zapa, what does the scouter say about his power level?

    But I totally agree. That's what I love about most of his paintings, that sense of mystery and imagination... I could never put my finger on why i felt those things with his paintings, but now that you mention it that is exactly why :D

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    where are the updates

    FEEL THE SHAME

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Post something Cake.

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