The Experiment Tutorial
The third and final tutorial created by Alex Ruiz and reworked by Lloyd Harvey for this blog. By looking at Alex’s work and dissecting and regurgitating it, I have learned a lot about image creation.
1) In this first stage, basic blocks and shapes are laid down and some sense of light is implied at the top of the image. The colour palette is left simple and relatively greyscale at this stage. Smaller brushes are used to ‘cut in’ to the bulk that is formed in the middle.
2) A warm tan colour wash is added to the piece and little details are picked out here and there. At this point, Alex knew he was dealing with a large structure of some kind so he decided to back this up by painting in little lights and adding a haze to imply distance.
3) Building up the detail now by painting in some cables and support beams and other vent like parts, the structure starts to take shape. A clear focal point is added using a bold orange brush (set to colour dodge in Photoshop or Corel Painter’s Glow Brush) and with the same colours he makes highlights and reflective detail is picked out in the structure.
4) The image is now flipped which helps to reveal any errors in any painting and can show you new ways of improving your piece. With a fresh look at the painting, Alex extended his playing area and started to add distant structures and more haze. With this, detail from the last piece has now been covered to gear attention to the focal point.
5) A little wider, close up foreground elements are added and detail and light are used to create a small river in the plane below the light focal point. This helps to create perspective and depth which is emphasised in the structure on the left that appears to get closer to the viewer.
6) With Alex’s obsessive widening and flipping the image back, he builds in more distant structural detail and duplicates the foreground element from the previous step (the bird like shape) and puts it on the other side of the painting. This creates a nice frame for the image. Little lights are added near to river to imply a small settlement and a spine like rail is painted in on the right hand side to create a compositional director (if you will). This helps guide the viewer’s eye towards the focal point and was created using a custom brush.
7) Another flip and a lot more detail is added. The settlement has become a distant city and contrasting blue lights are painted in to add interest and contrast. If you hadn’t noticed, the piece was widened a bit more.
8) In this final stage, small vessels are painted in that appear to fly towards the large abstract structure. More work on the city below and more detail in the distant background help create a real sense of imposing scale and add to the science fiction element of the setting. To anchor the painting and help draw the viewer in, Alex painted in some small humans in the foreground to give it a sense of humanity.