Trail – Underground Stream

My largest digital piece as a submission to Illustration Friday.  The topic: Trail.  It’s an experiment of quantity versus quality.  Here’s the sketch I did a couple of months ago, while spending time with my daughter at the park.  As she played, she pretended that the underside of the tall slides were caves, walking along an imagined path.  I doodled some rocks, and took inspiration from the pretend play.  I finished rendering in pencil at home, and left it untouched for a long while.  Illustration Friday’s topic reminded me of the girl walking the underground trail.

Trail - Illustration Friday submissionThis digitally drawn and colored piece took a relative long time.  I’ve seen so many great looking digital paintings, so full of details, that I had to try for that scale.  Quick and simple pieces have been fun to do for IF, but I have plans for more ambitious projects, and this was great exercise, as it let me explore process in a larger scale.  It turns out, I was always fighting between concentrating on quality, versus the quantity of the elements.  I could spend so much time on just coloring a rock, that I decided to forget quality in order to complete the “assignment”.  It did give me an opportunity to mold a process, so to speak.  I approached it in stages.  First I scanned the pencils, and inked digitally, adding a larger area to the left of the stream.  I changed the “quartz” attempt in the sketch to stalactites.  Then I proceeded to color.  I didn’t use much of that selection and fill strategy I see most people use, so the flats were done with big brushes, for most of the work.  Then I went at it with the spray paint tool, varying in opacity, and using layers for line work and colors.  I would say that maybe 70% of the work was coloring and details. Now I see that it needed more planning time. The stream itself got attention at the last moment, when I noticed it was throwing off perspective. First time I try a stream, even at an angle.  Tried to fix it giving it a kind of a waterfall angle, but forgot to suggest it better with the rock walls around it.

Oh well… it was really an experiment, which I really enjoyed. My next digital piece won’t be as ambitious, as I will strive for a better balance between quantity and quality.

Main goal? Visualization and fun. I wouldn’t hang it on a wall, but its a landmark for me (pardon the pun).  Thanks for visiting, and have a great art time! I did!

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Published in: on June 10, 2010 at 11:24 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. as i stared at ur sketch i felt a sense of mystery and a feeling of the unknown calling…esp when i looked at the water…its very inviting…well done :)

    • Thanks! I wish I had more time to refine it… the finished piece is kind of rough itself. Extending my reach on digital skills… but I’m glad the sense of the unknown was still evident. Really appreciate your comment.

  2. This is nicely drawn.

    However, I have a big problem with it.

    In general, you, as an artist, manage the expectations of your audience. This means the content of the image and the style you use to depict the content should be consistent.

    I’m a bit confused by the perspective, to be honest. The style suggests realism, but the perspective is everything but realistic.

    I hope this helps.

    • Yep… its a mixup alright! I went for quantity, digitally speaking. And I haven’t finished commenting properly either, which I was hoping would explain the big mix of styles. Done over a longer period of time… I guess that accounts more for the mixed approach. It was definitively and experiment! Largest digital piece I’ve tried, and I would expect that the larger the piece, the more time needed to put it together properly… like a real painting, in scale. Excellent comment, Rene! Thanks man… I really appreciate it! (whew… so tired after all these lines… my arm hurts!),


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